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Kaoru Mori: Anything and Something Hardcover – 11 Dec 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Yen Press (11 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031622913X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316229135
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 272,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A hardcover collection of short stories from Eisner-nominee, Kaoru Mori, creator of A Bride's Story and Emma.

About the Author

Kaoru Mori's previous series, "Emma," about a maid and a gentleman in Victorian England, has been lauded by "Library Journa"l and was named to the YALSA Great Graphic Novels list. "A Bride's Story" has only broadened her fan base in Japan and the U.S. with its elegant style and delicate story.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kaoru Mori can write and draw girls and maids like no other, and with great humor, in this lovely hardcover that is worth having as a fan or just a good read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Perfect for Fans or Newbies to Mori's works 5 Dec 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm really glad that Yen Press decided to translate this little treasure trove of work from Kaoru Mori. Very few publishers deem collections like these to be worth translating since it doesn't fit in with established series. In fact though this collection of short comics, editorial notes, illustrations, sketches and whacky doodles is quite an insight into Mori.

Her trademark love of maids is ever-present in several tales, however there's also a comic about a woman explaining why she never got rid of a bathing suit she'll never wear again, a young girl's growing pains, a hostess assurance that things will never change, how to capture an elusive 'master' and much more.

While this is a treat for her fans, this may also be a good jumping off point for getting the reluctant or indecisive reader to commit to her works. By necessity of length and theme this collection doesn't include the staggering level of research Mori puts into her comics, the shorter stand alone nature of the diverse array of comics included exemplifies the intelligence, perceptiveness and humor her longer works are known for.

For fans there's entire sections devoted to illustrations not previously seen stateside from Emma, Shirley and A Bride's Story and each illustration comes with a small caption (presumably the translated caption from the Japanese edition) with an explanation of its origins or meaning from Mori. There's also a few 4-komas about characters from various series, some research pages that Mori found particularly useful (corsets!) and pages of Mori discussing her process.

In short this is a treat. Yen Press does a wonderful job with making the translation flow smoothly (whether its when Mori is conversing or its in the comics), the hardcover is lovely to hold and the perfect size. Not badly priced either ($16.99). If you know a Kaoru Mori fan who's waiting patiently for A Bride's Story volume 4's release (in January!) hand them this. It should shut them up for the next few weeks.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not bad, but a little disappointing 28 Dec 2012
By Laura B. Mehaffey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This compilation work of Mori's is a great collector's item for fans of her work. Half of the book is short stories, and half is concept art and splash pages for her various works. Mostly compiled from Mori's sketchbooks, it gives a nice addition to any collector's understanding of Mori's artwork. The short stories are also fun, almost reminding me of of the works of short stories by legendary Rumiko Takahashi.

Sadly, this books does leave a lot to be desired. Most of the short stories are less than eight pages, really just vignettes into the lives of some of the wacky characters Mori has come up with. The only substantial story is about a strange artist and a popular girl who are involved in the same man. This story is great, and a welcome departure from Mori's usual period pieces. However, the lack of substance in this book is very noticable. The rest of the stories leave no lasting impact other than "OMG new Mori stories!"

As one commenter already noted, half the book is artwork samples and sketches. Buy with this in mind.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Amazing as expected! 28 Dec 2012
By Imara White - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The artwork, as expected from such an amazing artist, is amazing. The stories are short and a few are hard to follow (particularly the one about a girl and a swim suit) also there is a lot of fan stuff for her early series Emma, so if you read/watched that series and loved it I highly suggest you get this because there is a lot of extras, interviews and art. There are also a few for her newest series A Brides Story. I love this, and I suggest this for any fan of her previous work or someone who just loves good artwork and short entertaining stories :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A strong, albeit strange, collection. 12 May 2013
By para - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was previously only familiar with Kaoru Mori from the first volume of A Bride's Story, which is incredible and has some of the most detailed and beautiful art I've ever seen. This collection gave an opportunity to check out more of her work and, since the contents were pulled from a ten year period, see how it has evolved.

Anything and Something is part short fiction, part artbook/sketchbook (125 pages and 75 pages, respectively). A major part of why I was interested in this is Mori's art and I enjoy side information and notes, so I was happy with this, but it is worth mentioning in case anyone is expecting a full 200 pages of shorts. The artbook portion contains a variety of designs, promotional materials and sketch comics.

I wasn't sure what to expect from Mori's stories once I saw the cover for this volume. Most prominent on the cover is an adult, regal looking maid. Then we have a provocatively posed bunny girl, and finally a young girl in formal school attire. It turns out the cover is quite representative - maids, fanservice and school are the subject matter of all the included stories (and combined in a couple).

The stories are very odd, in subject matter, pacing and approach. This isn't a criticism, as I found most of them interesting, but it does make it hard to describe them and it is worth noting that these are rather unique and might be too weird for some readers. The focus is very tight. For example - one story revolves simply around getting a pair of glasses for the first time. Another is about trying on an old swimsuit. A particularly amusing story is about growing into too-large formal school uniforms. And so on...

My favorite was the longest, titled Sumire's Flowers. This was a good four times the length of any other story and correspondingly more complex. While it still could've used a little more explanation in parts, it was a strong, emotional story about two competing art students.

The art is surprisingly different from story to story, even given the long time frame. Not only does Mori's style change over time, but her designs vary by subject matter. There is also a big difference to the art when she does her own screen tones (something she points out for certain stories in the afterward notes). Put together there's huge variety in the art here. And ALL of it is wonderful, which is extremely impressive.

Equally impressive is the deft touch everything is done with. Even in the stories that seem to be primarily for fanservice (and there are several) there is a sense of grace to the art and interesting emotional slants to the context. The Swimsuit Bought Long Ago is a good example, as despite being seven pages devoted to an attractive woman trying on a swimsuit it is a nicely done, complete story.

Anything and Something is a pretty good self description of this collection. Definitely off the beaten path and not for everyone, but very good stuff if you can take it for what it is. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
...and the kitchen sink 5 April 2013
By ChibiNeko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're looking for anything other than a rather pleasant mish-mash of various materials, then you'll probably be disappointed with this collection. Rather than have one linear story or several meaty one-shots, this collection is made up of several stories that are only a few pages long and dozens of various illustrations and notes from Mori. If I had to describe it, I'd say it was the "and the kitchen sink" of her work. It's basically all of the things that wouldn't cleanly fit with any other collection, but were interesting enough to warrant releasing. For some this will be a must have, while others will want to skip this or borrow someone else's copy.

That said, this was a charming collection. I wish there was a little more to some of the stories, as some of them felt a little too brief for the story they were trying to tell while others flourished under the short length. I have to say that the description of the bunny girl waitress is pretty far off from what the story is actually about, which is a mysterious waitress going through a daily routine of clients, one of which swears that she's far older than what she seems to be. It's one of the tales that I wish I could read more of, as there's a lot of potential there.

The illustrations and artwork in general are gorgeous. It's Kaoru Mori, so you know you're going to get good quality, but some of these are stunning even by her standards. Emma fans will probably want to get this book in particular, as there are quite a few illustrations that are specifically Emma oriented. They were nice and made me long to re-read the series as a whole, which I suppose is part of the reason they were included.

I can't say that I'd recommend this for every reader. I enjoyed it and will probably flip through it again enough in the future to justify its purchase, but for some this will be something that they'll only read once. I recommend it, but with caution.
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