Yotsuba&! Manga Volume 9 Review

よつばと!
Yotsuba&! Manga Volume 9

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Yotsuba, Yotsuba, Yotsuba. ^_^

Yotsuba&! Manga Volume 9For volume 9, Yotsuba has a scary dream; learns of schedules; visits a large (outdoor) mall; gets a teddy bear (Juralumin); discovers coffee; goes to a yakinku place with her father, Jumbo, and Yanda; and goes on a trip with her father, Asagi, Tora, and Ena.

While Yotsuba&! has been a series mostly on the joys of being a young kid and the fun of raising said kid, this volume was more about “nothing” than the previous volumes.  This comes forward really distinctly when the group eats at Juujuu.  While we still have the experience of experiencing Yotsuba’s first trip to a yakiniku place where you cook your own food at the table, Jumbo, Yanda, and Koiwai end up chatting about things that adults might chat about when gathering for a meal like this from girls to teasing Yanda, to other chatter.  The generous sprinkling of Yotsuba’s actions keep this from being boring and it was certainly a very real moment which I’m certainly not complaining about.

Looks like Jumbo has an admirer of sorts in the form of the woman who owns/runs the Juujuu yakiniku restaurant.  The way Azuma-sensei had her appear to be giving Jumbo some special treatment combined with her sly remark about being his wife when she popped by to see them as they ate makes me think that she may return in the future and thus give us a mild love triangle with Asagi, whom Jumbo has a crush on.  That could be fun.

I think this volume marks the first time that Ena has really gotten angry with Yotsuba.  Yotsuba is very much a kid and acts like it.  With that comes certain irritating things that she doesn’t realize are troubling to other people, such as when she kept constantly calling Ena’s bear (Julietta) by the name “Juralumin.” Ena has been seen correctly Yotsuba time after time and Yotsuba never gets it, leading Ena to snap at Yotsuba.  But in typical young kid fashion, that’s all forgotten when Yotsuba gets her own bear and thus can have her Juralumin.  ^_^

Yotsuba’s first coffee experience was probably the second funniest moment in the manga (the first being Fuuka overhearing Yotsuba’s reactions to Koiwai-san apparently losing his boxers ^_^;;;) for me as I recall my own first coffee experience.  I didn’t have anything funny to say about the experience, but I do remember my grandfather laughing his butt off at my facial expression to drinking black coffee for the first time.  I remember thinking, “how can anything that smells so good when it brews taste so awful?”  Actually, I still think that.  *lol*

The hot air balloon adventure takes up nearly half of the volume but it is all good stuff.  I’ve never been up in a balloon myself but I have been to a number of festivals and balloon glow events.  Heck, right near my house, balloons are known to take off and land and it is a cool thing.

Anyway, I loved Yotsuba’s reaction to her balloon flight and her attempts to figure out if they have reached the sky yet.  As usual, Azuma-sensei made the whole story place so that it is almost like we are there.  Indeed, with as busy as my life has become of late, I couldn’t help but think of how time moved so slowly as a kid and the smallest of things could create great fun, joy, and laughter.  That’s what I love about Yotsuba&! as a manga though — remembering one’s youth.  ^_^

If I had time, there are many little things I could comment on like Fuuka’s playing with blocks or Asagi wanting Koiwai-san to give her a helicopter ride, but all of that is just the added fun of the manga which never fails to put a smile on my face.

On the Yen Press side, there isn’t a dedicated section for translator notes, but this volume does contain a great deal of “gap notes” where some Japanese jokes or sign translations are placed.  Japanese honorifics are retained and that’s always a big win for me.  ^_^

Sadly, volume 10 is nowhere on the U.S. horizon, but that volume only just recently came out in Japan (November 2010 I believe) so it will be quite a while before we see it.  Considering Yotsuba&! is published in Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh, I expect that it would be next fall before the next volume comes out here (the volumes are release roughly every eight months in Japan, on average).

So, while not as funny as other volumes, I still enjoyed volume 9 of Yotsuba&! very much.  Now, the waiting begins.

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2 Responses to “Yotsuba&! Manga Volume 9 Review”

  1. Cholisose says:

    Ah, Yotsuba is such a feel-good series. I need to get back to it one day and read more of the volumes.

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