Monotome Blue is the latest masterpiece of Nagabea well-known author also in Italy thanks to his stories, ranging from shoujo, to seinen (The Girl from the Other Side) and Boy’s Love (Wizdoms). His stories are special, magical and mysterious, rich in meaning and with a strongly supernatural trait. In particular, Nagabe is known for creating stories that have anthropomorphic protagonists, therefore animal beings with human characteristics, as happens in this new manga. Monotone Blue is the serialized version of a one-shot called Escalate, published in the anthology “Kemono / Jingai BL Special”. As for his previous works too Monotome Blue is published in our country by J-POP.
Monotome Blue – J-POP, review
“I have always hated myself… It was because of my nature that I could not be part of anything, even though they all approached me. But Hachi … sees me for what I am. “
Monotome Blue: the arrival of Aoi in my monotonous and boring world
The story comes to life in a world populated by anthropomorphic creatures. Hachi is a high school cat-boy and his life has always been boring and monotonous. He fails to become attached to his companions, does not seem to have strong bonds of friendship with them, he stays alone most of the time, finding nothing that really attracts him. That is, until a newcomer arrives in his school, populated only by mammals: it is Aoi, a lizard totally opposite to Hachi and not due to the fact that it belongs to a different species.
Aoi is serious, diligent, always gets excellent grades unlike Hachi who actually has a rather poor performance. But the relationship between the two completely changes when, one day, after class, Hachi spots something that Aoi wanted to keep secret that immediately catches his attention.
Monotone Blue – J-POP, review
It is the color of his tail, a blue so intense that it gives a jolt to the reality of Hachi who, for the first time in his life, takes an interest in something. He can’t help but admire that deep blue like the sea, and from that moment the two will begin to spend more and more time together. and Hachi soon discovers that Aoi is hiding a secret, something painful and hard to tell, tied to his past. But when things go well between the two, here is their relationship will risk tilting forever due to Hachi’s jealousy. Jealousy born of the fact that he realizes he has feelings for Aoi, a feeling that goes beyond simple friendship and perhaps, he is not the only one. However, Hachi’s behavior will bring back his deepest fear in Aoi’s mind: that of not being accepted just because he was born different. The only solution is to speak, to externalize what Aoi holds in his heart. Just so he will be able to understand that being himself is not a defect, but something special and this, only with the help of Hachi.
Monotome Blue: beyond the species, we are all the same
There is a profound teaching hidden in this story: even if we belong to different species, even if at first glance we may appear strangers to each otherthere is nothing wrong with one’s uniqueness which must not be hidden, but valued.
Monotome Blue – J-POP, review
Hachi’s life has always gone on without too many jolts, he has never tried to be accepted because he has always integrated with the surrounding environment, despite the monotony and that tediousness that accompanies him every day. Aoi, on the other hand, has always had to struggle to find his place in the world, a way that does not seem to accept those who are different, those who do not conform with what is commonly accepted as normal. Aoi feels alien to any species and is sure he cannot be part of any group. After all, he experienced it on his skin being estranged, made fun of for being a lizard. After what happened to him in the past, Aoi vowed to keep away from the beasts, hiding, afraid of being exposed to danger again just because he was born a lizard. Aoi’s despair and pain are so strong that it leads him to wonder why he was born a lizard, to deny his very being because this is what others have done.. He thinks he is weak and that precisely because he is not the same as other beasts he is always targeted.
Monotome Blue – J-POP, review
It will be his friendship with Hachi that will make him understand once and for all that there is nothing wrong with being born a lizard, being what he is, a sweet and kind boy who yes, has suffered a trauma, but not through fault. her. It is not his responsibility but of those who bullied him and enjoyed making fun of him. Aoi is Aoi. She is not just a lizard. Hachi and Aoi just look a little different, that’s all. There is nothing wrong with that. Diversity is our strength but sometimes we need someone to remind uswho takes us by the hand and tells us that everything is fine because, even if sometimes life puts us in front of painful situations, the important thing is not to be alone.
Some more information on the manga
If you have already read other works by Nagabe then you will be familiar with his style: drawings with sweet and delicate lines, very soft. Again Nagabe creates a real story, with incredibly human characters despite, paradoxically, they are animals. Their emotions are tangible, powerful and concrete. Tackles with delicacy a strong theme such as bullying by creating a story that invites us to overcome prejudices and a retrograde way of thinking once and for all.
The edition presented by J-POP is simple but impactful, especially the cover, in shades of black except for the splash of blue on Aoi’s tail. After all, the world of Hachi has always been like this, a world in which the only shade of color was that of gray and black, until the gaudy brilliance of that deep blue of Aoi’s tail made its way into the monotonous world. her. We also find blue on parts of the writings on the two flaps.