Yokaiden 2 by Nina MatsumotoYokaiden 2 by Nina Matsumoto

Yokaiden 2

byNina Matsumoto

Paperback | November 24, 2009

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Yokai are Japanese spirits, and young Hamachi is fascinated by them. Now he continues his quest deep into the Yokai realm in the hopes of finding Madkap, the kappa (water spirit) he believes has killed his grandmother. Armed with nothing but a sacred rope and a lucky kappa’s foot, Hamachi has made two friends to help him on his journey: Lumi the talking lantern, and newly awakened, the umbrella that once belonged to his grandfather! (Don’t ask.)

Their first stop is the home of the legendary fox spirit the Ninetails, who promises to help in Hamachi’s quest if Hamachi can retrieve three lost items. But can Hamachi really find them, or does the Ninetails just want Hamachi to fail so he can keep the human boy as a pet?


Includes special extras after the story!
Title:Yokaiden 2Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 7.48 × 5.01 × 0.6 inPublished:November 24, 2009Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345503295

ISBN - 13:9780345503299

Appropriate for ages: 13

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Want More Yokaiden! Reason for Reading: Next in the series. I just loved this second installment of Yokaiden. Even better than the first, I think. The plot is pretty simple, your basic fantasy quest. Hamachi set out alone on his hunt for the kappa he believes may have killed his grandmother, but has picked up two travelling companions along the way, both yokai: a paper lantern and an umbrella who have complete opposite personalities and are adorable characters. Along his journey they meet other yokai, some troublesome, some helpful, some dangerous, whom they must deal with. There is a side quest in this book as Hamachi heads for the ninetailed fox who is all knowing and can tell him where the kappa can be found. She will give him the answer he seeks if he brings her three items she has lost first. The yokai we meet in this book are fabulous. I really enjoyed meeting them, some were cute and funny. One was very dangerous and I was thrilled that I had already read about her, the slit-mouthed woman. She's appeared in another manga series I've read, though I couldn't tell you which one, but to think I've now read enough fantasy manga that I'm starting to become familiar with Japanese folklore is exciting! Loved the book, love the series. Too bad it got cancelled due to publishing whims and I hope the author finds a way to continue the story and bring it to print format. I'd pre-order vol. 3 in a heartbeat!
Date published: 2011-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even better than the first! Even better than the first! In many ways, Yokaiden 2 improves upon the delights of the first volume. Moving on from her pleasingly fresh introduction, we see author and illustrator Nina Matsumoto really flex her artistic and creative muscles. The art in Yokaiden 2 really deserves recognition; there is a general improvement in the overall quality of the work, and the detail again is simply stunning. The plethora of characters that appear in the manga vary in appearance from handsome to hideous, and the scenery is wonderfully crafted. In particular, I loved the beautifully grotesque design of a Ninetails' temple home; the pages are worth studying for some time based just on the art alone. Storywise, Matsumoto continues with her interesting take on Japanese mythological figures and monsters. Yokai (Japanese monsters) are used in mythically-faithful yet creative ways. In one instance, to my amusement, one is even used to make a not so subtle jab at the fetishization of Japanese culture commonplace in the western world. The strongest point of Yokaiden 2, however, is in the continuing of the lighthearted, comical nature of the story. Again, Matsumoto never becomes too consumed with seriousness or angst; the story reads easily, and doesn't attempt to reach for cliche situations to generate emotional attachment. Characters like Mr. Betobeto and a Haniwa provide plenty of laughs, and make the story accessible to all ages. Matsumoto is (thankfully!) not above simple visual-slapstick humour, and combined with her staple subversion of expectations, I never felt bogged down while reading. Still, there are a few notable sentimental moments in the story--one situation in particular even caused me to shed a few tears, though I plead being particularly vulnerable to the subject. Placed alongside the otherwise lighthearted parts, these heart-touching moments are especially effective. Those who enjoy eye candy will appreciate that mysterious priest character Binzuru joins the roster, and the aloof mercenary Kyumon makes a return. As for me, I look forward to seeing new yokai and the development of the key characters! A solid continuation, and I look forward to the next volume!
Date published: 2009-12-03