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Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide Paperback – October 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770030703
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770030702
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Yokai Attack! is essential reading for any fan of monsters, horror and manga!" - Steve Niles, Creator, 30 Days of Night "An invaluable resource for anyone interested in J-Horror and Japanese culture; gave me a deeper understanding of what I've been enjoying for so many years." - Don Coscarelli, director, "Phantasm" series and Bubba Ho-tep"

About the Author


Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt are a husband and wife team who run a Tokyo-based translation company that specializes in producing the English versions of Japanese video games, comic books and literature. Alt is the co-author of Super #1 Robot (2005), a detailed photo-history of 1970s Japanese robot toys. Alt and Yoda are also co-authors of Hello, Please! Very Helpful Super Kawaii Characters From Japan (2007), a book about Japanese cute character culture. They also happen to have firsthand yokai experience, having appeared as extras in the Takashi Miike film The Great Yokai War (2005).
Illustrator Tatsuya Morino became the assistant to Shigeru Mizuki, one of Japans most beloved manga artists, when he was fresh out of high school. After going independent, he illustrated the graphic novel Kibakichi, which was turned into a pair of successful movies of the same name. He also works as a character designer, with credits including the Gainax video game Yokai Family and the web comic Trip Trek. His comic Legentail Sennenta is currently serialized in Kadokawa Shotens monthly comic collection Kero Kero Ace.

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Customer Reviews

Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide is a very fun and highly informative booklet to the myths of Japanese folklore.
Joseph P. Ulibas
I highly recommend this book to anyone and I do mean anyone to sit down and read regardless of whether or not you are into Japanese monsters or not.
Shawn Kovacich
I can only say I wish I had had this handbook with me at the time, and that I will certainly be bringing it with me on any future excursions.
J. Cameron McClain

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Cameron McClain on August 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When's the last time you asked yourself, "Gee, how do I keep my home safe from the Bathtub Licker?" Not recently, you say? And yet to a Japanese child, the mention of the name "Akaname" evokes the image of a large, red demonlike creature with a long tongue and glaring eyes, that hides in the bathroom at night. Aren't you glad you were warned? Then thank your lucky stars you're buying Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide.

Each of the more than 50 detailed descriptions provide everything you'll need when faced with one of these legendary Japanese monsters. The first page of each entry is the "Stats Sheet" page, containing vital information such as monster height, weight, mode of locomotion, and any special abilities, as well as a full page color image (by talented illustrator Tatsuya Morino) of the yokai in question. The pages following contain information on the type of threat each yokai represents (whether it be just a scare, or a definitely-to-be-avoided disembowelment), as well as any defensive measures that can be taken, origin stories, typical location where found, regional variants of the monster, in addition to stories, facts, and legends surrounding that creature and its habits. Truly, the amount of information contained for each yokai is substantial, and will undoubtedly prove crucial to the would-be yokai hunter (or as often as not, the "yokai hunted").

The authors have made on-the-go referencing easier as well (very important when you're not sure if you're facing a Kuchisaki Onna or a Futakuchi Onna!) by separating yokai into groupings by type, from the ferocious to the feeble. What's more, each grouping has its own tab for flip-through ease, very convenient when you're running away from a creature at close to a full-out sprint!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Laura I on September 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a really fun book, even better than I would have expected. The book is about the size of a manga and is full color inside. The illustrations are excellent and is just so much fun to read, after reading a couple pages about one monster, you want to check out the next, as they just get more and more bizarre and entertaining!

I've been watching animes and reading mangas for many years now and I've noticed some of the same strange monsters showing up over and over again. I was intrigued and wanted to know more about them, since I'm interested in folklore in general and Japan seems to have a very rich monster mythology. If you've watched animes like Inuyasha, Devil Man or Blood Reign, then you've already seen a few of the yokai featured in this book already. But as familiar as I *thought* I was with Japanese monsters, probably 80% of these I've never heard of before and it was a delight to learn more!

Each yokai is given specifications such as: height, weight, attack and defense. Also includes a wonderfully drawn illustration and if available, traditional Japanese illustrations (such as a 19th century woodblock print). As well as the Japanese name, English translation, and (very helpful) pronunciation of the Japanese name.

So if you've ever wanted to learn more about Japanese monsters, here's the perfect guide! Everything you ever wanted to know, from the standard bakemono to the bizarre Tofu Boy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Japan is a monster country. While other countries may have their vampires and wolfmen, their unseelie courts and ogres and giants, Japan is home to a traditional eight million different varieties of spooks and lurkers in the dark. Japanese children obsess on them and memorize them the way American children do dinosaurs, and you would be hard-pressed to find a child without at least one of the ubiquitous tomes detailing their haunting places and special attributes.

"Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide" (subtitled "A survival guide for foreigners", although this is only subtly written in Japanese), is one of the few books available on this traditional aspect of Japanese culture. Emulating such books as The Zombie Survival Guide, it takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the bizarre menagerie. It acts like a video game guide, giving statistics such as height, weight, favorite food, method of attack, surviving an encounter, etc...A total of forty-six yokai get the treatment, from the famous beasties like the kappa and tengu, to the lesser-knowns like the dorotabo and the hashi hime.

This is very much a "flipping book", not to be read in one sitting but going through checking out the yokai who catch one's eye. Every entry is accompanied by an illustration, by Morino Tatsuya. Morino was an assistant to the yokai-master Mizuki Shigeru, and while his ability is not at Mizuki's level he does a good job with the style. All of the illustrations are in color, and are often accompanied by older artwork such as ukiyo-e prints and toys featuring the various yokai.

When reading this book, I was of two minds.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Trachta on October 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Yokai Attack! details the strengths and weaknesses of the yokai (yokai are Japanese monsters, demons or spirits). The yokai are divided by their type, each section list the yokai associated with the type and provides a description (general description; including what they do, their attack and how to survive the encounter). In addition, each yokai has a drawing of it, usually done ala anime/manga style.

My Likes:
The authors have gone to great lengths to bring together different yokai from anime/manga. The drawing are very nice and the descriptions have good detail in the Claim to Fame, The Attack!, and Surviving the Encounter.

My Dislikes:
I ordered this book because I was interested in Japanese yokai, unfortunately I was looking for classic yokai rather than anime/manga yokai. I was really hoping that this book was covering both. Instead, the authors provide a history of yokai in the front (a nice one) and a pulled together description from different sources. My next dislike is that most of the effort and drawing are from anime/manga. While they have contributed greatly recently, many of the classic yokai are missing from this book and would have added a lot to it. My last dislike is that the oni of Japanese folklore are lightly discussed. I seriously missed a discussion on Japanese Ogres

The Rating:
This book is focused towards people who enjoy manga/anime. For them this book will be between 3 and 4 stars very easily. Manga/anime readers might enjoy seeing a summary of the different yokai they're read about and how they operated. For me, this ones 2.5 stars. I love the work the authors put into it, but there's too much missing from classical Japan.
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