I read a paperback edition of the manga Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy.
Genre: Manga, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Yen Press
Originally published: June 26th 2018
Pages: 192 (paperback)
Synopsis by the publisher:
When a beautiful girl asks her childhood friend out, his response is a shocker: “You’re too perfect.”
What’s a girl to do, except transform into a giant caterpillar and try, try again?
While my good friend Alex was visiting from the States here in December, we did what fellow booklover often find themselves doing when they come together; we went book hunting in bookstores here in Oslo. While we were at Outland (which is my favorite bookstore in Oslo) Alex wanted to look for a couple of mangas, and that’s how I ended up feeling like Alice falling through the rabbit hole and discover something truly new and wonderful. I’ve always loved how the manga art style looks like, but I’ve never really given manga a chance, even though I’ve read quite a few comics and graphic novels over the last few years.
But going down into the manga section at Outland had me more curious than ever, and I ended up picking up a few mangas that I stumbled across that looked interesting.
“Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy” was one of them.
What drew me to this particular manga was the absolutely weird and intriguing title. And when I read the short synopsis, I was sold!
This story has an eerie and dark weirdness to it. I really liked the art style, and especially the way that the Suzume is drawn as a caterpillar. Who knew a caterpillar could show so many emotions?
That being said, I have conflicting thoughts about the story.
Akane is a character that’s extremely hard to like. He’s the guy that refused to see what he had before it was gone, and when it comes back as something different, he doesn’t really learn to appreciate it as love before Suzume is absolutely miserable and became his “property”. But Akane also struggles with anxiety and his self-worth, which makes him more relatable as the story progresses.
Suzume is easier to like because of the cute weirdness of her caterpillar appearance, and it is easy to relate to the struggle of wanting so desperately to be loved by someone that you would do almost anything to get there.
It’s a story that reminds us to be careful what one wishes for, and also be aware of other people’s feelings. One about acceptance and mental health, and how self-loathing and events from one’s past can destroy the good things in one’s life.
I thought the book touched on some rather deep and interesting subjects but could’ve dived even deeper into them.
It’s different and it’s creepily cute. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t fall in love with it.
But if you’re looking for something that stands out (both as a story and as a standalone in the manga world of series) then this might be something for you!
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