Another manga that got my interest… though truthfully, I don’t think it’ll catch yours.
Super Brief Summary
The story centers around two people, Kazama Masamune and his newly discovered daughter, Koharu.
Kazama is a single 23 year old man who’s still clinging to the memory of his past lover, Youko. She had moved abroad to study and despite the numerous letters that he sent her, there never was a reply. Then in spring, he learns that she passed away. Meeting with her mother after the funeral, Kazama hears about how Youko secretly raised a child alone. The child is now 5 years old, meaning that she was conceived about the same time that Youko left. Adding to the confusion, Youko told her mother that the child was Kazama’s. Filled with emotion, he stormed out after saying that it was a lie. If something important like that really happened, he should have been told.
One day, while working late, he happens to meet a little girl outside who was trying to get her string-cup phone untangled from a tree. After rescuing her and her toy, the girl introduced herself as Koharu and explained that the device was intended for her mother since she had so many things to tell someone… but she just can’t directly. However, for some reason, her mother is no longer able to use it. The two talked some more before an employee called out Kazama’s name. Hearing it, Koharu realized that the man she was talking to was her father. Confronted by his past, Kazama eventually makes the decision to live together with her, turning his normally ill-fated spring to a vividly emotional one.
At first, this reminded me of Usagi Drop since it had the same outline; a single man taking in a child into his life. Something about these single-father tales appeal to me, probably because the “child adoption” genre is so heartwarming and touching. Watching men change slowly, forced to adapt to the new addition, is also cute in its own way.
Unlike the forementioned Usagi Drop, Koharu is not alienated by anyone. She’s just passed off to Kazama since Youko’s mother couldn’t handle it. Despite how remarkably mature she is for her age, Koharu has her cute side like when she confessed to her father how she still misses mama.
It’s moments like these that makes my heart melt. I expect this to be a wonderful series, slowly unraveling the mystery of why Youko chose to raise her in secret but at the same time, developing the emotional bonds between Kazama and her.
The listed author is “Sahara Mizu” and when I looked it up, I discovered that it was one of many IDs the author went by. Also known under the “Sumomo Yumeka” alias, she is well-known in the BL (yaoi) community for other works. “Sahara Mizu” is taken up whenever she does seinen (for older, more mature males) work.
Under the same name, I found out that she made the manga adaptations for anime produced by my favorite director, Makoto Shinkai. She worked on both Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days. Quite interesting since I read her works without realizing who she was. They were both good jobs but nonetheless, they fell short of how epic the original works were.