Staff Pick of the Week 7/5/18

  • Tokyo Tarareba Girls - Volume 1 by Akiko Higashimura

For those lamenting the end of Princess Jellyfish, never fear - the over 30 lady squad is here! A bit of a departure from the otaku women of Jellyfish, Tarareba Girls captures the essence of women who are feeling cornered by societal expectations and in this case, it’s getting married before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Rinko, script writer and protagonist, doesn’t want to see her career and marriage prospects taken over by 20 somethings and decides to become proactive about finding a husband before 2020.  Along with her friends Koyuki and Kaori, Rinko starts going to disastrous dating mixers and begins to question whether her self-worth should be tied up with her job or with her ability to be in a relationship.

I love this manga for tackling the hard adult questions I don’t feel most manga or even American comics get to very often. What is love and does it matter if you already love your job? Does someone need someone else to feel complete or can they just throw themselves into work and hope they don’t get aged out by younger competitors? I think Higashimura has a great story to work with and I can’t wait for more volumes!