Spring is here! And when spring comes, everything winter goes away. And after spring comes summer! Summer where everything spring is ramped up by the heat. But wait! What if something winter does not go away? Something winter that persisted till the summer? Something like a.. Snowman?! This new manga recommendation is ‘Melt Away! Mizore-chan’ by Hanao Tabi, a manga featuring the summer adventures of a little girl and her yuki onna friend.
So what is a yuki onna? Yuki Onna or Snow Woman is a youkai, one that roam in the blizzards of winter. Yuki Onna usually takes the form of an old woman or a beautiful young one. And when one encounters one, they will rarely survive. But don’t worry! She is a friendly yuki onna! In fact she is a snowman!
Yuki-onna (ゆき女) from the Hyakkai-Zukan by Sawaki Suushi | Tsurara Oikawa from Nurarihyon no Mago [I’m a fan of Tsurara.]
Winter is ending and a snowman is in danger of melting away. Along comes a little girl, Himari. Taking a liking to the snowman, she moved it into the freezer, saving it.
An innocent girl that grew attached to a melting snowman.
A few months later, spring as sprung and summer is here. Koharu, aunt to Himari, is getting ready for her niece’s arrival for summer break. The snowman has been left in the freezer since Himari rescued it. Himari has been attached to it and Koharu could not go against her wishes. Checking the freezer for the first time since winter [really? You didn’t use the freezer for that time spanning months?], the snowman is all fine and dandy-
A young girl has climbed out instead! The young girl introduces herself as the snowman. Claiming that she has survived until summer, she is now recognized as a yuki onna. She swears destruction on summer and aims to bring an eternal winter to the country.
Wow. That’s ambitious. Oh? Someone’s here!
To complicated this even more, a third party enters the fray. Himari has arrived for summer break! Koharu tries to hide the situation from Himari but the yuki onna barges forth, introducing herself as the snowman and claiming Himari as her savior. Himari, a young elementary school girl, is quick to believe her story.
If you overlook the comedy aspect, this is a heartwarming moment for both a yuki onna and a little girl.
So now starts the adventure! The snowman introducing herself as Mizore, runs with Himari to play outside. To take out the sun and be with Himari in a permanent winter season! That is Mizore’s drea-!
What a start to the summer break. Mizore is put into the freezer and is returned to normal. From that point on, Himari’s summer break will be a fun and crazy adventure.
I’m glad Mizore is alright but I can’t help but feel that this will be a running gag from now on.
And that’s the gist of it. Every day, Himari and Mizore will go out, have fun, and get involved in all sorts of hijinks. A rich cast of characters will join in too. Koharu’s friends and acquaintances. Other kids like Himari. Even other ‘special’ beings like Mizore. All the while, Mizore will cause trouble on her own, often due to her being made of snow.
Like getting washed up in the rain.
Even though it is the main gag of this manga, these scenes where Mizore is ‘hurt’ because she is a snowman are pretty traumatic, aren’t they? I can’t speak for Himari, but seeing your best friend get blown to bits will be a harrowing experience. Mizore is also an instigator of this, often volunteering to destroy part of her body for Himari’s amusement.
Geez. That’s all kinds of screwed up.
What’s even worse is that Himari actually got used to it, as if horrific maiming of the body is expected. The more sane one is poor Koharu who has to handle any problem that stirs up and often saving Mizore from melting away.
She-.. She’s losing it.
Nonetheless, this is a comedy themed manga. In spite of all the danger, Mizore takes them like a champ, even rejoicing in her comeback and shrugging off her meltdowns, literally. Soon, you will get used to Mizore getting destroyed in every way possible and be just reading along with a smile. You will forget the harrowing experience of a snowman melting away or getting destroyed to pieces.
YEEeees… You will forget.
But let’s not forget the main thing. This is a fun adventure during summer break with Himari and Mizore. The manga is set in the Japanese countryside. A place where outdoor activities and nature can be experienced in full effect. And do away with the suffocating rush of the city and its technology. A kid and a snowman experiencing summer at its fullest.
A beautiful field of sunflowers. A true picture of summer. For a sentient snowman to witness this scenery, it is definitely an amazing phenomenon in itself.
This is a definite recommend from me. It’s an innocent comedy manga. There are some nude and suggestive scenes though. As how all shounen mangas do nowadays. Each chapter is its own adventure with some subtle continuity in the characters. Pick a nice warm afternoon and read a chapter or two. Or binge read the entire series. Either way, you in for a good time.
Here’s an extra note. I’m not sure if Hanao Tabi is a drawing assistant to Horikoshi Kohei or a fan of his drawing style, but the way the characters of his manga are drawn is similar to Boku no Hero Academia’s in some ways.
Evidence? Well, here. Imagine Deku screaming All Might’s name.
Not convinced? Here. This some speaks for itself.
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