Title: Days On Fes Vol. 4
Author: Kanato Oka
Release Date: February 8, 2022
Publisher: Yen Press
The Days on Fes series has really struck home with me. Growing up going to punk shows and experiencing festivals prepared me for this story, but I also feel like it serves as a great introduction to what new rock fans can expect when attending shows. Days on Fes Vol. 4 slows the music side of the series down as it instead focuses on the characters and how they met.
Days on Fes Vol. 4 is one of the more character-focused volumes. We get to see events such as how Gaku ended up owning the cafe and how he met Ritsuru. The story is a bit long-winded though and the pacing is exceptionally slow. It’s like we know where the story is going, but it takes ages to get there. Regardless, I think this only serves as a way to further establish these characters’ personalities since we don’t really know anything about them outside of their enjoyment of music.
The story continues with a few panels of Kanade remembering past events along with how she met Otoha. It’s definitely filler, and honestly not that interesting. The highlight of the volume is Gaku’s backstory and even that isn’t very strong. Still, it’s needed to establish a foundation for future interactions. I feel like the story had to do this at some point, so why not shove it all into a volume and make it almost feel like a daily life manga.
Sadly, Mero Fukagawa is barely featured, which made me sad because he’s become a favorite of mine. The entire volume tends to drag in certain areas because you want something exciting to happen that never does. It’s all about the setup, which makes me feel like, although the writing is strong, this volume isn’t all that important to those who wish to only focus on the musical aspect of this series.
Those wanting to know more about the characters will get exactly what they were looking for though. The bonds become a bit stronger, but the musical aspect of these chapters is left to flashbacks and camping scenes. I did find Gaku’s backstory to be more interesting than I thought, but this was likely due to how he ended up obtaining the cafe and enjoying rock music. There’s a really funny scene as characters from the flashbacks appear in the present, which had me laughing.
I enjoy how detailed the illustrations are during the panels. While there are no extravagant environments, we do see the characters in some pretty fun interactions and wearing different outfits as the season changes. It’s this passage of time that I feel is important to the narrative as the crew looks forward to a few upcoming events that are wildly popular.
Days on Fes Vol. 4 is strictly filler and backstory to the characters so if you want to know more about them, then is an important read. However, if you care more about the music, you won’t be getting any of that. On the flipside, you get a lot of Gaku in this volume, and he’s a pretty charming character, so that’s a huge plus.
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