Haven’t done a proper [Manga Talk] on a series for quite a while; this time:
KUSAKA Riki (草花里樹/ くさか里樹)
Description: Sawako, a 22 years old female pilot working for a local air freight service provider, WING. One year ago, she married her then-trainer, Tametomo, who was 37 years her senior. The marriage lasted only 3 days, after Tametomo was killed in his plane crash. It took Sawako a long time to recover from Tametomo’s death, not without his step-son’s constant side-by-side support. One year later and lives moved on – Sawako is now living with Tametomo’s step-son, Daitarou, who would still call her ‘ma’ from time to time… But the thing is, he is actually 7 years older than Sawako, and he has already fallen in love with her a long time ago….
The romance between Sawako and Tametomo was short lived, hence we won’t get to see much of Tametomo in the series. Nonetheless, he has made a few “guest appearances” in the story – he would still be “living” as a part of Sawako’s fond memory.
Tametomo’s appearances in the story also served a purpose of contrasting Sawako’s relationship with Daitaro as opposed to him. To Sawako, Tametomo was forever a perfect gentleman, he respected her wishes anyhow (apart from when he was training her in the pilot programme!), and he was a passionate lover. In Daitaro’s mind, his dad’s easy-going and free-spirit personality would have made Tametomo a more compatible partner to Sawako than he was. Daitaro was becoming increasingly conscious of “forcing his wishes” on Sawako, which was not to her liking most times.
The first turning point of Sawako-Daitaro’s “son & step-mother relationship” was when a rich businessman appeared at Sawako’s work; Daitaro saw him as a threat as the man carried a similar charisma to his dad’s.
The second turning point, was when their relationship was being put against their careers – should they continue and open their relationship in public, it would hamper Daitaro’s chance of being promoted as the captain ever, as it would have been a scandal of an airline captain having an affair with his step-mother!….
Sawako later learned that, according to the national law, marriage between the two persons whom were once registered as directly related, incl. step-parents/siblings, would not be recognised by the law. This implied Sawako and Daitaro would never be lawfully married or have an legitimate child between them even…. Perhaps, instead of being with her in a dire relationship, a proper married life with a sweet family would be the best for Daitaro?
… and even before all that, how would Sawako manage to overcome the mental block of being sexually involved with Daitaro, having been intimately involved with his father merely a year ago…..
Finally, what would Sawako’s parents think of her relationship with Daitaro, whilst they have strongly disapproved her marriage with his father only a year ago!….
I bought this series at a truly-wholly-molly discounted price; it would be a sin for me to put a high expectation on the series at such…. or so I thought.
Yes, the artwork would still disappoint the “idealists” as the drawings were very simple. (By “simple”, I meant there was not any unnecessary use or overdose of screentones and textures in the drawings.)
In short, I am glad I have brought the series – its storyboard was clearly well planned and structured, as a result the story turned out to be simple to read, despite of an unusual theme, yet capturing.
Highly recommended if looking for some josei/drama type of story : )
PS. By the way Katayoku Doumei can also be translated “one winged alliance”, implying the relationship between Sawako and Daitarou, each “lost one of their wings” after Tametomo’s death