Otaku USA Magazine
Since I Could Die Tomorrow Is a Pensive, Contemplative Manga

Since I Could Die Tomorrow opens with 42-year-old Sawako Honna, who keeps getting sweaty. That’s not the end of it, though. She’s also having heart palpitations, anxiety, and her body gets cold. It isn’t long before someone suggests to Sawako that she might be starting menopause. Sawako starts doing research, and while she’s on the young end for menopause, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities, which shocks her. This gets Sawako thinking about a lot of different things, including aging, her past, and her future. She feels determined to rethink how she’s living her life.

Then, three chapters in, the story switches over to Toko, who was a schoolmate of Sawako’s back in middle school. Sawako is fretting over her graying hair, working at a new job, and wondering about men noticing her. Eventually the two women meet back up and discuss what they’re going through, which comforts both of them.

Since I Could Die Tomorrow is a slice-of-life manga that openly and honestly deals with issues many women face. While there is some concentration on Sawako’s menopause, it’s about more than just that, and it really doesn’t talk about menopause a whole lot. It concentrates more on women’s experiences and emotions, as well as on the societal expectations of women.

The title is kind of morbid (and, technically, anyone could potentially die tomorrow). But while the manga touches on some fears, it really isn’t morbid the way the title might suggest, nor does either character appear to be at death’s door. However, another character reveals a cancer diagnosis, and Sawako is forced to face the uncertainties of life. The manga has a quiet, pensive, contemplative feel to it, and can stick with the reader long after finishing. It’s different from a lot of the manga that gets licensed, and it’s nice to see the variety of stories manga can tell.

Since I Could Die Tomorrow is scheduled to come out February 6.

Story & Art: Sumako Kari
Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Translator: David Bove


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.