Random Manga Theatre 35: The Day She Jumped

Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.

This time: Kanojo ga Tonda Hi, by Teshirogi Shiori

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I’ve been in sort of a downer mood lately, so I figured I’d tackle a manga with more mature themes this week rather than the usual bevy of super creepy and questionably-legal harem and fanservice manga. So, what did the Random Number God give me? A manga about suicide – just the thing to read when you’re feeling down! Also, a perfect excuse for making this particular post image-heavy and text-light! Excellent. Let’s take a look.

Although the title of the manga is The Day She Jumped, it’d be more accurate to say it’s a collection of oneshots (like a previous feature), only the first of which goes by that title. The eponymous tale follows a girl named Mie, stressed out as her single mother is dating other men. Inspired by a string of suicides on the local news, she decides it’s better to end it all and puts up a thread on the internet, asking for those who want to die but are too afraid to do it alone. But, in meeting other like-minded individuals, she starts to think that maybe she doesn’t want to die after all.

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Second is Akane’s tale, and our heroine this time also has parental issues. Her father walked out on them, and her mother is overworking herself to the point of illness. Akane tries hard to keep her spirits up and not put a burden on her mom, but when confronted about her apparent air-headedness she decides her best option is to run away from home and forget about her problems altogether.

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Next, the perspective shifts to Kaede, a university student who plays a short role in Akane’s story. His own parents died, and he was raised mostly by a foster family, but managed to make a go of it with his stepsister and a few close friends. But now, he’s just a wanderer, hated by his foster parents and responsible for the suicide of the girl he once loved. Even so, he can’t stop himself from being nostalgic and visiting her grave every now and then.

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The last main story is a heartwarming tale about Satomi, a high school librarian, looked down upon by even the students for being a pushover. She took the job because of her own past of depression and isolation, but she feels like she hasn’t changed a bit in all that time. She eventually strikes up a friendship with a delinquent girl and they both try to help each other with their problems.

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Verdict: Doesn’t Make You Want to Kill Yourself
Wow that was possibly the worst stretch I’ve ever made for a bad pun.

While The Day She Jumped occupies itself with fairly macabre subject matter (and though the actual stories themselves get startlingly dark at times), overall it tries its best to be fairly uplifting. Not to spoil, but most of the chapters do have relatively happy endings. On the other hand, some might think this approach is too light-hearted, since it does tend to abuse that old cliche of all a person’s issues being solved via epiphany – the real world doesn’t work that way, and it’s especially jarring since some of the emotions on the page can ring pretty true. Still, like I say every week, if this sounds like something you can get into, then by all means get into it.

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