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Solanin Paperback – Illustrated, October 21, 2008
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 1421523213
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1421523217
- Product Dimensions : 5.75 x 1.3 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : VIZ Media LLC; Illustrated edition (October 21, 2008)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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.
Although all the talk about worrying about life may seem too somber to be an entertaining read, the series really doesn't get bogged down by it. The characters are great, and do ridiculous things that fit right in with how real friends joke around. There is a lot of joy in the scenes where everyone is hanging out together. Asano can make the characters have hilarious expressions without having to resort to distorting their faces to get across the humor. Oftentimes in manga characters will make faces, and take on forms that are completely unrealistic, but these unnatural forms get across the humor of the moment better. I'm impressed that this mangaka can have me chuckling so often without having to resort to those tricks. I really like the art style, both the characters and their surroundings feel realistic in a way that's both comforting and startling.
I HIGHLY recommend Solanin, this series has a special place in my heart. Although keep in my mind that this series feels like it was made for people in my position in life. I can't tell if I would have liked this series as much if I were still in high school, I'm not sure I would be able to relate as well. At the very least if you're a fan of manga and you're in your 20's I really think you should give this series a try. But that isn't to say if you're not younger or older you won't enjoy this series, it probably depends on your mindset more-so than your age.
The story is told so effortlessly, you just drift through the days of their lives. Which is not to say the book lacks drama. There are a number of very powerful scenes. The art and the writing are of equal important. Some scenes are driven by one and some the other.
If you've never read manga this is one the best starting points I can think of. Give is a go, it's great.
Top reviews from other countries
The story is built around a young couple who have met in college and have ended up living together without really planning where they are going. Now 24 years of age, both of them wonder whether they have simply let their lives drift and lost sight of what it is they really want. Meiko realises that she isn't cut out for mundane office work and suddenly quits her job, while her boyfriend Taneda who has been working as a freelance illustrator decides that it's time to make a go of his dream to be a famous musician in a band. Deciding to shake-up their lives means however that Meiko and Taneda also have to consider whether they even should remain together as a couple.
That's fairly humdrum as storylines go, taking in the obvious question of how to make that leap into adulthood, as well as how to find true happiness while dealing with the little trials and upsets that life sends your way. The plot revolves however around a central incident that is a little bit contrived, but it does nonetheless propel these soul-searching themes meaningfully forward.
Solanin however is not also without some style and humour (band members Rip and Kato providing some welcome craziness) and the drawing is attractive, lively and expressive, striking a nice balance between cartoony and realistic. Written moreover by the author when she was the same age as the main character Meiko, there is certainly an authenticity to Inio Asano's characterisation of young Japanese post-grads and the real challenges they face fitting into modern society.