The two volume manga, What A Wonderful World!, by Inio Asano (who also did the excellent Solanin manga that Viz Media released earlier this year), arrived this week. What A Wonderful World! is made up of several short stories focusing on characters living and wondering about their current paths in life / relationships and their future. I'd say that people who enjoy the comic book voices of Adrian Tomine (Shortcomings, Summer Blonde) and Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Ice Haven) and the films of Wim Wender (Wings Of Desire, Land of Plenty), would be totally up for Inio Asano's reflective looks at everyday existence.
The central theme of Inio Asano's manga on display in What A Wonderful World! and Solanin, is that life has its high points and its low points, but mostly everyday life is a series of quiet events filled with a kind of sameness and the way a person comes to terms with that fact will determine how they're able to deal with living with that reality (this reality will be vastly different though of course if you're living a life of poverty or live in a part of the world in which the opportunities present in most free market / capitalist societies such as the United States aren't available).
A passage from volume two of What A Wonderful Life! that is at the core of Asano's creations:
"Maybe you and everyone else is right, and this world isn't all that wonderful. But just as familiar sights look different when seen from the sky... Just as even when it's raining, blue skies spread out above the clouds...Don't you think that the way you see the world can change depending on how you perceive it? Oh, what a wonderful world. Even if it's a lie, if you believe it...maybe you will feel happier than yesterday. Right?"
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