Suppli by Mari Okazaki (amazon)
It is really tough for me to keep track of new manga coming out from Tokyopop because a large portion of their catalog is devoted to manhwa and global manga, and their general marketing strategy seems to be of the “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” variety. So when I caught a review of Suppli at PopCultureShock I decided I had to check out this new title. With Tramps Like Us ending soon, I need something to prevent me from going through josei withdrawl. 27 year old Minami Fujii throws herself into her work at an advertising agency, longing to do something creative and innovative with her job. Unfortunately all her passion is directed at work. She puts on make-up in the morning as if preparing for battle, but she doesn’t find much comfort in her relationship with her long-time boyfriend. When they break up she begins to take the opportunity to get to know her co-workers better, going out to eat and singing in karaoke clubs. One co-worker named Ishida seems particularly interested in Minami but she’s distracted when she meets Ogiwara, another advertising executive at her company.
Minami has difficulty with everything outside her job as she isn’t sure how to dress and initially has a hard time relating to her new friends from work. She doesn’t pick up on Ishida’s interest even though he might be a better man for her than the mysterious Ogiwara. Suppli doesn’t have the humor and ridiculous situations that Tramps Like Us routinely exhibits, as it tends to dwell on Minami’s loneliness. It is nice to see another manga for older readers get translated, and I’ll definitely pick up the second volume to see where Minami is headed next.