The Golden Sheep is an emotional roller coaster worthy enough to be a part of your collection. Kaori Ozaki, the creator of The Gods Lie comes to us with another heart touching story that focuses primarily on a group of four young teenagers. From Tsugu moving away with her parents to leaving her childhood school friends behind you can almost feel the deep cutting emotions on each page. Years later she returns and you can only hope for a happy friendly reunion but everything goes downhill from there.
Extreme heartbreak surfaces when Sora discovers his friend Yuushin’s dark family past and declines to hangout with him, causing Sora to become a target of Yuushin’s venting/bullying. It’s difficult seeing friends fight, and Kaori does an extraordinary job making you feel helpless and upset during these moments. It’s a full-on avalanche of feels when Sally, a quiet and shy friend, thinks Tsugu has the hots for Yuushin. Becoming peer-pressured Sally sets Tsugu up in an embarrassing situation causing Tsugu to become an outcast from her classmates.
When Tsugu, who loves to play the guitar, sacrifices her instrument for something even closer to her heart, it becomes a truly emotional moment that almost had me in tears! (I’ve cried during anime before but never while reading. That’s how good this book is!)
Each character’s personality is very well-portrayed and the story is purely defined as you descend into Kaori’s imagination. This has become one of my favorite manga of the year and is truly a hidden gem. A book that I’ve been telling all my friends to read and if you like other titles such as Orange or A Silent Voice, you won’t want to miss out on this one!
Everyone changes over time. That’s just a simple fact. There’s the obvious ways – getting taller, gaining weight, or hair turning grey. But we change emotionally as well. The experiences we go through affect our personalities in small ways every day. And it’s not always for the better. Sometimes, the people you once cared for deeply drift away into someone completely different. That’s the challenge that faces young Tsugu Miikura in Kaori Ozaki's new manga series, The Golden Sheep.
In her elementary school years, Tsugu had a tight bond with her friends, Sally, Sora and Yuushin. But it was a bond that had to be broken when Tsugu’s family moved to Osaka. They all had a tearful farewell, but Tsugu never forgot them, even holding on to the streamers her friends held that snapped as her family drove away. As the years passed, Tsugu changed. She picked up an Osakan accent, learned to play guitar, and fell in love with Guns N’ Roses and Led Zeppelin. But when her parents split, Tsugu’s family moves back to the rural town she had left before.
Tsugu is excited to pick things up where she left off, so after optimistically asking her friends to reunite at the sheep statue in the town park, she’s delighted to see them all again and pick things up where she left off. And while things go fine and Tsugu has an easy time reacquainting herself to her schoolmates at first, she’s oblivious to the fact that her friends have also changed drastically in the past 6 years.
Sally has become jaded, and after seeing Tsugu reconnect with her classmates in general and Yuushin in particular, she starts to subtly get her classmates to shun Tsugu. Sora hopes to become a manga artist, but is depressed because of constant bullying. And Yuushin? He was once the morally upstanding hero of the group, but now he’s tormenting Sora instead of defending him.
Ozaki drops you into the drama from the jump, as the book opens with Tsugu sacrificing her guitar to prevent Sora’s attempt at suicide before rolling back to the start and building the story from there. It quickly establishes Tsugu as a hopeful – though some would say naïve – idealist who just wants things to be the way they were before she moved. You quickly warm up to her buoyant personality, which makes it all the worse to see her suffer as her dream scenario slowly unfolds into a nightmare. Ozaki’s art is another great feature of the book, as her ability to capture expressions easily help convey the emotional challenges her characters go through. It helps you get onboard as, in the end, Tsugu takes a big risk that could change everything for her friends.
The Golden Sheep is a tough but fast read. You can’t help but root for Tsugu, and while you’re left hoping for the best for her, you can’t help but think that she’s got a lot of hardships left to deal with before her wounds heal. As for me, I’m definitely interested in seeing where her journey home leads.
Tsugu Miikura, a high schooler who loves to play guitar, due to family circumstances, moved away from the rural town where she had spent her childhood. After several years, she’s back in her old hometown. She reunites with her childhood friends—Sora, Yuushin, and Asari—the friends she’d buried a time capsule with back in elementary school. Tsugu is overjoyed to be with her friends once more, but the bonds that she thought would never change have in fact started to grow major cracks…Add to CartLearn More