Kinderbook collects a series of vignettes by Kan Takahama. A retiring gallery curator realizes that she’s in love with one of her artists. A young girl who’s unpopular at school finds someone to think that she’s special. A man makes a suicide pact with his mistress. The art is different from traditional manga: there’s a greal deal of delicate photoshopped shading, and everything is drawn much more realistically. Kan Takahama’s Kinderbook is part of a movement in manga creation called ‘nouvelle manga’ or manga created by both Japanese and European authors and depicting everyday life. While nouvelle manga is in manga format and stylistically bears a lot of similarities to traditional manga, the characters typically are drawn in a different style (there are very few big-eyed, pointy-chinned characters) and the subjects addressed are more personal. This makes Kinderbook a great read for anyone who likes or is interested in manga or Japanese culture, but is prepared for some more serious, introspective works than publishers like Tokyopop and Viz typically offer.
by Kan Takahama
Fanfare/Ponent Mon, 2004