Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yotsuba&!, volume one

Here's how this works. I read a book or two and tell you about them and try not to get too long-winded. This time, a review of Yotsuba&! volume one (ADV Manga, 2005).

Yotsuba is a four year-old, green-haired ball of hyperkinetic energy. She and her dad have moved to a small town from parts unspecified, and here she's confounded by all the perplexing things in modern culture which her neighbors take for granted. Doorbells and air conditioners blow Yotsuba's mind, and even a swingset is completely alien to her. The neighbor girls may be baffled by the new little girl next door, but they're certain she can't be too much trouble... can she?

Yotsuba&! - the strange name comes from each episode's title, such as "Yotsuba & Moving" - is a giddily goofball family comedy which I bought after hearing a dozen strong recommendations. I gave it to my kids with only a single glimpse inside, and they've been roaring with laughter ever since. They've finished the next two volumes and are impatiently waiting for me to pick up more. It really is funny stuff; when Yotsuba smacks herself in the face with the swing, I laughed like a drain.

The Hipster Daughter is already insisting on some hair color and an appropriate shirt so she can cosplay as Yotsuba at this year's AWA. At ten, she's a little old for the part, but if Marie and I put our minds to it and decide to have a little girl, I'm thinking that kid's hair's gonna be green. Yes. (Then we'll keep it that way and she can either cosplay as Locke the Superman or Andromeda from Saint Seiya when she's a teen.)

ADV Manga released the first five collections of Yotsuba&! from 2005-2007 before suspending the series. Yen Press has since picked up the rights, and they'll be releasing two more this year and an eighth in 2010. Wholeheartedly recommended for anybody with kids; everybody in the house will get a good chuckle from it.

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