Title: Cocoon Entwined Vol. 3
Author: Yuriko Hara
Release Date: July 27, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
I believe it’s easy to get lost in manga and forget that it is a combination of story and art. Where I’m typically focusing on a story through the lens of character development and pacing, I often overlook just how powerful some of these illustrations can be. It’s something that I should definitely improve on. Author Yuriko Hara’s Cocoon Entwined series should be considered an art piece. Through its yuri themes of obscure story elements, the illustrations tell just as impactful of a story as these characters.
Cocoon Entwined Vol. 3 requires that you have a firm understanding of Youko’s situation when it comes to how she feels towards Hana. Nothing is glossed over here, and we witness her inner battle of reaching out even though she knows she shouldn’t. It’s crazy to think about the impulsive things we’ve done for those we love but don’t treat us the same way, and Youko is consistently at odds.
There are other stories going on simultaneously, but I feel like the slow build-up to the final chapter is why we’re all here, but whether you’ll be satisfied is yet to be seen. It’s almost a slow burn of coincidences that led to the conclusion, which could have been handled better, but I can’t help but be cautious of Hana’s intentions. It seems like Youko is ready to give up everything, and that’s a mindset that I can wholly empathize with.
That said, the story is all over the place. Readers are left to subtle inner monologues from the characters as they think through their current situation. It’s often tough to follow and almost requires you re-read the story to catch the quick-changing scenes and subtle changes in tone from character to character. What makes this easier is the art.
Hara-san needs to calm down with the beautifully illustrated panels in Cocoon Entwined Vol. 3. The focus of hair has returned better than ever, as readers can easily treat this publication as a manga that doubles as an art book. It’s as if the writer is in no hurry to put all the pieces of the story in place and would rather highlight the struggle these characters feel during their daily interactions.
It’s powerful, but I wouldn’t say this is for the casual manga fan. Everything is disjointed, and you are often treated to long pauses between characters as they simply stare into each other’s eyes. It’s beautiful, and the drama that is happening is real, but it’s nothing like your typical yuri and leans more into emptiness and even toxic levels of love.
Cocoon Entwined Vol. 3 is simply gorgeous. From beginning to end, you’re in for some of the most highly emotional and thought-provoking scenes of any manga I’m read. However, this comes with a highbrow story structure that is hard to interrupt if you don’t completely understand the feelings and situation of the cast. It requires the reader to find love for both story and art but will take some overlooked moments if you’re just here for one of the two.
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