Manga Monday: Ciguatera Vol. 1

Series: Ciguatera
Author/Artist: Minoru Furuya
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Released: September 7, 2021
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Bullying

Do you know how sometimes a cover will make you stop browsing books and take a minute to read the description? Well, that is what happened to me with Ciguatera Vol. 1. The realism and colors of the cover instantly got me curious, and the description sucked me in.

Yusike Ogino is your ordinary teenager. He has dreams, ambitions, and of course, bullies. That dream of his is to get his license and a motorcycle and catch the eye of Yumi. Yet when Yumi approaches him, he can’t quite bring himself to believe the truth or his luck. Is this a trap, or is his dream coming true – out of order!?

I want to advise some reader discretion for Ciguatera Vol. 1, as the bullying portrayed within these pages goes far beyond what the description prepared me for (and I was expecting a fair amount). I understand the purpose of this betrayal, but it felt heavy-handed at times, and I’m sure, very triggering at others. So please do consider yourself warned.

To make my point nice and clear: I seriously struggled with finishing Ciguatera Vol. Normally I can happily read a volume in a single sitting, but with this one, I had to keep putting it down and walking away. It’s a lot, guys.

To be fair, I can see the point Minoru Furuva was trying to make here – that everyone faces suffering in their lives. Or at least, that was the point as I interpreted it. To contrast, all of those darker points would be the romance itself…which is okay?

It’s neither here nor there, though perhaps it would be something developed further in later volumes. I’m not certain. All I know is that there wasn’t as much as I had hoped, keeping me invested in this story.

Thanks to Vertical Comics and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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