Genkaku Picasso Trilogy, Vol. 3
Finished: May 14, 2011
First Published: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: YA, Manga, Magical Realism
Welcome to Akatsuki High's Multicultural Festival!
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.
Reason for Reading: Next (and last) book in the series.
Volume 3, the last in this trilogy, continues on with the theme of the previous books with Picasso drawing the heart of another student and diving into the picture. This story revolves around a boy who has not gone to school for the past several years as he is in a state of depression where he feels that nothing is worth it; life is useless and all pursuits pointless as the world will end one day and we are all going to die anyway. His mother brings him to a festival at the school to try and cheer him up but Picasso discovers in the hidden heart that the mother is the cause of all the boy's trouble. A rather strange story which I wouldn't have really liked except that there is a cultural aspect to it about honouring one's parents that somehow changes this from a Western-type story of blame the parent for all the kid's problems, to something different.
The next story goes back to Sugiura and his crush on Akane. He finally asks her out and she accepts thinking it is just a friend outing but when Akane has to set him straight on the no romance side of their friendship, Sugiura goes on the rebound with a girl who has confessed she likes him and is more his type. When Picasso dives into Sugiura's heart he finally helps him discover why he has always had an attraction to Akane, even though she is not his type, and stops him from making a big mistake with this new girl. This is a fitting end to Picasso's adventures of "helping" people since Sugiura was the first he helped back in Vol. 1 and here he now is the last.
The time has come though for Picasso to examine his own heart and he is suddenly surrounded by a huge aura and draws a picture and dives into it, not realizing it is his own dark heart until he starts trying to solve the problem. Quite a spectacular ending that I was impressed with. It made the whole trilogy worth reading and the story is really quite deep when one examines it. All the characters we've met from all three volumes come back in this volume and join together to help Picasso in the final chapters.
This is not a series I would normally have read had the summary been more forthcoming about plot and content in the first, Vol. 2 especially contained a lot of content which I would not have continued to read if the volumes had not ended in a trilogy. There is a lot of s*xual situations, some way out of my "want to even know about" zone and therefore do pay attention to the publisher's recommended age of 16+ and I add that this series will not be for all adults either.
It wouldn't have been for me either. But I stuck with it after Vol. 2 to find out the ending and I'm glad I did at that point as I'm impressed with the writing and the direction the plot went. I'm not going to recommend this series, as I can't due to its content. But if after reading my reviews of the individual books, you find the topic/plot interesting you will find a well-written and unique manga trilogy.