Life is a fragile thing. We often procrastinate and think that something that can be done today can be done tomorrow. Time, to most of us, is an object that is hardly precious since we have so much time that we can afford to lose part of it. However, when time is the one who will govern your life, how do you live that life?
There is a girl you love a lot. You have loved her ever since you know about love, and wishes for her to stay with you forever. If you know you are going to live up to 20 years old, what would you do? That is the question asked by Takuma, a boy with a heart failure that means that he might not survive beyond twenty summers. He loves Mayu, a childhood lover, but he knows he cannot give her eternal happiness. The happiness he can give to any girl only lasts one-fifth of a century. What will you do if you are him?
This is Boku no Hatsukoi o Kimi ni Sasagu, or in English “I’ll Give You My First Love.”
The two main characters
Takuma is a outwardly energetic boy that does not allow the pain in his heart (pun intended) to surface. He hops in and out of a hospital due to his heart condition, but he never wavers in confidence that he will be cured. He always smiles to everyone, despite the fact that he knew that his biological clock will cease to exist faster than anyone that surrounds him. Nonetheless, he bears the pain alone, not daring to love anyone. No one wishes to let the person they love to see them die, and leave them with plain loneliness. Mayu’s father is one of the doctors that is caring for him, and knows his true condition.
Mayu is his childhood friend that loves him dearly as well. She always protects him, just as he will always protect her all the time. Despite visiting him often in the hospital, she never knows about his condition (until a further date in the manga) that he will die before the age of 20. Her father is a specialist in heart dysfunctional issues, and is hiding the truth from her.
It has been a while since I cried while reading a manga. For some reason, anime tends to evoke more feelings in me due to the animation that provides more tangible expressions and the ambiance that has to be imagined in a manga. I lack creativity for imagining and absorbing the tension between the characters through visual dialogue of a piece of paper. Nonetheless, the extremely realistic and powerful rendition of these extremely likable characters just makes you wonder why they have to endure this cruel twisted hand of fate.
However, it is hardly surprising that this manga series is such a tearjerker. The mangaka is Kotomi Aoki, who is famous for her work in Boku wa Imōto ni Koi o Suru. Some of the characters in her previous work also appears in this series, as the two main characters here are in fact side characters then. I like her previous work as well, and I do not exactly like incest themes since I find them generally disgusting.
Due to the fact that I do not want to reveal any spoilers, I will not mention too much of the plot. Nonetheless, I have read up to the second last volume of this series, and I really find that despite some of the rather melodramatic plot themes, the combination of humor and drama is very intrinsic. It has been a very long while since I read such a beautiful drama/romance manga, and I urge you to pick it up as well.