1. Analyze: Character - Primary
This novel made its characters relatable. I fall in the audience the book is for. It's a coming of age story. Most of the characters are making the transition from college to the work force. There's the question of what to do with the rest of you life. How does one commit to something for the rest of life? Will you be happy with that? And over all, what makes living life happy or satisfactory? We all have questions like that at turning points in our stages of growing up. These characters have the same questions to answer in this story as well. Solanin makes it easy for readers to put themselves in the place of the characters.
2. Rating: PG-13 (maybe R)
There are some brief scenes of nudity (page 20, 54, 167). They range from comical to a little risque. Page 50 made me laugh but it is a high level of awkwardness and scares small children, but acknowledges the fact in the same panel.
Keep in mind that this is a story about college students that are not likely LDS. The humor and subject matter is fairly clean with that considered.
3. Springboard: The writer and artist, Inio Asano, new a lot about Japanese culture among college students. He didn't go into a lot of detail on the studies of the individual characters, but focused on the interactions between friends and family. That's the stuff we really remember about life experiences. That's what Asano knew. He had the life experiences and knowledge of what people relate to. That study or experience, whether personal or not, made the story believable and international.
Reading "Solanin" was the first slice of life story I've read in graphic novel format. I'm a fan. So I looked up a little on the creator. He's only about 30 years old and his book it now a movie. Here's a trailer.