Title: Days on Fes Vol. 2
Author: Kanato Oka
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
As we explore the live music scene in a manga, I guess it’s about time I confess that I was once a singer of a band. The energy of a live show is almost indescribable as it feeds off the crowds as much as it does the musicians. To capture that moment from a new fan’s perspective isn’t easy as something that I may take for granted is entirely unique to them. Days on Fes Vol. 2 follows Kanade to her first overnight performance and highlights a pivotal moment on any music lover’s wishlist.
Days on Fes Vol. 2 opens with the struggles of being a young fan of live music. It isn’t easy to bring everything you want to these events because they’re expensive. Kanade dreams of what future events will be like but is stuck with an inexpensive sleeping bag for the first time. Joining her is her best friend Otoha, along with Ritsuru and Gaku. Ritsuru is as jaded as ever and almost defines my own personal attitude towards music. He wants to share his musical catalog but doesn’t know how to feel when others enjoy it.
Throughout the volume, we get to see firsthand how concertgoers need to brave the harsh sun elements to enjoy some live music. We also get to understand some of the nuances of this experience, such as the food trucks, merch, and, most importantly, budgeting. Kanade’s excitement is rarely soiled until she’s uncomfortable, which happens from time to time. However, I think Ritsuru and Gaku really sell the experience for me since I can relate to their drunken ramblings and lack of sleep.
One scene is significant between Kanade and another character. This moment, I know all too well, following bands I enjoy and being able to see them live. I think mangaka Kanato Oka really nailed this interaction which brought on a flood of memories.
The illustrations do well to sell the setting of a concert and show the character’s various expressions in detail. There are many high-action moments where the characters will just burst out and scream something, but this is mostly between Otoha and Gaku. I just think it was a bit overplayed in this volume and preferred the times they were apart.
Days on Fes Vol. 2 brings out the jaded music lover in me through Ritsuru and has me remember some of my favorite moments of a live concert. During times like these, I feel these memories are pleasant to reflect on a remember what’s waiting in the near future. For now, though, I’m having a great time following Kanade and seeing how she perceives the other random nuances of this lifestyle.
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