“In Memory Of” – Solanin (manga) – 9/10 Black Cats

There is a point in every young person’s life when you realize that the youth that you’ve progressed through and graduate to some sort of adulthood is equally as messed up as where you’re going. ~Jena Malone

Mangaka: Inio Asano

Genre: Slice-of-Life/Drama/Seinen

Review Status: Complete (2 Volumes/ 2 Volumes)

Licensed: Yes, this manga is licensed in the US

Art: This has fairly simple art, but while the panels are clean, easy to read and easy to follow, there is a very nice amount of detail in the characters and backgrounds.

Summary: When people hit college, they realize that they’re at a turning point in their life. What will they do for the rest of their time on Earth? It’s a time where it’s easy to get lost, lose sight of your dreams, and fall into a general funk. Meiko realizes that she’s fallen into this, and decides to try and figure out what she’s going to do by taking a few months off of work and thinking about it. Her live-in boyfriend supports her decision, and eventually she comes to support him and his friends as they are reinvigorated to follow their own dreams.

Review: Solanin. The name of a love song, a breakup song, a song that was dedicated to Meiko and remains Naruo’s favorite song that he wrote- the one that he and his friends decide to peg their dreams on when they get back together one last time to try and follow their dreams of making it big. It marks the complicated feelings they have toward eachother, but yet they love and support one another nonetheless.

More than anything else, this is a look into these two people’s lives. The trouble they have coming to terms with ‘adulthood’, realizing that we never stop growing up, learning that life is full of twists and turns, and how we love and remember people is one of the most important things in the world.

There is very little to not like about it. The humor is spot-on, the dialogue witty and honest, and considering that there are a billion clichéd movies about this same thing, fails to fall into that territory at every turn. This is a realistic look into life at what, for many, is an awkward age. It will resonate more with some than with others, but this is definitely a fabulous manga that everyone at that stage of life should read.

Overall, this is a manga for all those who feel a little lost in their lives. You are not alone.

Recommended: A mature 16+. There are maybe two swears, a little drinking/drunkenness. You get some brief partial nudity and implied sex.

Other titles you might enjoy:

Oyasumi Punpun (manga)
Beck (manga and anime)
Nana (manga and anime)
Our Happy Time (manga)
Ciguatera (manga)
Pumpkin and Mayonnaise (manga)


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