Shizuro Oguro is living the life of an average Japanese salaryman when his mid-life crisis kicks in and he quits his job to become a mangaka. Unfortunately he can't find the right motivation he needs to create the timeless classic that will prove to his dad and daughter that this wasn't a huge mistake. Rather than glorify Shizuro's decision to break from tradition and pursue what he loves (however halfheartedly) mangaka Shunju Aono's characterization of the man rings more true as he winds up looking for "inspiration" in video games, playing at the park, and in his new job at a fast food joint. While I can see the truth in this situation, the manga itself winds up feeling as aimless and directionless as its main character more often than not. The exception is the final story which shows us Shizuro through the eyes of a woman preparing to commit suicide, and his situation and determination manage to come off as more endearing than wearying. Hopefully we'll see more stories like that in the next volume.
May 27, 2010