Book Review: Yotsuba

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Author: Kiyohiko Azuma
Published: Yen Press, 2009 (Above copy)
Pages: 224
Genre: Manga, All Ages, Contemporary
Series: Yotsuba, Volume 1
Read more about it on Add it on Goodreads
4 out of 5 stars
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I actually read a manga book. First a graphic novel and now manga… What next? Maybe I’ll read a comic book… Aren’t I diverse? I’m quite pleased with myself *I say with a Cheshire Cat grin* My first foray into manga, was reading Yotsuba; Laini Taylor recommended these on Twitter, so of course I listened.

So, to begin I must tell you – just in case you don’t know, because I didn’t – that when reading manga, it is read from back to front; this means also that as well as starting at the back of the book, you also read the pages from right to left. This takes a little getting used to. It’s an interesting reading experience. These books are focused on the life of Yotsuba, a little girl living in Japan.

In this volume, Yotsuba has just moved house with her dad and is getting to know her new neighbors. It has different titled sections – which I suppose are chapters? – focusing on a certain theme: Moving, Greetings, Global Warming, Television, Shopping, Cicada Catching, Heavy Rain. Yotsuba is quite a character. She is energetic – an understatement, believe me – curious and adorable. One thing I don’t understand though, is why Yotsuba’s dad is never too concerned when she wanders off? Especially considering they have just moved house – I would be panicking. The kid’s a little loopy, but really quite sweet and funny; I also liked the other characters. This book is laugh out loud funny – I dare you to not laugh when reading this; it’s hard not to. The scene below had me cracking-up. Her little arms up in the air as she’s running… Hilarious!

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Manga is in black and white, which didn’t take too long for me to become accustomed to – I prefer to draw in black and white. I like how images can help to tell a story and see the characters’ emotions via their facial expressions. Sometimes though, their faces – especially the eyes – were a little demonic. Seriously. Take a look below.

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This is an all-ages book, even though the main character is really young; it made me laugh though, because there was a term that young readers would not understand. Look below and pay particular attention to the middle image. It was a little too silly at times, but this didn’t really hinder my overall enjoyment of it. I will definitely be reading the other volumes based on the fact that this one made me laugh.

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As first experiences go, this was a good one; it certainly won’t be my last time reading manga. A cute and funny read. I look forward to the others.

Anyone else read any manga? Do you like to venture out and try something new?

 

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