Sunday, July 11, 2010

review: Suppli

Suppli is my second favourite josei manga so far. And sorry: I have no idea what the title means.
Apparently in Japan there's seven volumes so far and there's also a drama series (according to wikipedia). Tokyopop USA published three volumes, but then stopped. Fortunately they have started again and just this summer issued Volume 4 and 5 in one book.

Rating: 4/5
Volumes: 7 (so far?)
Mature content: some, but not very graphic
Genre: Josei

Minami Fuji is 27 years old and works at an advertisement office. After she splits up with her boyfriend of seven years, she realizes she has always spend her free time with her boyfriend and no one else and thus has no friends.
She tries to concentrate on working hard, and starts spending her free time with her coworkers. She doesn't know how to socialize well, but they take her up into their midst anyway. One of them is romantically interested in her, but Fuji meets a new colleague who has just been transferred and falls for him. They start having a casual relationship, and she starts getting attached to him - and then finds out he is involved with another coworker, a married woman she had adored because of her seeming ease to combine being a working woman with being a feminine one, too.

Maybe I like Suppli because I can identify with Fuji. She is so clumsy about her social life and absolutely "un-cute", she's not a very girly or sexy type: "I really do want to be kinder and happier and cuter but something inside of me gets in my way."
Her appearance is practical, made to fit her work life, not made to be attractive, and she has a hard time trying to look more feminine.

Apparently the series depicts the work life in Japan very well, and I have to say I'm glad I don't work there, it seems very stressful. It is interesting to read though, and maybe gives a little insight into a foreign culture and work life at an advertising company.
At the end of every book there's one page with explanations and cultural notes - a great idea and very helpful at times.

The drawings take some getting used to, in my opinion. Especially the men look so similar that it's sometimes hard to tell them apart.
Some double pages have a background connecting the panels, raindrops, leaves, starry sky, etc., which creates a really beautiful and dense atmosphere.

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