All My Darling Daughters
Yukiko has had problems with her mother Mari for years, but it’s normal for family members to have their disagreements. Many parents get on their children for not cleaning up. Yukiko grows into adulthood and continues to live with her mother, so it can’t be all that bad. Her mother successfully battles cancer and decides to live the rest of her life the way she wants to.
And then she marries a man younger than Yukiko. Yukiko is mortified her new dad was born several years after she was, but has to grudgingly admit he and her mother seem happy together. Still, she can’t shake the feeling that he’s trying to con her mother and that he doesn’t really love her. In the meantime, Yukiko is trying to get her own life on track. And she can’t help but wonder if the age difference is getting to her, or if she’d be upset by anyone getting together with her mother. And then again, why is it that Yukiko can get so frustrated by her man even though she did the “correct” thing and went for someone close to her own age?
All My Darling Daughters likes to take a fresh new look at love with quirky and whimsical stories. Yukiko isn’t the main character of every story, but she’s always somehow involved. A story might take place around her grandmother’s early life or a friend trying to make relationships work. At the very end it goes full circle and returns to the story of Mari and her much younger husband.
This manga likes to be different. A college teacher is seduced “against his will” by a student and then can’t help falling in love with her. He tries to show her kindness but she’s so used to being treated badly that she doesn’t know how to handle a nice man. How are they going to make it work?
In another story, a woman tries to get herself into an arranged marriage, then gives up on love since she likes all of the men she meets. She ends up being a Catholic nun instead because she feels it’s prejudiced for her to pick just one person to be with. The stories are oftentimes scandalously funny, but they can also be very heartfelt and sensitive. There is something restrained and cool about both the writing and the art style. All in all, this is a charming read that would probably be most liked by adult women. It earns an Older Teen rating, but people at least somewhat older would probably have more experience in relationships and thereby get more out of it.
Reviewed by Danica Davidson on July 2, 2012
All My Darling Daughters
- Publication Date: January 19, 2010
- Genres: Graphic Novel
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
- ISBN-10: 1421532409
- ISBN-13: 9781421532400