Monotone Blue

by Nagabe | Graphic Novels |
ISBN: 9781638585671 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 9/28/2022
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, September 28, 2022
I got this softcover at Barnes and Noble. It's about a cat-boy named Henchi and a lizard-boy named Aoi who meet in high school and find themselves intrigued by each other. (It's by the author of the stylishly bleak and eerie Girl From The Other Side series.)

I really enjoyed this, though it does feature some truly harrowing flashbacks to a terrifying assault. The setup's a bit unusual: these aren't humans-with-cat-ears, but evolved beast-people who are now bipedal and clothes-wearing, etc., while retaining some of their animalistic traits. (Amusing tidbits include a note above the blackboard reminding everyone that "It's your fur. Clean it up.".)

Protagonist Hachi, apparently the only cat in a school full of canine-types (mostly dogs, though there's at least one fox), is very much bored - bored with school, bored with a mostly-monotone world (brief description of how cats see colors is included) - and also on the grumpy/standoffish side. Oh, and he sleeps a lot. A *lot*. Sounds very catlike, right?

When new transfer student Aoi is introduced to the class - the only lizard-person in the school - the boisterous dog-folk gather around, cheerfully (if intrusively) commenting on his scales and hairlessness, while Hachi remains uninterested. And when the teachers start talking about how smart and hardworking Aoi is - by way of trying to motivate Hachi - it only makes Hachi grumpier.

And then one day Hachi glimpses Aoi undoing the covering he always wears over his tail, revealing glittering scales that are a vivid cobalt blue, unlike the rest of Aoi's scales. And Hachi is riveted. Catlike riveted, crouching to stare at the tail while lashing his own. Aoi is understandably startled to find he's been spotted, and asks Hachi not to tell anyone else about his tail - which Hachi agrees to do only if Aoi will meet him in his special spot at the top of the stairs after school and let him see that wonderful color again...

There are certainly some disturbing aspects to this, with Aoi clearly worried about the focus on his tail while Hachi only sees a way to get what he wants. But they gradually form a friendship of sorts, with Hachi offering to let Aoi stroke his own tail by way of "making us even". [The scenes of the tail-petting are quite amusing - excellent cat-reaction shots.]

Their friendship gets stressed when Aoi overhears Hachi denying any interest in him to the curious dogs (who have all spotted the relationship and are dog-eager to find out what's going on), and while they work that out it's clear that poor Aoi has some very dark incidents in his past that make it challenging for him to make friends at all. And when he finally reveals this to Hachi, after being terrified that this school's dogs will gang up on him the way the ones in his previous school did, it's really heartwrenching.

Luckily, these dogs - while still overwhelmingly doggy-enthusiastic (some of the panels showing that are delightfully on point) - are not bullies or psychopaths, and eventually things work out, with Hachi reassuring Aoi that he appreciates his differences. And that while it was that gorgeous tail that caught his eye, he likes Aoi now "because you're you". [Cue happy tears - followed by laughter when Hachi, interrupted in mid-declaration-of-feelings, pretends he's forgotten what he was going to say. But they do walk off hand in hand!]

Released 2 mos ago (9/30/2022 UTC) at Little Free Library, New Searles Rd [OBCZ] in Nashua, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book in my Little Free Library; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2022 September Sapphire challenge. ***

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, November 25, 2022
I'm reclaiming this from my Little Free Library, as it's gone unchosen for a while; will release it elsewhere.

Released 4 days ago (11/25/2022 UTC) at Little Free Library, Horse Hill Nature Preserve in Merrimack, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book in the Little Free Library; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

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