Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: Kodansha International
Publishing Country: UK
Author: Hiroko Yoda, Matt Alt, Tatsuya Morino
Age Rating: All
Page Count: 192
Yokai attack! is a child friendly guide to Japanese yokai, the supernatural creatures which populate Japanese folklore, and of course modern pop culture including anime and manga. The guide is illustrated throughout by Tatsuya Morino.
To be perfectly honest the first thing most readers of this site will do is look up yokai from their favourite anime and see if they appear in this book. Readers of yokai heavy series such xxxHolic will have a field day since they'll recognise creatures such the Zashiki Warashi.
The entries are clearly written without being patronising, there's a quick run down of major features and a large illustration. The more horrifying yokai are covered matter of factly, so that the entries still contain the grisly details but without being too scary. For example one particularly gruesome example is the Futakuchi Onna . Who has an extra mouth in the back of her head, and is often created when a Stepmother neglects her Stepchildren. One story tells of a Stepmother who allows her stepchild to starve to death, forty nine days later she is struck in the back of the head. The wound refuses to heal and soon a mouth forms which utters the phrase " you must apologise" over and over again.
It's a great book to flick through at a quiet moment, and It says a lot about a book when it so easily generates story ideas so writers and manga artists will no doubt find it helpful for inspiration.
Though aimed at children Yokai attack! Will appeal to all ages. The snappy monster facts and illustrations will help draw in younger readers, whilst older readers will gain a lot of pleasure by dipping in every so often and reading an entry or two. I brought this book into work a few times, and it was immediately grabbed and flicked through by several co-workers which highlights just how readable this book is.
The English language version of Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword DS contains a reference to Yokai attack! In the story a character obtains an 'encyclopaedia of yokai', translation director Andrew Szymanski changed it to Yokai Attack! to honour Alt and Yoda.