15 Jun, 2010

I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow, Vol. 1

By: Ken Haley

By Shunju Aono
VIZ, 208 pp.
Rating: T+ (Teen)

At the age of 40, Shizuo Oguro is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis. He’s left his job of fifteen years in an attempt to find himself. Unfortunately, his small family is less than supportive of this. His father berates him constantly while his relationship with his teenaged daughter is the definition of awkward and distant. Now saddled with a job at a fast food restaurant, Shizuo will attempt to follow his dreams and become a manga-ka! Fresh from the SigIKKI web site is the first volume of Shunju Aono’s I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow!

Despite the fact that it’s rated T for teens, I’m not sure there’s much here that teens would really enjoy. It’s a bit of an awkward comedy about a man who was clearly miserable with his life but is unable to get his act together to become the kind of person he’d like to be. The comedy is heavily based around Shizuo’s humiliation and horribly uncomfortable moments, the highlight of which consists of him bumping into his daughter at the most awkward after-school job I can imagine.

Still, it’s hard to deny that Shizuo’s got a certain amount of charm. He tries, but he’s just not very confident in his abilities, and the abilities he seems to be confident in he’s not very good at. Throughout the volume we see him try and try again to win respect and to achieve his goals, only to fail each and every time. Well, almost every time. There is one moment where he achieves a certain measure of success and it’s a moment that had me wondering how much of his story was informed by Shunju Aono’s own life.

The art’s hardly flashy, but it certainly fits the material. Shizuo is suitably round and vaguely pathetic-looking, which will hopefully help folks who haven’t gone through mid-life crises sympathize with him. On top of that, there’s a distinctly harmless feel to him as well. He’s almost like a big cuddly bear who’s a bit of a slob and a slacker. There aren’t too many backgrounds present, but I think this helps with the sense of barrenness that seems to permeate poor Shizuo’s life.

While I did enjoy I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow, I really wonder how wide its appeal will be and whether it’ll be able to find an audience among the current generation of manga fans. The awkward humor and the genuine look at someone miserable with their current life and yet being unable to really enact change definitely give it the feeling of a niche title that most folks would pass on. Still, I think those who are willing to give it a shot will find an entertaining, and maybe even a touching read.

Volume one of I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow, Vol. 1 is available now.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

2 Responses to "I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow, Vol. 1"

1 | Herron

June 16th, 2010 at 10:30 am

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I picked this up knowing nothing about it, but when I read the description and flipped through it spoke to me. I guess because I relate to Shizuo’s situation all too well. Stuck in a crappy job and wanting to do more with my talent. (Yes, unlike Shizuo I can draw…) but I’m only 28… so a little early for a midlife crisis… still I suppose I am going through some sort of life crisis.

Thing that made me enjoy this book is seeing him still try and keep a positive attitude. I’m definitely going to keep buying.

2 | Ken Haley

June 17th, 2010 at 12:30 am

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Well, it’s usually called a midlife crisis, but I think anyone over the age of 18 is capable of looking at their life and thinking “Holy crap, this isn’t where I want to be or do!” regardless of whether they’re technically middle ages.

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