What if Blue Period was less passionate about art history and the complexities of creating art and more interested in an artist beaten by failures, trying to get into art school for five years after she got rejected? If that sounds like, if not exactly a good time, then at least a good book to read, then Aya Fumino’s The Essence of Being a Muse is here for you. The story has enough superficial similarities to Blue Period to merit a comparison between the two manga titles, but while Tsubasa Yamaguchi’s title loves art for art’s sake, Fumino’s work takes the time to explore the impact of art to the lives of those who want to participate in it, for better or worse.
While there are arguably three main characters introduced in this first volume, the main character is Miyuu Seno. Five years ago, Miyuu failed her art school entrance exam, and she’s given up on art ever since – and not entirely voluntarily. As the only child of a single mother, Miyuu suffered from her mother’s expectations of success from day one, and this caused her to bury her growing sense of self-doubt and anxiety about never met my mother’s expectations. After failing the exam, she told her mother she would try again next year, but when she woke up the next morning, her mother had left her job search magazine on the coffee table. Miyuu realizes what this really is: a sign that she’s a failure at art, so it’s time to move on. In Miyuu’s mother’s world, there is no such thing as a second chance.
If this sounds terrible, it is, and Fumino suffers very little from his mother’s behavior. What looks like passive aggression at first eventually turns into something much more tangible when Miyuu, feeling like she’s drowning in a life of wage slavery at her company, finally stretched and prepared an old painting that she was holding in her hand. Miyuu comes home to find her mother in her room, a knife hovering over the canvas, and when she confronts her, the woman begins to spill the beans about how she created Miyuu from her cells, and now Miyuu owes her success because the child is the parents’ second chance at life. It was a terrible moment, and it caused Miyuu to return home with the burden of her entire life: her mother had never considered Miyuu’s life to be hers in the first place, merely an extension of herself. Miss.
Her mother’s words and actions become the catalyst for Miyuu to change. After escaping her mother’s toxic orbit, Miyuu begins her life anew, and two different men end up influencing, or at least wanting to influence, Miyuu. The more interesting person now is Nabeshima, whom Miyuu first met at a mixer. Nabeshima seems to be a sincere person and loves fashion, but when we delve deeper into his personality, we find that he is also a failure just like Miyuu. The loss of his mother to the dreaded manga wasting disease in middle school took a toll on him as much as Miyuu’s living mother did to her; Nabeshima sees everything through what he considers her lens. It wasn’t, and his mother wanted nothing more than for her son to be happy, which we, as readers, can see, but grown-up Nabeshima still has middle school Nabeshima calling noses. name in your heart. Honestly, he found it difficult, if not impossible, and it made him hurt Miyuu when it wasn’t something he wanted to do. Since the other man Miyuu met, Souta, had nothing but support and admiration for Miyuu’s sketches and offered her a place to live, Nabeshima gave him the job if he wanted to overcome the obstacles. self-imposed mistakes.
But that seems to be the heart of the story that’s starting to unfold: if you want to grow, you need to work at it and rise above (or at least understand) what’s holding you back. Miyuu, at one point, admits that she just wanted a knight on a white horse to come and save her, and maybe that’s what she saw in Souta, but the implications of that action are such that a half A mere white scholar wouldn’t do that. enough. Miyuu and Nabeshima took the first steps in recognizing the problem and Miyuu went even further in escaping. It’s less about working for art and more about establishing art as something you create and love, an expression of who you are. This is a harsh story in many ways, and Fumino’s art isn’t always up to the task in terms of body language and facial expressions, but this looks like a series worthy of attention as it unfolds .
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