Fragments of Love
Paperback book (manga), ink and color on paper
Copyright: Takemiya Jin / Le Paradis / Hakusensha
Fragments of Love is a portrait of Mika, a lesbian high school student, and various people she encounters in her daily life: a married woman who struggles with her sexual orientation; a bisexual college student, Ms. Yoshiwara, with whom she enjoys a brief romance; and an older woman who offers Mika advice and emotional support. Like Sakurazawa Erica (b. 1963), whose work is displayed nearby, Takemiya portrays her characters’ quests for love and social acceptance in a quiet, dignified manner.
In the scene displayed here, Ms. Yoshiwara has accepted a part-time job as Mika’s tutor, but exhausted from her own studies, she asks to take a short nap on Mika’s couch. Mika welcomes her to do so, and then sneaks a kiss as her teacher sleeps. Takemiya infuses the moment with dramatic tension, dividing the composition into a row of extremely vertical, tightly cropped panels and drawing us closer to the characters as Mika gradually kneels down and kisses the other woman. Terrified of her own attraction to Ms. Yoshiwara and at the possibility that her tutor may have realized what occurred, Mika quickly dashes away.