Today I offer personalized recommendations for Dan Felty who gave me three key words: “Thoughtful. Existential. Humorous.”
Am I up to the challenge?
1. Solanin, by Inio Asano, published by Viz.
Description: Meiko Inoue is a recent college grad working as an office lady in a job she hates. Her boyfriend Naruo is permanently crashing at her apartment because his job as a freelance illustrator doesn’t pay enough for rent. And her parents in the country keep sending her boxes of veggies that just rot in her fridge. Straddling the line between her years as a student and the rest of her life, Meiko struggles with the feeling that she’s just not cut out to be a part of the real world.
2. Astral Project, by marginal and Syuji Takeya, published by CMX.
Description: A modern tale of the supernatural by the author of the Eisner Award-winning Old Boy. (“marginal” is one of several aliases by creator Garon Tsuchiya.) Masahiko is estranged from his family and lives a dead-end life in Tokyo, working as a chauffeur for high-class call girls. When his sister dies under mysterious circumstances, he inherits an unlabeled CD from her possessions. Listening to the jazz music it contains, he is propelled into an out-of-body experience. As he repeats the experience, he begins to wonder if this was how his sister died. Masahiko is determined to find the cause of her death, and the mystery behind the CD.
3. Children of the Sea, by Daisuke Igarashi, published by Viz.
Description: When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does.
Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans’ fish.