by Inio Asano
Viz Media, 2006. 424 pp. Graphic Novel
This is a story of a young woman, Meiko Inoue, her boyfriend, Naruo, and their circle of friends as they struggle to make their way in the world after college, reconciling the nebulous dreams of happiness and success with the reality and constraints of the adult world. Stuck in dull and/or poorly paid jobs and uncertain of their futures, Meiko, Naruo and his man-child band mates struggle to figure out what they want and how to get it. After tragedy strikes one of their group, the band must find a way to keep the music playing.
While the story itself is not terribly extraordinary, this is a good example of a graphic novel being a proper, well constructed novel and not just a long form comic book. In keeping with the manga tradition, the book reads right to left, which can take a bit of getting used to. For anyone interested in trying graphic novels, this would be an good place to start.