Story by Tatsuya Matsuki
Art by Shiro Usazaki
This week, Act-Age continues our journey through Araya and Iwao’s relationship. Following his first encounter with Arisa Hoshi, Araya begins to become more curious about the world of acting as well as Iwao himself. During a conversation, Iwao mentions to Araya how he used to work with Arisa and his desire to redeem himself, most likely related to the mental breakdown that Arisa had during her acting career. When Iwao quickly drops the conversation, Araya begins to wonder what is making him so obsessed with learning more about Arisa and Iwao, and he reaches the conclusion that he’s jealous of Arisa’s talent and the attention that Iwao gives her. Araya had felt like an outcast as a child, but Iwao’s interest in him drove away those feelings and made him feel like he was special. As such, Araya decides to pursue acting in order to obtain Iwao’s admiration. As this arc has continued to narrow down Araya’s motivation, we’ve finally hit the core of what drives him. Araya genuinely loved Iwao, and he wanted his acting to bring him closer to the person that he cared for so much. The chapter finally ends with the story returning to the present, where we see Araya fall to his knees as while holding on to Yonagi, still immersed in the role of Giovanni.
Usazaki once again provides readers with some beautiful artwork this week, and Araya is a particular highlight as this chapter’s focal character. The prime example of this can be seen on the final page when Araya is on his knees in front of Yonagi. This is the emotional impact that both Araya and his character Giovanni are feeling at the loss of their loved ones, presenting a fantastic parallel between the two stories that are occurring. The emotions that are exuded from Araya’s expressions and gestures convey the sheer talent he is meant to have as an actor, and causing the reader to get further invested in the performance taking place.
The build-up to Yonagi’s response to Araya going off script has been brewing for these last few chapters, and it seems like we may finally get the outcome next week. Regardless, this detour into Araya’s past has been an enjoyable one to say the least, and has taken his character to new heights. Things are looking bright for the future of the series as its cast of actors continues to push it forward.