Manga Reviews

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yotsuba &!

Yotsuba to!
by Kyohiko Azuma
3+ volumes

Licensed by ADV (Licensed Title -- Yotsuba &!)

Topic: Humor, Slice-of-Life

Six year old Koiwai Yotsuba and her father have just moved to a new house, and the neighborhood will never be quite the same again. Before they've even unpacked, Yotsuba has wandered off though her father isn't concerned. Instead he merely tells the new neighbor, a cute high school girl named Fuka, "If you find a girl who you think is really strange... that's probably her." In her wandrings, Yotsuba meets up with Fuka's little sister Ena and big sister Asagi, plays on (and flies off of) a swing for the first time, and climbs a telephone pole to impersonate a cicada. She eventually makes her way back home while fleeing from Fuka, who has recognized Yotsuba from her Dad's description. Each chapter of the manga focuses on Yotsuba and something else (the first three are Moving, Manners, and Global Warming). The story revolves around her as Yotsuba gets to know her new neighbors, her new neighborhood, and the world.

Yotsuba &! is absolutely the funniest manga I have ever read, and I've read a quite a few. Yotsuba is adorable, and weird enough that the story is never in danger of a sugar overload, while her father, the neighbor family, and all their assorted friends are unusual and well developed characters. Yotsuba's unique personality and outlook turn everyday experiences into adventures for everyone around her, regardless of whether they really wanted an adventure or not. While the manga is quite episodic and any given chapter could be read alone and still enjoyed, the stories do build on each other. The art is nice throughout, and the author is an expert at drawing facial expressions that tell more than words ever could. At risk of sounding like a rabid fangirl - GO READ IT!!

Rating: 10.0/10.0 -- Reviewer's Choice

-- Submitted by Tofuqueen


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