Enjoy everything

Posted June 23, 2005

If you're feeling a bit jaded, then I have the cure. The first volume of the Yotsuba&! manga was just released. This is by Kiyohiko Azuma, the same mangaka that was responsible for the incomparable Azumanga Daioh (which I also recommend wholeheartedly, in either anime or manga form). The premise is simple: the adventures of a preschool girl who moves to a new town. Yotsuba is endlessly curious, naive, fearless, and above all enthusiastic, and the result is a charming bit of comedy.

When so much modern entertainment is chasing the "make it darker and more XTREME!" strategy, it's amazingly refreshing to run across something that is completely wholesome and yet still enthralling just from the quality of the work. All the characters are ... nice, and even beyond that, they are very human.

The title of this post comes from an innocuous little page inserted between two of the chapters. "Enjoy everything." I don't know how the original Japanese was phrased, but the sentiment struck me as the core of the manga's appeal: a reminder of the childlike zest for life.