03 May / Kingyo Used Books (vol. 1) by Seimu Yoshizaki, translated by Adrienne Weber
Having discovered manga late in life, I seem to be making up for lost time … so it’s probably a good thing that Kingyo Used Books is not real bookstore – at least not one located anywhere near me. Once I went in, I’d probably never come out!
Each chapter of the new-to-English-readers series, Kingyo Used Books, is a mini-tale unto itself, about the people inside the store, and those who wander in. Owned by renowned (and beloved) Seitaro Kabuyi who isn’t getting any younger, Kingyo (which means ‘goldfish’) is indeed the bookstore of every manga reader’s dreams, the one-stop shop for seemingly any and all manga ever published. While Grandfather Seitaro’s been recovering in the hospital, his dedicated granddaughter Natsuki has smoothly managed the store, questionably assisted by manga-obsessed Shiba,
Kingyo’s manga brings together a changing cast of characters beyond the bookstore: a young man recaptures childhood laughter sharing manga with reunited school friends; a wavering art student finds determined inspiration after discovering the legendary Hokusai in manga; American cousin Billy arrives in Japan hoping to meet his hero manga-master; jealous Shiba goes chasing a mysterious older man and unexpectedly discovers a fabulous French manga series; and an isolated housewife finds her childhood love of manga brings new friends and fulfilling experiences.
At volume’s end are fascinating notes that detail each of the other manga series featured in each chapter. A bit of manga history mixed with contemporary stories with happy endings even … quite an entertaining combination indeed!
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2010 (United States)
Kingyoya Koshoten © Seimu Yoshizaki
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.