Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kingyo Used Books vol. 1 Impression

Kingyo Used Books vol. 1
For anyone who’s spent hours looking through an old book store or bins of comics and manga, this manga is for you. Kingyo Used Books from Viz’s Ikki Comix line is a real life type manga that delivers one off stories around a little used manga shop that is sure to spark memories in every reader of their earlier days or become one of those memories in new readers. Why so magical …

Kingyo is a used books store with a specialty. It’s all manga, rows and rows of manga, every type and just about every title ever. Managed by Natsuki for her grandfather the store is very ordinary on the surface but it’s the memories and actions it’s content sparks in visitors that makes Kingyo so special. Old memories are encountered during a class reunion, an art student gains insight into her work, an archer learns to relax, foreign manga is discovered, a mother rediscovers and shares her love of manga and a manga mystery is solved all because of the love of manga and the influence of the shop. Who knew words and pictures could be so magical.

Story and art by Seimu Yoshizaki, Kingyo Used Books will not blow readers away with its art. Art is simple and very real life in how characters are portrayed, how they dress and the settings they are in. Actually the settings have more detail than any character as the rows and rows of manga are the true star of this show. The stories are short and sweet and while captured in very high level above you cannot begin to understand just how enjoyable these are to read. This is the magic of this manga.

I came to love comics at an early age and spent hours in bins of old comics reading titles nobody has heard of with bad art and story along with the top level titles. Kingyo reminds me of these days, hours and summers spent in dusty book stores lost in the adventures created by others. Much like the visitors to Kingyo, I’ve also felt the pings of nostalgia and been filled with that sense of happiness my childhood contained. It’s this magic, this feeling that shows just how powerful words and pictures can be.

Overall the stories are great, art is decent and bonus content from bonus story to summaries of manga is outstanding. The true wild card is what feelings will reading provoke in you? Will the reader have old memoires brought to the surface or will this just be another manga on your shelves. I like to think the good feelings will flow and thus have to highly recommend this simple, subtle and excellent manga.

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