Yokai. Japanese spirits. Most people fear them, and a few people even hunt
them, thinking they are horrible monsters to be destroyed at all costs. But
young Hamachi wants to be friends with them! He sees them as mischievous
creatures that could coexist peacefully with humans if only given a chance.
When his grandmother dies under mysterious circumstances, Hamachi journeys into the Yokai realm. Along the way, he encounters an ogre who punishes truant children, an angry water spirit, and a talking lantern. Will Hamachi be able to find his grandmother’s killer, or will he be lost forever in another world?
A 2010 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens nominee
“Yokaiden is Matsumoto’s first full-length (print) published work, but you’d
never guess it from reading her perfectly-paced story and almost flawless
“Quite simply, Yokaiden 1 announces Matsumoto as a major talent. [...] think
of Yokaiden as a hip, new manga version of Jeff Smith’s Bone.
The witty, self-assured voice, the carefully developed (and memorable)
supporting cast, and the total command of the fantasy elements are that
strong.” —Firefox News
“If you are already familiar with what you’re looking at, there is a lot to
appreciate in Matsumoto’s vivid depiction of the yokai. [...] I imagine that
someone coming into this fresh would similarly be delighted by the look and
actions of the beings in Yokaiden.” —Ain’t It Cool News
“[...] it may be the best OEL manga I’ve read thus far, not only because it
taps into the usual trove of visual tropes from manga but also a whole cache
of concepts from Japanese mythology.” —Advanced Media Network Anime
“Matsumoto is a tremendous talent, her art flowing with grace and
imagination and her dialogue loaded with zippy puns and snarky wit. I was
completely enamored of the world she put to paper here, and can’t wait to
see more of it.” —Comics Waiting Room
“Once in a blue moon a manga comes along from a first time author that is
not only a brilliant first try but also a unpredictably well told story that
makes you wish the next one comes out soon.” —Animanga Nation
Length: 192 pp
Setting: historical Japan
World rights, Del Rey Manga
Nina Matsumoto (better known online by the alias of “space coyote”) is an Eisner Award-winning comic book artist and writer from the western coast of Canada. She writes and draws the OEL manga series Yokaiden published through Del Rey Manga, a division of Random House. Occasionally she pencils for Bongo Comics (Simpson Comics, Bart Simpson Comics).
Nina’s website can be found at http://spacecoyote.com.