BB: Sickness Unto Death volumes 1 & 2 Story by Hikaru Asada, Art by Takahiro Seguchi Review
From the publisher: “The sickness unto death is what Kierkegaard calls despair and in this comic despair is manifested in form of a young woman named Emiru. Emiru is a beautiful young woman from a rich family and plenty to aspire to. Unfortunately she is consumed with grief. She does not align herself with God or God's plan for her and needs guidance.
So when she meets a young psychology student named Futaba she gives herself to him. In this way she loses herself to him. Kierkegaard defines humanity as the tension between the "finite and infinite", and the "possible and the necessary", and in this case Emiru as we come to know her will eventually end under Futaba's guidance. But who will take her place? And how will she and Futaba go through the balancing act between these opposing personalities as their relationship builds.”
As a psychological thriller Sickness Unto Death succeeds, as a romance not so much. Both the protagonist and the heroine are compelling characters and technically it is a unique relationship but the whole thing comes across as uncomfortable. The books also leaves a lot of major plot threads unresolved which is rather frustrating. The supporting cast has little time to be developed which is also grating.
That being said, the books are well written and compelling reads it’s just they have their flaws. The artwork is rather standard for Japanese comics there is not much to comment on in that regard. The reason for the discomfort is the unethical nature of their relationship which poses problems even within the book. So in conclusion, despite my groaning here, Sickness Unto Death is an interesting read. The core cast is compelling and it has some poetic moments.
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