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A manga about a couple in their early 20s, Meiko and Naruo, and their friends, as the various members of the group drift about and struggle to figure out this whole adulting thing Insecurity and inner conflicts about selling out versus success plague many of the characters, until a tragedy acts as kind of a wake up call to put at least some of them onto different paths It s character driven rather than plot driven, but things are quite different at the end than the beginning Almost a snapshot of a time and place, culturally and economically, as well as the new adult stage It s very emotional without being overly dramatic, and I didn t stop thinking about it for days after I finished reading it I m not even a fan of slacker type or disaffected apathetic characters Totally recommend this one.Solanin was originally published, at least in Japan, as two volumes, but I think in the English translation it s only available in the one complete volume I read our library s copy, but just bought my own, so I could re read especially because a digital only epilogue came out this summer that I want to read after I ve refreshed my memory of all the characters. As I read this manga comic I realized something important about my reading tastes, namely, that while I love coming of age stories, I m not as enad by the new adult genre stories This book is the latter, hence the fact it doesn t get a higher rating is really because of that.A term I see bandied about by Millennials is Adutling I often hear someone say Adulting is hard If you agree, this book is for you Meiko is 24, a recent college grad, and working in a job that she hates Her boyfriend, Naruo, isn t doing much better, and seems to have moved in with her, as with this part time job he can t swing rent The book follows both these characters as they struggle with the dreams they once had juxtaposed against the lives they are living The black and white art is lovely, there are wonderfully poignant moments, and I liked it well enough. Meiko Inoue Is A Recent College Grad Working As An Office Lady In A Job She Hates Her Boyfriend Naruo Is Permanently Crashing At Her Apartment Because His Job As A Freelance Illustrator Doesn T Pay Enough For Rent And Her Parents In The Country Keep Sending Her Boxes Of Veggies That Just Rot In Her Fridge Straddling The Line Between Her Years As A Student And The Rest Of Her Life, Meiko Struggles With The Feeling That She S Just Not Cut Out To Be A Part Of The Real World I could seriously relate to this comic Meiko has just graduated college and works at a dead end job that just pays the bills and offers no satisfaction She lives in a one bedroom apartment with her boyfriend, and doesn t really know how to adult just yet She s confused at to what her purpose is and is constantly wondering is there to this Everything is very uncertain and it s all a little scary That is until Meiko quits her job and convinces her boyfriend to do the same, so he can focus full time on his dream of getting a record deal with his band They have a renewed sense of joy and fulfillment when they are doing what they love and worrying about the little things later It s a really funny, heartwarming, sometimes sad, story that feels real Like this story could happen to anyone, there s nothing fantastical about it, and I love that It s a very charming read and I would recommend it to anyone especially a young adult just starting out, because this has really helped me put things into perspective Only two books have ever made me cry actually, bawl, while reading them The first was Kafka s The Metamorphosis The second was Solanin Not only are the pictures in this graphic novel so beautifully done, the story stays with the reader long after the last page has been turned Every recent college grad or early 20 something should read this book It follows the lives of Meiko and her boyfriend Taneda as they drift through life and contemplate the years of uncertainty following graduation The trip is not always pleasant these characters hurt and feel and lose, but finding out what is truly precious is the greatest realization of all I simply cannot recommend this book highly enough It reads manga style right to left, but even if graphic novels aren t your thing, I still recommend reading this book. Solanin is a slightly dark, slice of life story about a young couple struggling to make it after graduating from university As a 20 something myself, this was a pretty relatable story as I still feel like maybe I could be accomplishing with my life Solanin had it s heavy moments, but I absolutely loved how real it all felt I ve been loving all of Inio Asano s work lately and I ll definitely be reading very soon, including the epilogue to Solanin that I picked up at TCAF earlier this year This is a story about a girl who cried aI mean it s about a girl who quits her job, lives with her mostly deadbeat boyfriend, and tries to find happiness in life This is basically a few months into the life of Meiko, a girl who s trying to figure out life With her boyfriend only having a part time job she decides to push him into being something At the same time she s doing that she s trying to figure herself out Music is a central point that brought her and her boyfriend together but also all their friends Will they be able to use that music to become something than what they are Good This is a slice of life story and does it mostly well The major twist is easy to see coming but still lands I also thought the dialog was mostly well done and both funny and sad Bad The dialog bubbles were hard to follow in this one and some scenes did drag pretty far Overall this is a real interesting story While I didn t love it I enjoyed it throughout and was invested in their life A 3.5 out of 5. Yes, Solanin is a manga It is a comic book, from Japan There is no escaping that If that fact is insurmountable to you, then you do not get to read Solanin Your loss.That caveat out of the way, Solanin is well worth your attention It s a well written and beautifully illustrated graphic novel about a group of young adults who are struggling to negotiate their lives past college The main character is a disaffected OL think administrative assistant who took a job with a large company immediately after graduation It pays well, but it makes her miserable, so she quits This sparks a chain of events where herself and her friends are forced examine the meaning of responsibility, relationships, and freedom When you don t fit into the 9 to 5 world, where do you fit instead Solanin excels in it s portrayal of a tale that could have been a collection of crushing cliches in the hands of a less talented writer The art style toes the line between manga cuteness and realistic cartooning styles to good effect, and the translation and localization of the book is well done As far as an independent comic release goes, Solanin hits all the right notes.It is not a book for everyone If the manga art style bothers you, you probably won t be able to get past the first couple of pages It also does occasionally indulge a little sentimentality and self pity for characters who may not deserve it The twist that occurs two thirds of the way through may strain your willingness to stick with the plot But if you can get past these things, you ll be rewarded by the experience of reading a truly unique take on an ages old trope.In summary, if you are a fan of comics, Solanin deserves a place on your bookshelf At least reserve it from the library if you don t believe me It s a rewarding book, and anyone who has found themselves adrift with a diploma and no idea how to use it will find it rings true. This captures for the artist, then 24, that time of her life, and for others, the time between young adulthood and adulthood, where you fear you may be selling out your dreams and every day pleasures for boring, regimented, uncreative adult life This is a novel told from the perspective of a young girl, Meiko, 24, who has been in a relationship for 6 years with Naruo She hates her office girl job, he works part time illustrating but wants to be in a band even if they aren t spectacular The band is a symbol of creativity and living one s passion and dreams sound familiar Still, it feels real, true to that age I felt like that then, for sure.The art is good, the main character is engaging, really likable, and as the artist says herself in an afterword, this isn t about superheroes and not even supercool people but just average, every day people, a slice of life anyone can relate to And from my perusing some of the other twenty something reviews, she captures the spirit of the twenties, as they found it moving I liked it a lot, too. February 24th, 2016 COLLEGE LIFE AND BEGINNING ADULTHOOD5 stars.One of the books my brother got for his assignment and one I snuck away to read in one sitting Inio Asano is considered one of the best selling and revered mangakas in Japan for his works Hard to believe he rode and drew this around the age of 24 Hard to believe he did this after being unsure of his skills to succeed in the manga industry A poignant novel about where do we go after high school, college and university New experiences and struggling to find what makes you happy in life, because at that point in your life you re supposed to have everything sorted out, no Not everyone knows what they want to do in life, and will generally have the idea of what they do not wish to do as opposed to what they love We forget how those that know and work hard towards it are fortunate to do so Mostly because we ve been constantly told don t work at something that makes you miserable for the rest of your life, well sometimes you don t get that kind of luxury I still find myself at a loss, and wondering if I m walking the right path And to be honest I cannot really imagine myself doing anything remotely outside the realm of books But to get to that point, I have to struggle with the bad and ugly before I reach the good and fortunate.What Solanin represents are the many insecurities we new adults have upon being thrust into the big open world Whether you fight for your dreams or take a chance, and make bad choices amongst the good ones life is full of surprises and turns Although the story primarily follows Meiko, the rest of the cast get their chances in the spotlight remaining tight with the plot.While it does speak to me, I cannot help but feel as though we ve been missing these kinds of stories in the New Adult genre There are so many points in life where we grow and mature, seek out our own futures however uncertain they may be we need reassurance that it s okay not to know or to make mistakes.And I think that s the heart of Solanin.