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Playing Favorites: SOLANIN

Quarter life crisis almost hits everybody at some of their lives.  Struggling between the passion built over dreams and the responsibilities imposed by the society today.  This struggles often leads us to question, “how do I start realizing the dreams I’ve always had”, “how do I live if I get out of this sucky job”, or “if I do these all on my own, would I ever make it through after?”.  Now if the questions asked above perfectly sounds like you then this manga-based Live Action is for you.

Solanin will always be my favorite.  It’s one of those animes that I didn’t really expect much from but have gotten more than what I’ve always had in mind.

The story started out with Meiko, a normal office girl that, if not for the adult PUB obligations, would have scrapped the job that makes her puke everytime.  The job does not simply cater the dreams she was serving when she was still in college, aside from the routine and the classic “live by the payday” drama, it also involves dealing with the stucked-up boss she sure wouldn’t want to end up as.  This part of the movie alone, makes me think of the current situation, we the new working generation is facing, excluding, of course, some of the lucky ones who just got it right from the start.

Parallel to that of Meiko’s story is the boyfriend’s, although I am not quite sure if parallel is the exact word but, Taneda, Meiko’s boyfriend has his own struggle with his work life.  He works as an illustrator, which most people would agree doesn’t pay much unless you are a prodigy or that you’ve endured the industry quite long, but since he is not both, he too struggles on keeping the job on a daily basis to help Meiko.  The story clearly states that Taneda is only alive when he meets up with his previous college band mates to continue the dream they’ve been keeping alive since the band started.

So the rest of the people are the band mates, Kato, your typical “I love college” with most sarcasm, the bassist.  He is one most interesting people in the plot and I think one of the academically relatable characters in the story there is.  Then there’s Kato’s girlfriend, Ai, the entrepreneur slash Meiko’s bestfriend, and, in my observation, the only one in the story that has a clearer of view of the future.  And as most anime’s would go “the heir”, Jiro, whose future is just no other way than to manage the small pharmacy his family owns.
This had been the normal way things since these people have gone past the college hype until one day things have been a bit too annoying to bear, routines began to set in, and dreams are surging to be done.  Now, this moment that I am referring to is simply one of those that, I think, everyone wants to have, the change, the courage, and the fragile optimist in that particular moment. 

Best Part:

So after such surge, Meiko decided to quit her sucky job, considering that she has enough savings to get her through to another job and that Taneda also promised to help her with his current job.  The twist, Taneda then decided that for him to make it big, he quits his current job to concentrate on making it as a band.  This is one of the best part, I am saying, because it’s one of the most realistic things that us, the quaterlife generation is experiencing now, although circumstances may vary a bit with the presence of parents, or brother and sister ATMs or whatever, it still spells out the same thing, it’s meeting the gap between dreams and reality, working hard for the dream you are not really sure to have.

Everything went along fine, except for the fact that the two main characters are running out of funds to keep life going, and as most couples would usually resort to when finances are a bit rocky, they accidentally felt a bit uncomfortable around each other.  So they went separate ways but after days, again, as most couples would resort to, they decided to patch things between them. 

The Best, Best Part (Spoiler Alert):

Unfortunately, since this is a Josei and a Slice of Life Material, not everyone is entitle to live until the end.  Before the reconciliation meeting ever happened, Taneda met an accident, which naturally changes everyone, not necessarily drastic but to each its own.  Just to explain myself again for the best, best part, I am a minor fan of people dying, so you can say why this anime caught my whole attention when it happened and that I was wishing for the thing to play faster for me to find out what will happen to 1. Meiko and 2. The Bandmates.   

So to Spoil it best, Meiko was of course, in a remorse and in a deep depression that the best person she can be with is gone right before forgiveness has been completed.  She locked herself in their flat and recalled, dissected everything she ever thought and felt starting when she quit her job.  The friends were trying to talk her out of every violent occurrences that she exhibited.  Everyday was a puzzle to her, until one day she decided that Taneda, will continue to exist if she makes that one connection that he has left- the guitar.

Thus, the best part of Solanin…

 Written by SM

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