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Suppli, Volume 1 by Okazaki Mari

Suppli, Volume 1

by Okazaki Mari

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A series that was highly recommended by a couple of manga review sites, Suppli so far has been a disappointment with volume 1. It seems to have all the charm of a primetime office soapopera, minus all the drama. This volume has been somewhat of a slog to go through, as the focus of this volume is of our 27 year old protagonist, Minami Fujii, going through a mid-life crisis. She's 27, but she's still unmarried; she has a boyfriend, but she's having doubts; she has a job, but it's been all stress and little satisfaction. These types of stories have been done before, but Suppli seems to have a difficult time effectively balancing these plot points with any rhyme or reason. One moment, it's an office story about the advertising industry, but then later it switches gears into a romance.

Granted, real life is messy and confusing, and that's what the author seems to be channeling. But usually in such cases, there's at least a compelling character for us to follow. Without such, the story would be no better than following a stranger to work and hear her or him just mope and complain about life.

Considering that this is the beginning of an 11 volume series, my hopes are that this is all due to the necessity of having to introduce all the characters, and that the story will start to pick up later. ( )
  timothyl33 | Jan 29, 2011 |
I bought from somebody on LJ purely because it was josei (manga for young women rather than girls) and you don't really get a lot of josei in the shops. It was pretty good and it was so refreshing to read a romance manga that wasn't set in high school, for a change. The art style is really pretty, and I loved the look of the main character. She's a stylish graphic designer, who wears glasses from time to time and has a realistically curvy adult figure -- two things I like to see in manga, where usually only nerds wear glasses and girls tend to have tiny childlike figures, occasionally with disproportionate boobs. The story is a rather glamorized look at what it's like being a young career woman, but it does focus on some interesting and realistic topics -- balancing work with socialising, and the relationships between female co-workers. I'm looking forward to reading more of this.
  curiositykate | May 22, 2009 |
Twenty-seven-year-old Minami is unhappy in life. Her relationship with her boyfriend of seven years is stagnating and she barely sees him due to her job. But her job at an advertising agency is unsatisfying; Minami wants to create exciting, unconventional ads, while the clients just want the same, safe advertising. By the end of the first chapter (and I don't think I'm giving away anything here) Minami's boyfriend dumps her and her life starts spinning out of control. Luckily for Minami she's a plucky manga heroine, so despite numerous setbacks she starts to live life again.

Suppli is another josei manga, intended for an audience of young professional women. I can't say that the story grabbed me, though that may differ for you if you're part of the target audience. Certainly it's refreshing to see a manga targeted at women where the protagonist has interests other than finding a man; one feels that Minami's professional challenges are as important to her as her romantic ones, perhaps even moreso.

The best part of Suppli is Okazaki's art, which features inky lines that never overwhelm, excellent character design, and a strong sense of graphics and storytelling. While the story may not have held my complete interest throughout, I continued to go through the volume to enjoy the artwork. I pre-ordered this book based solely on the cover, figuring if the art inside was half as good then it would be worth it; happily the interior lives up.

So a mild recommendation to at least pick the book up and look through it; give it a chance to see if the story appeals to you.

Rating: 3 (of 5) ( )
  davidscarter | Mar 29, 2009 |
Volume 1 of Suppli centers around Minami, an unmarried woman in her late 20's who works a demanding office job for an advertising company and has been with the same man since college. When he suddenly leaves her, she must learn to cope with loneliness and an unfamiliar social landscape as she tries to balance the many tasks of her daily life with her fears of becoming an old maid.

The art was fairly nice in this volume, and the plot was developed well enough to help overcome the enjoyment-obstacle of those few confusing panels. I related to Minami; she seemed realistically beset by worry but not to an annoying degree, and she had a streak of confidence that came out just often enough to have the reader cheering for her. It's a solidly josei work, lacking the sometimes-distancing idealism and frustrating perkiness of shoujo romances.

All in all, Volume 1 of Suppli is a lovely beginning to what I hope will evolve into an even more engrossing storyline. ( )
2 vote Allama | Feb 5, 2008 |
I picked this up after a brief review that basically said 'it's josei and it's good' which is pretty much all I needed. I've been looking for a good josei fix and I was more than happy to try this out.

I'm very glad that I did, because this has everything I've been wanting in a romance manga. It's got emotional relationships that I can, well, relate to, along with the dilemmas of balancing your work identity, your personal identity and how to fit a relationship into that mix. All of it rings true and is much more in line with my experiences than the idealism of shoujo. If you're looking for a good romance that fits in with adult experience rather than teenage dreams, this is the book to pick up. ( )
  mscongeniality | Dec 30, 2007 |
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