I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted wings. Angels and winged men and women out of mythology never cease to fascinate me, and by nature seem majestic, preternaturally beautiful, and glorious. Thank God Cooro came along to hope off the angel pedestal and be his foolhardy, energetic self. Cooro is a +Anima, or a human born with animal characteristics. +Anima are at best shunned by humans, at worst persecuted and enslaved. Cooro, a rambunctious spirit part boy, part crow, was lucky enough to be taken in by an order of monks, but as he grew he knew his difference would never be truly accepted. Determined to find more of his own kind, he searches for +Anima, and even more importantly, a place he and his growing party of comrades can find a home in peace. In this first volume, Cooro stumbles across a boy masquerading as a mermaid for a sideshow, a taciturn protector of a village with the arm of a bear, and a little girl outcast even from a group of thieves for her bat characteristics. You may think from this summary that the tale is a lesson in tolerance – and it is – but it’s also chock full of silly humor, pratfalls, bickering, and our hero’s haphazard plans gone awry. Each segment shows the characters quirks as well as humanity’s suspicious reaction toward anything deviant. The art is sharp and the character design melds the human and animal components of each character carefully.

+ANIMA, vol. 1
by Natsumi Mukai
ISBN: 9781598163476
Toykopop, 2006

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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