Overview and Background
Smoking Behind the Supermarket Mangadex with You is a coming-of-age manga that has garnered praise for its thoughtful depiction of adolescence. Written and illustrated by Jinushi, the manga began serialization in August 2022 in Square Enix’s Monthly Big Gangan magazine. As of October 2023, there are eight chapters available to read on Mangadex. The manga won the 2022 Next Manga Award in the web category, showing its impact despite its short run so far.
The story follows two high school students, Sasaki and Ida, who meet by chance while smoking in a supermarket. They begin to regularly meet up in this hidden spot to talk and smoke together. A close friendship develops between the two, who have both been lonely and searching for connection.
Realistic Portrayal of Adolescence
One of the standout elements of Smoking Behind the Supermarket with You is its relatable, authentic portrayal of teenagerhood. The feelings of alienation, uncertainty, and longing for connection expressed by Sasaki and Ida will resonate with many readers. Their struggles with finding meaning and identity amidst the turbulence of adolescence are depicted thoughtfully.
Jinushi does not shy away from showing vulnerable moments and raw emotions. We see the main characters cry, get angry, and reveal their deepest pains. There is an honesty and openness to these depictions that creates an immersive reading experience. As a reader, I felt deeply connected to Sasaki and Ida. The manga brings out empathy for their struggles and makes us reflect on our teenage years.
Exploring Friendship and Connection
- The budding friendship between Sasaki and Ida is the emotional anchor at the heart of the manga. These two characters find solace, understanding, and a sense of belonging through their clandestine meetings. Both had been feeling lonely, and that nobody truly understood them before they met each other.
- Jinushi explores how human connection has the power to provide comfort and meaning. For Sasaki and Ida, sharing thoughts, fears, and dreams gives them courage and hope. It also allows them to feel indeed seen.
- The settings Jinushi uses to accentuate the themes of friendship and connection. The hidden spot behind the supermarket represents a sanctuary away from the pressures of school and society. It is a liminal space where they can take refuge and be authentic.
- Another highlight of the manga is Jinushi’s evocative artwork. He makes excellent use of symbolism and visual metaphors to add further depth. For example, panels depicting Sasaki and Ida enveloped by cigarette smoke can represent how they feel lost or emotionally clouded. When the smoke fades in later panels, it suggests a sense of clarity gained through their friendship.
- The facial expressions and body language Jinushi also draws intricately convey the emotional states of the characters. One can perceive their longing, discomfort, joy, and sadness just through the manga’s artwork. There is a real intimacy to the scenes depicting Sasaki and Ida smoking and talking behind the supermarket.
- Jinushi’s panel composition and use of light/shadow also help set contemplative, sad tones. Scenes of Sasaki and Ida sharing cigarettes in the dusk or under street lights are beautifully atmospheric. The art style matches the thoughtful, reflective nature of the story’s exploration of adolescence and connection.
- While still in its early stages, Smoking Behind the Supermarket with You has already had an impact, as seen by its award win. Its approach of blending realism and sensitivity shows why it is deserving of attention. The manga captures universal adolescent experiences through the specific lens of its protagonists.
- Jinushi is not afraid to explore severe themes around mental health, trauma, and toxic masculinity. Yet there is also subtle humour and moments of lightness sprinkled throughout. Smoking Behind the Supermarket with You feels like an authentic glimpse into teenage lives. It will linger in readers’ minds long after putting it down.
Through the budding friendship of its leads Sasaki and Ida, Smoking Behind the Supermarket with You provides an honest, affecting look at adolescence. Its relatable story, evocative artwork, and resonant themes around connection explain why it is garnering acclaim. This manga marks the emergence of a talented creator in Jinushi.
I look forward to following the manga and seeing how the characters’ lives unfold. Smoking Behind the Supermarket Mangadex with You is a must-read that captures the poignancy and difficulties of teenage years with grace.