Drip Drip is a one-volume story written and illustrated by Paru Itagaki, the creator of the BEASTARS manga.
Written by: Paru Itagaki
Publisher: Nihonbungeisha Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 18, 2022
The main character of Drip Drip is a 29-year-old woman named Mako Hiragi. Whenever she sees something dirty (or physically touches something that she perceives to be dirty), she gets a massive nosebleed. She’s never had an intimate relationship, since just touching another person makes her bleed out. The manga follows Mako as she keeps trying to find a man she can be with that won’t cause her bleed when she’s intimate with him.
The first few attempts we see Mako make end in failure, and the guys she’s with end up walking away thinking that she’s absolutely nuts. When she meets a phlebotomist, it seems like she may have finally found someone who will tolerate her bleeding issue… but, unfortunately for her, that ends up not being the case. The climax of the story sees Mako reuniting with a guy she knew back in junior high who works at a restaurant that she regularly frequents. The guy has had a crush on Mako since their time in junior high, and it seems like she may finally found the guy she can have her “happily ever after” with.
Mako is originally depicted as being weird, but it’s revealed in bits and pieces throughout the story that her issues with things being unclean was beaten into her by her mother as she was growing up. While Drip Drip may have an unusual way of depicting the concept, this is ultimately a story about a parent’s trauma being transferred to their child. Ultimately, it isn’t Mako’s fault that she’s turned out the way she has, because it was indoctrinated into her by her mother. I really do like the concept of a character trying to deal with their parent’s trauma being transferred to them, but how this story is told and conveyed is a little on the strange, if not a little disturbing, side.
When it comes to the art, Itagaki has what I would refer to as a more “minimalistic” style for the humans she’s drawing. To be honest, I think her drawings of the animal characters in BEASTARS are a lot stronger. Since a big part of the story is about Mako trying to find a man she can sex with and not bleed out all over, it should be expected that there are some panels of Mako completely nude. And since bleeding is one of Mako’s major traits, there are also quite a few panels of Mako and her surroundings covered in blood. If you’re squeamish about manga’s depiction of blood, you’ll definitely want to avoid Drip Drip.
This volume also includes a one shot story titled, “White Beard and Boobs.” A prostitute is with an older man at a love hotel, but he’s more interested in chugging down junk food and typing away on his laptop instead of spending time with her. He claims to be the Santa Claus for Japan and explains that each country has its own Santa Claus. Of course, the prostitute thinks he’s trying to do some kind of weird roleplay. This story ultimately follows the discussion they have and his actions to prove to her that he’s Santa Claus. This one shot was short and to the point, and I found it to be a little more enjoyable than Drip Drip.
I liked the ideas behind Drip Drip, but I personally didn’t care much for the execution of the ideas. Then again, this just might be a “me thing.” I have a feeling that there are readers out there who will better appreciate the execution of this story, and that I’m just not quite in the target market for this title.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media