Review: ‘Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy,’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy

Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy is published by Oni Press, writing, art, and lettering by Wook-Jin Clark and color flats by Jason Fischer. Gudetama and Nisetama are here to dispense advice to those who need it. As long as Gudetama doesn’t have to get out of bed that is.

Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy is a collection of short stories focused on giving advice to those who need it. For the most part, the advice given is pretty solid. Eating properly, when to talk to friends about rumors, and how to confront big problems one small step at a time are all explored within these stories. Among these, there are a few instances where I feel this helpfulness is sidestepped for a bit of humor. For example, I have to assume Gudetama’s recommendation to ignore student loans until they actually come due is not serious.

Throughout Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy’s advice-driven narratives is Gudetama’s ever-present laziness. He is almost always depicted curled up in bed. Even the act of talking seemingly causes him to shake from exhaustion. I could be wrong about this, but that was my takeaway from the character. I suppose, if someone that lazy feel that going out of your way to eat your veggies is important, it is probably worth doing.

The counterpoint to Gudetama’s laziness in Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy is Nisetama’s exuberance. Filled with energy, the character seems as if they will burst from the page at any moment. He creates a perfect yin to Gudetama’s yang.

Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy 

While the light-hearted writing in Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy is enjoyable, it never truly lands the humor it feels like it is going for. I could see the possibility of a younger reader getting some chuckles out of some of these panels, but lessons about balancing budgets and asking for raises doesn’t seem like material targeted at a younger audience.

As is often the case with books where the writing and art come from a single individual, the artistic presentation in Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy feels like a wonderful accompaniment to its short stories. Clark’s art is simple but effective. There is an ever-present goofiness that keeps these basic life lessons enjoyable to experience.

The coloring work done by Clark further helps to create the upbeat tone Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy is striving for. While the colors used across the course of the book range the full breadth of the rainbow, no single story ever crosses the line from colorful to garish. Keeping each moment in the book confined to a visually pleasing color palette.

When all is said and done Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy is a bright upbeat collection of simple life advice delivered with a coating of humor. And while the humor never fully landed for me, it was always smiling-worthy. A relaxing read that never really fails, but fails to ever really triumph.

Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy is available on August 12th.


‘Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy,’
3.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy is a bright upbeat collection of simple life advice delivered with a coating of humor. And while the humor never fully landed for me, it was always smiling-worthy. A relaxing read that never really fails, but fails to ever really triumph.