I'll Give It My All...Tomorrow Vol. #01 (Mania.com)

By:Julie Opipari
Review Date: Monday, June 28, 2010
Release Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How do you resolve a mid-life crisis? Why, by quitting your job and becoming a mangaka, of course!

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Shunju Aono
Translation: Akemi Wegmuller
Adaptation: Akemi Wegmuller

What They Say
Life begins at 40� even for pathetic losers. Shizuo Oguro is living his dreams... sort of. A complete waste of a human life until now, 40-year-old Shizuo breaks free from the corporate rat race and charts himself a fairly random and new career course: to become a published manga artist. Sure, he lacks the talent, discipline, or any other skill necessary to become a success in the manga industry - but that's not enough to stop Shizuo!

The Review!

Technical Review:
Like other titles in Viz’s Signature line, I’ll Give It My…Tomorrow is a very nicely put together book.  The cover is a nice, solid card stock, and the paper stock is also substantial.  There are no short cuts with the material, and it’s obvious that Viz is putting a lot of effort into this imprint.  There were no obvious editing issues, and the dialog flowed smoothly and naturally.
Content Review:
I am so torn about this book.  I want to understand and like Shizuo, but to me it just seemed like he was taking advantage of his father and his daughter.  Deciding that the life of a salaryman was no longer for him, he has a mid-life crisis and abruptly quits his job.  Then he stays home and whiles away his days playing video games and being a slob.  He has gotten on his father’s last nerve, and even his teenage daughter is more responsible than he is.  To justify his suddenly life of leisure, Shizuo decides that he will become a manga artist.  Watch out, trees, because when the fire of creativity is lit, he slaughters blank pages without mercy.  But only for a little while, because the flames of creativity are hard to sustain.
Although I fully understand the frustration Shizuo feels in his boring and unsatisfying job, I can’t say that I find his desire to become a comic creator all that inspiring.  I can’t relate to a 40 year old man who has decided to skip out on his problems by parking out on floor and plugging away at video games all day.  That’s just depressing on so many levels.
While I don’t find myself drawn to Shizuo, he does have moments, however brief, when he acts a bit more nobly.  He longs to be cool and charismatic, but in reality, he’s a middle-aged, out of shape guy with bigger dreams than he knows what to do with.  I found him irritating for most of the book because he is sadly content to lounge around and wait for his big moment, instead of going out there and making it happen himself.  His lack of ambition and his inability to map out an effective plan of attack left me dispirited. 
The artwork, though deceptively simple, is a highlight of the book.  The illustrations are rough and not detailed at all, except for when it comes to expressions.  You can instantly see Shizuo’s despair, his father’s irritation, and even Suzuko’s dismay with her father’s behavior.  The drawings communicate all of Shizuo’s muddled emotions, and add a sense of charm that would otherwise be lacking.  It was the art, more so than the story or the characters, that kept me engaged in the book.
In Summary:
I’ll Give It My All….Tomorrow is a difficult book for me to like.  Though it is very well written, I just could not connect with the protagonist.  To me, he was only looking for the easy way out of his responsibilities, and he only wanted to overindulge himself.   He kept letting down the people who depended on him to act like an adult, and instead pursued a path to make only one person happy – himself.  I found most of the story fairly depressing, and just could not get behind Shizuo or make sense of his actions.

Mania Grade: B-
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 12.99
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-1421533650
Size: A5
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: I'll Give It My All...Tomorrow