Book Review: Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan
Steinberger, Aimee Major. Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan. Go! Comi. 2008.
Aimee Major, an artist and Japan-o-phile chronicles her adventures when she visited Japan with two friends. In this graphic travel diary she brings the reader to some of the awesome famous landmarks in Japan, like the temples in Kyoto and the cosplay district of Tokyo. Anime fans and graphic novel enthusiasts will love this book.
Accompanied by two friends, Steinberger, a professional animator and devotee of that special brand of cuteness that hails from contemporary Japan (think Sanrio’s Hello Kitty and similar artistic and commercial ventures), provides a charming recapitulation of their visit there. Steinberger’s height (she’s six feet tall), along with such things as the language barrier, immediately marked the trio as tourists, but their devotion to such Japanese-inspired pastimes as cosplay (dressing up as manga, anime, and fantasy characters) and Steinberger’s interest in Japanese Volks dolls gave them several avenues into popular culture, where they found considerable enjoyment. Steinberger tells their story largely in black-and-white, manga-style line drawings, with the occasional application of bright colors. Manga and anime fans will appreciate the gentle travelogue, and even readers unfamiliar with Japanese culture today will like Steinberger and her pals and be intrigued by their observations on what it can be like to be a tourist.
– Francisca Goldsmith
– Source for choosing this book: Friend’s Recommendation
– Grades 9-12
– Related Book: Schwieger, Dirk. Moresukine: Uploaded Weekly from Tokyo. NBM/ComicsLit. 2008
– Both books are graphic travel diaries from trips to Japan. One from a girl’s POV and one from a boy’s.