It's festival season, and Yotsuba's getting fed a whole lot of sweets in Yotsuba&! Volume 8.
Note: Yotsuba&! Volume 8 is, of course, the sequel to Yotsuba&! Volume 7. The review of Yotsuba&! Volume 1 is here, and the review of Yotsuba&! Volume 7 is here. Otherwise, read on!
The day of Fuuka's cultural festival is upon us in 'Yotsuba & The Cultural Festival.' She learns several good life lessons here, such as 'haunted houses are scary' and 'real pandas don't generally wander around schools.' But Yotsuba's here for one thing and one thing only: cake! Will the cake that Fuuka's class make live up to the practice cake they made at home?
In 'Yotsuba & The Typhoon,' there's a heck of a storm raging outside. Koiwai tries to keep Yotsuba indoors, but she insists that because Mrs. Ayase told her 'see you tomorrow,' they're expecting her to show up. Will they make it to the Ayase house, or will little Yotsuba be blown away?
There's even more festival fun in store in 'Yotsuba & The Festival.' Here, all the kids in town are parading the Dashi to the center of town, where they'll meet up with other parades and such in the area. There's the promise of candy at the end for hard workers, so Yotsuba is sure to give it her all. There's lots of trouble on the way though, including scary Tengu and men in traditional fundoshi loincloths. Will Yotsuba get past all of these trials and win her reward?
Perhaps because she keeps getting so many treats, Yotsuba's behavior is even more hyper and erratic than before. For as structured and reserved a culture as Japan is, it's always a little surprising to see how permissive they are with their children. Either way, Yotsuba's certainly enjoying her busy week, and she gets all the adults into the spirit of things as well.
Highs: I'm glad Japanese men are more understanding of being smacked by overenthusiastic youngsters than Americans are.
Lows: Does Yanda really have to be in awe of Asagi too?
Verdict: More action-packed than other volumes, Yotsuba and the gang have loads of fun and it's great to tag along.
Further Reading: Bunny Drop, Chi's Sweet Home