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Yokaiden 1 Paperback – November 18, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Yokaiden (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345503279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345503275
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,244,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Hamachi loves yokai—monsters of Japanese folklore—and defends them to his skeptical village. But when the soul of his foul-tempered grandmother is stolen by a yokai, Hamachi must journey into their realm to bring her back. Matsumoto’s manga is silly fun, anchored by a clueless but plucky hero and a dry sense of humor. Taking place in a fantasy setting close to historical Japan, Hamachi’s adventures read like lighthearted folktales centered on the wide variety of yokai and the various means of dealing with them. There’s amusing wordplay to entertain even jaded older readers, while the art is cartoonish enough—in a skilled, purposeful way—to keep the monsters in the arena of light fantasy without slipping into horror. Moderate violence reserves this book for middle-schoolers and older, but libraries looking for a fun and interesting fantasy adventure that is less chaotic than most manga would do well to check this one out. Matsumoto’s fine first book bodes well for her future creations. Grades 6-12. --Snow Wildsmith

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Throw in some 4th Wall breaking humor and you've got yourself a great read.
M. Schoen
First off, the artwork is beautiful and captures the best of the manga style along with the creator's own incredible talent and originality.
C. R. De Charleroy Jr.
The characters personalities are very unique and I love the humor in the book.
rachyrachyrach

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lina on November 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Schoen on November 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
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 fit.

Set in ancient-ish Japan, Yokaiden tells the story of nine year old Hamachi, who has a passion for ghosts and monsters; so much so that he has little trouble marching into their realm. His enthusiasm for the creatures provides plenty of chances for us readers to learn a thing or two (nearly if not all of the yokai depicted are straight out of actual myth) as he has a habit of blurting out their characteristics whenever he comes across one. Whether you're new to these kinds of legends, or are hoping to see your favorites depicted in Nina Matsumoto's energetic art style, you won't be disappointed. Throw in some 4th Wall breaking humor and you've got yourself a great read.

Besides, how can you resist a Nue with the voice of Kelsey Grammer? You can't, can you? You're curious already!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. R. De Charleroy Jr. on January 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. R. Cunningham on November 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
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 ancient Japan. And not only her writing style, but her art is gorgeous. The backdrops are beautifully detailed without overpowering the foreground, and the character designs, especially those of classic Japanese demons, is to die for. Buy this book! You won't regret it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lasiuta on November 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
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 with battle on two worlds.

So, when a young Hamachi loses his grandmother he travels to the Yokai (spiritual realm) and finds an ogre with a nasty streak, an angry water spirit, and a talking lantern. Most people fear them, but Hamachi wants to be friends with them instead. The risk is huge, but the reward is worth it.

Matsumoto imbues the book with smart, snappy dialogue and the main character with a strength that will see her through anything. The ogre is more fantasy based, yet similar to a certain character from a LOTR film. The talking lantern and the water spirit connect with readers on this side of the water.

Unlike traditional manga, the book is actually produced front to back. I was surprised that this book read that way, but the art is more 'north american' in influence. This series is far easier to follow than many of the other books from Del Rey. Perhaps it's because it is more traditional, or just the more fantasy based art and theme.

Enjoy this one, this series will be here for a long time.

[...]

Tim Lasiuta
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