Monday, October 20, 2008

Manga Monday: Solanin!

Solanin
Inio Asano
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Solanin was originally published in Japan in two volumes, but Viz has the entire story in one mammoth 430+ page book under its excellent Viz Signature banner. The story follows a group of twenty-somethings as they struggle with the transition into adulthood, trying their best not to compromise their integrity. For the most part, they have boring (but well-paying) jobs that they hate, while music remains a passion in their lives that forces them to ultimately make decisions that perhaps aren't as responsible as they could be. This book is pretty amazing. Inio Asano's art is fantastic, and the characters really drive the plot, taking the story to some unexpected places. I love a character-driven book and this one is just fascinating. Meiko and her friends are very introspective and their thoughts and actions are quite illuminating, even in very subtle moments. And the pacing made this a quick read, despite its page count, since it was hard to put down and I had a lot of fun with it. I could easily spend plenty of more time with these characters, but this is all we get, unfortunately. I just hope to see more works from this creator translated into English in the very near future.