Friday, November 25, 2005

Quick Manga Reviews

Yotsuba&!, vol. 2
by Kiyohiko Azuma
ADV Manga, $9.99

The second volume of Yotsuba&! continues with short stories about odd little girl with green hair and her circle of fmily, neighbors and friends. It's nearly as charming, insightful and funny as the first volume--and just nearly only because it's not quite as fresh. Azuma brings the whole package to the table, not only telling fun stories, with with a level of craft that is nearly perfect as well--for example, he knows just when to put in detailed, well-rendered backgrounds, and when to get them out of the way. This is about as much precious fun that you can have in a comic without a monkey.
Rating: 4 (of 5)

Telepathic Wanderers, vol. 1
by Yasutaka Tsutsui & Sayaka Yamazaki
TokyoPop, $9.99

This initial volume introduces us to Nanase, a beautiful young woman who is blessed--or is it cursed?--with the ability to read people's minds. She thinks that she is all alone in her abilities, until on a fateful tarin ride she meets a young boy named Norio, who is also a telepath but seemingly more powerful; and Tsuneo, a Psychic who can see events in the future. Tsuneo has a dire prediction: the train will crash, and only the three of them will survive! The 16+ age recommendation in well-earned here; as an attractive young woman, Nanase can read the minds of all of the males she encounters, and Tsutsui plays it up for full salaciousness. Yamazaki's art is very strong and realistic; his characters are instantly recognizable and he has strong storytelling skills. The back cover blurb proclaims Tsutsui to be "Japan's Isaac Asimov"--I wouldn't go that far based on what's here, but he does set up a strong premise and tell an interesting story.
Rating: 3 (of 5)


Anonymous said...

If you like Yotsuba, I'd suggest Azumanga Daioh, which is the artists previous work and pretty amazing.

(Also featuring many of the same little quirky character designs!)

Dave said...

I read the first volume of Azumanga Daioh, but wasn't much impressed. IMHO, Yotsuba&! is a far superior work.