When eighteen-year-old Keiko Yamada’s father dies unexpectedly, he leaves behind a one way ticket to Japan, an unintelligible death poem about powerful Japanese spirits and their gigantic, beast-like Guardians, and the cryptic words: “Go to Japan in my place. Find the Gate. My camera will show you the way.”
Alone and afraid, Keiko travels to Tokyo, determined to fulfill her father’s dying wish. There, beneath glittering neon signs, her father’s death poem comes to life. Ancient spirits spring from the shadows. Chaos envelops the city, and as Keiko flees its burning streets, her guide, the beautiful Yui Akiko, makes a stunning confession–that she, Yui, is one of a handful of spirits left behind to defend the world against the most powerful among them: a once noble spirit now insane. Keiko must decide if she will honor her father’s heritage and take her rightful place among the gods.
Let me just say, I’m really into Japanese and Korean stuff. I got into Korean stuff because, well, I’m Korean, but Japan started out with pokemon. To date, I’ve played and defeated every single pokemon DS game, have too many pokemon cards to count and have watched every episode of the show roughly up until the Unova region where Ash picks up Oshawott. Then I got into anime. I’ve watched all the current 474 episodes of One Piece, my favorite anime, and I’m up to date with Hunter x Hunter as well, my second favorite. Hayao Miyazaki is one of my favorite directors of all time and I’ve watched all of his movies. Any major anime series that isn’t slice of life, romance or paranormal, I’ve probably watched it. Naruto, Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball Z, Inuyasha, Bleach, Prince of Tennis, Soul Eater, Sword Art Online, Kuroko no Basket and so many more. Even now, even though I’m not nearly as much of anime otaku as I was, I can’t resist picking up a manga off the shelf of my friend’s house to see if I’ve read it and I’m up to date with the newest animes. (No, I did not like Attack on Titan, and please–subbed, not dubbed).
So when I saw this book and the reviews said, “Perfect for fans of anime”, I was like, hmm. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
The beginning was a little strange for me. I was kind of skeptical of the book from the get-go, so I guess that didn’t help, but the beginning was rough. I didn’t understand what Keiko was doing or who the heck Yui was or why he was watching over her. I reread the passage again and it made more sense, but I feel like this book you really have to just skim the first few pages to really get into. After the first few pages, with all the basic information down, things can actually start get going.
I’ve got to admit, once you get into this story, it is fascinating. The amount of imagination you can draw from watching an anime is astounding, and the way Keith Yatsuhashi has transformed that into his own creation is amazing. I was thoroughly impressed with his writing style and you can be sure that I will be looking for more of Keith Yatsuhashi’s work later on.
As for characters, they were great. It was actually really cool because I could see them as anime characters. In my head, I mean. If you got the right animator, this could make a really great 12-episode anime. And I would definitely watch it! For some reason, I’ve got the feeling that the anime would have a real Eden of the East feel to it somehow, with a little Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan thrown in. Maybe a dash of Bleach and Fairy Tail. Now that would be a interesting combination.
All in all, 4.5 stars. A pretty awesome book, and you can be sure I’ll passing it on to my anime communities on Google Plus. I’m sure they’ll love it too! So I guess the question of whether or not this book appealed to me as an anime fan is answered. (YEAH, IT DID). The book itself was well-written and had a great story. A win for Keith Yatsuhashi.
pg count for the ebook: n/a
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