Tokyo Tarareba Girls 1

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

In a lot of East Asian cultures, it a very serious expectation that women are to be married in life, with hard dates such as 25 or 30 as expectations for a woman to settle down, regardless of their current position in life. It’s something I’ve never really agreed with but Tokyo Tarareba Girls uses this cultural cornerstone to introduce you to Rinko and company, a group of 30+ old women living Tokyo who are yes, unmarried.

A lot of people who aren’t familiar with the culture over there might completely disagree or perhaps misunderstand the background for this book, as well as the impact that Tokyo winning the right to host the Olympics would have on women like Rinko and company. If you’re interested, I encourage you to understand and embrace the cultural differences, because once you get past that part, you’ll find a manga that is lighthearted and funny, with a lot of relatability if you’ve been in any situation the girls have.

Based on Akiko Higashimura’s previous works you can get an idea how the overall story arc is going to likely go, as her previous works such as Princess Jellyfish give us a similar story. A character who is commonly seen as the underdog rising to a place of security and happiness with the help of her friends and other, external influences. This first volume of course doesn’t go that far, but by the end you get the feeling about what might be happening. Overall, the artwork is well done, the story and characters are charming in their slightly exaggerated responses to the stressors of daily life. It shows off some unfortunate but sobering details about the workplace for a woman some might consider “past her prime” such as being overlooked for a position for a younger woman, or perhaps a person that does something slightly more underhanded to get the position.

It’s a dog eat dog out there, Tokyo is no different, if you’re interested in a slice of life focused on a slightly older group of people, it’s hard to go wrong with Tokyo Tarareba Girls volume 1.
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Realizo esta reseña honesta sobre Tarareba Girls gracias a Netgalley.♥

Aquí Karly! con mis comentarios sobre Tarareba Musume (titulo en japones)!
El manga trae los primeros 4 capítulos de una historia sumamente divertida y con personajes muy épicos.
Tal vez si eres del tipo de chica que esta en contra del sistema en cuanto la imagen de como una mujer debe ser, esta historia es para ti.
Este tomo comienza con la historia de Rinko una chica de ya esta entrada en los 30 y sufre bastante por sentirse "ya grande" y su frustración de no haberse casado aun. Así que entre anécdotas de trabajo, escuela y amistad, nos va introduciendo al mundo de las soltería en japón junto con sus amigas, en una de esas un chico apuesto/rubio se queja sobre ella y sus amigas y les comenta la razón de su soltería, a lo cual ellas comienzan con su propósito de conseguir marido.
Me gusto bastante, las protagonistas son reales, sensibles y muy chistosas, lo seguiré leyendo por que también quiero ver el dorama y ver que tal adaptaron el manga..

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"I spent all my time wondering 'what if,' then one day I woke up and I was 33." She's not that bad-looking, but before she knew it, Rinko was thirty-something and single. She wants to be married by the time the Tokyo Olympics roll around in six years, but...that might be easier said than done! The new series by Akiko Higashimura erupts with sharp opinions on girls and tons of laughs!!

Tokyo Tarareba Girls is from the same creator as Princess Jellyfish, and follows Rinko, a 33 year old writer for web series, as she and her two best friends resolve to get married before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Not that they have partners in mind at all – they're just going find a husband somewhere. From there, it spins out to show all of the ways that these three women struggle with dating despite their otherwise successful lives, and show the way that as Rinko's personal and professional lives spin out of control, she clings even tighter to her goal of getting married. 

I realised slightly too late what my mistake was with Tokyo Tarareba Girls: I am too ace and too suspicious of marriage as an institution to make a good audience for a story about desperately wanting to get married. Especially the sort of desperation that the three main characters show here – they want to be married, and don't much care about who they get married to, so I was periodically squinting at this book like "... I don't understand why you're not happy with your wonderful friends and the job that you're proud of." I assumed that it was different cultural pressures, and my confusion is just my repeatedly forgetting that specific context – look at all of the infrastructure the women find specifically for finding husbands  – but sometimes it feels cruel in its treatment of the main characters.

The depiction of the what-ifs and maybes that plague the three of them is very solid, albeit usually and ridiculously represented by drink-induced hallucinations of food (no, I don't understand why, even though the notes explain the pun) and Rinko's arguments with herself about what she wants feels very familiar. The scene where she tells herself that if she'd wasted less time hanging out with her friends, she'd probably be married by now felt guility familiar; as someone whose anxiety has also pointed out that time spent hanging out with friends is NOT TIME SPENT PRODUCTIVELY IN THE FACE OF CAPITALISM (... so my concerns are SLIGHTLY different to Rinko's), I can relate. But her friendships are really good – she and her friends are believably different from each other, and their raucous plans with each other makes me happy! I'm just disappointed that the series seems focused on making their friendship and active lives seem like a bad thing? I would definitely recommend reading 's assessment of it, especially because she points out that in the serialised run of Tokyo Tarareba Girls, the artist/magazine editors had the gleefully doomsaying bar snacks ragging on actual readers who wrote in for advice.

I think that the other part of my problem is that a lot of the humour is based on Rinko's embarrassment, or on people doing exaggeratedly absurd things (like proposing to someone that you met for MAYBE FIVE SECONDS) and that isn't funny to me. I have an embarrassment squick, and while there are ways to tell stories about stumbling back into the dating scene and disasters cascading, Tokyo Tarareba Girls doesn't manage it. Especially because the main male character... Ugggggggh. Every scene he's in, he undermines Rinko's job and social life, and it struck me as unnecessarily cruel. I could see why they clashed, but I just wasn't emotionally invested beyond "Can the two of you please just stop?" ... Also don't get me started on the ending of this volume, because I was NOT expecting that. Or I was, but not how it went down, not at the end of the first volume, and I was holding out hope that it wouldn't.

Basically, Tokyo Tarareba Girls is genuinely not for me. The art is good, as you might expect from the creator of Princess Jellyfish, but I won't be reading on.

[This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley.]

Edited 02/05/19 to fix broken links and correct 's pronouns.
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A manga for the slightly "older" woman - at least by the way the book itself defines older. The three main characters are all 33 years old, which for them, means they are now over the hill and their prospects for marriage are extremely limited. They spend most nights getting super drunk at the local pub and complaining about life until a young male model calls them out and makes them feel bad about their life choices. 
As they try to figure out how to get married before the 2020 Olympics, we see the sad duality of their lives - they are great women, beautiful. with great jobs and their own money, but they feel their lives have been a waste because their society tells them they should have been married with kids 10 years or more ago.
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Tokyo Tarareba Girls is a funny, charming, and surprisingly poignant story about the expectations Japanese society puts on women to get married, drawn from the author's own experiences and her observations of her friends.

Through the misadventures—romantic and otherwise—of a group of mid-thirties single women who are desperate to avoid being seen as spinsters, Tokyo Tarareba Girls puts a spotlight on the absurdity of those expectations. Crucially, it does so without ever getting judgmental. The characters court "desperate single woman" stereotypes but without ever being reduced to just those stereotypes, and they're rarely the butt of the joke. 

Rinko Kamata is the heart and soul of the book. She's fierce, driven, and kind, but also prone to self-doubt and daydreaming about what could have been (this is where the title comes from—"tarareba" meaning, roughly, "what if?"). Her eccentric best friends bring plenty of humour into the mix, as does her endless feud with a handsome but particularly rude young male model...
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Rinko may be 33 years old but she's still a girl at heart. With dreams of finding the one, she grows dishearten when she realizes she hasn't found anyone up until now. The proverbial clock is ticking and she thinks she may have to settle or (bit of an exaggeration) die alone.

Higashimura includes clever details into her characters. Rinko is portrayed in the opening pages with rhinestone nails that she spent $300 as a birthday present to herself. Her phone case is decorated in bows. She boasts her greatest weapon is her bank account. This shows Rinko as a functional adult with certain playful hobbies she can afford. She dedicated her life to a career in writing and has started a small business writing scripts. However, it's pointed out that her stories are grown up versions of the shoujo genre (stories aimed at young girls). Her protagonists are 40 something women who can't decide between the handsome CEO or the cute barista. In a way, she hasn't really given up on the idea of being in love instead of simply being loved. 

The jokes are funny and I attribute it to the translation. The facial expressions and character interactions deliver emotion. I ultimately like the female friendships. The trope of all women only talking about men is fleshed out and subverted. What they actually talk about are themselves in relation to men and in a setting that isn't expected like getting wasted on a weekday. Why do they care about getting married and not so much who they're getting married to? Does love have an expiration date? Can you not lure in men with your fat bank account?

Rinko's drunken hallucinations are also hilarious, well, not the alcoholism part but since she's functioning at work and manages to keep her bank account fat then what can I say to some fun times? 

And holy shit, what just happened. My heart, this is not a shoujo, repeat not a shoujo. Now I understand why people like those cheesy dramas where Olivia Pope sleeps with the president or Annalise Keating having affairs with detectives. I wanted the romance to happen but I was not ready for "that" to happen. This is not supposed to be cutesy romance where dreams come true. I was expecting an independent woman and here I get a "really" independent woman climbing the corporate ladder! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!! 

I recommend this series if you like reading about falling in love and don't want to wait 100 chapters for the characters to decide to hold hands.
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Adorable, thoroughly enjoyed this! Different from my usual read but loved it, will definitely broaden my reading choices
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I enjoyed reading this. While not really my genre, I did enjoy the characters and story in this one.
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quite enjoyable, it gives an insight about what women of nowdays might think and have in mind.

Nice artwork, bittersweet plot in some points, interesting to read and very easy!
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I went into this Manga thinking it was going to be funny and a little tongue in cheek. While it did not disappoint, I could not help but feel a little annoyed by the characters. Tokyo Tarareba Girls by Akiko Higashimura attempts to delve into the issues of what women need to do in order to feel accomplished.
The setting is in Japan and follows the lives of 3 women in their 30s and somewhat having an early mid-life crisis. What annoyed me to some degree was that they thought they were too old and being married was their primary goal and that they had failed. Now, I'm not sure if Japanese culture promotes these kinds of goals and/or feelings in its women, but I can tell you that I could not help feel a little offended. However, I do believe that the author is taking these cultural beliefs and kind of making fun of them.

Once I got past that, I did find myself enjoying the overall story of Rinka and her pals. A little melodramatic, Rinka needs girls night out every time something disagreeable happens to her. While she and her friends drink their problems away, temporarily. In one of these drunken parties, she vows to get married by the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The fact that she finds herself being replaced by younger women at work further facilitates her fear of plateauing at a young age.

The intriguing part of this is her relationship with a younger man who tells her at face value her delusions and that she should act her age. I loved that he was upfront with her. Although, this creates some tension and makes her "hate" him. Frankly, Rinka knows she's attracted to him but needs to keep her pride.

Since there are more volumes in this series, I know that there will be more chances for character growth. I do find myself invested in the story even with the few issues that I had with it.

The art was fun but it was in black in white. I wouldn't expect any Kawaii type of art in this Manga, it's a little bit more serious.
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With the end of the beloved, Princess Jellyfish, many people were waiting to see what this author would publish next. Well, we now have another delightful manga to add to our collections. Tokyo Tarareba Girls is similar to Princess Jellyfish in that it is another example that manga is not just for children and youths. The characters are relatable, and adorable. The artistic style is beautiful and unique. If you are an adult, looking for a manga tailored to the issues that adults sometimes face, look no further than this manga.
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I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I didn’t really like this book.
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There was too much going on in this for me to keep interest and follow along. Especially with all the complaining the characters do about their love lives and about being in their 30's. I'd like to think that my life won't go down hill once I hit my 30's... but with the bleak outlook this book presented it contributes to the opposite. Some of what Rinko, the main character, reflects on is interesting... like how she believed that if she put in good work that she'd get ahead, but was then overlooked for a job because of someone younger than her who was sleeping with the producer. Her close bonds with her friends is also refreshing. I'm interested enough to read the next volume, but we'll see where it goes from there.
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I did like this basing it off the fact that the plot is a bit different than most popular manga, and that the main character is a lot older than the norm. The story was funny and did have it's emotional moments! Some that I feel could be very relatable especially in terms of being stuck with your life and career.

My main problem with it was that I felt a lot of the same situations kept repeating themselves over and over again in each chapter. This made it a bit too predictable and kind of boring after a while, since you could kind of guess what Rinko would do after being faced with a new problem in her life. Things do change up a bit in the final chapter of this first volume, leaving you with a cliffhanger that does make me want to read the other volumes just to see how everything turns out.

I also did appreciate the author adding bonus content with a disclaimer to explain she doesn't feel like all women need is a husband to fulfill their lives. That this is at the end of the day something that was inspired by some friends in her own life. Although a lot of people may find issue with the main character's obsession with finding the right man, I am hoping to see a bit of character growth later on in the series.
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I loved Tokyo Tarareba Girls volume 1 and I can't wait for more!  The characters are great and the plot is hilarious (if sometimes a bit insulting towards women).  4/5 stars.
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Enjoyable beginning to a story about single middle aged women with careers. It was a very enjoyable read with the cliffhanger sure to get readers to continue with the series. Like many manga, it does sometimes feel like the same scenario repeating itself but the humor within it makes up for that. The audience for manga in the US tends to be teens so in a library setting it may not get as much attention as other items.
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Tokyo Tarareba Girls follows the life of Rinko, a successful woman in her career. She quickly finds out that the only part of her live that she has not been successful in is her love life.  A manga with so many twists from the beginning, showing that comedy can be clean and good at the same time.  

You can see more of my thoughts here:
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It's comics like this that make me wish I was in charge of ordering the adult graphic novels for my library and not just the children's and teens. I found myself laughing out loud so much while reading volume 1 of Tokyo Tarereba Girls because it is beyond relatable to its target demogaphic. I do think that the lack of translating the title is to the series' detriment; Tokyo What-If Girls sounds just fine and makes more sense than leaving it in Japanese. I will do everything in my power to get our adult services staff purchase this for our collection (and I can't wait to read more of the series!).
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I have mixed feelings about "Tokyo Tarareba Girls". 🤦

1. It's a slow-burn.
Things didn't get interesting until the last few pages of the first act. It sets the stage for how the other acts play out, which I don't consider to be a good thing for such a story. It took the entire volume to reach what I presume to be the intended plot of the series—which I can't share because spoiler—and while I understand that series need to build the world and set a precedent for subsequent works, I kept wanting this to just be over.

And then it was over.

And now, if I want to even see the real plot, or whatever, I have to get volume two. I guess I just feel a bit cheated.

2. I don't feel the "ticking clock" dilemma.
When I was pressured into believing that my sole purpose in life was to be a breeder for a man, sure—I felt that "ticking clock" ish. But now, I've stopped caring about that, because I realized I only felt that way based on what other people believed. I don't actually feel this way, and I never have. I just...went along with it, like a sheep.

The "ticking clock" worry is the plot of this first novel. In the afterword, the author explains that she doesn't have this worry and was inspired by her friends' comments about their need to find a husband because they wanted to get married and have kids already, the announcement that Tokyo would be hosting the 2020 Olympics spurring shock and such comments as those portrayed in "Tokyo Tarareba Girls".

Still, this annoyed me to the extreme the entire time.

3. Rinko really annoys me.
I don't like her. I think she's shallow and whines too much. I think she's a 33-year-old who expected to have things handed to her all her life. I despised reading her to bits and pieces. Only at the end of the fourth (last) act did I find myself being okay with her. She redeemed herself a bit, after all.

4. "What if! What if!"
When she gets drunk, Rinko's food talks to her and says, "What if! What if!" this and that, and the first time it was funny. But then it happened again...and again...and again...and again. And I was over it.

I would have loved to see more development, even if this is just the pilot volume of the manga. The illustrations are unlike ones I've ever ever seen in a manga. As far as the josei genre, I read some translated Chinese webtoons—fan translations, though they've been authorized by the author to count as "official English" translations, so I'm not sure what to call them? Point is, it's not a lot, so I don't know if this is typical for the genre.

At this point, the sequel volume isn't calling me. I could go without reading it and not feel a loss. I don't have the same itch I do with "Wotakoi" to keep on with the series. It disappoints me, because I think the premise of the series overall, where the end of this first volume, is heading has potential. The twist with a particular character was predictable, but I'm interested in watching the relationship develop further.

I just don't know if I will, because—again—there is no need/urgency/itch/whatever to continue on. For this reason, I give "Tokyo Tarareba Girls" 3/5 stars.
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An interesting look at the lives of 3 thirty somethings that have a mid life crisis. The Main character feels unwanted and in a downward spiral of life because she has spent most of her life commenting about others and working instead of actively pursuing marriage/a romantic connection.   As an almost thirty something I really related with the characters and wanted to know more about how they were going to change their lives for the better. So far in this first installment there wasn't must progress but at the end I was curious to know more. Give this title a chance and it may surprise you.
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