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I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow – Volume 4 by Shunju Aono (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 26, 2011 by  



Humorous, enjoyable, crazy and fun! “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow” vol. 4 is definitely recommended! A 42-year-old man who quit his job in order to become a manga artist/writer. Problem is… Oguro is lazy and not exactly a good writer or artist. Does the lazy Oguro have what it takes to get a manga published?  Definitely a unique storyline that you don’t come across in manga all that often…

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© 2007 Shunju Aono/Shogakukan. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow – Volume 4

STORY AND ART BY: Shunju Aono(青野 春秋)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Ikki Comix/VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 6, 2011

Just as Shizuo Oguro is finally about to make his longed-for debut as a professional manga artist… his editor quits. Although Shizuo’s dreams are shattered, he has a shot at redemption: all he has to do is get the new editor to publish him. But how can a 42-year-old, slacker guy convince a 23-year-old, no-nonsense woman to give him a chance? Is it time for Shizuo to finally give it his all?

A 42-year-old man who quits his salaryman job to become a mangaka (manga artist/writer).  It seems like a straightforward story…perhaps, one that sounds like a mid-age crisis but trust me on this, “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow” is one of the most enjoyable manga out right now from Viz Media and it’s protagonist, possibly one of the quirkiest, laziest character that I have ever read about in my many years of manga reading.

Once in a while, I get the opportunity to read a manga that comes out of nowhere and just surprises the hell out of me.  “I’ll give It My All..Tomorrow” (Ore wa mada Honki Dashite Nai dake) by Shunju Aono is one of those manga series.

A storyline that relies on no supernatural storyline, nor the characters being the top of their class, very rich or very beautiful or handsome. In fact, the illustrations are not the greatest either, but it’s the storyline of one man trying to make his dream come true and choosing to do it at the age of 42.

Aono won the “Young Magazine 45th Chiba Tetsuya Award” in the Newcomer’s Category in 2001 and in 2005, won the 17th Ikkiman Ikki Newcomer’s Award and debuted with “Somato” (Kaleidoscope) which would eventually become his manga series “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow” and is featured on Ikki Magazine and has had three graphic novels released each year since 2007.

The story revolves around a man named Shizuo Oguro who turned 40-years-old. He’s a single father with a teenager named Suzuko and lives with his father. He also just quit his corporate job which he had worked as a Subsection Chief for over 15 years and is now trying to “find himself”.

Now, jobless and lazy, Oguro sits at home playing with his Sony PlayStation 2 and because of is lack of doing anything, angers his older father and his daughter pretty much has accepted that her father is a person who is not really ambitious and is quite lazy.

But with all the cajoling from his father to get a job, Oguro decides that his goal in life is to become a manga artist.

The problem is that Oguro is not an artist, nor does he have the focus to write a good story and each time he submits one to a manga publisher, it’s not the right content they are looking for (their nicest way to reject him).

But Oguro is determined to create a manga series and to step things up in his life by working a fast food job that will allow him to make a little money but work on his new passion in trying to create a manga.

In the first volume, Oguro continually gets chastised by his father to get a job, meanwhile he finds out that his smart daughter has been earning money by becoming a prostitute, finds a job at a fast food restaurant and because of his age, the younger people refer him as “manager” despite not being one. He also meets a younger guy named Shuichi and befriends him.

Shuichi is like a younger version of Oguro and is unable to keep a job and tends to get himself in fights.

Volume two continues to focus on Oguro as he tries to become a manga artist and prove to his father that he’s not a slacker, meanwhile Shuichi thinks about his life and wonders if he will be like Oguro.

In the previous two volumes of “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow”, we have sen how this guy work at fast food, trying to find a place to stay for a little while when his father gets on his nerves about finding a job and for the most part, trying to work on a manga series which the manga company he tends to bring his final drafts to, have kept rejecting.  Also, Oguro takes on the pen name “Person Nakamura”.

But now with volume 3 of the manga series, Oguro is now 42-years-old and his father is losing patience while in his mind, he is close to quitting his job at the fast food restaurant and feels his manga will be published. But it looks as if things may look better for Oguro as Murakami, his editor of EKKE Magazine seems interested in getting Shizuo Oguro’s manga published.

With volume 4 of “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow”, just when it seems as if Oguro now has it made as a manga artist, after impressing his editor at EKKE Magazine.  It actually made an impression, but in the wrong way.  For the editor, Murakami, it made him become inspired to do what he has wanted to do in life and pursue it and that was to quit his job as a manga editor and pursue his dream of becoming a woman.

Now that Murakami has left, he is given a new editor, a female editor named Unami.  But unlike Murakami, she absolutely despises Oguro, mainly because her father quit his high-paying job to become a novel writer and forced her mother to work dead-end jobs to support the family.  And seeing that Oguro has a daughter and an older father, she is not so thrilled about him, nor does she feel he has any talent nor a story to write for the Ekke younger audience (as Oguro’s manga is about an older man trying to live his life).

Meanwhile, for Miyata-san (Oguro’s best friend growing up) is enjoying his life at the bakery and cooking for his son Masao, but what happens when he is given news by his ex-wife that she is remarrying an American and is planning to relocate with her son to America and wants him to forget her son in order for him to get used to his future step-father.

With both 40+ year-old men facing a new crisis in their life, how will they deal with it?

With the latest volume of “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow”, mangaka Shunju Aono creates a realistic problem for both Oguro and his friend Miyata.  One faces the truth that his manga career will never happen and the other realizes that his goal to have a relationship with his younger son may now end forever.

The tone of this latest volume leans more towards character development.  One that examines the friendship between Oguro and Miyata as they deal with their latest problem in their lives but also for editor Unami, as she must be the person to tell Oguro that he has no chance in getting published.  But because of her estranged relationship with her father, she realizes that Oguro reminds her so much about her father that she is critical and spiteful towards him.

But the difference with vol. 4 vs. vol. 1 or 2 is that we see some maturity with Oguro and more determined to make his dream come true that he is willing to do what he can to become a manga artist and at least we see “hope” with this latest volume instead of a depressing end.

But suffice to say, while there are a few jokes to make readers laugh, of the four volumes, this latest volume is the most serious.  Especially as we get to see more of Oguro’s friend Miyata in a more difficult position.  For a father, he loves his son…he knows he doesn’t get much time to see him…but can one cut off all ties from his son in order to respect his wife’s wishes?

“I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow” is a rare treat to see here in the US. The manga is different in not just storyline and its characters but also Aono’s style of illustration and for those wanting to try something more realistic but also humorous and odd, this is one manga series I can easily recommend. It can also be quite amusing, especially if you have friends who are like Shizuo Oguro.

But I’m really enjoying this series but the problem lies in the fact that Aono releases a volume per year it seems.  And in Japan, volume 4 is the latest to come out and that was back in June 2010.   How long will it take until volume 5 is complete?  Hopefully not too long but it would be sad to see a series this enjoyable end on a somber note with this volume.

Humorous, enjoyable, crazy and fun! “I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow” vol. 4 is definitely recommended!

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