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review 2015-09-01 23:45
Yokai attack!
Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide - Tatsuya Morino,Hiroko Yoda,Matt Alt

I honestly had so much fun reading this book! I've recently been on a bit of a traditional Asian mythology flex. So I got this book. The book, it's self is very fun with bright pages packed full of art and history and tell you about the different "Yokai's" supernatural monsters. There's all kinds of crazy Yokai in this book! For me personally the reason why I love Yokai is the crazy art depicted of them from the Book of the 8th century Kojiki, (古事記; Record of Ancient Matters) The art always fascinated me so when I saw this I had to get it. A truly perky and wonderful book.

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review 2015-06-27 04:05
Review: Yokai Attack!
Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide - Hiroko Yoda,Matt Alt,Tatsuya Morino

Book 8 in #PaperbackSummer is Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide. While this book introduces the reader to ghosts, monsters, and demons that are much less known but that are a traditional part of Japanese folklore, it is... somehow boring. In a way, it read like an ecology textbook. Of course, is interesting to know the characteristics of each yokai and their traditional locations, but the book lacks excitement even when it does share bits of the actual tales the yokai come from.




Names and pronunciations of the yokai

Color artwork

Strengths/Weaknesses, in case we ever meet them in real life

Brief history of where each yokai would be found




Books reads like a textbook rather than a collection of folklore

Some yokai include stories of when yokai were seen, but many others don't


*Library copy*

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review 2014-08-10 00:41
Hello, Please!: Very Helpful Super Kawaii Characters from Japan by Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda
Hello, Please!: Very Helpful Super Kawaii Characters from Japan - Matt Alt,Hiroko Yoda

Hello, Please!: Very Helpful Super Kawaii Characters from Japan is a tiny nonfiction book composed mostly of photographs of “working characters,” cute mascots for everything from toilet paper to police departments. I can't remember how I first heard about it, but the brightly colored cover was appealing. I decided to request it via ILL after looking through some photos my sister took while she was in Okinawa.

The book is divided into five sections: Official Characters, Instructional Characters, Warning Characters, Advertising Characters, and Food Characters. Each section has an introduction that gives a little background on the various types of characters and the reason for their existence. The information struck me as being very light and surface level, quick attempts to explain what made the different types of characters so special and uniquely Japanese. I don't think I ever quite understood what made these characters so different from mascot characters outside of Japan - it seemed to boil down to "there are a lot of them" and "they are used in more situations." Also, I was left with lots of questions.

For example, the characters are repeatedly referred to as “reassuring.” Are they really perceived that way by Japanese people, or is that just the effect that companies, designers, and organizations are going for? The Official Characters section, which covered characters used by various official services, such as police departments, hospitals, and public transportation, left me wondering how many of the characters specific to certain locations would be recognizable outside those locations.

The greatest appeal of this book is its pictures. Alt and Yoda include a dizzying array of characters, and each one only gets one or two photos. The photos have short captions describing the purpose of the character and giving its name if it has one. The only characters in the book that I was familiar with were the OS-Tan, which were mentioned in the text but not pictured, due to “murky rights issues” (151).

All in all, this was an okay book, but I was left wanting something more. More depth on the origins of the characters, or an in-depth look at one or two of the characters, or brief interviews with creators of some of the characters, or even just “what do you think about this mascot character?” interviews with average Japanese folks. Still, the pictures were nice, and I appreciated getting to see so many of these characters.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2014-07-16 22:28
My latest gift from ILL
Hello, Please!: Very Helpful Super Kawaii Characters from Japan - Matt Alt,Hiroko Yoda

I don't even remember how I first learned about this, but I decided I wanted to read it (look at it?) after seeing a few of the pictures my sister took while she was in Okinawa. I had thought it was going to be a giant coffee table book, but, in keeping with its subject matter, it's actually very tiny and adorable.

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