Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan (Our Happy Hours)

Recovering from her third suicide attempt, Juri is

convinced there is nothing left to live for. Yuu is a death row prisoner continually attempting suicide to atone for his sins. The scars on both their hearts are to overwhelming to handle alone. Forced to meet each Thursday they find themselves learning to embrace the simple hope: I want to live.

My Thoughts

Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan is based on a novel which also has a movie. The only movie to ever make me cry. Me. Who gets dirty looks for being the heartless one sitting dry-eyed through even the biggest tearjerkers. When I found the manga I wanted to read it. Not to cry but to see how the emotions of a powerful film could be conveyed through manga. Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan didn’t bring me to tears but it was still damn powerful.

Aunt Monica is the one who cares, the one who sees what Yuu & Juri do not

The characters in Watashitachi no Shiawase are the heart of the story. The manga characters convey a great deal of thoughts which you experience through their first person view. Juri, especially, who is a figure so consumed by hatred close to the point of murder. To the outside world she is coldly beautiful, a wealthy young woman with every advantage. Once a famous pianist she now refuses to ever play again. Juri repeatedly tries to die because she cannot see anything to live for. 

Yuu is an angry young man awaiting execution for the murder of three people. His past is filled with the worst life can give. Left to care for his younger

Yuu’s life has given him no love for pretty words & lies

brother (who went blind from his father’s harsh beatings) Yuu turns to prostitution and eventually crime to keep them alive. One morning he awakes to find his blind little brother has supposedly thrown himself into the street out of guilt for Yuu having to prostitute himself to care for both of them.  Yuu finally reaches a point where his despair in life turns to revenge. Now he awaits execution with nothing but loathing for the ‘do-gooders’ false attempts at comfort.

The artwork in Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan has

The looks say it all. This woman is no soccer mom.

more of a realistic feel then what most imagine in manga. Where many mangas use the eyes almost as part of a personality, Our Happy Hours uses the entire body to convey personality. You see this in how the kind Inoue has softer features while Juri’s cruel mother has a stern almost forboding look about her. Even the clothes speak about them. Altogether it’s why I really love the artwork; also, because the use of watercolor for the cover really stands out in softness compared to the realities inside.


To the Reader

Warning. This manga contains sensitive content which may
bother some readers.

This is a manga for those who can handle the very sensitive issue of suicide. There is a reason one of the genre descriptions is tragedy because Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan has an immense amount of it. Rape, prostitution, and abuse make Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan a manga for the mature reader. 

You may wonder…íf it’s so mature and tragic then

why should I read it? The same reason I reread it. This manga has a way of reaching out, snagging your heart, and making you want to say ‘I want to live for today.’ I want to enjoy the day free from regret, anger, and hatred. Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan is the manga which reminds us it’s never to late to want to keep on living. 

Note: Today, September 10th is #WorldSuicidePreventionDay. This is why I chose to do Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan. Suicide has touched my life. The hole it leaves behind doesn’t go away or close up neatly over time. You can’t begin to imagine how those you leave behind will feel. Reach out to them. There are things in this life worth living for. Sometimes it just takes one person to prove it.


Details

Name(s): 私たちの幸せな時間 ; 우리들의 행복한 시간 ;  Our Happy Hours ; Watashi-tachi no Shiawase na Jikan; Our Happy Time
Artist(s): Gong-JI Young; Sahara Mizu
Author(s): Sahara Mizu
Release: 2007
Chapters: 8
Genre(s): Tragedy; Drama; Mature; Romance
Status: Complete
Anime: No
Novel: Yes Based on Novel
Movie: Yes (Maundy Thursday)