Tsu and En take a trip from the Red Sector to the Pink Sector through a hidden entrance in the bypass tunnel. They go only with their clothes and a can of gasoline. Tsu knows more than she’ll let on to En, but En goes along anyway, needing some sort of freedom in the dying world.
This isn’t a high-octane or action-heavy read. Instead, it provides a lengthy conversation between two women who are in need of some sort of agency in a world that is ending and has completely forgotten them and their people.
There is a lot of humor to be had, despite the depressing setting. En is a charming and quirky character. Tsu is mysterious and headstrong. The two together make for a great pair.
The ending mystery is intriguing. I won’t spoil it here, but it makes you wonder a lot about what is true about the characters and what is manufactured.
The comic also feels very relevant.
Sorry, no, I won’t let this one go without some English-student analysis.
It has a lot of the feel of class and generational disparity about it. All the characters are young (or at least seem young), but some are allowed to live in a nice safe house and party with expensive drugs while the rest are dressed in rags and wandering through dilapidated streets. Nevertheless, both groups are living in an ending world where people are just trying to paper over the cracks.
Despite its status as an album tie-in, it really is a good read in its own right, and Lights does a lot of good work in the writing and the art.
Moving onto the art — it’s gorgeous. The characters and the world itself are very expressive. Despite everything seeming dark and decaying, there is a clear difference between the Pink and Red Sectors. Tsu and En look gaunt and starving as opposed to those in the Pink Sector who look all-around healthier. The small grove they find towards the end with a waterfall looks all the more beautiful in comparison to the decaying urban environments.
Skin and Earth is a great read. It has likable characters, beautiful art, and an intriguing story. I highly recommend this one. Give it a read.
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