Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow vol. 1 – May 2010 (Viz Media)

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TITLE: I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow volume 1

RELEASE: May 2010 (U.S. Release)

COMPANY: Viz Media

Story & Art by Shunju Aono

Once in a while, I get the opportunity to read a manga that comes out of nowhere and just surprises the hell out of me.

A storyline that relies on no supernatural storyline, nor the characters being the top of their class, very rich or very beautiful or handsome.  If anything a storyline that is very close to reality and for those who do read manga, these type of storylines let alone a series are often a rarity to see released in the U.S.

Here we are with “I’ll Give It My All..Tomorrow” (Ore wa mada Honki Dashite Nai dake) by Shunju Aono is one of those manga series.

Aono won the “Young Magazine 45th Chiba Tetsuya Award” in the Newcomer’s Category in 2001 and in 2005, won the 17th Ikkiman Ikki Newcomer’s Award and debuted with “Somato” (Kaleidoscope) which would eventually become his manga series “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow” and is featured on Ikki Magazine and has had three graphic novels released each year since 2007.

The story revolves around a man named Shizuo Oguro who just turned 40-years-old.  He’s a single father with a teenager named Suzuko and lives with his father.  He also just quit his corporate job which he had worked as a Subsection Chief for over 15 years and is now trying to find himself.

Now, jobless and lazy, Oguro sits at home playing with his Sony PlayStation 2 and because of is lack of doing anything, angers his father.

That is until Oguro decides that his goal in life is to become a manga artist.

The problem is that Oguro is not an artist, nor does he have the focus to write a good story and each time he submits one to a manga publisher, it’s not the right content they are looking for (their nicest way to reject him).

But Oguro is determined to create a manga series and to step things up in his life by working a fast food job that will allow him to make a little money but work on his new passion in trying to create a manga.

In the first volume of “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow”, here is a non-spoiler breakdown of each chapter:

  • Kaleidoscope – Shizuro Oguro decides to quit his job and find himself.
  • I Just Haven’t Gotten Serious Yet, That’s All – Oguro decides to become a manga artist and to find someone who will publish it.  Meanwhile, he starts to hang out with people much younger than himself after working at a fast food restaurant.
  • Chapter 1: O Time, Stop Thy Relentless March! – Troubles arise at the fast food place and the young supervisors ask the older Oguro to take care of the problem.
  • Chapter 2: It Taste Best When It’s Starting to Go Bad – Oguro has a body odor problem and he also starts to become a friend with the new fast food employee Ichinosawa (who has a criminal record).
  • Chapter 3: Wrestling with your Doubts…and Winning – Oguro explains his manga goal to his new friend and tries to get it published once again.
  • Chapter 4 – Give Me Wings – Bummed out that another manga story has been rejected, Oguro has hit a slump.
  • Bonus Story: To Live – Oguro befriends a suicidal woman.
  • Extra Poem: “I’m Fine” – A poem by Shunju Aono.

Overall, “I’ll Give it My All…Tomorrow” is quite an interesting manga.  It’s protagonist is pretty much a lazy bum who plays video games all day long but he does show enthusiasm at times in trying to create a manga.  If anything, he’s not a hikikkomori (depressed unsociable people who stays indoors all the time) as he is able to get out, hang out with people of all age groups, having sex with prostitute but despite having a social life, he is a guy that suffers from bad body odor and emits the aura of laziness.

So, it’s interesting to see the life around him.  His daughter who wants to study abroad and makes a job decision which shocks her own father.  Then there is Oguro’s father who is always on his case to do something with his life.  But it’s interesting to see the people that Oguro associates with.  May it be a person with a criminal record, a depressed and divorced father or a suicidal woman, he tends to attract interesting people into his life.

If anything, “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow” is a rare treat to see here in the US.  The manga is different in not just storyline and its characters but also Aono’s style of illustration and for those wanting to try something more realistic but also humorous and odd, this is one manga series I can easily recommend.

It’s important to note that because Aono has only released three volumes thus far since 2007 (makes you wonder if Aono and the character Oguro have something in common), the second volume will be released in the US in December 2010 and the third possibly by Summer 2011.  So, because of that, it’s one of those manga series that won’t take a bite out of your monthly budget.

Definitely give this manga series a chance!


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