Chiko Takahashi (Apple Box Create)/ manga reprint,dojinshi(fanzine)(14)

This Higashiura, tagging with the said Haruna, changed his stage to “Shoujo-Club” by Kodansha and changed the heroine’s name from Tomoko to another star, Hizuru Takachiho’s name. This, another of his specialty story of a poor girl’s search for happiness, is this work “Where is a blue bird?”

Hizuru, who had escaped from her mean aunt and left Kyoto for Tokyo, fortunately met with her real mother. But knowing the loss of the ribbon with a diamond, the mother is hospitalized for anxiety. Her younger brother Masami is targeted by a bad person. The uncle is imprisoned.
Though she discovered the ribbon they had longed for, the joy was short-lived, as Masami loses his foot in an accident.
The bad people were arrested at last, but just after that, a fire due to the uncle’s negligence deprived them of both the mansion and the diamond. So, they fell to the slums, living hands to
mouth. To cure Masami’s foot, Hizuru went back to Kyoto to become a Maiko that she had so disliked. But Masami who was pessimistic about his foot runs away to Hokkaido, and Hizuru also flies to Hokkaido immediately. But on that airplane, a time bomb was planted.

This grand roller coaster story continues further. It is full of events, with Hizuru joining a circus troupe in Hokkaido, and Masami being involved in an incident regarding the hidden treasure of Ainu. This was when “The Whistle of Kotan” about an Ainu sibling was popular.

Is this really a sad story? No, it is different.
Hizuru, who always cried with a troubled expression in the first half, grows to accomplish
remarkable feats such as looking for the diamond, supporting her mother, and worrying about her younger brother while only occasionally shedding tears.
In Kyoto, where she returned, she scatters sparks on the stage with her rival as a Maiko. In the circus troupe in Hokkaido, she saves an emergency on stage with her talent of dance and receives cheers, completely wiping out the impression of her tearful days as a Maiko .
Her childish appearance gradually matures, and she becomes a girl who can create her own future when she says to her mother apologizing for her weakness: “We are a mother and a child, aren’t we? ・・・We swore to work together until we will get happiness, didn’t we? ”

In the end, as for the economic conditions, and as for Masami’s foot too, the real problems remain unsolved, but the mother and children go back to Tokyo from Hokkaido, brimming with vigor. Masami became strong mentally through life with the people of Ainu.

When reading “Where is a blue bird?”, in this story of the search for happiness by an unhappy girl, the best thing in those days–the thing called hope–began to overflow inevitably, which moved me deeply.
This work must be a big present that Mitsuo Higashiura left in the field of girls’ comics.
But at present, it is only 100 copies by Apple-box-Create that lets us be captivated by this
hopeful story similar to a rapid stream gaining momentum.

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