Video killed the radio star

About 90% of manga and anime I consume are pure escapism. I watch and read these things because there’s cool fights, fun sports or adorable romance. I love slice of life because it makes me feel happy and at peace when it’s done well. That’s why Yuru Camp is one of my favorite manga. But sometimes I want to read a manga that’s about something completely out of my field of interest, with a story that’s convoluted and messy, but in a good way. I’ve talked about this manga in the past, but it’s been a little while since then and now that I’ve read up to volume 8 of Hiroaki Samura’s Wave, listen to me! I think it’s time to update my thoughts on it a bit and talk about its strengths once more. So let’s jump into it.

If you haven’t read my previous post (which you can find here) and don’t know anything about Wave, let me get you up to speed.
Wave follows Koda Minare, a young woman who works at a curry restaurant. One night she gets drunk and is tricked into recording audio for a radio segment at MRS radio. Obviously not remembering what she did while she was drunk, hearing the radio segment while at work shocks Minare who quickly runs over to the station. Turns out she gave written permission on a napkin so it’s all good. I have my questions about the lawfulness of it all, but it’s a fun setup for a story. Minare ends up getting her own show on the radio program. This is the set-up of Wave and the concept we’re working with. Now why is it good?

To really dive into what I love about Wave, I want to talk about the latest arc in the released English manga. With that in mind, this post will contain some spoilers for that arc. If you just want to know if you should read it then yes, 100% without a doubt yes.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the role of Radio during a disaster.

In modern days, people would probably go to the internet. I don’t even know how to access a radio, but let’s put that aside for a moment. What do you do if an earthquake hits and power goes out. No lights in the street with dangerous cracks in the road. No access to food or anything, just sheer panic and going to shelters. Where do you turn to when lines for the internet and phones are damaged? That’s right, radio. MRS is trying to do just that. Give updates and include some banter, keep people engaged and make sure they don’t panic. I don’t want to give too many spoilers for those of you reading this before starting the manga, but the story goes through several issues in this arc, including that of the Curry restaurant Voyager that turns into an emergency soup kitchen. 

What makes Wave so good is that the people are all incredibly flawed yet they’re still people. THey’re not evil or good, they do good things, they do selfish things and they do selfless things. They try to do the best they can with what they’re given and sometimes they don’t. Wave isn’t a hero’s journey or an epic tale. It’s the story of a young woman living life and making decisions she thinks are right. And it’s told in a fantastic way that grips you from start to finish.

If you’re bored and thinking of a manga to pick up, I once again highly recommend this one and I’m sure I’ll talk about it again in the future.

Thanks for reading.

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