Yotsuba&! Vol. #04 (Mania.com)
Date: Friday, June 22, 2007
Release Date: Saturday, June 30, 2007
What They Say
Having already tackled such diverse topics as cicadas and global warming, Yotsuba is back and ready to face a whole new set of challenges. See as she strives to master the complexities of rock-paper-scissors! Feel as she becomes one with the water during a weekend of fishing. Be confused as she tries to get money from strangers to buy her groceries! The mayhem continues in Volume 4.
"Yotsuba & !" has returned after a long and unexplainable hiatus. The little green-haired, quadri-pigtailed five year-old is back to show us what it's like to look at the world with fresh, unjaded eyes, and how to live each day with energy and engagement.
The time frame of Yotsuba's world moves very slowly. The first chapter of the initial volume takes place in mid July and each succesive chapter represents another day in Yotsuba's life with the start of Volume 4 bringing it to mid-August. This is slice-of-life - Yotsuba's life - so, in one sense, it functions outside of time. But time is Yotsuba's enemy, for those characteristics that that make her endearing - her charming literalness, lack of fear (well, except for the big eye thing), her lack of tact, her unusual interpretation of metaphor - all combined with occasional precociousness, become endangered by increased interaction with an outside world that demands conformity and conventionality.
Readers of previous volumes have an inkling of what to expect when Yotuba and dad go to the market. The fun only begins when Dad leans over in surprise when he realizes that he's forgot his wallet and Yotsuba reacts, "You gotta poo?". And Asagi ("the pretty one") has way too much fun when Yostuba's newpaper makes poor fall-girl Fuka the object of family pity ("The Yotsuba Press is always true.") The final day of the volume has Yotsuba as the "end-of-summer fairy", her misinterpretation of language makes for a charming episode.
Only one story seems to miss the mark and it just may be that the two year wait for this volume has made this reader greedy. "Yotsuba & Fishing" is a bit disappointing. It's not really about Yotsuba and fishing. Up front and center for this story are Jumbo and Miura with the undercurrent of antagonism and one-upsmanship between these two that had been established in previous volumes. Sure, it's amusing and we get to see sides of these characters we hadn't known about before, but it's Yotsuba we want to see. When she's not in center spotlight, we miss her.
But even with the slight let-down, this a very welcome volume in a series that is a "must-read" for adults. And even better news is that we'll see volume 5 in October 2007.
Age Rating: All
Released By: ADV Manga
Orientation: Right to Left