Review: Yotsubato! – The Manga

8 Sep
(Note: All manga panels must be read from right to left)

Good morn/eve/twilight folks, have you all been well?
Chewed your nails to the quick in anticipation of the lovely tidbits I drop you all?
Well your wait is over! Rejoice! Particularly because I have something utterly delicious for you today.
Ready? Yes/No?
This week I’d like to present my all time favourite manga to all of you: Yotsubato! (referred to as some by 4chan’s mascot, to my extreme horror) is one of those slice-of-life type of manga’s that never fails to cheer you up. Sort of like your Calvin and Hobbes or Garfield, this manga will make you crack up with it’s insane, yet completely normal situations – all the while reminding you in little bits about your own childhood antics.
(Click to enlarge)

The story is centred on Yostuba Koiwai, a five year-old with ever expanding curiosity and the child-like energy to match. Encountering new people and situations in her daily life, Yotsubas unique reactions make this manga one of a kind. Along with her adoptive dad, his friends Jumbo and Yanda and the three girls from the neighbouring house, each of little Yostubas adventures are unique and yet reminiscent of the kind of scrapes only children seem to get themselves into.

In addition to the always amusing yet different encounters with adults and with people closer her own age, Yotsubas reactions to inanimate objects also often yield uncontrollable laughter.
The mangaka unfortunately cannot be sued for blood vessels and stomachs bursting while reading.
What makes the shows context funnier still, is that the adults are no less childish. The relationship between Mr. Koiwai and Yotsuba makes for an excellent Father-daughter relationship, because he encourages her inquisitiveness and often participates in her escapades himself.
(Click to enlarge)

And characters like Jumbo and Yanda remind you that no matter how mature adults seem, they all have a kid inside them, just waiting to get out and stick it’s tongue out at you.
(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)
And the hilarious dialogues seem to add to the simplistic drawing style – for example, when asked where she’s come from, Yotsuba points and says, “from the left!” to the amusement and confusion of her new neighbours. Witty writing that makes one break out into giggles seems to be Kiyohiko Azumas forte. Deliberately incorrect spellings or ideas are portrayed through lines like “Make home at yourself!” – a line used by Yotusba to welcome visitors to the house.
(Click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)
 I could keep going on about the manga, and drop endless spoilers, but that might ruin the fun of discovering it for yourself. Personally, my favourite chapter happens to be Chapter 9, “Yotsuba and Revenge”, an amusing chapter showcasing the effects of mature content aired on television on children nowadays.
Was I convincing enough? Because I can’t emphasises how much sunshine this manga adds to my day.
It’s like happiness wrapped up in paper.
Give it a shot. This might just be what you were looking for all along.
The Resident Drama Queen
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4 Responses to “Review: Yotsubato! – The Manga”

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