I wasn't really sure what to expect, going into Solanin. The title is meaningless, and the One Manga summary is decidedly unhelpful. It doesn't even have a wikipedia article. But I was bored, and so I decided to give it a try.
It absolutely blew my mind.
Solanin is the story of Meiko Inoue, a college grad currently working an office job, and living with her boyfriend, Taneda Shigeo. She's having trouble adjusting to life in the 'real world' and is afraid of wasting her life on a pointless, monotonous job, so she spontaneously quits one day.
Her boyfriend only works part-time as a design artist, and spends most of the rest of the time tooling around on his guitar, and with a band he and his buddies formed back in college. That's not enough income to support both of them, but they have enough money saved up that they can live for about a year. The manga tells the story of what happened during this period of unemployment, in which Meiko discovers that freedom without purpose is just the same thing as boredom.
The story does an excellent job of developing and rounding out Meiko, Taneda, Mekio's mother, the other band members and all other relevant characters. It starts off as a very sweet, cute slice-of-life stories of Meiko and Taneda fooling around and and being twenty-something dorks. Their relationship is absolutely adorable, and this is only accentuated by the art and design, both of which are simple, clean but also expressive.
Unfortunately, I can't fully describe how awesome this series is without delving into massive spoilers, so I've created an image for the spoiler stuff, which is linked on photobucket. If you aren't spoiler-averse, click here to read on.
Emotionally gripping, funny as hell, and with more likable, three-dimensional characters than you can shake a stick at, I recommend Solanin to everyone. It's 28 chapters long, and the chapters are most short, so it's something that any of us can get through pretty easily. You can read it online at One Manga. It's also been licensed by Viz, who appear to have released it all in one big volume.