Yotsuba&! (よつばと!, Yotsuba to!?) is an ongoing comedy manga series by Kiyohiko Azuma, the creator of Azumanga Daioh. I bought the Taiwanese version which is translated in Chinese, with the title, 四叶妹妹 (Four-leaved Clover Little Girl).
Judging by the book cover, this looks very much like a manga targeted at female readers. I don’t usually buy such titles. However, in this case, there’s something about the pastel colour scheme and the leading character whose hair is shaped liked a four-leaved clover that drew me to the book.
I bought it in the end.
And I don’t regret it as it is a good read. 🙂
Here’s a short synopsis taken from Wikipedia:
Yotsuba&! is centered on Yotsuba Koiwai, a five-year-old adopted girl who is energetic, cheerful, curious, strange, and quirky-so strange and quirky, in fact, that even her own father calls her a weirdo. She is also initially ignorant about many things a child her age would be expected to know, among them doorbells, escalators, air conditioners, and even playground swings. This naiveté is the premise of humorous stories where she learns about, and frequently misunderstands, everyday things.
At the start of the series, Yotsuba and her adoptive father, Koiwai, relocate to a new city with the help of Koiwai’s best friend, an impressively tall man nicknamed Jumbo. Yotsuba makes a strong impression on the three daughters of the neighboring Ayase family, Asagi, Fuka, and Ena, and many of her misadventures come from her interactions with them.
The series has no continuing plot-the focus is Yotsuba’s daily voyage of discovery. Many chapters can be identified as taking place on successive days, so that the series follows, almost literally, the characters’ daily lives. The tone can be summarized by the motto, used on chapter title pages and advertising, “Today is always the most enjoyable day” (“Itsu de mo kyō wa, ichiban tanoshii hi”).
Basically, the series is very endearing because each chapter reads like a fresh new day, with something new to learn. It recaptures the essence of how it is like to be an inquisitive child, growing up and learning along the way.
A soothing read after a long day at work for it’s simple, yet captivating narrative.