NHK's iconic mascot gets his very own manga!
Writer/Artist: Clint Bickham / Various
What They Say
International celebrity Domo makes his English language manga debut in this full-color collection of stories. First popularized in Japan as the mascot for the national television station, Domo has won the hearts of people the world over with his hilarious and unpredictable antics. In these stories, Domo wreaks havoc on his friend Tashanna's Wii, wins a box car race by being the car, and decides to be whatever he sees on TV, including Tarzan, a samurai, and finally, a chef.
Overall, Domo the Manga, printed in full color on glossy pages, has a fun, vibrant look. The front cover shows Domo retreating from what appears to be an avalanche of apples with his friends Mr. Usaji and Tashanna panicking in the background. Although Domo isn't too colorful himself, the illustration boasts plenty of color with the blue sky, grassy hillside, tumbling fruit, and nebulous pink cloud behind Domo. The title is incorporated into the sky behind Domo. The back cover also features Domo, this time in mid-leap, surrounded by those hated apples against a backdrop of green grass and blue sky. Towards the bottom of the back cover is a brief description of the book's contents.
I was pleasantly surprised by the production quality of this title. While all the stories are written by Clint Bickham, multiple artists created the art and layouts, and although each story has a different style, all of the illustrations are cleanly rendered and beautifully colored. This book is rated All Ages, with which I wholeheartedly agree, but parents should note that while the pictures and content would entertain a three or four-year-old, the glossy pages and soft cover aren't really designed for the abuse of younger readers.
Extras include brief character introductions for those unfamiliar with Domo's world, three pages of fan art from a contest held by Tokyopop, and ads for other Domo related products. Because this is an OEL, there aren't any issues with translation.
Domo or Domo-kun, in case you're not familiar with the drop-jawed, brown fuzzy creature, is the creepily cute mascot of Japan's NHK TV. He was originally shown in stop-action shorts used for station identification and has since gained a fan following plus a line of goods.
Domo the Manga is an original English-language work produced with permission of Tsuneo Goda, Domo's creator. However, Domo the Manga would be better titled Domo the Storybook. It contains six stand-alone stories ranging from 5 to 20 pages. The storylines are very simple, generally having to do with Domo getting carried away with the latest thing that has caught his attention, whether video games or beetle fighting.
As our main character's vocabulary is limited to the word "Domo," there is a high reliance on visuals to carry the plot. Between the easy-to-follow dialogue and entertaining pictures, the stories have a lot of appeal for child readers. There's nothing offensive in the content either. The comedy comes predominantly from the antics and accidents of an overly exuberant Domo. Bickham has left Domo's flatulence problem out of the stories, and the only allusion to it is the strange pink cloud behind him on the front cover (even then you'd have to know what you were looking at to recognize it).
For older readers, there's not much to sink your teeth into in terms of plot. However, it'll give you a few chuckles, and the full-color artwork is worthy of the following that Domo has built for himself.
Domo the Manga features six stand-alone short stories centered around Domo, NHK TV's now world-famous exuberant brown mascot. There's not much substance to them, but for fans and kids, they're cute, comic eye candy.