I went into this Manga thinking it was going to be funny and a little tongue in cheek. While it did not disappoint, I could not help but feel a little annoyed by the characters. Tokyo Tarareba Girls by Akiko Higashimura attempts to delve into the issues of what women need to do in order to feel accomplished.
The setting is in Japan and follows the lives of 3 women in their 30s and somewhat having an early mid-life crisis. What annoyed me to some degree was that they thought they were too old and being married was their primary goal and that they had failed. Now, I’m not sure if Japanese culture promotes these kinds of goals and/or feelings in its women, but I can tell you that I could not help feel a little offended. However, I do believe that the author is taking these cultural beliefs and kind of making fun of them.
Once I got past that, I did find myself enjoying the overall story of Rinka and her pals. A little melodramatic, Rinka needs girls night out every time something disagreeable happens to her. While she and her friends drink their problems away, temporarily. In one of these drunken parties, she vows to get married by the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The fact that she finds herself being replaced by younger women at work further facilitates her fear of plateauing at a young age.
The intriguing part of this is her relationship with a younger man who tells her at face value her delusions and that she should act her age. I loved that he was upfront with her. Although, this creates some tension and makes her “hate” him. Frankly, Rinka knows she’s attracted to him but needs to keep her pride.
Since there are more volumes in this series, I know that there will be more chances for character growth. I do find myself invested in the story even with the few issues that I had with it.
The art was fun but it was in black in white. I wouldn’t expect any Kawaii type of art in this Manga, it’s a little bit more serious.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Tokyo Tarareba Girls, Vol. 1
COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA
Rinko has done everything right. She hustled her way through her 20s to make it as a screenwriter, renting her own office in a trendy Tokyo neighborhood. Everything should have gone according to plan... So at 33, she can't help but lament the fact that her career's plateaued, she's still painfully single, and she spends most of her nights drinking with her two best friends in their favorite pub. One night, drunk and delusional, Rinko swears to get married by the time the Tokyo Olympics roll around in 2020. But finding a man--and love--may be a cutthroat, dirty job for a romantic at heart.