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December 24, 2010

Bento Bako Bonus: I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow vol. 2

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Written by: Kristin
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Title: I’ll Give it My All…Tomorrow
Author: Shunju Aono
Publisher: Viz Media (Sig IKKI)
Volume: Volume 2 (ongoing), $12.99
Vintage: 2007 by Shogakukan in Japan, December 21, 2010 by Viz Media
Genre: Seinen, drama, slice-of-life

See my review of volume 1 here.

When he hit his 40s, Shizuo Oguro quit his job as a salary man and decided to become a manga artist. Calling it a mid-life crisis would not be inappropriate. Shizuo came to the conclusion that he wanted to follow a different path, though he did not know what that path would be until he seemingly randomly chose the path of a manga artist. Unfortunately Shizuo lacks the discipline and training required for such a job, and as he struggles to find the right subject matter for his first story, he faces rejection after rejection from his editor, disrespect from his younger co-workers at the fast food place he now works at, and constant berating from his father whom he and his daughter live with. Shizuo is fairly pathetic for a man his age, lying around the house watching TV and playing video games, borrowing money from his daughter, and pretty much living his life aimlessly. A former co-worker, the 26-year-old Shuichi, becomes his friend, and often visits with Shizuo’s father, sharing his troubles and getting advice.

In volume 2, Shizuo continues his quest to get published. And continues to get rejected. He begins with a semi-autobiographical story, hoping that injecting more of himself into the story will impress his editor. Well, an exaggerated, romanticized version of himself, that’s a bit better than his real life full of failure. Rejected. When he meets an attractive female editor for the same company, he is inspired to write a love story. Rejected…twice! Once by his editor, and once by the female editor when he tries to ask her out. Meanwhile, Shuichi is having his own problems. Fed up with the way the veteran workers at the hostess club he works at treat a much older new employee, Shuichi reaches a breaking point and gets into a fist fight with his co-workers, and he quits his job (or more likely was fired). Shizuo, who got into an argument with his father, has moved in with him. Shizuo isn’t exactly the best role model, but at least he keeps pressing forward. When Shuichi asks him if he likes himself, Shizuo gives a round about answer, but encourages Shuichi to believe in himself. Shuichi also gets an awkward pep talk from Shizuo’s father, and we’re treated to a flash back of the old man’s own struggles in life as he raised Shizuo. Father and son turn out to be more alike than either would probably care to admit. The pep talk ends with a reminder that it’s OK to be pathetic for a while, because no one is really totally fine. The volume wraps up with two chapters about Shuichi’s past and his relationship with his step-father and little sister , Yukako. Yukako is another lost soul, searching for her place in life, still wandering without purpose after the death of her father.

I’m trying to find the merit in this one, and there’s some there, but it’s buried under the mound of patheticness that is Shizuo. Besides, I’m far more interested in Shuichi. He got some good page time this issue, and I hope he gets more in the future. Sorry, I don’t have much to say about this one. The themes remain consistent from the first volume, so I’d really just be regurgitating from my previous review. We see a lot more of the underlying causes for the behavior of many of the characters this time around. The deaths of loved ones had an enormous impact on their lives. We also see that Shizuo and his father actually have quite a bit in common. Their lives almost mirror each other, so perhaps the father’s pushy comments are meant to whip his son into shape so Shizuo doesn’t end up like him. They’re all lost, they’re all struggling to find their place in the world, and none of them are really excelling at this. There’s a colossal amount of failure in the story, yet the characters still push forward, so hopefully at some point someone will find what they’re looking for. It’s just a mater of how many volumes it’s going to take.

By the way, if you’re looking for something with a Christmas flair this Christmas Eve day, might I suggest Charles’s look at Christmas in anime over at Beneath the Tangles. Charles is part of a group of ani-bloggers doing a theme of blogs called the Twelve Days of Christmas Anime. I hope he writes about one of my favorite Christmas scenes, from Chrono Crusade.


Review copy provided by Viz Media.



  1. […] Pattillo on vol. 11 of Ghost Hunt (ANN) Shannon Fay on vol. 6 of Honey Hunt (Kuriousity) Kristin on vol. 2 of I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Comic Attack) Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 9 of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (Comics […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristin Bomba, Kristin Bomba. Kristin Bomba said: New #manga review I'll Give It My All…Tomorrow from @Viz_Media https://comicattack.net/2010/12/bbbgiveitmyall2/ […]

  3. Jade

    This volume wasn’t as wacky and the patheticness got pretty drudging, but there was a lot of story and character development going on especially with the side characters. I’m really interested to see the box eventually open up on the daughter and her absent mother. I’d recommend that people who don’t like the book because they find Shizuo distasteful give this one a chance too.

    On a side note, he’s pretty lacking in the bishie cutie department, but do you think a character like Shuichi has some fujoshi appeal?

  4. Kristin

    Shuichi’s kind of cute. The series’ artwork doesn’t really lend itself to gorgeously drawn men, but I’m drawn to his struggle far more than Shizuo’s. I see Shuichi really trying his best but feeling himself incapable. He has a startling lack of confidence. Shizuo seems like he’s just playing around and doesn’t really take anything seriously.
    Given the focus on Shuichi in this volume, I enjoyed it more than the first. But Shizuo is ~really~ hard to like.

  5. Jade

    I think a lot of the people that pan Shizuo without reading the book don’t realise that the story isn’t all that sympathetic to him or if it is, he’s still the butt of the joke. Even if you despise the character, you can still enjoy the book. In a lot of ways the story is an honest indictment of that attitude.

    What’s interesting to me about Shuichi is how he seems to be that emotionally distant dream boy done right. A guy like Edward Cullen is just a selfish brat who supposedly needs a self-insert to diffuse his destructive side with a bait and switch game of sex/love. Shuichi feels trapped in a world where you have to shut down your emotions in order to survive, but he can’t help feeling those emotions and being driven by compassion. He’s a lot like Shizuo that way, BUT he has enough humility to make a sincere effort and to put others before himself.

    I’d actually really like to see him get his shit somewhat together and hook up with Shizuo’s daughter. Have you also noticed any sparks between them?

  6. Kristin

    Ah, that’s some good insight! And I basically agree. Shizuo is often the butt of the joke. The story is very good at painting him as a loser, but it’s all sort of a very long running joke.

    Shuichi and Shizuo’s daughter? Aw, that would be cute. I think they would be good for each other. I don’t know that I really noticed any sparks flying, but given the amount of time he spends at their house, I could see it happening. He’s a bit old for her, though. Isn’t he about 26? She’s…17, 18? Eh, I guess that’s not too bad.

  7. Jade

    I think there are a couple hints showing they’re attracted to each other. I don’t think they realise how the other feels though. I think she’s 18 now…it’s kind of a big age difference, but she’s really mature and he’s kind of immature. She’s shown herself to not be the type of person to let herself get dragged down by a loser, haha. I think she’d be good for him, but he’d have to take some real steps forward on his own first. He’s probably her type too since he’s a lot like the grandpa and she spends a lot of time just hanging out with grandpa.

    Shizuo would prolly take it pretty badly though, he sees Shuichi as a surrogate son or a younger version of himself so it would come across as incestuous to him and he’d get crabby. Now I really want to see them get together, hahaha.

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