- Mangaka : Hirako, Waka
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Drama, Mystery
- Published : October 2020
My Broken Mariko Introduction
Shiino is an ill-tempered office assistant. She sees a headline on the news one day that strikes her to the core- her best friend Mariko is dead. Shiino becomes determined to get the bottom of the mystery behind her best friend's death. This is a story of sisterhood and the love they had toward each other.
Before we delve into this manga, this manga contains serious topics/contents such as suicide. Please keep in mind that although this story is a fiction, there may be cases similar, not wholly, to the information portrayed. In short, please be kind to others and help steer them off from this path.
Back to the review, you read the introduction. Shiino’s best friend committed suicide by consuming a large number of sleeping pills and jumped off from the fourth floor of an apartment balcony. As her best friend and someone who had known Mariko for a long time, she already had an idea as to the truth of this incident.
1. Are You Okay?
Now that you know the main story of this manga is about suicide. The main question for the readers would be: Why? What are the reasons behind that sole decision? In reality, the reasons as a whole can be a unique case by case.
Let’s look into Mariko’s life, with respect. She was born under an abusive and irresponsible father, a mother who left the family twice, and an abusive boyfriend at that. Yes, everyone aside from Mariko has problems of their own, but do know that, in reality, doesn’t give us the excuse to harm others, so again, be kind to each other.
Pretty sure most of us know that suicide is a serious topic and shouldn’t be taken lightly no matter the circumstances. If you meet someone who starts talking about that as in thinking about committing such an act, that is where you and their friends have to be there for them. Throughout the chapters, the manga depicts the danger that women are facing. But that also applied to men as well!
The beautiful relationship between Mariko and Shiino had together led Shiino to develop her own guilt. Shiino decides to obtain a container of Mariko’s ashes and go on a journey to a place where both had dreamt of visiting. Along the way, she contemplated and reminded herself of the times she had spent with Mariko, both happy and sad times. Guilt starts to flow into her mind as she was her only friend and someone trustworthy.
Realistic speaking, we humans tend to hide our true feelings from others as a way to avoid showing our weakness. That is true. However, how long can you hold onto the emotions that are slowly affecting your mindset and mentality? Having friends or be with someone who you can speak comfortably can help you get off from stress. From there, you will be able to get the general idea of the issues and solve them rationally.
The art style of the manga is a mixture of Western and Japanese art style. The beta applied to the characters, surroundings and the objects were impactful enough to pull us, readers, into their world. There are some scenes in the manga can be goofy sometimes when it comes to their expressions which makes us questions sometimes are the characters serious or not.
The story focuses on Shiino fulfilling sort of a final wish for Mariko by going on a journey to a beach so that she could spread her ashes to the sea. Shiino was likable in the way of how straight forward she was when it comes to interaction. There is not a single handbrake installed on her. The manga didn’t manage to focus on the development of the character in itself. Yes, Shiino was mourning for the death of her best friend, but we barely see any development for her during the journey.
My Broken Mariko is filled with tragic stories which are the theme of the manga itself. The manga taught us the lessons of how sensitive a human mentality can be no matter what kind of situations they have gone through. The artwork is unique and impactful enough to pull us into the story, but it lacks character development and a strong storyline to bring it home.
The moral of the story is that be sure to check on your friends and love ones even if there is a low chance that their situations could lead to suicide or causing trouble. Another important to take note is that suicide is not an answer. That decision will not solve anything at all; this course of action would indicate that you are running away from problems and leave them to your family, and hurt the feelings of your friends, family and loved ones.
If you are a fan of tragedy type of manga, this may be the one for you. It is depressing in so many ways for Maiko, but do know that you should look out for others.