Thursday 27 December 2012

Shigeru Mizuki - Nonnonba

I got this book for Christmas off my brother and wasn't disapointed. I have also read his 'Onwards Towards our Noble Deaths' but the translation in this one was a lot better. It took me a few chapters to get into the book but then it all made perfect sense. The other book had so many characters that it was difficult to follow but this one only has a few, and they are a lot more distinctive.

Its the story of Shigeru as a young child growing up in the 1930's in rural Japan, and his elderly neighbour who he calls Nonnonba. She is always telling him stories about the yokai, which are ghosts and spirits. Its a pretty harsh world as kids are always dying from disease, and even being sold by impoverished parents. Shigeru is always drawing the yokai and trying to work out what they really look like so he can draw them better. His family are really well drawn, like his mother who is forever on about how her family used to be rich and have three storehouses, and his dad who was the first in the area to go to University and is a bit of a dreamer who wants to run a cinema. The kids fight all the time against neighbouring gangs in their 'kid army'. Its a really good read and is funny and sad. Highly recommended.

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