Graphic Novel - 2008
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Will Meiko find her place in the world, or will the world force her to fit?

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.
Publisher: San Francisco, CA : Viz Media, 2008.
Edition: Viz signature edition
ISBN: 9781421523217
Branch Call Number: YA GN MANGA SOLANIN
Characteristics: 412 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm.


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Solanin is a young adult manga written by Inio Asano. First written in 2006, it has been reprinted last year with an additional epilogue. Solanin is a critically acclaimed manga that depicts the lives of twenty-something millennials living in Japan. The characters in the book have recently graduated from college and are attempting to find themselves and their place within Japanese society. The prescient ennui of fretting by the characters for their futures within Japanese society permeates this manga. The characters battle between what is expected of them by society and what they feel they should be doing with their lives. At first the protagonists feel the choice is binary; either they should grow up and get jobs or drop out and fulfill their passion for music. By the end of the manga we have observed the character’s growth through personal loss and see them triumph over the need to feel alive because they have recognized that their daily actions do have meaning. (Submitted by Shane)

Oct 18, 2018

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.

Jun 30, 2018

Great young adult manga set in the real world about real events and real people. Tragic and serious this book takes you on a journey about the life of a simple young adult woman trying to make a life for herself in Japan after college. Worth the time to pick up and read.

beautiful art, wonderfully written, honestly low-key and quite funny at times ... i didn't want it to end. one of the better manga stories i've ever read.

Jul 07, 2011

Incredibly poignant look at life changes in the eyes of recent graduates.

Nov 10, 2010

a lovely story about the lives of 4 people bordering on college student/free adult. the art is lovely and the story is deep, don't expect any action or giant robots in this book. This is about life, struggles, love, grief, and hope.


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