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Solanin Paperback – October 21, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
In short, Solanin proves Asano as a major young talent in manga. First of all, it's high-quality manga that's not genre, and that alone is worth celebrating. While Western comics have broken free of genre trappings in the past decade or two, the overwhelming majority of manga is still stuck in its old genre and commercial models: sci-fi, fantasy, shonen, shojo. There are precious few non-genre manga that stand up to the best comics being done today in the West, but Solanin is such a work.
The art is polished and unique. Asano has carved out an extremely personal manga style, one which refreshingly departs again and again from the typical manga art vocabulary, especially in the faces and poses of his characters.
The writing is more than solid. Asano believably portrays characters he seems to know well: 20-something aspiring rock musicians, young people who reject (or at least delay) the typical Japanese career path and struggle through doubt, ennui, crappy jobs, and uncertain relationships in their path to maturity and adulthood. In lesser hands, this material, familiar to anyone, can easily become boring and solipsistic. But Asano's considerable wit and heart elevate his characters and story to become truly memorable. There are moments, especially when the characters play their music, of real magic.
Asano has created an entertaining, well-crafted work with considerable integrity. There's plenty of humor, but Asano blessedly never goes for cheap laughs. There's drama to spare, but again, he avoids cliche.Read more ›
"solanin" by Inio Asano features a beautiful artwork that captures Tokyo, from it's buildings, the homes, the walkways and scenery and just drawn with quite a bit of detail of just Tokyo that I found quite enjoyable. But as the artwork is part of the enjoyability of the manga, the strength is also in its storytelling.
For me, I enjoy manga's that capture the young adult life. Many that are released as novels in Japan but to have it in manga format that deal with that important time in the lives of normal people but presenting a situation that people can relate to. Stories such as "Asunaro Hakusho" which go into college friends and their love triangles, "Tokyo Friends" which features a woman from a farming area who needs to make a life in Tokyo to pursue her dreams and joins a rock band as the main vocalist to "Wakamono no Subete" which goes into friends who went separate ways in adulthood and choosing different paths in life which are normal and some that lead to a life of crime.
These three examples are storylines featured in graphic novels that have translated well into live drama series in Japan. But "solanin", it was well-featured on paper, via ink and an awesome manga it turned out to be.
According to writer/artist of "solanin", "I drew solanin when I was about 24 years old. I had just graduated from college and I was feeling a bit insecure about my ability to succeed as a manga artist and whether I would be able to continue to draw manga that were true to myself.Read more ›
In college I still thought of myself as a kid even though I was over 18, but now, even though I haven't changed much in the last few years I can't think of myself as a kid without cringing. Because lets face it I'm an adult now, even if my heart doesn't recognize it. All my life road choices have been greatly reduced, and now the path my life is going to take is far clearer to me than it was 4 years ago. Now I don't think that's a bad thing necessarily, but it does feel a little disturbing. This series represents that underlying worry really well, it was actually drawn at a time when the mangaka (Asano Inio) wasn't sure if he could actually make a living off of his dream. I've almost never felt so much of a mangaka's life represented in their work as I do with Solanin.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have a very deep appreciation for how well this book describes the anxiety that occurs in ones early 20's of not knowing where one is going in life and being confused about... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Katz
As an American I'm sure that I miss a lot of the cultural context and reference, but what I don't miss is the amazing emotional storytelling that Inio Asano is extremely talented... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Patrick W. Nickell
This book was amazing. The art was top notch in addition to a very deep and thoughtful story. I bought this book twice lolPublished 1 month ago by william ibarrondo
Outstanding. Solanin some of the best fiction I've ever read about being an aimless twentysomething. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tim P