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GoGo Monster Hardcover – December 8, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: GoGo Monster
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; Slp edition (December 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421532093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421532097
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.6 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Matsumoto's nearly European art paired with Japanese manga pacing have made him a fan favorite for years, and he won an Eisner for Tekkonkincreet. In GoGo Monster, he effectively blurs the line between reality, imagination, and madness. Yuki is an outcast elementary school student who feels the presence of invisible monsters at his school. Are Yuki's monsters real or imaginary? The old school groundskeeper has reasons to believe Yuki's monsters do exist, and they seem to influence the level of disciplinary problems at school. While we never see Yuki's monsters outside of the depictions scribbled on his desk, readers share Yuki's other hallucinations. In one troubling scene, his teacher's and classmates' heads are replaced with flowers. Matsumoto brings out the surreal moments in everyday life, such as when Yuki stares into raindrops clinging to his umbrella at the distorted image of his face, replicated a hundred times. The high-contrast contour drawings are heavily influenced by French artists Moebius and Enki Bilal, with occasional nods to the psychedelic works of Milton Glaser and Peter Max. Despite occasionally experimental storytelling, the story is very accessible: Viz has faithfully reproduced the beautiful Japanese edition of the book, complete with red-trimmed pages of exceptional quality and a colorful cardboard sleeve. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Although seinen—manga for men—have been published in the U.S. for years, none have taken hold in the marketplace, despite critical praise. This gorgeous presentation of Eisner Award winner Matsumoto’s work deserves to capture more attention from the older readership it hopes to win. In the original graphic novel, third-grader Yuki Tachibana must choose between his imaginary world, in which faces appear in raindrops and unseen beings dance to the music of his harmonica, and the real world of mocking classmates and potential new friends. Taking place over the course of a single school year, Yuki’s struggle to maintain a hold on his dream world turns dark and frightening the closer he gets to new classmate Mokoto. Matsumoto’s scribbly style works perfectly for the story in the childlike way it depicts Yuki’s imaginings and renders the faces of his tormentors as abstractions to intensify Yuki’s sense of alienation. Matsumoto’s examination of an often forgotten period of childhood is powerful, heartbreaking, yet ultimately reassuring. --Eva Volin

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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One of the best comics i've read, not just manga.
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The book is hardcover, with the story starting right on the endpages of the front cover.
The outside cover of the work is a colourful splash of imagination.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on December 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Yuki Tachibana is an outcast at Asahi Elementary School. He sits alone, drawing on his desk and occasionally shouting out weird exclamations. If he talks to the other children, it is only to warn them about the "others," beings kept in check only by the power of Super Star, the boss of the other side. Yuki's only friend is the school's caretaker, Ganz, though he sometimes talks to IQ, an older student who is academically gifted but interacts with people only through the box he wears over his head. When Makoto Suzuki's school is shut down for mysterious reasons, he is sent to Asahi Elementary and placed in the desk next to Yuki. Despite the other students' warnings about Yuki's strange behavior, Makoto befriends the boy and soon finds himself wondering how much of Yuki's tales are true.

Matsumoto, manga-ka of Tekkonkinkreet, offers a tale that is part fantasy, part horror, and part mind-trip. On the one hand, it can be read as an exploration into the thought process of a child with autism or a similar disorder, a child who does not see or react to the world the way the rest of humanity does. But on the other hand, Yuki Tachibana might be right and Super Star may be the only thing keeping the beings of the other side from riling the children of Asahi Elementary School to rebel against their teachers, do poorly in class, and be mean to one another. However, it may be that GoGo Monster is neither of those things, or both at the same time.

Matsumoto doesn't offer an easy read. His plot twists and turns. The dialogue is spare and often consists just of overheard comments that are not necessarily relevant. The characters are mostly inscrutable. And frankly, that is much of the fun of reading GoGo Monster.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By animate ~ on February 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
But this manga needs more fans, and with people like the negative reviewer below, who probably didn't even give it a chance, I'm here to say that you should. This is more from the great underground comix of Japan, though this one is about 10 years old (though just now hitting US shores thanks to Viz Sig.) but shows no signs of aging. It's a blend of childhood imagination/nightmare dichotomies told from a very subjective point of view, allowing the reader to get sucked into these tales of metaphysical pre-pubescent strife. It comes across like David Lynch, Satoshi Kon and John Hughes. I use film directors because this is largely visual and takes cues from gekiga and 'alternative' comix from all over.

It's obviously not for everyone. But give it a shot.
Oh, and on a side note, this is absolutely the best comic packaging of '09. Taking the slip cover off for the first time may cause you to blush. Now enjoy the story within.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SEA-S on February 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In it's year end wrap up for 2009, 11 O'Clock Comics gave a very favorable review of Gogo Monster and based upon that I dropped it into my cart here. Thanks guys, I owe you one. Judging from the volume of reviews on Amazon, I would never have seen this otherwise and would have been sorely deprived of a piece of work that has stunned me aesthetically and engaged me on multiple literary levels. (Yes, literary levels in a manga.)

I've owned this book for about ten days and am about to start my third reread. Once is not enough to catch the nuances of the story and the detail of the art. After the second reading, I literally dreamed of this book. The last book that I can remember dreaming of was Charlotte's Web and that was 30+ years ago.

You'll need to look at the other reviews (or better yet) buy and read the book yourself, to get details regarding the plot. I want to share the pure experience of this book. What 11 O'Clock did not mention was the sheer tactile pleasure of opening and reading this work. The image above is actually a slip cover. The outside cover of the work is a colourful splash of imagination. More interesting, however, is the imprint on the outside edges of the pages. While initially, this looks like it is a red dye only, there is actually a subtle print within the reds that ties to the overall design. More than that, the edge of the pages are stuck together slightly and you have to pay attention to each page as you turn them.

The overall experience of reading this work (or mine at least) was a rememberance of things past: childhood dreams, the life altering moments of small experiences, the texture and touch of a long lost classic, and the joy of having to think of more than the words on the page to gain the most of the work.
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By Erisian on July 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Yuki is in third grade. He has no friends, other kids think he is bizarre and rarely talk to him. This is not surprising as he talks to "imaginary" beings like Superstar.

Superstar is a being who lives on the third floor of his school, off limits to students due to some unspoken danger. Occasionally he (or other beings) coming down to create havoc, steal things, and generally stir up trouble. the closer that Yuki gets to the world that Superstar rules, the hard it is for him to differentiate our reality from this other one.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It is presented fully translated, but in classic manga format ( read from right to left). It comes with a corrugated cardboard sleeve protecting the book itself. The art work is very European with multiple interpretations to the meanings of various panels. text is sparse throughout the story, relying on various obscure and dark story elements presented in the images.

The Graphic Novel is presented by VIZ Media, almost entirely in black and white, and totals 464 pages.

I do not know that this graphic novel is really geared to most readers. if you avoid art house films, dislike subtitles, and prefer a story that is hand fed to you, avoid this.

This is more for those who like dark introspective genres, multiple possible interpretations, beautiful artwork.

For anyone looking for a more technical review, just drop gogo monster in google and you will find a ton of info. I will leave the discussion of allegory and societal comparisons to those who are more fluent in manga. I am just a tourist in the genre...

-- [...]
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