Snow Day. That’s not something we experience in Southern California, unless you live in the mountains or high desert. East Coast folks know it quite well though, especially after the last storm that just passed through. Manga knows about snowy days too. Here are a few where the world covered in white plays a role in the story.
Sand Chronicles – Ann and her mother, Miwako, move back to Shimane, Miwako’s home town, to live with her parents after divorcing Ann’s father. The story begins in the first winter Ann is there. Snow covers the ground in Shimane, and despite Ann’s attempts to help her, Miwako gives up, committing suicide by going out into the snow. This act affects Ann more than she realizes, and she learns she’s more like her mother than she ever thought.
Millenium Snow – Chiyuki is a high school girl with a heart condition she has had since birth. She makes it through every year by hoping to see the first snow. She meets Toya, a vampire who claims he doesn’t like human blood, but in reality doesn’t want to condemn a human to 1000 years of life. He ends up giving her some of his blood to save her after a nearly fatal attack. They form a prickly friendship and are soon joined Satsuki, a werewolf.
Chikyu Misaki - Misaki has just inherited her Grandfather’s house in the small village of Hohoro, where it always seems to be snowing. After moving there with her widowed father, Misaki makes some new friends, including the Hohoro, a creature that looks like a furry Lock Ness monster that can turn into an uber-cute boy when Misaki kisses him, and back when he is hit by water.
Shirahime-Syo: Snow Goddess Tales – This anthology of short stories from CLAMP that revolve the around the yokai Yuki-onna, who is known for freezing travelers to death. Because the Yuki-onna only appears in the snow, all of these stories happen in the winter, in the snow. There are three stories in the anthology, “On Wolf Mountain”, “Flower of Ice”, and “Happily Married Couple.” All of the stories have a bitter-sweet tone to them, often ending not so happily.
Full Metal Alchemist – Ed and Al Elric are searching for a way to return their bodies to normal after an attempt to resurrect their mother goes horribly wrong. Along the way, they become involved in trying to stop a plot by the homoculus to kill hundreds of thousand of people to create a philosopher’s stone. One of the stops they make is to a military fortress in the north known as Briggs, where the snow and rocky terrain makes for a harsh life. Deadly icicles dangle from eaves, and automail don’t work unless modified for the cold environment.
One Piece – The Straw Hat Pirates land on Drum Island, searching for a doctor for Nami, who has come down with a high fever. Drum Island is like a winter wonderland, covered in snow. The only doctor is a witch named Kureha who lives in Drum Castle high in the Drum Rockies. Fighting against the snow and wild animals, Luffy and Sanji get Nami to the castle where all three end up needing treatment from Kureha and Chopper, Kureha’s assistant, who is also studying to be a doctor. Chopper joins the Straw Hats at the end of this arc.
Know of any other snowy backdrops from a manga? Leave a comment about them!