Title: Days on Fes Vol. 3
Author: Kanato Oka
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
I feel a deep connection with the themes of Days on Fes. As someone who has spent some time in the punk and hardcore community, I remember what it was like discovering some of this stuff for the first time. Mangaka, Kanato Oka, presents this to the reader through a group of friends. Days on Fes Vol. 3 breaks up the group for a few stories that are simultaneously happening but show how the characters act in their natural friend groups.
Days on Fes Vol. 3 opens with a very lighthearted interaction with the group doing summer homework. I considered this opening to be a warm-up to the group not really spending much time together in this volume. So we see Ritsuru handle a situation that requires him to keep calm. A few chapters dive deeper into this character to make him a little more than the jaded aging music lover. He’s confused about his future and what his next steps are, but he seems willing to open up to Gaku about some real personal issues he has with “growing up.”
We also meet a new character, Mero Fukagawa, who has a crush on Kanade. At first, I thought Oka-san was giving us the resident bad-boy character, similar to Ritsu. However, after his introduction, Mero was completely his own character and one that I enjoy seeing the perspective of. His feelings and the way he navigates his interactions with Kanade are relatable.
One of the best moments within the volumes follows Otoha and Kanade as they visit their first show. These are smaller than the fests they’ve attended before, but they learn that they are far more intimate. The energy and excitement of seeing a band up close are displayed expertly in the panels, and we get to see various stages and crowd sizes as well.
The illustrations are excellent throughout the entire story. Some of the action panels of the characters playing their instruments caused me just to zone out and stare at their expressions. The whole story is capped off with another flashback to the creation of Daze, which I felt was a little messy in terms of pacing, but these side chapters have a lot to cover in a shorter amount of time, so it’s understandable. Still, I felt like a character containing Ritsu and Gaku was strangely paced and didn’t really add to the story as they attended an all-night festival.
Days on Fes Vol. 3 continues to provide readers with an authentic look at what it’s like to discover live music. The cast continues to become more independent, and getting to see them interact in more relaxed environments was a nice touch. I’m looking forward to seeing how the cast evolves from these interactions and where their quest for music takes them. It’s definitely exciting.
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