Manga Recommendations: マギの贈り物 (Magi no Okurimono)

11:44 PM

He was the boy who loved the Earth below
She, the girl who loved the skies above
He is the man searching the heavens
And she is the woman gazing down upon the Earth.

A heart breaking tale of those left behind, left clinging to fading memories. A heart breaking tale of those who have passed on, left watching over their loved ones from afar. This is the Gift of the Magi, and it's a one way ticket to Feels Town, so all aboard the Tears Express.

I really recommend this, even though it's only started a few months ago. Really, really strong first few chapters.

Title: マギの贈り物 (Magi no Okurimono), The Gift of the Magi
Author: Yoshizuki Kumichi
Genre: Seinen, Drama, Romance, Supernatural
Serialized in: Shueisha Grand Jump Premium
Status: Ongoing

Series Description: Five years ago, Hokazono Akari died in an accident. Now 23 years old, her boyfriend and childhood friend Shiki Daichi still hasn't found closure. While he chases after memories of her on the earth below, she uses every tool at her disposal in heaven above to force him to forget.

Thoughts: It's an absolutely beautiful story that tears at the heart strings. The alternating scenes between Daichi remembering Akari on Earth, and the Akari up in the heavens tearing up creates a touching, and heart rending story layout. The more she tries to make him forget, he recalls memories from further back, which is used to explore the reason for Daichi's fixation on Akari. Flashbacks are the main machine for exploring the story behind the two, but they also reveal a lot about Daichi's character. 

Daichi has a love for geology. As a child, he loved collecting rocks. Akari pursues astronomy, loving the stars and the constellations they form. There's a lot to this Earth-Heaven relation between the two. For Akari, Daichi is the ground beneath her. He's always been there supporting her, even if she didn't notice. For Daichi, Akari shines as brightly as the stars - she's smart, popular and at times, he's felt that she was as unattainable as an actual star in the sky. Daichi as a rock also has a flip meaning. He feels like he's a stone, stuck on the ground while Akari soars over head. Comparing himself to her, he's uninteresting and dull.

That's where the meteorite that Daichi gives Akari when he asks her out. It's both a star and a rock. It's a star (Akari) that's fallen down to the Earth (Daichi), and now that they're going out, represents a union of the sky and Earth. Now it's back up in the sky.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but all the metaphors just jumped out at me as I was reading this.

For this series, the best ending would be the horribly sad ending. It'd be Daichi finally moving on with his life. He's spent 5 years chasing memories of Akari and hasn't lived his own life since. Akari's reaction will be soul crushingly mixed. She'll finally have peace of mind, knowing that Daichi will be okay, but at the same time, absolutely heart broken. If I'm right, this ending might just cause another Great Flood, but out of tears. A 'happy' end of Daichi dying and being reunited would be a cop out end. The story is building Akari's anguish, and to have it all for naught would really ruin the story.

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