Also known as "Coponicus no Kokyuu" and "Breath of Copernicus," this 2002 manga by Asumiko Nakamura is an interesting one. Set in a Parisian circus in The '70s, this manga has anything but a happy carnival feel.
The main character "Bird's Nest" is an ex-trapeze artist gone clown after the falling death of his younger brother, who may or not be a ghost following his every move. Under the control of a ring master who pimps out his performers, a burning desire to both escape the circus life and get back on the trapeze, a terminal case of angst, and the hypnotic and trippy atmosphere of the circus tent, it's a wonder Bird's Nest isn't more crazy than he proves himself to be in this unique, dizzying, and raw story.
Tropes for this Manga include:
- Bungled Suicide: Mina lets herself fall from the trapeze so that she will no longer have to work as a prostitute. She does not die from the fall, however, and goes on to teach at a circus and trapeze school.
- Circus Brat: Bird's Nest and his brother Michel were both born and raised in a traveling circus.
- Driven to Suicide: Mina and Coco both attempt suicide.
- Drugs Are Bad: Michel isn't pleased when he finds Bird's Nest's stash of what appears to be acid.
- Functional Addict: Bird's Nest uses them so he does not envision his dead brother.
- Intimate Psychotherapy: The basis of Bird's Nest and Michel's relationship, specially whenever Bird's Nest has Freak Outs when he remembers his brother's death.