Romance Manga Depicts "New Normal" of Mask Wearing
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Throughout the past two years, various manga about pandemics have been getting released or republished, but have you wondered what love and romance would be like if people never took their masks off after the pandemic?
In Akito Aihara's New Normal manga, masks have become commonplace in the future, and just showing your mouth to someone of the opposite sex has a special significance. The story follows a boy and girl; the girl, Natsuki, is secretly fascinated with the pre-pandemic world. When her classmate Hata spots her without her mask, they begin a clandestine relationship where they show each other their faces underneath the masks when they are out of view from others.
The theme is the universal feelings of adolescent boys and girls juxtaposed with the new values and rules of a transformed society. Although Americans are being told that mask-wearing is optional after they have been fully vaccinated, mask-wearing culture has had firm roots in Japan prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so this particular manga may show a plausible future for Japanese youths.
Fun Guild's Comic Owl imprint published the first compiled volume in Japan on Monday. It is the imprint's first publication to be centered on print publication.
Source: Comic Natalie