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    Hi, and welcome to Mangaminx's Lair! I'm Mangaminx, a 21 year old female anime and manga fan, and this is my blog. Here you will find lots of reviews/screenshots and other features for your yuri anime needs! Feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment! Thanks to the amazing Melainy for my latest banner!

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Pieta 1
Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Turn up the angst and drama as we enter volume 1 of the manga Pieta! Sahoko has recently returned to school after having a long break due to a bout of aggrophobia, upon returning to school she begins to attempt to make new friends. In one such discussion with her "new friends" (who she mostly seems just trying to fit in with), two girls named Sakaki-San (henceforth called by her first name "Rio") and Akashi-San come up as the topic of conversation. Apparently they are a couple (*gasp* oh the shock and horror!) or so the rumour goes. Sahoko happens to catch a glimpse of the pair soon after that and seems rather dumbstruck by how she feels that she recognizes Rio, who judging from her look appears to realize something similar too.

Now Rio (the lead of the story and pictured on the main cover above), is certainly emo with a capital E (and possibly in caps too). She has had a rocky history, losing her younger sister, her mother, attempting suicide, cutting herself, being asked to move into a new house by her stepmother who dislikes her, being in mental health hospitals etc.. (I feel my blog is becoming a livejournal here ;) ). As a result Rio has a very big fear of being alone and being rejected and suffers from nightmares and flashbacks from her bad past.

Soon after first glimpsing one-another its clear that both Rio and Sahoko begin to think about the other more and more, neither really knowing why. This cumulates in Rio giving Akashi-San the cold shoulder in class and sitting next to Sahoko instead. From that point onwards things seem to develop rapidly between them, the two growing closer all the time, Sahoko regularly spending time at Rio's home (which is currently empty bar Rio). Its evidently clear that the two are in love and increasingly deeply so as they spend all their time together. It's romantic to see and while you are aware there's at least going to be some upcoming drama, the "lazy-day" sort of atmosphere of the two of them spending time together for a few chapters is really uplifting to see. Throughout these chapters we also see flashbacks to Rio's past, in which her stepmother accuses a younger Rio of hurting her step-brother (when she didn't), and we learn Rio's father may not actually be her father. We also meet Rio's counselor, a kind man who genuinely cares about Rio, and both he and his wife actually want to adopt her they care about her welfare so much.

As I said though, good times can't last forever, it's time for some drama and the "wicked stepmother" figure supplies it by accusing Rio of being responsible for her sisters death. This is definitely not the case, but Rio has blocked out the memory, so she isn't entirely sure herself what happened. This pushes Rio over the edge, and she throws herself off the roof of her school building! *gasp* the drama! The first book ends with Rio laying semi-conscious in Sahoko's arms (as Sahoko has rushed to her side).

There is an awful lot of plot in Pieta part 1 for the first three chapters that are here. Rio and Sahoko are developed well from their personalities to their backgrounds and are genuinely likeable characters. Rio in particular manages to avoid being whiney and gives what I feel is a realistic portrayal of someone suffering inside. Sahoko who has evidently recovered from her own illness is the perfect counter to Rio's unpredictable nature giving her balance. The duo manage to also avoid being cliched characters too. The manga also avoids things like "lots of angst when the parents find out their daughters are gay", because despite Rio and Sahoko being clocked together by Sahoko's younger brother, Rio's short haired, rather tomboyish appearance causes him to think she is her boyfriend. Artwork wise I love the manga too, the chapter art in particular is very good, and Rio's appearance (which I mentioned earlier) somehow really adds well to her as a character in particular.

So here we have drama, angst, some good romance, likeable characters and a cliffhanger ending. Volume 2 review soon!

Content 9
Artwork 8

posted by Mangaminx On Tuesday, December 27, 2005  
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