Author: Fumi Yoshinaga
Publisher: VIZ Media
First Published: November 8, 2016
Genres: Josei, Slice of Life
Source: Read Online
Fumi Yoshinaga weaves together the disparate lives of Yukiko and her friends in five short stories, exploring the women's various relationships with the skill and elegance she is famous for.
Yukiko, a salarywoman in her thirties, still lives with her mother Mari. But their relationship suffers a sudden change when Mari announces that she's getting married - to an ex-host and aspiring actor who's younger than Yukiko. Yukiko, convinced he's out to fleece her mom, can't stand to stay in the house and decides to move in with her boyfriend.
All My Darling Daughters was a surprising slice of life manga with a touch of feminism. The manga showcases imperfect women, mothers, and daughters in a collection of short stories. The stories explore the lives of each women and the choices that they have before them as they enter adulthood.
Each chapter features a different woman, related in some way to the main character, Yukiko. The story starts with Yukiko and her mother Mari, a widow for many years that suddenly marries a second time, this time to a younger man and former host. It’s a bittersweet story that sets the tone for the rest of the stories.
“A mother is an imperfect woman.”
There are many topics that are covered throughout this manga like whether or not to get married, motherhood, the choice between work or being a homemaker. The second story was funny though troubling in that it immediately starts off with the sexual assault of a man. However, the message about a young woman being free to choose the kind of lover that she wants, even if her choices seem very poor, I felt was a good one.
The final chapter hit very close to home with my own experiences with my mother, a harsh woman that criticized my appearance while I was growing up. Yukiko’s grandmother reminded me of her with the way that she treated Yukiko’s mother, and how these experiences dictated how Mari later chose to raise her daughter. My mother was deeply impacted by my grandmother, who withheld love for her and sent her away to relatives. These experiences shaped how I raise my own daughters. So much is conveyed in a small package which speaks to the strength of the author as a storyteller. A great collection overall with themes that are still very relevant to women in the modern-day.
Warnings: sexual assault