Monday, March 12, 2012

Manga Monday: Stargazing with Jumbo

Summer homework comes out, and Yotsuba finds plenty of ways to help in Yotsuba&! Volume 5.

Note: Yotsuba&! Volume 5 is, of course, the sequel to Yotsuba&! Volume 4. The review of Yotsuba&! Volume 1 is here, and the review of Yotsuba&! Volume 4 is here. Otherwise, read on!

In 'Yotsuba and Danbo', Ena and Miura are working on their summer homework project together, and the cardboard robot 'Danbo' is born.  Yotsuba has no idea that Miura is inside, and is amazed at this space robot that Ena has befriended.  How much of Ena's money will Yotsuba 'feed' to Danbo, and when will poor Miura be able to come out?

Yotsuba gets to meet one of Koiwai's old coworkers in 'Yotsuba and Yanda.'  Not much more than an overgrown child himself, he and Yotsuba get off on the wrong from when he invites himself in while Koiwai is out.  He and Yotsuba get into a typical siblings fight of stealing candy and ice cream, while Koiwai watches in confusion.  Who will prevail in this epic battle of wills?

And in 'Yotsuba and the Beach,' an impromptu trip to the ocean occurs.  When Koiwai told Yotsuba that there'd be jellyfish at the beach, he meant that as a reason not to go.  Yotsuba, on the other hand, interpreted that to mean they would make a trip to see said jellyfish the next day.  Rather than let Yotsuba's tantrum continue, and disappoint Ena and Fuka, Koiwai relents and they end up at the beach for the day.  What adventures await the girls there?

Once again, Azuma captures the spirit of summer and childhood beautifully.  When you're Yotsuba's age, having someone steal back the candy that has been given to you, or take the first bite of your ice cream, is what blood feuds are made of.  But each day holds a new wonder, and enjoying every day as it comes is what this series is all about.

Highs:  Yotsuba working so hard at the Ayase household that she falls asleep under the kitchen table.

Lows:  I still don't like Yotsuba being picked on, even by someone as immature as Yanda.

Verdict:  Not as action-packed as other volumes, but then again, not every week has the same level of action.

Further Reading:  Chi's Sweet HomeBunny Drop

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