“Gone But Not Forgotten” – 12 Days (manga) – 7/10 Apples

Genre: Drama/Yuri

Review Status: Complete (1 Volume/1 Volume)

Licensed: This was formerly licensed by Tokyopop, but has not been relicensed since they closed.

Art: Very sketch-like, more like a picture than a manga. The chibis feel out of place with the content of the manga, since the overall tone is very serious. Backgrounds are minimal, mostly blank or negative spaces. However, when they are drawn in, they have great detail in them and look very realistic.

Summary: When Jackie’s ex-lover Noah dies, she decides the best and quickest way to get over the love of her life is to hold a personal ritual with Noah’s askes. Jackie consumes the ashes in the form of smoothies for 12 days- hoping the pain will subside with her profound reaction to Noah’s death. (From the back cover)

Review: Grief is a very personal thing. Everyone deals with the loss of a loved one very differently, from crying, to locking themselves in a room, to more unusual rituals and rites that they feel help them move on and honor their loved ones. Jackie, heartbroken from the loss of the woman she loved, decides to consume her ashes and becomes a living urn for her lover, as in the tale of Queen Artemisia.

In somewhat abrupt and occasionally unclear jumps from the past to the present, the relationship between Jackie and Noah is revealed as the 12 days go by until the New Year. Each day Jackie drinks some more of the ashes. Nick, Noah’s brother, comes by and supports her as she performs her ritual- something that seems to comfort both of them in their time of loss.

Each day some more memories come flooding back- such as how when Noah’s church discovers that she’s a lesbian and she’s turned into an outcast. The disapproval of her family. The revelation of how their relationship might not have been the best- but they loved each other deeply regardless. Even so, Noah decided to leave Jackie for a man due to familial and social pressures… and ended up dead, which Jackie never wanted even if her heart had been broken.

In eating Noah’s remains and reliving their memories, Jackie finds that she can move on, feeling that Noah is in her both literally and physically. She becomes Noah’s memorial.

Overall, this was a touching look at two women who loved each other, and how one came to terms with her grief.

Recommended: 18+. There is rare language, including one rude slur for a lesbian. There’s the implication that Noah got pregnant before she was married. Jackie asks Nick to get her pregnant – but is refused. Jackie and Noah both mention having slept with a third woman before they were together. There is a brief (but tasteful- nothing naughty is shown) sex scene around the 2/3 mark between Noah and Jackie.

Other titles you might enjoy: 

Ano Hana (anime)

Wandering Son (anime and manga)

Heart of Thomas (manga)

A Cruel God Reigns (manga)


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