If someone close to you became injured or sick, what would you do? Would you watch them suffer? Or would you, ideally, take the pain away from them? Kizu (“Wounds” in English) is a short manga that explores this exact question.
Kizu, written by Otsuichi and drawn by Hiro Kiyohara (who also did the art for Another), follows the life of Keigo. Like most other children, Keigo attends school, but his school is different. All of the troubled kids – the troublemakers, the abused, the scarred – are grouped in one class. There’s a quiet student in his class called Asato who never talks to anyone and, just like Keigo, never wants to go home. One day, Keigo cuts himself and he discovers Asato’s special ability to be able to absorb the wounds of others. But the question is, although Asato heals others, what are the scars that he carries himself?
This manga is a really short story. It’s only 4 chapters long! But, despite that, it’s a really impactful story. And, again, the reason why this manga review will be so short is due to how short the manga is. I don’t want to spoil anything because this is such a great piece. (I’ve even censored the pictures in fear of giving things away!) It’s detailed in not only the story but also the artwork. Hiro Kiyohara’s art is beautiful. It’s not cute, nor is it overexaggerated. What it is is simply realistic, and it’s wonderful.
Within this short story, the detail however really does explore the characters perfectly. Somehow, Otsuichi has managed to create the perfect balance in terms of the characters’ personalities. They’re children and are portrayed as such, but they also appear to act like adults at times as well. It’s simply incredible at how detailed their personalities are for the sake of a single-volume manga.
A part of me wants more of this. Four chapters just left me wanting more, it was such a quick read. However, I also think that, with the amount of detail this manga has, four chapters are sufficient. I think if the manga continued, there would be a chance that the protagonist would turn into some sort of Light from Death Note clone in going crazy with the use of using some sort of ability to ‘do good’ and it really would be ruined. As it stands, however, the ending is somewhat satisfying and it does work really well. I’m very much torn on this front, as you can see.
Sadly, if you are interested in reading this, it follows a similar fate to the previous manga I reviewed – WorldEnd:Debugger. It is not licensed in English, meaning you will have to rely on scanlations if you want to read this. I’m so annoyed by this because I would absolutely love to have this manga as part of my collection. In the meantime, I’ll just sit here and pray that one day it will be officially available so I can buy it because it’s just so good.
I definitely recommend it if you are interested in the drama and psychological genres, though. It is quite emotional at times, but I did enjoy every minute of reading this manga. It’s not very long so it won’t take much time to read, but it’s definitely worth taking the time to do so.