Format: Paperback, 192pp
Pub. Date: November 2007
If you think that manga is not for you, you’re wrong. Whatever age range, or whatever genre you enjoy be it fantasy, mystery, or romance there is a series out there for you. And speaking of romance I just found my new favorite series, Suppli by Mari Okazaki.
Minami is dedicated to her job working at an advertising agency and as a result her relationship with her boyfriend of seven years has suffered. He’s always there when she gets home and she expects him to be, taking their relationship for granted. But she’s unhappy, wondering why she can’t seem to get the words out to break up with him. But when he beats her to the punch she’s heartbroken.
Once the relationship is over and the boyfriend gone, Minami realizes that she has no friends and knows no one except her work colleagues. At 27 she is afraid that she could end up alone, the office spinster, spending her time sitting in front of the TV and talking to herself, something she seems to do a lot of anyway. So when some people from the office talk about going out she makes sure she gets invited too.
When Minami takes a break from Karaoke with the group Ishida, a younger co-worker, is waiting for her out in the hall. He is playful and kisses her but she doesn’t handle it well and later in the evening when she sees him reach for someone else’s hand she doesn’t think that he really likes her at all. She puts it behind her, thinking nothing else of it, although it is obvious that Ishida is smitten.
Then Minami meets Ogiwara, who was hired at the same time and in the same age. He’s not as playful as Ishida, more down to earth but he’s also got a ghost hanging over him. He has recently broken up with someone as well but he seems to be taking his break up a lot harder than Minami took hers. He likes her though and in the end he asks if she could just be a shoulder for him to lean on. She agrees, wanting to be there for him and hoping that a relationship could blossom.
There are some really sweet romantic moments here; the kind of things that just make your heart go pitter-patter. But it has some comedy too, so that over all you have a great balance between the drama and romance, which makes Suppli a lot like real life. Then the little bit of narration by Minami stuck here and there adds so much to the story, which gives it a very cinematic feel.
I really like Minami, her thoughts and actions are those of any woman, no matter the age; but since this is rated 18+ it will definitely appeal to the 20-somethings out there. I think that when you read this one you might see a bit more of yourself than you expect as well. We’ve all gone through similar situations and can identify with Minami as she juggles work and the possibility of starting a new relationship.
I’m really impressed with Suppli, the art is good and the Volume 2 is being released in July 2008 with volume 3 following up in March. There are six volumes but the release dates for the rest have not been set as of yet. Keep your eye on Tokyopop for the latest information though and keep your fingers crossed for Ishida, I like him best.