Monday, June 28, 2010

Manga Monday: I'll Give It My All...Tomorrow

Shunju Aono

New from Viz's IKKI line is I'll Give It My All...Tomorrow, a manga series from Shunju Aono.  The story follows Shizuo Oguro, a loser by any stretch of the imagination.  Not only does he still live with his father and is a regular fast food server at age forty, but he has no aspirations beyond playing hours of video games and trying to impress thirteen-year-olds with his ability to ride a bicycle without using his hands.  Lately, he's come to realize that he is middle-aged and is a bad father/role model to his teenage daughter, and tries to do things to rectify his ways.  So, he begins creating manga.  He has no experience, and is all over the map with the sort of content he churns out, but he's dedicated to this new driving force in his life...sort of.  He gets distracted still, is lazy generally, and goes into slumps, but he rebounds and creating manga begins to have an effect on his life.  He begins to look to others around him for inspiration, like a juvenile delinquent who works the same fast food job who doesn't take crap from a couple of trashy customers.  Shizuo tries to shape himself into the sort of man who could take charge in this way, to embarrassing results, and doesn't seem to realize what a spectacle he's making of himself.  Shizuo remains a loser despite his intentions.  He may be more aware of his surroundings and realizes that what he's doing is screwing up his daughter (and throws a few words of wisdom her way), but he's very set in his ways, and he's just kind of pathetic.  I'll Give It My All...Tomorrow is kind of depressing to read overall, with a loathsome protagonist.  The art is pretty sketchy, and sometimes the facial expressions are hard to read and make sense of.  In the end, this just doesn't connect with me.  Aono could have reached past such generic examples of a loser beyond the very obvious cliches of living with your parents, working a loser job and playing video games all day as an adult, but instead leaves little to really make this title stand out as exceptional, or insightful, although the creator seems to be reaching for something substantial.  Maybe with his next work, Aono will realize some of the potential seen in this one.

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