Women all over the world have this intense and irrational fear of growing older, that plagues most fair maidens from the moment they enter adulthood. Waking up to find their breasts are a little less perky then they once were, noticing those crows feet and laugh lines for the first time, and of course the dreaded discovery of the first gray hair. This terror at the feet of time marching forward and the great lengths the gender will go to in the effort to reverse the process of aging are frankly astounding, but in 8 (or so) simple pages, Off Time manages to smash that fear and replace it with the simple truth that nothing, not even growing old and wrinkly, is scary when you have someone to love and stand by you. In fact, it's quite beautiful.
The premise of Off Time is incredibly simple yet simultaneously quite poignant. It is the story of two women and a conversation held in a bath tub. Kou-chan, who at thirty two has become increasingly aware of her lost youth and her increasingly wrinkly face (sassy gay neighbors don't help her feel any better about it either), and her lover, Yuu who at forty has a few laugh lines of her own. A splash in the tub and a Dreaded Gray Hair lead to realization and reaffirmation that living life and growing old is something to be celebrated not feared. It's short, and straightforward but the message is gotten across splendidly.
Off Time was simply adorable to me. I really enjoyed the fact that the characters were women who were already firmly in love with each other and ready to spend their lives together, as well as the fact that it celebrates the process of growing older rather than making it some ugly terrible thing that afflicts all women. The bottom line is, when you love a person no matter their gender, race, or age, they are always beautiful to you.
They are someone to grow old with. Happily.