Kimi no Kakera
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|Kimi no Kakera|
Shiro (left) and Icoro (right)
|Written by||Shin Takahashi|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||2002 – 2010|
Kimi no Kakera (きみのカケラ?) is a manga by Shin Takahashi that is focused on a thirteen-year-old girl by the name of Icoro. She is the princess of the "Upper World", a world where snow is always falling and even princesses like her are forced to wake up at 4 a.m. and go to bed at midnight, learning and working the rest of the day. The Upper World is a "country of night", surrounded on four sides by towering walls and with perpetual below-freezing temperatures.
Icoro lives with her "Gramma", or Shah, her servant and her blind young brother Mataku. Her parents have left them for an unknown fate. Apparently, her parents are seeking out the legend of a "sun", a mystical bright heat source that can keep the Upper World from being buried beneath the ever-falling snow. Icoro also has another servant: Kuro, a monkey-like little chibi. Icoro's status, aside from Kuro and Shah, has not been recognized. This is because of Icoro's mystical illness: Hitogata; "...a word that has been used in this world for years and years, the origins long lost in the mists of time."
Hitogata can mean several things. For instance, it can simply be a doll in the form of a human, or an ornament or decoration that is missing a piece of itself. However, it is especially used in secret to disdain a child that is missing one of the core human emotions: joy, anger, pathos and humor." Since birth, Icoro has never once smiled.
Then one day, Icoro's dinner with her brother is interrupted by a strange boy crashing through the ceiling. On further inspection, Icoro finds that the boy is wearing manacles and has white hair, but before she can fully realize what is going on, she hears a scream and rushes upstairs to find the "Warmonger Tribe" demanding the Hitogata.
The story continues, following the boy who has lost his memory, who is dubbed "Shiro." He and Icoro rush towards the "Lower World", deciding that the two will find a sun. They are Hitogatas. Icoro, who can never feel joy, and Shiro, who can never feel pain. This is an example of the duality theme presented in the series.
Icoro (イコロ?): Princess of the snow country, a 13-year-old prodigy who has skipped 6 grades and has only books as her constant companionship. She is constantly ostracized as a result of her inability to smile and the declining position of the royal house. Her proper name is Kamuy-poro-cise-ikor (カムイ・ポロ・チセ・イコロ), which in the ancient language of her country (= Ainu) literally means "God-large-house-treasure".
Shiro (シロ?): The amnesiac boy who cannot feel pain. Icoro names him "Shiro" based on his white hair, but it also means "missing piece" in the ancient language of her country. His constant question "Are you foe or friend?" is supposedly a teaching from his grandfather, the man who brought him up.
Mataku (マタク?): Icoro's blind younger brother.