12 Days is an original English-language manga by June Kim which was published by Tokyopop in North America on November 7, 2006. It details twelve days of the life of a woman dealing with grief over the loss of her lover.
When her ex-lover Noah dies, Jackie decides the quickest way to get over her is to hold a personal ritual with Noah's ashes. Jackie consumes the ashes in the form of smoothies for 12 days, hoping the pain will subside. But will it be enough?
Written and illustrated by June Kim, 12 Days is partially modelled on a story that a stranger told her. During her sophomore year in college, Kim wrote the story and worked on it as a way to cope with a breakup. She resumed working on it from early 2005 to August 2006. Kim felt that the development of 12 Days was slowed because of her "slow speed, other projects and family matters." She is influenced by the mangakas Yumi Tada, Takehiko Inoue, Kiriko Nananan, Umezu Kazuo, Taiyo Matsumoto, Hinako Sugiura, Urasawa Naoki, and Ichiko Ima. She also likes the comic Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware and the works of Lynda Berry and Ben Ketchor.
Theron Martin of Anime News Network rated the series "B+". Martin stated: "12 Days doesn't easily fall into any of the normal manga (or manga-like) categories. It avoids any kind of sensationalism in providing a mature piece about a difficult topic, which may limit its appeal but certainly makes it worth reading." Martin liked the "[s]trong writing, good premise and character designs", but criticized the flashbacks for confusing the plot. PopCultureShock's Katherine Dacey also rated the volume "B+" and commented that it "is filled with lovely, quiet observations about the way we grieve, the way we define family, the way we express desire, and the way we remember moments of hurt and betrayal." Dacey criticized the smoothie aspect of 12 Days, the "plain, ugly font", and stiff background art. It ranked fifth on her list of the ten best OEL manga. Conversely, A. E. Sparrow of IGN criticized the confusing plot of 12 Days, commenting "12 Days is simply trying too hard, burying some absolutely beautiful illustrations in a sea of chaotic storytelling."