Manga Chapter of the Week: Natsu no Zenjitsu 18 (A Day at the Beach)

Scans for this chapter apparently came out a long time ago. I can’t not talk about this series. The art is too good, the characters too engaging, the storyboards too crisp. This chapter follows the lead couple, Tetsuo and Akira, on a date to the beach as the former is recovering from some weird but very profound depression and makes good use of shading to show that off.

NnZ-18-1

This chapter doesn’t contain that much in terms of raw plot. Its entirety consists of 3 scenes: Tetsuo arriving at Akira’s apartment late and without the canvas he had discussed bringing along, the two on the train with Tetsuo acting increasingly awkward, and the two at the beach. The first two scenes serve to show Akira noticing how off Tetsuo is, and the third scene is about Tetsuo swimming out into the depths before eventually coming back to Akira and just lying there. It’s a relatively simple premise for a chapter packed with emotional nuances that lend it a ton of depth. It’s harder to go into more detail without simply breaking it down panel-by-panel, but the manga does a particularly excellent job this chapter of illustrating Tetsuo’s improving mood by dramatically shifting the shading from dark to light as he swims back towards Akira. This dynamic results in a number of very touching, tranquil pages like the one below, pages that make the manga a very easy one to read over and over.

NnZ-18-2

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