Kino No Tabi: The Beautiful World by Keiichi Shigusawa

kino no tabi

Kino No Tabi is the novelized version of the popular anime series Kino’s Journey.  Although published by Tokyopop in 2006, it is not a manga.  The descriptive style of writing could easily work as a manga and it is a good companion piece with the DVD, Kino’s Journey, which is also available from Surrey Libraries.  This young adult novel is set in a post-apocalyptic future Japan although any reference to time and place is nonexistent.  Instead the novel is set more in a fantasy realm and uses elements of the known world as tangible points for the reader.  Kino is a young adult, possibly a young teen.  The reader is left to guess because her current age is only described by others as younger to them although we find that she started on her journey at the age of twelve.  Her companion on her journey is a talking motorcycle named Hermes.  Why the motorcycle is able to talk is slightly alluded to when on one of their adventures they meet another traveller with a talking dog.  The dog and Hermes find each other’s ability to talk equally ridiculous, but accepted nonetheless.  Kino travels with Hermes to different countries as they are described.  These countries are more like city states which have their own rules and idiosyncratic beliefs.  Kino has a fixed rule of not staying in one place more than three days in order not to become too involved with the people of the city she visits.  This rule of course never holds true since she invariably becomes embroiled in some adventure or intrigue within the city.  Kino’s travels are an allegory for a teen’s journey into adulthood and their similar contempt and attraction for what that will mean to them. (Submitted by Shane).

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Solanin by Inio Asano

solanin

Solanin is a young adult manga written by Inio Asano.  First written in 2006, it has been reprinted last year with an additional epilogue.  Solanin is a critically acclaimed manga that depicts the lives of twenty-something millennials living in Japan.  The characters in the book have recently graduated from college and are attempting to find themselves and their place within Japanese society.  The prescient ennui of fretting by the characters for their futures within Japanese society permeates this manga.  The characters battle between what is expected of them by society and what they feel they should be doing with their lives.  At first the protagonists feel the choice is binary; either they should grow up and get jobs or drop out and fulfill their passion for music.  By the end of the manga we have observed the character’s growth through personal loss and see them triumph over the need to feel alive because they have recognized that their daily actions do have meaning. (Submitted by Shane)

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Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection

moonshotWow, I am so grateful that I am alive now, in a time where buzz words like truth and reconciliation and people suggesting what to read for Aboriginal History Month is occurring. However Aboriginal History Month is in June and this is something to be read now and reread often.

I just finished reading Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection. Volume 2 (after I read Vol. 1 of course) and I just can’t wait to share these amazing Graphic Novels with everyone. These must read works are all about NOW with a never before seen collaboration of top names, Buffy Saint-Marie, Richard Van Camp, Tanya Tagaq, Jeffrey Veregge, Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D, and so many more. One can just skim through and enjoy the art or a quick 2 page story. Or immerse yourself in top notch art and wordsmith, this is fun, this is challenging, you just might learn something and if you are still hungry for more the forward, introduction, afterword and biographies are eloquent and  bursting with information and hints on where to find more work from all of these amazing creative minds as well as how to be an alley and support more works like this.(Submitted by Inti)

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Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami

stargazing dog

This short graphic novel was written in 2008.  It is hard to believe the beginning of the Great Recession is almost 10 years old.  For most Millennials this is a forgotten period.  Stargazing Dog, written at the start of the economic crises, takes us on a journey about two lives caught up in the economic uncertain time.  One is a divorced middle aged man and the other a middle aged Shiba Inu. We usually think of the economic crises of the last decade as effecting mainly North America but this story is set in Japan.  As the author states it was written to challenge the theory of “adapt or die”.  No doubt this is the saddest graphic novel I have read and is a must read for anyone who has loved a dog.  It is a short, but extremely powerful story which although can be read in a few minutes the impact it leaves will remain for some time. (Submitted by Shane)

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

chilling-adventures-of-sabrina

As she approaches her sixteenth birthday, Sabrina Spellman faces an impossible choice: accept her birthright and become a witch, or choose to live her life as a mortal and experience real love with her sweetheart, Harvey. A simple enough premise, but throw in two deranged aunts, an undead demoness bent on blood revenge, a talking cat with his own agenda, and a visiting cousin who may not be as innocent as he appears, the approach here is wildly thrilling.  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina isn’t for everyone. For starters, it is incredibly dark: it deals with witchcraft, and not your run of the mill, Bewitched, wart on the nose, riding a broom kind of witchcraft, either: it’s more ‘bride of Satan,’ human sacrificing, end of the world inducing, demon unleashing, ancient ritual invoking kind of witchcraft, the kind that really spooks you through and through. The writing is incredible, the drawings are atmospheric and chilling, and as a super fan of the new CW show Riverdale, I was elated to see that there is a connection between Sabrina’s Greendale and Archie’s Riverdale universes. I couldn’t put this graphic novel down, and that’s saying a lot for someone who doesn’t particularly like graphic novels! I was so engrossed in this that I pre-ordered the next book. I can’t wait to follow this scary story even further! (Submitted by Mandi)

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5 Centimeters Per Second by Makoto Shinkai

 

5-centimeters-per-secondWritten in 2007, 5 Centimeters Per Second by Makoto Shinkai, is a Manga novelization of an anime movie by the same name.  The manga is illustrated by Seike Yukiko.  The story is set in the early 1990’s when cellphones and email have not gained widespread use.   This is an important plot device in this tale of unrequited love, missed meetings, and miscommunication.

The protagonist is Takaki Tono who falls in love with Akari Shinohara when they are still in elementary school.  The story follows Takaki’s loss of contact with Akari due to it being a long distance relationship and his journey trying to restart their communication and relationship into adulthood. (Submitted by Shane)

Surrey Libraries has bothGraphic novel and DVD