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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best mangas in a long time., 18 July 2005
By A Customer
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A while ago--Newtype Magazine--the offical anime and manga magazine rated this as a number one manga. ^_^ While Yotsuba! remains fairly simple, the essence of story telling is not lost. Its nice to see a book that can deliver without having to be overly complex. Yotsuba! follows the antics of a small three/four year old girl who has just moved into a new house. She is prone to causing mischief but never means any harm. This book is cute and perfectly allows the reader to see the world though the eyes of a child. Much like CLAMPS Chobits though, there is something darker lurking underneth the plot about Yotsuba's past.
I highly recommend this book to manga and non-manga fans alike.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple tales superbly told..., 4 May 2006
By 
P. White (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is the story of a small green haired girl called Yotsuba and her difficulty in understanding life and the people around her. The first story involves a house move with her father and the chaos caused by Yotsuba wandering off when they get there. The artwork is marvellous, at times very subtle and at times hilarious. I laughed out loud on several of the first 20 pages. I think it's the subtlety of the artwork that makes it really: the stories are quite simple but perfectly illustrated and they really grabbed me because they warm the heart and invigorate the brain.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 18 May 2006
Kiyohiko's second work is a sheer delight. In a way completely different to his first work Azumanga Daioh but just as good. The characters do seem strange but they grow on you.

Whoever thought moving house would entail so much adventure.

Only quibble is that it's such a long wait between volumes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Have Fun!, 27 Jan 2010
This review is from: Yotsuba&!: Vol 1 (Paperback)
Once upon a time there was this lazy guy named Koiwai who worked as a translator. He went to work on some island where he encountered a small girl who decided he was interesting, and spent all her time hanging about. In his lazy way of living, he sort of just went with the flow and allowed this small orphan girl to drag him along her pace and before he knew it, he was taking care of her. Then he had to go back to Japan, which of course meant that little Yotsuba went back with Daddy. And there, she made new friends as she met Daddy's friends back in Japan. They are all really nice, right? Yotsuba likes them very much! But what is this? Daddy has a truck with boxes in it and we are going for a ride! Hey, there is Daddy's friend Jumbo! He helps us take the boxes into that house! Ohh...Yotsuba is having a new adventure, right, right?

This is a charming little manga that is revolves around five year old Yotsuba and her family, friends, and neighbours. While it is rated for all ages, it is not a children's comic in the least. Rather, like Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes, it takes a look at the world from a child's point of view and the reactions of those about them. Unusually, each chapter follows upon the next in actual time lapse order, so that each "episode" is one day of Yotsuba's life, and each succeeding volume is a continuation of her day to day experiences. This is therefore a slice of life type manga, dealing as it does with day to day life matters. The &! At the end of the title is because each chapter is the second half of an actual sentence, so that particular day's event is along the lines of "Yotsuba and Global Warming" or "Yotsuba and the TV". This may not sound very exciting, but Yotsuba is a very interesting child, looking at the world with a wide eyed innocence and taking everything quite literally with unexpected results.

Given the cast of characters who support Yotsuba in her story, this is usually a very humorous piece of work. Daddy is not your usual sort of fellow, often working from home sat about in his boxer shorts and an undershirt no matter the time of day. Being a bit on the vague side himself, he makes the perfect match for Yotsuba as her parent, as he sort of drifts along until surprised by what is going on. His friends are just as funny. One fellow, Yanda, is mentioned but never seen in this first volume, and one gets the impression he is a bit of a slacker as he makes commitments to show up for things and then sends his excuses along with fellow friend Jumbo. Jumbo is a frequent character seen, and he often is a co-conspirator of Yotsuba's. Named thusly due to his gigantic size (just under 7 foot tall), he is an amiable fellow who seems to strangely have time available from work in order to go play in parks and watch TV at the Koiwais. This probably has a lot to do with the reason he lacks a girlfriend, though he lives in hope. In fact, his big hope seems to be one of the three neighbour girls that Yotsuba-chan as befriended. It doesn't matter how old they are, they like Yotsuba, right? So Yotsuba is going to get them and their much more grown up friends to play, okay? Of course, Jumbo doesn't mind inviting himself along in that case, but Yotsuba manages to keep things from running as smoothly as Jumbo would like. Serves him kinda right for trying to trick a little kid into being his Cupid. But then, Yotsuba does not know, and she probably would not mind, 'cause Jumbo is really, really, nice, yeah?

My daughter is eight, and having previously enjoyed some children's manga, she was looking for more titles to consume. I actually first came across this thanks to a recommendation from an online publication that reviewed books for school libraries in the USA, and decided to check it out. I was charmed at once with it, and decided it would be a nice introduction to some unsugary manga for my daughter. At eight she is at that age where she still loves to play but really wants to be seen as a big kid, so I thought that would appeal to her. Indeed it has, with her identifying both with Yotsuba herself as much as she does the older girls next door. The humour does not escape her, though admittedly, seeing it as she does from the child's point of view, she will miss some of the subtleties I myself caught from the more grown up point of view. It caught her attention enough that after unwrapping this at Christmas, she read it straight through and then came with her Amazon gift certificate in hand asking for us to order succeeding volumes. I have to admit this is so good, I read the next one as it arrived before she did (bad Mummy!), and am waiting for her to loan me the third one as it has only just arrived and is currently in her hands.

Mangaka Kiyohiko Azuma is actually quite well known for another of his slice of life works, Azumanga Daioh. I admit I had somehow managed to not come across this series before, either, but this is being remedied thanks to my enjoyment of Yotsuba&! Kiyohiko's works take the seemingly mundane, and add a little spin to them. Like the western comics Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts, the situations are not unrealistic in themselves, but extremely funny in how they play out. Unlike these two comics, however, his works do not rely on any characters that are fantastic, such as Snoopy, or the main character's imagination such as Calvin's dealings with Hobbes. Rather, it is the small eccentricities each person has that is brought to the fore by the actions of Yotsuba that often lead to the wryly turning corners of the mouth and the outright bursts of laughter by the reader. In keeping with this principle, the art is itself quite unique. While leaning towards realism, it avoids the often unattractive depiction of some characters, but by the same token, it avoids the typical prettification of faces and clothing often seen in other manga. It straddles a middle line, with its own quite distinct stamp that requires no artist's signature to know who the artist was. With art designed to reflect the stories and not to slot neatly within any particular genre, it is no surprise that this and his other works carry such appeal across the reading public's demographics.

Being a series with such universal appeal has led to a rather nostalgic feeling between my daughter and me as well. Where once we curled up together and enjoyed sharing a story, such as the Gruffalo or Where the Wild Things Are, now we can share our mutual enjoyment over the deceptively simple escapades of this little lady and her family and friends. Sitting over a cup of tea and giggling together over a shared book is a wonderful feeling and so it is that now when I think of this book, I find myself feeling rather warm and fuzzy while anticipating the next. As Yotsuba might say, "Hey, let's go have fun, okay?" You betcha.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great manga, lackustre translation, 12 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Yotsuba&!: Vol 1 (Paperback)
This is a great, funny and heart-warming manga that is beautifully illustrated as well. The attention to detail in the drawing is astonishing, even for a manga.

However I feel it is somewhat let down by a somehow lacklustre and sometimes irritating (to me) translation. For example, the sound effects are left untranslated, with Romanji and translated versions below. In addition the translated SFX often seem wrong. To me it all just seems clumsy, putting the translations of sound effects in a footnote would be more elegant.

In the translators defense, I think that they have captured Yotsuba's malapropisms better that the scanlators do.

Fortunately the stories are very visual, so the translation is not as much of an issue as it might be.

The book could also benefit from an appendix or footnotes, explaining some the little details of Japanese life that that seem so central to the stories, as not all of us are such rabid Japanophiles that we know them. For example, what's the deal with the salt?

Despite these minor irritations, I would still heartily recommend Yotsuba&! to anyone who wants a funny and non-violent manga.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME! GIMME MORE!!, 10 Oct 2009
This review is from: Yotsuba&!: Vol 1 (Paperback)
I figured the words of Yotsuba herself would adequately title this little review of what has turned out to be a truly amazing manga.

This first volume begins with the titular girl herself and her dad moving to a new place and meeting their new neighbours. Where from? From the `left' apparently.

Yotsuba's insatiable curiosity and ability to see the awesomeness in practically anything are endearing qualities, even if the locals don't quite follow. They prove to be an understanding bunch (if left clueless sometimes - Yotsuba logic is truly her own brand) and she soon settles in as a permanent fixture.

I find Kiyohiko Azuma's storytelling to be very easy and a whole lot of fun to follow. You can't help but be uplifted by it, a good sense of humour drawn from the meeting of girl and life.

It's true, but I just got sucked in to reading it again, while i was reminding myself of the various goings-on. Next thing you know, the pages are turning and I'm chuckling away..

Yotsuba has great charm, smatterings of inane hilarity and amusing quips, pleasantly unified by the great little adventures of endearing people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yotsuba&!: Vol 1, 19 May 2012
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This review is from: Yotsuba&!: Vol 1 (Paperback)
It's very rare that I laugh out loud at something I read. It happened with "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" almost 20 years ago, and with some of the antics of Thomson and Thompson of "Tintin" fame, also back when I was a wee nipper.
Here, many years later, at an age where most are defined as "grown ups", I find myself snickering at the various tiny little silly details Yotsuba offers the reader.
Touching and random and typically childish. Yotsuba and her father moves into a new neighborhood, where they meet, and quickly socialise with the
family next door. It's small stories, but huge for a five year old kid - moving to a new place, finding a playground with swings, seeing a giant shopping mall for the first time, standing in the rain and so on, and so forth.
I instantly fell in love with the characters, all of them, wonderfully quirky lot.
I wholeheartedly recommend this for those within whom still resides an active and playful child.
Go play with Yotsuba guys and girls, she's good company.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Have Manga! Too funny for words!, 25 Sep 2008
A Kid's Review
This is a manga everyone should have in their collection!
If you dont have it, you are seriously missing out.

It is about a young girl called yotsuba who finds fun in everything and is so clueless about the world, in such a cute way!

It is suitable for all ages and is great for both genders.

Its incredibly funny and i allways read it when i need cheering up, it puts a smile on your face!
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5.0 out of 5 stars YES!, 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Yotsuba&!: Vol 1 (Paperback)
Loads of fun. A wonderfully happy, optimistic manga about an impossibly precocious girl, and her adventures. Also, Jumbo is best character.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adored!, 2 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Yotsuba&!: Vol 1 (Paperback)
When our 10yr old daughter fell in love with Japanese anime films and wanted to read some manga, a friend recommended Yotsuba as being ideal and it was the perfect suggestion.

She adores this book and has re-read it endlessly. She is now working her way through the series (there are 12 at the moment) and still loves Yotsuba's adventures. In her words, they are funny, adorable, cute and random(!).
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Yotsuba&!: Vol 1
Yotsuba&!: Vol 1 by Kiyohiko Azuma (Paperback - 15 Sep 2009)
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