COVID is here!
Run on Your New Legs is one of my favorite discoveries of the new year, and volume three does not disappoint. As is standard now, Kikuzato is doing his best to relearn his running technique, partnered with the struggles of getting used to a sports prosthesis. Suddenly his life takes another huge turn as COVID strikes. This is the first manga I’ve read where COVID has been current enough to affect the plot, and it’s fascinating to read. Not only are sports competitions and practices suspended, which throws a spanner in the works for him as he needs to train as much as possible, but it also means his father is working from home. It’s apparent that the relationship between Kikuzato and his father has been strained since his accident, as his father tells him not to even go outside with his prosthetic on so he doesn’t disturb the neighbors. Considering that Kikuzato has been working hard to accept his situation, hearing his father telling him to hide away and not scare people over something he has no control over is callous and will likely foreshadow a family dynamic to play in the future.
We also get more backstory regarding Takekawa, Kikuzato’s friend, before the accident. Until now, it seemed like Takekawa was a shitty friend, but the situation has more nuance. Takekawa wanted to be there for Kikuzato and texted him often, only to be ghosted as Kikuzato was, understandably, dealing with his pain and grief over the situation. While he did put forth the effort to be a good friend, he’s still blaming everyone but himself for the situation he now finds himself in, as because Kikuzato isn’t playing with him, he’s lost a lot of his drive and passion. He’s mad at Kikuzato for getting hurt in a way, as now he can’t live his high school dreams. It’s an excellent way to build off these teenage dynamics and, at least to me, came off as entirely realistic.
We also learn more about Chidori and how he bit off more than he could in his first big prosthetic job and is now trying to move on and let his confidence propel him forward with Kikuzato. Learning more about Chidori makes his character far more dimensional, and I like him much more. He’s a fascinating adult character, which rarely happens in these teenage-themed mangas. Big fan of this series, and it’s only getting more interesting as it goes.
Title: Run On Your New Legs (Vol. 3)
Author: Wataru Midori
Three Descriptors: Intense, Thoughtful, Authentic
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