Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What's so cute about Manga? Let me tell you...

It's Manga Week on Chick with Books and we need to talk about cute. When I first "discovered" Manga, I only saw cute. Big eyes, bright faces, and very stylized. School girls with special powers, etc. Then I saw that there was more to it than that. And as this week will show, there are all sorts of genre of Manga. Wanting to read "real" books, I chose to stay away from "the cute"... but then I discovered some cute that I just could not resist...

Chi's Sweet Home written and illustrated by Kanata Konami... Chi is a cute playful kitten out for a walk with her mother and siblings. She's enjoying the outdoors so much that she gets lost. She can't find her mother! She's terrified & scared and collapses in the grass with tears in her eyes. Along comes a little boy named Yohei, finds Chi all alone in the park, and asks his mother if they can take her home. Well, it looks like Chi's too little to be left on her own, but the Yamada family live in a building that doesn't allow pets... OK, they take her home until they can find a permanent home for her... BUT, no one seems to be able to take her, and Chi is so cute, they end up keeping her and this it about her adventures.

Adorable doesn't come close to this Manga series! If you are a cat person, you have to read this! I'm a dog person, with some cat leanings, and I just love this series! The drawings are simple and the stories and fun. Told through the eyes of Chi, and the way she views things sometimes is hilarious, this is simple a must read.  The series continues and book 11 comes out Oct. 10th.

Yotsuba& by Kiyohiko Azuma... Yotsuba is a 5 year old little girl with green hair. The story revolves around her life with her adoptive father and their neighborhood friends. This is another cute, light and fun Manga. Yotsuba has a beautiful sense of wonder and we experience the world around her through fresh eyes. Everything is new and strange to her. The air conditioner and pizza and a multitude of everyday things. And this also hints to the fact that there is something "different" about this little girl. Where did she actually come from? She does have green hair after all... What these stories of Yotsuba teach us is to enjoy the world around us. This is a charming and heartwarming series that is still going strong too. Volume 12 came out last November, so look for volume 13 soon. Yotsuba is silly, charming and lighthearted. I enjoy reading this series now and then. It's not a "must" read for me, but when looking for something "light and easy" these stories always make me smile.

These light, fun, sometimes silly stories are very popular with a wide audience in Japan. These are not reserved for children, but are appreciated and enjoyed by adults. These types of Manga are a great escape that can simply make us smile.

Happy Manga reading... Suzanne


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