One Strange Day is the new installment in the dōjinshi series created by Shinnosuke Saika (Toshoneko), which began in 2019 with Sleepy Child and has already been discussed here. In this short story, we are dealing with the same characters as in the previous chapters; in fact, Yukie is taken to a clinic after she experiences stomach cramps. While there, she meets Mato – the protagonist of the series – and Motoki, another classmate, both suffering from the same problem. The three of them decide to explore the clinic at night, an event that causes the story to take sinister turns.
As in previous volumes, the melancholic atmosphere emerges from the contrast between sleep and wakefulness, between memory and reality. In Saika’s manga, there is never an overtly dramatic situation: the small cracks of the heart, unconscious anxieties, and subterranean regrets are manifested in dreams, and the child protagonists, not knowing quite how to deal with them, take them head-on, indulging in them. Saika’s flickering mark is completely at the service of the emotions, a reverberation that blends those of the characters and those of the reader through solid direction and evocative crosshatching, also confirming the effectiveness of the character design, geared toward characters that balance human and animal characteristics to perfection.
In the end, it can be said that One Strange Day is another fine story from Saika, yet another independently usable piece of a more articulated puzzle, going on to compose an accurate picture of certain atmospheres where the childhood dimension remains at the center of the world, with its original and unpredictable outlook on life.
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One Strange Day
Translation by Anna Schnell
Glacier Bay Books, 2023
34 pages, paperback, black and white – 10,00 $