By Seimu Yoshizaki, Viz Media, $12.99, 201 pages
It is ironic that a book based on nostalgia is named after a goldfish. Kingyo Used Books is about why manga is important, and from there how our memories define us. The manga is about the eponymous book store, which has any manga that one would ever want hidden somewhere in its shelves. The stories presented shows how they inspire artists, establish friendships, and re-kindle passion. There is even a bonus story about two men exploring a comic convention.
The art is pretty good, emphasizing the characters and the situations that they find themselves in. The art is a little more realistic than most manga, with more background work than most. It’s a nice touch to remember that these are regular people rooted in reality. The stories are nice vignettes, emphasizing how we draw power from connections; our humanity isn’t just who we are, but those who we know and where we have been. It is nice to occasionally be reminded that we need to sit back and relax every so often. This is the book you throw at someone who expects manga to be kid only kids stuff, or someone who really needs to relax.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim