Solanin (Manga Review)

There is a saying that goes "Sometimes you don't choose the book, the book chooses you." In my case "Solanin" by Inio Asano chose me to take it away from Borders bookstore. I must say that I do not regret buying this book. This has to be one of the best Manga's I've read in a long time. However just because I like it, does that mean you should invest in it?

Synopsis - After graduating from college, Meiko went straight to work as an office lady, but she can't help feeling there should be something more to life. Determined to find a worthier goal, she quits work, but can she actually make her neubulous dreams come true- and how will her sudden decision affect her relationship with her boyfriend Taneda?

Story - This is one of the most realistic Manga's I've ever read. The story is something a lot of college graduates can relate too. The main character Meiko Inoue is out of college and working in a job she hates. Even with her degree she doesn't know what direction she wants to go in her life. Meiko in the beginning starts off as this depressed woman, with a serious distaste for society. She hates everything from her co-workers, her boss and sometimes the love her life is annoying. The only time Meiko finds some type of solace is with a cat she has lunch with at work. But all that changes when Meiko starts to question her life and direction. She quits her job and never looks back. This causes a little tension between her boyfriend Taneda and her. Taneda is a freelance illustrator and he doesn't get paid enough for rent. With Meiko quitting her job, Taneda feels a lot of pressure to see how they will make ends meet. Lucky for them Meiko saved most of the money and is able to survive for a couple of months to a year. During this time Meiko and Taneda try to use this time to find their calling in life.

I won't go into much more detail since this is spoiler free. However Inio Asano has written an amazing Manga. Once you finish reading this Manga you will be questioning your future, and whether the direction you wanted to take was by choice or circumstantial. I think many us in the age range of 21 - 25 have this feeling of insecurity. A feeling of whether we will make it to our dreams and ambitious. The Manga is 426 pages long. I read the book in one day, I couldn't put it down. The characters are all interesting and all have a personal demon to face. My favorite character is Taneda which is Meiko boyfriend. Out of all the characters which I won't say. Taneda to me is the most torture, he relies on girlfriend, his job pays shit and his dreams of being a musician never happen. He's what many in society will call a failure. But what makes Taneda so interesting is he's able to keep going forward. That's what I really like about him, but I'll just say this his strength doesn't last long. Overall this a must read for everyone who wants a realistic Manga, that might hit close to home.

Art - I love the artwork in this Manga. The way Inio Asano does the facial expressions is outstanding. Everything is detail from the environments, to real photo use for buildings to give you a real Japan feel. For a book that's in black and white. I was amazing how great the use of lighting was in this. Their is a great shot of the sun overcasting on Taneda face, to show where the sun will be position had it been seen. The art is amazing. Here is a quick look below.

Final Grade A+ - Solanin is one Manga that will move you once it's finish. It is a very emotional book because it can be anyone of us. Inio Asano has created a world that is surreal and true for you to relate too. It just doesn't give a taste of Japanese life, but a taste of life for the younger generation period. The characters are wonderful and when tragedy strikes it will hit you. You will cheer for them and hope for the best. However in Solanin solace is the name of the game. Final Grade is an A+

Solanin is now a movie check out the trailer below