banner image, art by Akihiro Yamada for the lightnovel Twelve Kingdoms

My Broken Mariko is a short 4 chapter manga about loss. Well, it's more about a woman whose best and only friend kills herself and she goes on an adventure with her ashes. The facial expressions of the main character and everyone else are highly stylized and exaggarated in a comical way, I thought this was quite obvious, but after reading some MAL reviews I feel like this flew over peoples heads and they really thought the main character was some caricatureish, hysterical person?? With that in mind the manga, which deals with extremely sad and heavy matter, manages to turn into something more light hearted and bittersweet. It still had me teary eyed, but the unusual contrast of the plot and the pace coupled with the facial expressions kept me in check lol. The character of Mariko is, in my opinion, a really great portrayal of an abused woman that struggles BPD due to her rough childhood trauma. The clinginness, posessiveness, self-destructive behaviour, self harm, lack of good relationships in her life... It's very accurate, and sad. The way the main character, Shii, is pissed and angry at Mariko, the way she admits their friendship was not ideal and perfect - I think it's a good portrayal of losing someone you loved but they were extremely flawed and it wasn't their fault. It's bound to make you confused, it's bound to make you want to help them yet be extremely frustrated and annoyed by them. The manga isn't anything crazy deep but the story it wants to show us, is shown well. Everything you need to know about Mariko is presented through short flashbacks which are more than enough to piece the whole puzzle together, to imagine how their friendship was. The ending of Shii's adventure is comedic, yet poetic as she ends up hitting a molester with the box containing Mariko's ashes and as the box opens the ashes are sent into the sea, as Shii intended to do. It's a short read, so I recommend it to anyone that likes to read things with a more serious subject matter hadnled lightly and female friendships.

Ashizuri Aquarium and Invitation from a Crab are collections of short, bizarre stories. They both share a similar theme which is why I'm lumping them together, but, as of writing this I'm 4 chapters away from finishing Invitation from a Crab. These quickly became one of my favourite manga I've ever read. In their surreality and visual humor they kind of remind me of Short Cuts. Both Ashizuri Aquarium and Invitation from a Crab share core themes like: wandering around and getting lost in places you can't comprehend, dream like situations, nonsensical conclusions, extremely simplistically drawn characters compared to the environment, big focus on fish and sea animals. Somehow all of this together comes to form something that is extremely appealing to me and my tastes. Maybe it's because my dreams could fit right into a chapter of this manga and nobody would notice, but I really love it. Tell me these images don't invoke a familiar feeling in you:

Maybe it's because of my tendency to not be able to perceive places as they are until I get used to seeing them regularly, but boy if this isn't me in every unfamiliar setting lmao. I used to get lost because I couldn't recognise places from a different angle. That lack of spatial awareness got a bit better over the years, luckily. I digress, the extreme dream like quality these manga posess is what made me enjoy it so much. The matter-of-fact way in which issues get resolved and how the main character is always taken on an unwilling journey but also somehow makes it safely back home, all of this makes for a fun little experience that you can't find in many other places. I don't like using this word becuase all the young zoomers will eat it up but you know - liminal spaces are kind of a core theme of these manga. Wandering from one area to the next, never knowing what you'll experience. Getting off at the wrong station on an acicdent. It's all very interesting to me.

No Longer Human by Usamaru Furuya is a manga adaptation of Osamu Dazai's book with the same name. There is another more popular manga adaptation by Junji Ito, which I've partially read a long time ago, but stopped because I couldn't find it online or something like that. Regardless, I remember it decently well so I'll be mentioning it here too. Furuya's adaptation is set in the early 2000s as opposed to post ww2 Japan but other than that I believe it was adapted very faithfully and modernized in a good, non-jarring way. I love Usamaru Furuya and his type of horror and society commentary so I think this adaptation was right up his alley. One thing that this manga misses, naturally, is Yozo's inner monologues which I believe help portray him as more anxious, confused and vulnerable compared to the manga so he ends up seeming more calculating and a bit sociopathic in Furuya's version.

Kind of reminds me of Furuya's mc from I Want to be Killed by a Highschool Girl
On the other hand, a lot of his misogyny is exempt from the manga so this dynamic he has with women is left incomplete. Ito did a better of making Yozo seem anxious and I always love the way he draws nervous expressions in general but this too changes Yozo up a bit as he doesn't come across that nervous in the book.
Ito's Yozo comes across as an anxious mess more often
However I feel like both of them ended up portraying Yozo in ways they find more relatable and comfortable as Ito's Yozo is in line with some of his other male leads, same goes for Furuya's portrayal of Yozo. Furuya and Ito portray horror differently so it's definitely worth reading both for the horror art aspect. Ito's manga is set in the same time period as the book but from my memory, the plot was quite different. Namely Yozo's first "friend" Takahashi, appeared more in Ito's manga than he did in the book, while he was completely gone in Furuyas version. This is why ultimately, all 3 versions are worth reading. Done by some of the best horror and ero-guro authors I believe both Ito and Furuya did a good job in their own respective ways.

A Cruel God Reigns is an extremely iconic manga about a sexually abused boy, whose life becomes a downward spiral after the abuse. I've heard about this manga many times, and I even started reading it once and then forgot (it was a long train ride). The manga originally started coming out in 1992 and it ended in 2001. It has 17 volumes and 86 chapters. Each chapter is 50+ pages long. The chapters are very long and exhaustive, and it took me a lot of time to finish it. If you looked into any seasoned manga reader's recommended list for disturbing or psychological manga, there's a high possibility this manga would be on it.
For me personally, this manga was torture. And I mean that in both a positive and a negative way.
First I'll start with some spoiler free stuff, like the art. Frankly, I was extremely surprised to see this manga came out in 1992! It looks like it's straight out of the mid 70s to 80s. Not just in the art style, but the stiffness and awkward anatomy in the early volumes, it doesn't have as much screentoning etc. All in all it definitely doesn't feel like it belongs in the 90s, especially when you think how 90s (especially shojo/bl) manga started going into that extremely lanky, sharp and pointy territory aka insert yaoi hands image here. And with how people described this manga as a pioneer in bl manga etc. my expectations definitely expected it to be older, as the first thing that I compared it to in my mind was Kaze to ki no Uta, another well known bl manga except it's from the 70s. This all of course makes sense when you take into consideration who the author is - Moto Hagio, she actually was a pioneer in bl and shojo manga during the 70s and 80s, a member of the Year 24 Group!
Now, let's get into the plot, and everything else. This manga is very clearly split into two parts. In fact, you could probably read the first part and end it at that, if you wished. The second part doesn't have much substance, or rather, it could have been much shorter and more concise. But it wasn't. There was probably a reason for that... As I said earlier, this manga was like torture to me. In a way, it perfectly encapsulates a heavily traumatized person, a teenager who suffered under the hands of severe abuse, someone who can not recover from it. It wasn't hard to read because the subject matter or the plot itself was disturbing, instead it was hard to read as it was extremely repetitive. Again, this is about an extremely unwell person, whose feelings go from 0 to 100 constantly. There is rarely a moment of peace, and if there is, it quickly comes tumbling down. He's also experiencing constant abuse from those who are supposed to be close to him, even after his main abuser is gone. And on it goes, in circles, until finally we reach the last chapter...
From this point on, I'm spoiling the plot!, click here if you want to skip to the spoilerless recommendation.
I will not be covering the plot in the order it happens or gets unravelled in the manga, to make it shorter. The first part of the manga tells us a story about Jeremy, a teenage boy from Boston, and his extremely fragile and mentally unwell mother Sandra who fell in love and is about to marry a rich Englishman, Greg. Greg quickly latches onto Jeremy and begins raping him. Ever since Jeremies real father died when he was a child, he enters a sort of emotionally incestuous relationship with his mother, as a replacement for his father. He goes as far to not even call her "mother" anymore, instead he calls her Sandra, like his father did. As a result of that, he feels obligated to protect her and care for her. We are shown throughout the story that his mother tried to commit suicide multiple times, she was extremely mentally unwell and her sister tried to take care of Jeremy instead (something that was played for laughs?!?) but she is so possesive of him that she can't let go, despite being an unfit parent. Greg is raping Jeremy and he is keeping his mouth shut to protect his mother. If he told her, she would blame herself, and Greg would also leave her. Since Jeremy wants her to be happy and alive, he endures, and loses himself in the process. He moves to England with Greg and Sandra and meets the rest of Greg's family. Greg's former wife killed herself, but her sister, Natasha, still lives with the family from time to time. Greg has two sons, Ian and Matt. Ian is the older and more favored one (despite being a bit of a delinquent and a womanizer), while Matt is the nerdy looking kid whom Greg hates and physically abuses (something known by everyone in the family). There's a lot more characters, especially in part two, but I'll only be focusing on these because I don't want this to turn into a whole book. After having enough, Jeremy decides to kill Greg by tampering with his car, knowing Greg would leave for the airport the next day. Except, his mom decides to join Greg, and they both die. To his luck it seems the car actually malfunctioned so it wasn't really his fault, but nevertheless, he blames himself and so begins the second part of the manga where he deals with all of that trauma.
The second part mostly deals with Jeremy and Gregs older son, Ian, who enters into a relationship (!?!?!?!) with Jeremy. I am sorry, but what the fuck. At first Ian wants to kill Jeremy for killing his father, but as he finds out the truth he begins his own descent into madness and confusion. He forces Jeremy to retell his story in details multiple times, he rapes him a couple of times in the process, he shows him pictures that Greg took of Jeremy when he was whipped and bound, he keeps going hot and cold with him, he cheats on his girlfriend with Jeremy, he puts him into counseling (never thinking he could maybe use some counseling too?), he's fucked up, if not more fucked up than his father. The second part is basically Jeremy continually reliving his trauma due to Ian forcing him to, and somehow everyone is chill with it. This manga is full of completely crazy and slightly absurd characters that do nothing to actually help each other, they all just keep falling into each others arms very darkly and romantically... And also everyone is gay. In a way, I expected melodrama and backstabbing but by the middle of the second part Jeremy has slept with or kissed every single male in the story, every wife/girlfriend of said males seem to not really care about it and things just keep happening and repeating. It felt like I'm reading an insane fever dream at certain points. And I don't think I can just write off these insane characters as "everyone has their own issues", no, it feels like everyone is kind of a rich privileged idiot incapable of any rational thought. And yea, Jeremy gets a pass but a lot of these characters actually led nice and comfy lives (from what we know). Compared to the first part where we have a couple of crazy characters and a cast of mostly normal people that either don't want to get entangled in the craziness or have their reasons for keeping secrets, part two is like wandering into an asylum and not being able to get out. But to me the biggest reason why this part is much worse than the first one is because of the relationship with Ian. It's almost as if... I don't know. Characters know Ian is having sex/raping/hard to tell anymore with Jeremy, they know Jeremy was raped by Greg and yet still... they don't care??? They don't bring it up??? It's all cool and swell because Ian is a cool responsible hot guy??? They're step brothers for god's sake. To top it all off, allegedly, even Sandra knew about Jeremy and Greg, or at the very least had a hunch something was going on. But nobody did anything, through the whole story. Everyone failed Jeremy, in every. possible. way. Because of that, this manga is pure torture. Like yes, sure, the way his sense of self breaks and is shattered is shown quite well artistically, and his own struggles are pretty accurate and I feel the way he navigates through all of this is to be expected and in that way it's great but there is not a single voice of reason that makes a difference. In that way I find this work to be utterly torturous, it's not that I want a happy ending, I just wanted a single level-headed person in the second part. A touch of realism perhaps, because the first part definitely had it. But nope. I also get the feeling that after Greg died, Jeremy had to have consistent gay sex with someone so the author was like "ok, let's go with Ian". Lmao. The story ends with kind of a compromise. Jeremy decides to step away from Ian and live a more fulfilled life, but every year around the time his mother and Greg died, he kind of regresses and relives his trauma, goes back to the place where it all happened, and Ian happily and willingly has sex with him. How tragic and romantic!!
I've gotta be honest, I was expecting to be a bit more impressed with this manga. If Jeremies sexual abuse trauma and ptsd can be portrayed so well, then why couldn't the rest of the characters have the same treatment? Why did Nadia, a kind and emphatetic woman have to end up marrying her literal stalker, and why did the rest of the characters just encourage him meeting up with her in a funny haha way? That felt like such a random insult to her as a character, pluis it makes 0 sense for her to end up with him... Why are rooms 100% soundproof? Why did a therapist, a woman who knows her patient is being abused by his brother, trick the patient into meeting up with his brother - upon the request of said brother? They then proceeded to physically fight and scream in her practice while she was waiting outside, somehow not hearing them, only for her to enter back and say this??

She is a therapist (or psychologist I forgot franky) there's no excuse for her to be acting that way. Anyway it was these small things, along with Ian's constant abuse and everyone victim-blaming Jeremy which just drove me mad. Except for that insurance dude nobody bothered telling Ian to chill out and everyone was just so constantly blind to Jeremies suffering. Yes it's not weird to be repulsed by sex after being repetedly brutally raped, for god's sake deal with it Ian!!!!! Does nobody have any understanding of sexual abuse whatsoever in this manga? It's like the first it happened to anyone in the world was Jeremy, and everyone else was just dumbfounded about what could be troubling him. So while the first half was chilling, realistic, scary and sad the second half just kind of feels like circus to me.
Spoilers over!
Do I recommend this? The first half, definitely. It's great. Try reading through the second half, and decide for yourself as it seems I am in the minority of people that had a lot of problems with it. Most people regard this is a masterpiece. The story doesn't have a happy ending, and it's quite disturbing.

Frequently referred to as a hidden gem, Alien 9 is a coming of age story about a group of girls chosen to fight the aliens that pop up in their school. It lures you in with it's cute moe artstyle that's very distinctive to the era it was made in, but it quickly becomes disturbing. However.. I don't think there was that much to it.
The anime was cute and interesting but it left me with a lot of unanswered questions, although compared to everything else I think the anime has the highest rating. I was really itching to finish the story and so I moved on to the manga. The best way to describe it would be... incoherent. Not sure if my mind was drifting off someplace else while reading it but it seemed as if things were just happening without much sense and reason. The sequel, Alien 9: Emulators, seems to be the same way. Everything feels very mysterious and unsaid until the very end, and nothing really gets resolved or built upon properly. Maybe the panelling isn't really the best but I couldn't make sense of the story, even if I went back and reread some pages to get a better idea of what the fuck I'm reading. The motivations of all characters are left to be a mystery. What's up with the teachers? They were fighters before right? Why do we need to groom little girls to fight aliens? Nevermind it's over... The fight scenes were cool, and I did like the art sometimes.
Next is the allegorical part, which is eh. So the girls get chosen to become alien fighters, and to ultimately become merged/one with the alien. Adulthood, puberty, sexual/romantic partners, give and take, whatever. I think if the focus remained on just that the lore wouldn't have to be explained too deeply, but things kept getting introduced that meddled with the original concept to the point where I feel like the mangaka lost track of the allegorical points he was trying to make.
I recommend the anime if you want a quick slightly disturbing watch with more than a couple of really cool still shots a la evangelion...

I'll keep this review short since I read it back in June and the plot is getting a bit hazy. I've seen this manga pop up here and there, usually cited as a good psychological manga that's very thunk provoking. The story is about a nice, kind hearted beta male that gets shot in the head when trying to save a child during a robbery. They end up transplanting a part of an unknown man's brain into him, and he begins to notice his personality changing. Of course the man whose brain he received the transplant from is an eeeevil horny psycho. It's the criminals head, of course... I found it very predictable and there was 0 suspense building up to it. Frankly, I don't think this was a really good psychological manga, it was more like watching a boring and predictable action movie. All of the characters were very shallow, very black and white. This random article I found online does a great job at detailing the whole plot and how stupid it is, along with rightfully shitting on the characters.
There's a part of the manga that really annoyed me. He meets the father of the violent psycho whose brain he has. And the father tells him a sob story over how his dead son only caused him grief by being extremely unhinged and violent, how his wife left because she couldn't stand her sons violence bla bla. He ends it by saying he wishes his son was never born. I mean... You can't blame the poor guy right? His son was a complete monster from the way he described him, right? And then the mc proceeds to attack him and go on your typical "morally right" tirade about how it's actually his fault his son was a psychopath and idk. It just doesn't sit well with me. If someone is trully mentally ill to the point of harming others repeatedly, you can't really blame their family for struggling to love that person? What even gives the mc the right to judge when he doesn't even know the full story AGHHH idk that part really irked me. And this conversation ended up being some random lie anyway?? But then this whole thing is juxtaposed with the mc talking about his unloving father. He's your typical sensitive boy that gets mommied and showered with his mothers love, but not by his dad. As expected of your average uninvolved father his parenting consisted of him telling his son to man up and leaving it at that. Of course the mc never got why his father couldn't accept him the way he was, like his mother did. But then he comes to the brilliant conclusion that that was just his fathers way of showing love... Tough love of course. Unlike that EVIL father who wanted his son DEAD... lmao. I'm sorry my man, but you are a retard for comparing 2 totally uncomparable situations and somehow realizing that your father ackshually loved you. What?? He put 2 and 2 together and got 6.
And then the constant moralizing bullshit with "you shouldn't talk bad about your son after he died.... even if he murdered xyz people and caused constant suffering to those around him..." or the "your mother is a WOMAN... seeing her ashes would be INDECENT..." shit. Just so many random lines that made me go ?_?

And lest we forget, this awfully cringy line

Kyaa my brain is moving on its own (⁄ ⁄>⁄ ▽ ⁄<⁄ ⁄)
So yeah... I don't really recommend this. I noticed lately that a good amount seinen manga falls into this "emotional maturity of shonen manga except with guns and NIPPLES" which kind of beats the purpose, as I'd appreciate manga for adults to have more nuance, at least when it came to characters.

Himizu is a psychological seinen manga about a dude who's determined to live a normal and average life, an objective which quickly falls apart right at the start as his life takes a downturned trajectory. This is another one of those "everyone is a piece of shit" type of media that tends to end in a bittersweet/depressing way.
The author of this manga is Minoru Furuya, who, according to the scanlator group that translated the manga, is well known for drawing extremely exaggarated facial expressions. I have to be honest, I didn't really like those. They always remind me of those cheesy korean stickers for whatsapp/facebook or something, but I know it's an east-asian funny haha thing present everywhere. Luckily though, the manga was only overflowing with these at the start, but as the story started moving the comic-relief characters fell off. The rest of the art is totally fine, except for one thing, all of the characters look extremely adult, and they're only finishing middle school so they're 13/14. At moments it was hard to suspend my disbelief that they were kids, or I kept thinking a sudden timeskip happened without me paying attention. In every interaction with adults, the characters don't look smaller/younger at all, which kind of made the whole thing a lot easier to digest lol. I do enjoy the way in which the female characters are drawn, they all come across as really tall and kind of big boned, which I don't think applies to Japanese women in the slightest but hey, it's a welcome change of pace in the sea of tiny and petite characters.

He's supposed to be 14...
From this point on I'll spoil some minor plot points, but I'll still hide the ending behind spoiler tags.

As far as the "everyone is a piece of shit" genre, I think Himizu is pretty decent. It's not too long, and the moments that get hard to look at like when things just keep getting worse and worse and worse aren't dragged out for too long and sometimes even end in a lighthearted manner. I did feel like the first 15? chapters or so are pretty different from the rest of the manga and I don't just mean it in a "that's the point when all hell breaks loose" way, just that the focus is barely on the mc and there's a few short chapters showcasing the rest of the cast that we barely see at all after those chapters. The mc, Sumida, has a pretty unfortunate life situation. His father is a good-for-nothing loser who abandoned him but still keeps coming back to beg for money, his mother is dating some douchebag, and she abandons him too. When the situation gets much worse than that, he drops out of school and starts his downward spiral. Frankly, some of his thoughts make a lot of sense when you take his background into account. He wants to prove to people that someone with "shitty genes" can still have a decent life, but ultimately he self-destructs. Of course, there has to be a woman (well, girl) that would greet him with open arms no matter what, and her name is Keiko. Keiko takes a sudden interest in him at the start of the manga and doesn't let go after that. No matter how shitty his life gets, she'll show up to his trailer house despite his indifference. I do like her stoicness, and in the end, the determination to actually do things right unlike Sumida. Her "I'll never abandon you and will always love you" type of love is actually such a good portrayal of these types of teenage girls that fall for an absolute shithead idiot, although I'm not sure the author meant to portray it that way, but I definitely knew a few girls like that. And kind of felt like that type of girl myself at some point. It's usually the most pathetic time in a young girls life lmao. You know, you think you're soooo smart in liking this misunderstood misanthropic doomer and you can totally see through him... That's exactly what she strikes me as, but like I said, I don't think the author even slightly hinted at her youthful ignorance and arrogance combined with a lack of experience. The manga ended with Sumida's suicide and the first thought that popped into my mind was, Keiko is free! I liked the ending though, it made the most sense.
I'd recommend this if you're a depressed teen and you just finished Oyasumi Punpun and you want to read something that invokes similar themes, I think Himizu comes pretty close. It's not really groundbreaking or anything. Oh and there's like 3 instances of rape so do keep that in mind.

Kakusan, or Diffusion Disease is Hideji Oda's most known manga, according to MAL at least. I've only read one other manga by him, called Coo's World which I had kind of conflicting feelings on, but didn't feel strongly enough about to write a review lol. In short, Coo no Sekai is about a girl that starts living two separate lives, one when she's awake, and one when she is sleeping. The idea of dream worlds and strange creatures is something I like a lot in fiction, but the weird incest around the child mc and her much older brother really threw me off from liking it too much.
But back to Kakusan. No spoilers this time. This is a seinen manga about a guy called Katsuhiko Tobe that has a special ability to diffuse which he can't control. When he diffuses he disappears into particles and roams around the world uncontrollably. Through the course of the 7 long chapters, he meets various people, mostly women who fall in love with him, but he disappears in the most crucial moments. I'd describe him as a weak person with a hard life, as he usually diffuses in moments that would change his life forever, for better or for worse. He claims to be searching for "something", but he doesn't know what. The women that loved him continue longing for him as he made an impactful mark on their lives. In the end, all the women he met end up being somehow connected to each other through him, and the show culminates with him possibly (?) disappearing forever, or not. It's open ended so I don't think I'm really spoiling anything. The "point" of this manga is mostly in the journey, anyway.
The art style is pretty realistic, probably one of the most realistic styles I've seen in recent memory. It's also very sketchy and shadowed so it doesn't look flat. Personally I like his art when it's more animeish but to each their own. I did really like how the character on the left looks like, mostly because she bears a scary resemblance to a girl I've known since childhood. Which made all the sex scenes featuring her hard to look at.
This manga didn't really leave a strong impression on me. Maybe I was slightly annoyed by the mc's subconscious selfishness, and by the women falling in love with him so hard they could never stop thinking about him even when their lives moved on. He certainly didn't leave an impact on me, as a character. Just like Tobe is searching for something he doesn't know, I think this manga is missing something and I'm not really sure what. I didn't particularly enjoy the journey he went through, I caught myself being more interested in the girls/women he left behind lmao. The overall message in one of the last pages seems to be "I was so focused on myself that I didn't notice the people around me", which, alright. Cool I guess.

I first heard about Trapeze in 2013, when Aku no Hana came out. Everyone on /a/ was going crazy about the artstyle which used the rotoscoping method - when some anons pointed out how rotoscoping isn't a new thing (in anime), and Trapeze did it just a few years prior. From the screenshots posted, it didn't really catch my eye, and I was still high on the meme train that was Aku No Hana weekly threads. Watching something that was also rotoscoped was certainly not an option at this point. Ever since then I brushed shoulders with the anime, so to speak. A mention there, a screenshot there. I didn't even know Kuchu Buranko and Trapeze were the same thing lmao. Finally, 9 years after I decided to give it a watch.
This time, no spoilers. Trapeze is a psychological seinen that deals with mental illnesses in an episodical format. Each episode a new patient is introduced, with their own symptoms and problems. In some episdoes the patients manage to overcome their issues, in some they learn to deal with their illnesses. Despite the serious subject matter, Trapeze has a comical tone, and that's mostly because of the main character, Dr. Irabu. At the beginning of each episode his nurse administers a shot to the patient (which Irabu seems to have a fetish for) and the patients begin to halucinate Irabu to be with them the whole time after that. The diagnosis has been established and then throughout the episode we witness the treatment, which may or may not be conventional but it always comes with some comedy. Every episode happens in roughly the same timespan, from the 16th to the 25th of December, meaning Irabu has been treating all of these patients simoultenously. During almost each episode we have the patients interacting with each other or just sharing the same space. The plot is thus very intertwined and patients actions from one episode will impact the lives of other patients. It's pretty fun to witness. We're also reminded by a real doctor showing up on screen here and there, that Irabu's methods aren't really an everyday thing, lmao.
I truly liked all of the episodes, but I especially loved the first half of the 9th episode, where the patient suffers from npd (a narcissist). Gave me a good laugh to see how Irabu treated him to bring him down to Earth. It's just nice to see an anime focus on adults a bit, even if it's all just men. The 10th episode probably stands out the most, as the little plot twist is really satisfying and the story around it is fleshed out well.
As mentioned earlier, this anime uses rotoscoping but unlike Aku no Hana, it's not an all time thing. Instead it's mostly used for zoomed in facial expressions, or mostly on the nurse. Next is the world, which uses a psychedelic color palette and everything has weird circular textures slapped on. It's very similar to Mononoke, most likely because both of these anime share the same director (Kenji Nakamura). There's a lot of neat little things that stand out animation wise in this anime.

Finally, the overarching message of this anime is "nobody is perfect". I know some people struggling with severe mental illness hate that concept and equate it with the "everybody is a little mentally ill" and consider it invalidating, but frankly, the way our current society and culture sees mental illness is vastly.. well.. culture bound. In a country different from your own, some mental illnesses could be treated like passing colds. Actually they are somewhere but for the love of god I can't find it in my medical anthro notes so I'll leave it as a hypothetical... Anyway, read about culture-bound syndromes if that topic interests you! But it is a fact that 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental or neurological issue at some point in their lives (according to WHO, at least), and I think that living with that fact helps relieve some of the stigma, especially in societies where it is important to remain as "normal" as possible. There is no such thing as normal, and most people will struggle to perform within that framework.

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is an adaptation of the manga by the same name, made by Hitoshi Ashinano. Ashinano is pretty well known for making extremely comfy iyashikei manga. I already read Kotonoba Drive and enjoyed it a ton, so I knew this wouldn't disappoint.
Since this is an iyashikei anime, there's not much happening. The plot isn't intricate, there's no action, not even much dialogue. People that don't like this would probably say that it's as entertaining as watching paint dry. Personally I prefer slice of life, calming iyashikei type of media in manga or book format, but before reading the manga for this I wanted to watch the anime, as I heard it was traditionally animated. The color palettes, the shading, the tranquility, the framing, so many good things can be said about this short anime. It's not perfect, and it's not mind-blowingly amazing in a way that would make you think they had an insane budget, but it's just right. Preferably you should watch this on a lazy afternoon before taking your nap. Or after the nap. Or before sleep. Whatever you prefer.
One thing that stands out in YKK is the setting. It's soft science fiction-y, set in kind of a post-disaster world, calling it post-apocalyptic might be too harsh. The sea levels have rose up drastically, you have robots, you have strange towering buildings.. But the mc lives peacefully, despite needing to have a gun near her all the time. Clearly there's some darkness being hinted, yet at the same time we're supposed to enjoy every bit of serene scenery the anime offers us.
Anyway, if you like this kind of stuff then you'd probably enjoy YKK too. If you haven't already, since it's like one of the first things people recommend when somebody wants iyashikei, along with Aria. I'm kind of late on this one...