In this month’s Bibibi article, Ranko talks about Diary of Different Countries (違国日記 Ikoku Nikki) by Tomoko Yamashita.
Hello. I’m Ranko, the BUTAOTOME vocalist.
This is a series of articles where I introduce my favorite manga and anime in whatever way I like, and sometimes I write a production diary.
…is “Diary of Different Countries” by Tomoko Yamashita.
It is currently serialized in Feel Young, and many of you may have read it before, as it is a well-known manga that has won various awards.
I am a fan of Tomoko Yamashita’s works, and “Diary of Different Countries” is a manga that I particularly like and would recommend to others.
…but it is an important manga that touches a very soft place in my heart, so I am afraid to introduce it, but I hope you will read it… LOL
My first encounter with Yamashita’s works was BL stuff, but I especially like “HER”, which is mainly about women. She is also very good at depicting multi-POV stories, so “Butter!!!” is also very attractive and I love it.
Diary of Different Countries is about a girl (Asa Takumi) who has lost her parents and a novelist (Makio Koudai) who has taken in her sister’s orphaned child and lives with her. The two live hand-in-hand with each other, feeling as if they are residents of different countries.
There are many situations in which the reader sympathizes with it, rather than reading the story with an emotional attachment to someone in particular, as in, “Oh, I said this to someone” or “Someone said this to me”
First of all, I like people like Makio. He is somewhat similar to my sister and my best friend from elementary school. He is shy and not very sociable, but he has a hidden passion inside. So I read the book thinking that there is someone like him nearby, rather than me.
I’m not sure if I’m the same type of person as Asa, but she is so sparkling and honest, like a newborn dog, and I was not this beautiful when I was fifteen… I’m dizzy with her dazzle. I’d like to learn from her, and I think it would be wonderful if I could be as flexible as she is.
Other characters in the series include Makio’s ex-boyfriend, his female friends, and Asa’s friends, who tell their own stories and sensitivities as well as those of the two of them from their point of view. Tomoko Yamashita is really good at bringing her characters to life, and I think all these people are living in this world… I think she is really good at depicting multi-POV stories (2).
There is a scene where Asa says to Makio, “You should speak in a language I understand” and “It sounds like a different country’s language”
I was so surprised because I had been told something similar. “Don’t speak in a difficult language,” “Don’t you need to use such a difficult word now?” etc.
When I was told that, I didn’t mean to use particularly difficult words. But when my sister said to me, “You tend to use difficult words when you are tense,” I learned something about myself. I can’t fix it now that I know that, but I can be aware of it.
Then, since I got married, every day is like a diary of different countries. LOL
Fortunately, we are a couple who speaks well together, so I hope that we can live together and be close to each other, even though we live in different countries.
In the obi of the fifth volume, Tomoko Yamashita said, “If there is someone who thinks this is their story, I am drawing it for that person,” and I strongly agreed with her.
I sing for my sake because I enjoy it, and if that results in saving someone or having them sympathize with me, nothing would make me happier. I am happy if people think that I am singing about them, and I hope that they will cherish that feeling.
It sounds like I am talking about myself. Sorry.
Please take a look at this rather than my poor review.
Even if you don’t need this story now, your past or future self may need it.
Please take a moment to read it.
Thanks for sticking with me this week!
Ranko signing off~!