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Tokyo Tarareba Girls, Vol. 1

(Tokyo Tarareba Girls #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  837 ratings  ·  159 reviews
"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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 178 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Kodansha Comics Digital-First! (first published September 12th 2014)
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[Shai] Bibliophage
Tarareba means "what if" in Japan which is also what the young and handsome guy Key named the trio of Rinko, Kaori, and Koyuki, who are friends since they were in high school. These ladies always enjoy a girls' night out at Koyuki's restaurant and their current dilemma is to be able to get married before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Tokyo Tarareba Vol. 1 by Akiko Higashimura
Countries like South Korea and Japan is reportedly has a decline in the number of women who are getting married due to lack of housing and employment. I even saw
David Schaafsma
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga, gn-women
Just sampling some manga series here, but this one is fun, a kind of Bridget Jones' Diary or Sex in the City (two media events I only know about, never saw or read) in Tokyo. I know, I know it's 2019 and it's #metoo and feminism has taken yet another new turn, but this one focuses on Rinko at 33, working in an office and drinking most nights, suddenly realizing she is not married. At 23 she turned down an offer from a kind of disheveled guy, and came to regret it as he still works in her office ...more
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
My thanks to NetGalley for a review copy of this one.

This was my very first manga read. I have watched some of the animated versions of course, Fushigi Yuugi (Curious Play), Nodame Cantabile, Emma, and Yatitake Japan, among them but had never really read any. So when I saw this on NetGalley, and the cover looked like fun, and the theme/plot something that could be interesting, I decided to give it a shot.

This is the first volume of the Manga, and the author is known for her other series, Princes
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Wow, this was just so shitty that I wish I hadn't laid my eyes on it. I adore Akiko Higashimura's other manga: Princess Jellyfish (I should really get the rest of the volumes as I am super behind). I was kind of hoping that this one would be just as fun, just as wow. I was delighted when I spotted it on Netgalley as I have been hoping to read it for some time now.

Sorry if this review is a bit chaotic, I am really raging and fumi
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book, while very good, was also very depressing. I want to read the rest, if only with the hope that the ending is a positive one for the three friends who are no longer in their 20s. I was under the impression that women in Japan were more career than marriage oriented, however this manga is based off of the author's experiences with her own friends, so I guess I was mistaken in my beliefs.

I really enjoy taking a peek at the lives of others in cultures and locals different from my own. I
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best new series of 2018. (Yes, I know it was already released digitally. I don't read manga digitally SO THERE.)
Rod Brown
Well this book is problematic. I enjoyed the hell out of it while reading it, but it really is a setback for 1) feminism, with the main characters considering themselves failures for not being married and taking desperate measures to fix the situation, and 2) the #metoo movement, with two women consenting(?) to sexual relations with men in more powerful positions to further their careers. It is set in 2014, but feels like the '50s.

The author seemed to acknowledge some of this in her afterword, a
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I stopped reading shoujo manga a long time ago, save for a few titles that do not focus on high school romance (ex: Natsume's Book of Friends, Kaze Hikaru, etc.) Nowadays, I go for josei, which... is a bit of a weird genre. It encompasses whatever you graduate to after shoujo (read: young girl) manga. Yes, that means some of it is Fifty Shades of Grey stuff, and some of it is just better written stories with adult protagonists aimed at an older audience. In case you're wondering, this manga fall ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, japan, fiction
This is too much like a cliched Japanese TV drama, if I was enough of a masochist, I could even dig up titles. I can pass on angsty women deciding they must bow to social convention and get married.

Princess Jellyfish, Tome 1 is much funnier and has a better premise.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Not quite as resonating with me as Princess Jellyfish, but still funny and heartfelt in that Higashimura style.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I don't know how I could enjoy this. The main character is constantly scolded (even by drunken hallucinations) for her horrible mistake of not getting a man earlier and the whole 'no happiness without a man' thing is just miserable. Oh, they should have just gotten married when they were young, even if they weren't in love or the guys they were dating were awful, just so they wouldn't be siiiiiingle -- barf. And I'm not someone who hates on romance -- I love romantic manga! But this just made me ...more
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've heard about Akiko Higashimura before and I always wanted to check out one or more of her works.

And Tokyo Tarareba Girls was the perfect choice for me because I'm in my 30s and this manga is about some 30 something women who have to deal with the fact they are becoming "too old" to get married. But it's so much more than that. It's a very funny and text-heavy slice of life type of manhwa and Akiko Higashimura knows how to tell stories and write not only female but also male characters.

~Cyanide Latte~
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ~Cyanide Latte~ by: Shala
Oof. Oof. I've no other words for this right now that adequately sum up the impact of this manga but OOF. I don't even know if I can comment on the comedic aspects of this right now because there's just that much emotional impact from the OOF.
Alexis U
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I actually started this some time ago and stopped after a few pages. Picked it back up during a flight and... wow. This is a very heartfelt story about women-in-their-thirties who are realizing that their careers aren't going anywhere, they still aren't married, and they've spent the last ten years of their lives watching life go by from the sidelines and mocking everyone who actually participated. It hit very close to a lot of my own insecurities, though I'm only almost-23 (where I live, everyo ...more
Derek Royal
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting new (for English speakers) manga title, focusing on young women in their early to mid-30s, and the challenges facing them not only in terms of relationships, but also with their careers. There seems to be some tension between the story proper in this first volume and the "bonus comic" that ends the book. In the latter, Hagashimura expresses her rejection of any thoughts that a woman's worth should be wrapped up in men and marriage (and youth). However, the storyline in this first ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
"Tarareba" in the title is a Japanese pun that is either "What if?" or a portmanteau of a couple of pub snacks. Main character Rinko is berated by cartoony versions of these pub snacks as she not-very-successfully negotiates the post-30 dating scene in Omotesando, the Tokyo borough where the Olympics was held in 1968.

It's so refreshing to read a story that doesn't just assume everybody on earth is age 25 or below. Even though this fails hard at the Bechdel test, the narrative is self-aware, and
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Didn't enjoy the subject matter of this one quite as much as Princess Jellyfish. Too much emphasis on the worth of women as defined by men and marriage- couldn't relate. May read more to see where this goes.
Arkham Reviews
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-comics
Just a quick warning - this is a very different manga to Princess Jellyfish. Don't go into this expecting more of the same, as it does have an incredibly different feel.

While I do have some reservations towards where this series is heading, I found this first instalment to contain a nice mixture of humorous and moving scenes. It was also more than a little depressing. Tarareba is a play on words, referencing the kinds of women who sit around and gossip, "what if-ing" their lives away. The treatm
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: digital-manga
I didn't like most of this volume but the ending really surprised me. The ending is the only reason why I'm not rating it lower. I didn't like any of the characters. If I'm going to listen to middle aged women complaining I would prefer to watch Sex in the City than read this.
Supermomochan (PeachyFishyBooks)
3.5 while it was good and slightly relatable, there was a lot of talking. Like...lots of talking. Which is probably just a personal thing. Haha Will continue though!
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Higashimura has an addictive style and energy. It's refreshing to see a story focused on three single women their early thirties and the life challenges they face.

Unfortunately hard-hitting scenes of what it feels like to maybe have missed your chance at a love and marriage are juxtaposed with plot-contrivancey scenes that demand no one behave like a reasonable human being.

For example: If a new employee showed up at your workplace and called your friend an incompetent hack to her face, what wo
May 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: romance, manga
I cannot believe how little I liked this book. It's not because I disagree with the heroine's world-view (you must get a husband to be happy), although I do, but because the story did nothing to make me understand why she thought that. She's successful in her career, and yes, she's been driving herself crazy anxiously remembering past romantic screw-ups, but none of that seems like any reason to make herself so unhappy. When things start going sideways for her, instead of looking at what might a ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
I liked it ok. I wanted to like it a lot more. The characters' obsession with finding a man was grating. There was some funny and art was good. I'll read the next one bc I adore the creator. The end notes from her did ameliorate some if my grumpiness at the story.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
That ending though!
Warnings: dubious consent

Tokyo Tarareba Girls gives you the Hollywood rom-com feel, and is about a trio of 30-something women lamenting the lack of romantic prospects in their age. It was also a difficult one for me to review, and even after a day of thinking over it, I don't know how I really feel about it. So, I give it 3 stars, not because I don't think it is good, but solely because it is holding that middle-ground in my head, where I am not sure whether I like it or not, and this review wil
Aleen ~Lampshade Reader
Originally posted on

Received a review copy from NetGalley.

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
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, adult
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

3.5 stars

Rinko and her friends are 30 something-year-olds who have realized that life has passed them by. They struggle with work and relationships all while wondering "what if?" What if they had just married that guy in college or had kept dating the plain coworker? They spend nights drinking complaining instead of doing something about it. They finally get a wake-up call from a stranger in the pub they frequent and have to decide how they're going
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rinko, an early 30-something Japanese screenwriter for webseries, vows to marry by the time the Tokyo 2020 Olympics roll around. She regularly meets up with her best friends, also bemoaning their singledom, to gab over drinks and snacks. Akiko Higashimura paints a thoughtful and humorous picture of women who agonize over romance versus financial practicality. Around them, society and talking snack foods (alcohol-induced in Rinko's mind) poke at them for remaining single. However, despite her dis ...more
Lillia (pages-and-petals)
I am... Conflicted.

I want to preface this review by saying I'm an idiot and I was like 'Ooooh a 13 Going on 30 vibe so cool!'. No, it's not that at all. This is more of a 'women determining their self worth by how successful their relationships with men have been', which is...kinda disappointing and icky. I would hate to think that some younger people reading this normalize this kind of behaviour. While I understand it's stated in jest at a situation the author encountered in her personal life,
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it's a shame that so many books get dinged because a female character is "unlikeable," meanwhile any male characters can be as unlikeable as they please. At any rate, this is a great manga about a woman and her friends who are feeling frustrated with their lives and as if they need to make a change. Higashimura is a talented writer and artist (her series Princess Jellyfish is excellent) and I definitely want to see where this series goes.
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