May 3, 2016

Like a supernatural soap opera set in Japan...with gore

At the beginning of April, I decided to branch out of my comfort zone and take a look at Japanese anime. As with most things, I went in and fully immersed myself which of course means that after finishing a few of the anime I wanted to check out the manga from which they were created. (I think you can guess where this post is headed.) Today's post is all about the manga, Another, by Yukito Ayatsuji with art by Hiro Kiyohara (translation by Karen McGillicuddy). I picked up the omnibus edition which includes all volumes of the manga in one ginormous book. I definitely recommend that if a book has published all of its volumes (although it was a pain to travel with). The art was gorgeous. If you like anime and the art is one of the greatest attractions for you then you should definitely check out manga if you haven't done so already. The story is so bizarre that you can't help but be pulled in. It's a gothic horror story about a class of students who have a curse on their class (I can't get too specific because of spoilers). This is a GORY story so if you're not okay with blood and guts then this is not the book for you. (Was that a spoiler? Nah, it was a warning.) I will say that I found the process of reading the manga quite challenging at first (and I'd get confused periodically). You start at the back (which for a manga is the front) and read from right to left. As with all of the graphic novels that I've read so far, I found it to be a quick read that I was able to get through mostly in one sitting. If you're looking to branch out or you want a new manga recommendation I think this one would serve you quite well...and you should definitely check out the anime.

To show you what I meant by its size here's my hand for scale:

There are random pages throughout that are glossy and colored which were extraordinarily beautiful.

Everyone is gorgeous

Also, there's a fascination with beautiful boys that are dressed up as girls which is called Bishōnen. Here's what I'm talking about:

Remember to read right to left

**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

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