Suppli, vol. 1
by Mari Okazaki
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)
(Other reviews: David Welsh; Katherine Dacey)