Hello boys and girls. I hope you are having a great day. Healthy, happy and well rested. For my part, I’m still struggling to get that last one under control after that wonderful horrible thing that happened at the convention. What thing you ask? Well I’m so very glad you did ask! It would have been a really short post otherwise. Sit back, relax: let me paint you a mind picture.
A little while ago, I dragged Mel out of Anime land where she’s been… Well… You’ve read the fanfics… To attend Otakuthon with me. It worked. Yay! I’m generally ambivalent about conventions but I’m glad I went. It was fun. And exhausting. Funny how those two things so often go together. Like most conventions, Otakuthon has a large amount of artists from all over coming together to sell goods. The special part is that unlike in US cons, you can hear them talk in French which is entertaining… I’m not a very nice person. I must say though, most did a wonderful job no matter what they may think!
Mel and I decided to do a tour in the artists’ alley (that’s how it’s called but it’s more like an artists’ gymnasium), on Friday evening after work. No big thing, I had been up since 5 and I really just wanted to scout out the place before going back the next day. I was successful! In one of the back rows, a pleasant and clearly very talented young lady was displaying her prints for sale (side note: there were so so many prints guys, it made me consider putting in more walls….) which caught our eye and we went in for a closer look.
This sounds like a casual venture but you need to fight your way through hordes of fans, occasionally in pointy and dangerous looking cosplay, to get anywhere near the booths, let alone buy something. Moreover with my vertically challenged state I really need to have a front row view. As I try to avoid touching strangers, this closer look involved a series of acrobatics, getting on my tippytoes and trying to figure out how to stretch my neck like a rokurokubi while working hard on giving off an intimidating aura to make people part before me. I’d like to think it’s the aura that did the trick.
When we finally reached the booth, victorious, Mel bought some stuff and I admired the images on display. Off to one side there were a few BL and Yuri prints that caught my eye. The images were lighthearted and loving. I didn’t recognize any characters but the BL one’s were labelled 19 days while the ladies sported a neat little tag with the words “their story”. I made a mental note, hoping it wasn’t original art work and moved on.
Friday evenings are busy for me. No no, not with social outings and tons of friends, you silly! Friday evenings are when I finish up the Given collabs with Karandi and put the gallery post together to go out on Saturdays. It’s also when I watch DanMachi, Dr. Stone, Granbelm and Fire Force and review them all (or as many as I can before passing out). Coming home late means it was around 11 when I was done watching and had to start on writing. Keeping in mind that I had been up since 5 and had a full Saturday planned. I got through 2 reviews before giving up and calling it a night.
That’s when I got the bright idea to read a little something before bed. I remembered the prints and got to googling! 19 days is indeed a rather popular Chinese you series. It’s artistic and a lot of it has no dialogue. It’s in my to read pile. Their story is also a Chinese webtoon (alternate or original title: Tamen De Gushi) about two girls finding each other and it devoured me.
I had to force myself to close my computer early Saturday morning when I got to chapter 130. I finished up the remaining 63 chapters when I got up a few hours later. It’s an ongoing series and believe you me that I will be keeping up with it!
I read a lot of webtoons, doujin and even more traditional manga but I rarely talk about them on my blog. I also rarely give up my sleep on the one weekend I actually have to stick to a schedule in order to read something I could finish anytime. So why is Their Story different?
That’s an impossible question to answer. The short and most accurate response is : I like it. I really like it. The longer one is that it has great pacing and a good sense of humour. The narrative respects the characters which are all well crafted and complex while remaining realistic and consistent. They are recognizable as people you may be friends with but just a bit more fun since you only hear about the adventures. The discovery of sexuality and social pressure is modernizes, told from a contemporary setting where a lot has changed and the stigmas aren’t the same but some things are still painfully old fashioned. Their Story is a coming of age from the point of view of modern young women and we don’t get enough of those. And it is also absolutely heartwarming. Not everything needs to be tragic and sometimes we can manage to cut ourselves on the softest things.
I didn’t do a good job. I’m still trying to get back those lost sleep hours. Ok, let me just give you this one random chapter as an example:
This chapter isn’t directly related to the story so there are no spoilers here, but the general theme has a connection with an earlier arc. It’s obviously feminist and if that annoys you…well you probably have given up on my blog a long time ago cause I am way more annoying than Their Story. I don’t see that many webtoons trying to make these points. Their story is fairly innocent and could easily be targeted at a younger audience. An audience that might not have completely acknowledged these realities. It made me so happy to think that somewhere a 13 year old saw this and thought, I never thought about it nut that’s sort of true…it kinda sucks. I also don’t think this story is particularly targeted to girls, as such the more personal perspective is even more interesting.
And a chapter like this works only because the author spend 180 chapters before it making us laugh and worry and fall in love with the characters. It’s not a message manga it’s a story that occasionally has something to say beyond it’s own fiction. Have I mentioned it’s adorable. Ok. Let me try again, here is one of the early chapters…..
I hope this has wetted (yes, this one time the error is on purpose) your appetite enough. It really is a great webtoon. Unless you are opposed to Yuri for some reason, I recommend you give it a try.
For my part, I scrapped myself together best I could, trying to make myself look somewhat presentable for the con and went right back to spend an entire day walking in heels on a few hours sleep. When I got back to that booth I told this entire tale of woe to the poor confused artist and openly blamed her for my sleep deprivation. Then I bought the Their Story print. here it is. I love it. Thank you..