Solanin 0: a retro-intro-extra-special-spective

Solanin is a level 10 bag vendor in the blood elf starting zone, and I’ll be starting a fanfic about his relationship with his on/off girlfriend Silanna.


Silanna was looking for a bag and she bought one from Solanin.

Continued in chapter 2…

Solanin introduced me to Inio Asano, mangaka extraordinaire and champion of all mid-20s Japanese people. His works deal with the quarter-life crisis, focusing on characters’ transition to adulthood and how they shoulder new responsibilities (though some of his stuff is weird shit). Solanin in particular asks the reader: “what does it mean to be happy?” without giving any clear answer. When I read Solanin, I was nearing the end of high school, at least 4-5 years younger than Asano’s target audience. I thought it could be a Bible of sorts for older people, or even for the future me.

Now, six years later, I’m as old as the characters in Solanin and at the same stage of life as them. I’ve read this book many times, but I figured it’s time to sit down and really think about why I like Solanin, and about what lessons it could teach me. And so, I’ve decided to stuff some short posts into this dead blog, much less for anybody reading this than for me. Still, I hope that both you and I can get something out of my favorite manga.

It’s going to be impossible to understand any of these posts without actually reading Solanin. However, the VIZ media translation is far, far, far superior to whatever is online. In looking for pictures from chapter 1, I read some scanlation. In the first chapter alone, they spelled Taneda’s first name wrong (Naruo –> Shigeo; kanji is hard, but still…), translated “is he an idiot?” into “are you an idiot?”, and wrote “cohabiting” (while VIZ printed “living with your boyfriend”). Who even says that? I know what cohabiting means, but it sounds so stupid in such a casual conversation. Basically: buy the book. It’s something like $15 on Amazon, but well worth it, especially if you’ve read only scans online.

Related: Differences in Translating Eyeshield 21: Viz Media vs. Amateur Scanlations.

P.S.: Browsing MAL, I found that Oyasumi Punpun has somehow clawed its way up to #4 top rated manga. What a time to be alive.

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