Yokaiden 1

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Press: Del Rey (November 18, 2008)
Publication Date:2008-10
Author Name:Matsumoto, Nina


Yokai…Japanese spirits.Most people fear them, and a few people even hunt them, thinking they are horrible monsters to be destroyed at all costs. 
But young Hamachi wants to be friends with them! He sees them as mischievous creatures that could coexist peacefully with humans if only given a chance.When his grandmother dies under mysterious circumstances, Hamachi journeys into the Yokai realm.
Along the way, he encounters an ogre who punishes truant children, an angry water spirit, and a talking lantern.
Will Hamachi be able to find his grandmother's killer, or will he be lost forever in another world?


Comics & Graphic Novels,Manga,Fantasy,Teens

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Comment List (Total:10)

  •     Japanese manga is no stranger to spiritual storylines. Ghost Hunter is the ongoing adventure of paranormal adventures, and down multi levels, Pokemon, Digimon, and Bakugan deals...
  •     Definitely a great book. Lighthearted, fun, and beautifully drawn. I've been following the artist's online work for a while and I'm really glad that she got a book deal. This is certainly some of her best work and I'm really looking forward to Vol 2!
  •     I hardly know where to begin with praise for the first volume in what I hope will become a long-lasting and deservedly popular series. First off, the artwork is beautiful and captures the best of the manga style along with the creator's own incredible talent and originality. The yoki (monsters) are drawn with details that enhance their own individual personalities.The characters are delightfully humerous and as they begin to develop, you can't help but enjoy each one, even the bitter, yokai-hating ronin and his apparent ravenous appetite for boar meat on rice.And then there's the story itself. It's quite engaging, transporting the reader to a world that has never been explored much in either Japanese manga or its American counterparts. The infusion of the endless variety of spirits and demons from Japanese legends with the twist that much of what they do is misunderstood (and in fact some appear to feel that they serve a helpful purpose, such as skinning the feet of truants to teach them to behave!) will allow for a quite an extensive narrative as more and more of these creatures are encountered.And so I would certainly recommend "Yokaiden" to any anime/manga/fantasy fan as a series to be enjoyed for a long time to come.
  •     With a great sense of humor and incredible artwork, Yokaiden is ready to overshadow other OEL Manga!
  •     I loved Spacecoyote's webcomic Saturnalia because of the artwork and story. Yokaiden doesn't disappoint in that area. I like reading about kappas so it's fun to see them come to life in this book. Nina did a good job researching the monsters for this comic. The characters personalities are very unique and I love the humor in the book. The added extras in the back make it even better!
  •     This is an amazing premiere manga for Nina Matsumoto. Like a fractured fairy tale, it blends classic story elements with modern sensibilities, even as the story takes place in...
  •     For anyone that has an interest in Japanese beasties but is looking for a little more than your run-of-the-mill foxes and ogres, Nina Matsumoto's Yokaiden may be the perfect...
  •     Every culture has its odd little creatures of folklore, but few are more curious than the Japanese yokai, which include scary monsters, mischievous imps, and even neglected household objects that come to life when they are 100 years old.Yokaiden brings a generous handful of yokai to life in a story that has both serious and light moments. Hamachi, the protagonist, is fascinated by yokai and hopes to meet one someday. He even sets up a traditional yokai-summoning ceremony but falls asleep before he can finish it. A mysterious long-necked woman carries him away, creating the suggestion that what follows is merely a dream.Hamachi encounters his first yokai the next morning. Walking through the forest, he finds a kappa, a river-dwelling yokai that loves cucumbers, with his leg in a trap. Hamachi frees him the only way he knows how--by chopping off the kappa's leg--then fashions a peg-leg for the injured creature, who responds with begrudging gratitude.This act of kindness leads to a calamity, however: It turns out the trap was set by Hamachi's harridan of a grandmother, and the kappa seeks her out and kills her in revenge. There is no explicit violence--kappas kill by stealing the soul, which leaves no visible mark--and this scene is solemn but not bloody. With the help of two more yokai, a grime-licker and a bean-washer, Hamachi figures out what has happened and vows to travel to the land of the yokai and avenge his grandmother, despite warnings that the yokai realm is not a safe place for humans. He travels through the portal that separates the human and yokai worlds, recruits a talking lanern yokai as his companion, and has his first adventure, facing down a chimera with the head of a monkey, the body of a raccoon dog, and the legs of a tiger.Despite some serious moments, Yokaiden is a cartoon adventure, not a horror story, and Matsumoto's lively art sets the tone. She draws humans and yokai alike with an exaggerated style that brings out the characters' personalities, and she depicts the many odd creatures Hamachi encounters with imagination and flair.She also manages to deliver a great deal of information rather painlessly. Hamachi quotes frequently from a book of yokai stories, and each chapter opens with a page from "Hamachi's notebook" in which he sketches and briefly describes one or more yokai. These notebook pages treat the yokai with irreverent humor and are the funniest parts of the book, and readers who like Japanese culture or simply enjoy learning odd facts will find much to enjoy here.Many of the yokai do look like monsters, and Yokaiden is not for the easily spooked. Their actions belie their looks, however, and both Hamachi and the yokai indulge in a great deal of smart-alecky humor. Kids who enjoy Spirited Away or even Pokemon will find much to like in this well written, expertly drawn story.-- Brigid Alverson
  •     I don't even remember how I found it, but I got hooked on Nina Matsumoto's webcomic (or webmanga, I suppose) "Saturnalia." I was disappointed when I found out that Space Coyote was taking a break, but that disappointment ended when I read this as soon as it came out.There is an incredible depth to the world, (though not necessarily the characters) and the art is excellent. I loved all of the little notes and comments outside of the dialogue bubbles. Honestly, even when I re-read this, I end up laughing out loud. I force this book on friends, and they love it just as much as me!
  •     Audiences may be familiar with other OEL (Original English Language) manga titles from the likes of TokyoPop and other labels, but with a rising manga artist like Nina Matsumoto to their company's credit, Del Ray is paving the way for bigger and better things with Yokaiden!Set in ancient Japan, Yokaiden follows the story of a young boy who loves yokai (Japanese "spirits"). When his grandmother is found dead, Hamachi journeys to the Yokai realm to find her killer. Along the way, he meets various yokai and befriends them in hopes that they will help guide him to his destination.As a newcomer to the world of published manga, Nina Matsumoto clearly displays that she's got what it takes to produce a successful series with the premiere volume of Yokaiden. From the writing to the drawing board, Yokaiden is 100% authentic Matsumoto--guaranteed! Those familiar with her work won't be disappointed!Yokaiden delivers a refreshing cast of characters that breaks the mold of the modern day manga scene. Lacking in bishounen ("pretty boys") and running rampant with demons and talking objects, Yokaiden introduces the reader to a new world full of fun and adventure with young Hamachi Uramaki as their guide.

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