Review for 100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café

Review for 100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café

100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café by Julian Sedgwick, Chie Kutsuwada, street with a man and a bunny walking, youkai, spooky, storiesA delightful spooky tale switching between tales and manga parts.

It took a bit, apparently the ebook just didn’t get released on the release day for some reason, but finally mid-December I was able to read this book!

In this book Julian Sedgwick and Chie Kutsuwada are back for another trip to Japan. But this one will be a much more spookier one as they get up and close with many Youkai. They are here to help out a little boy named Akira who wants to go home. I knew instantly what was up with Akira, and was curious to see how the story would go for him. Would he be able to go back home? Will Julian and Chie be able to help him? And just like the book Tsunami Girl we also get manga chapters. The story is told as follow. In the written parts we get a story about a youkai/monster/something supernatural and then in the manga parts we see Julian and Chie travel through Japan to find Akira’s home (and also encountering the youkai/monsters). It was a really fun blend and I loved both the parts of the story. At first it seems all unconnected, but as the stories continue we will see that a lot of things are connected together. Which was at times very confusing and at times I really had to stop reading and backtrack so I could get my thinking all up to date again, but I do love that it was all connected. Even the story we get from Julian about an experience when he was younger is connected to the whole story of the book which I liked.

I loved the various youkai/mysterious events that happened in the stories and getting to meet many fantastic youkai. Well, and some I wasn’t such a fan off (like the tengu). I had expected the stories to be a little bit spookier though given the whole 100 tales part and that the blurb mentions them being ghostly.

And I was absolutely delighted when in the middle of it we not just get manga pages but also a new story for Yuki and Taka, the two characters from this author’s earlier book, Tsunami Girl! So be sure to read that book first because the stories we get here detail a new trip to the zone for Yuki and Taka and also some things getting resolved in big ways. I really enjoyed the stories though and it made me so happy to see that Yuki and Taka have found each other again, that they met up again. I also loved that the stories (written) were from the POV of Yuki and Taka, but the illustrations (manga) were about our author/illustrator duo meeting her grandpa (and other family member) + seeing the creations that grandfather created. That was a really nice touch and made me smile a lot.

The writing in the beginning was a bit stiff/polite. Like it was first written in another language and then translated back to English, that is how it felt. Later on I either got used to it or it actually got better, I don’t know yet, haha.

So yeah, despite it at times being a bit stiff/polite (especially the earlier stories) and at times a bit confusing (because it is all connected and it was a lot to keep track off), I really really loved this book and I am so happy that this one was made. I hope that this duo will be making more books like this about Japan. Recommended!

Star rating, 5 stars

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