All My Darling Daughters -

Manga Review

Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translation Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 and Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 12.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 978-1421532400
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: All My Darling Daughters

All My Darling Daughters

All My Darling Daughters Manga Review

By Matthew Warner     February 09, 2010
Release Date: January 19, 2010

All My Darling Daughters
© Viz Media

A touching set of stories with that’s bound to keep your attention

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Fumi Yoshinaga
Translation: John Werry
Adaptation: John Werry

What They Say

Yukiko, a salarywoman in her thirties, still lives with her mother Mari. But their relationship suffers a sudden change when Mari announces that she's getting married - to an ex-host and aspiring actor who's younger than Yukiko. Yukiko, convinced he's out to fleece her mom, can't stand to stay in the house and decides to move in with her boyfriend.
The Review!

As this book is part of the Viz Signature line, it is granted both a larger size and a smoother cover material than most releases.  The cover is a striking, detailed image of Yukiko, obstructed only by the title.  The simple, clean design and the details in this cover really help it to stand out, as it certainly looks nothing like a normal manga cover.  The back cover is plain white with a summary of the story.
Once you open the book, you may at first be a tad depressed as the art itself looks a tad bland, especially against the striking cover and bonus images.  However, as you begin to read the book, you will soon notice how much effort the artist has put into the characters’ expressions.  This is one book that really gets the feelings of the characters across, and the art is a huge part of that.  Not only that, but backgrounds are often rather detailed, and the characters will occasionally slip into that beautiful, detailed style.
Sound effects are treated in the normal Viz fashion, replacing the originals with stylized text, and honorifics are retained.  Honorifics do not appear to be maintained, which is disappointing, but the text still reads quite smoothly.  End notes are included in the back of the book to explain some of more obscure terms used, which is definitely helpful.
The first story on this book takes place from the perspective of Yukiko, a 30 year old business woman, and her mother whom she lives with.  Her mother, Mari, has recently overcome cancer and has remarried to a younger man named Ken Ohashi.  Yukiko is suspicious of Ken, as he had met her mother while working at a host club, and decides he must be scamming her.  However, as the story progresses, Yukiko starts to learn more about Ken and his dreams, and that his love for her mother is real.  Upon learning this, Yukiko tells her mother she is involved with a coworker and is moving out.
The second story centers on Kiyotaka Izumi, a teacher and one of Ken’s acquaintances.  He’s having a rather unique problem, as one of his students is forcing herself on him in a sexual manner.  Watching try to deal with this issue is rather amusing, as even when he finally manages to do the right thing and try to treat her properly, things still fail to go his way.
The book wraps up with a story about a beautiful woman who is kind to everyone trying to find someone to marry by way of an arranged marriage, a story that details the life of Yukiko’s childhood friend as she fails to meet her goals, and finally a story about Mari, her mother, and their various insecurities that tragically forced them apart.
In Conclusion:
All My Darling Daughters is a fantastic collection of touching short stories that most anyone should be able to enjoy.  Even if the simple story of family relations in the first story doesn’t manage to grab you, there’s still the humorous second chapter in which the main character is forced into a sexual situation, or the disturbing fourth chapter in which we watch an optimistic young girl grow to become everything she hated as a child.  It’s also interesting to watch the “main” characters of Yukiko and her mother in the background of the stories in the middle, before things come full circle for the end, which manages to give this loose set of stories a fantastic sense of closure.  Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.


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