The title of Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunterexplains exactly what this masterpiece is. Not only do we get a glimpse into a ghost hunter, we also get a fantastic series of comic panels throughout this book. Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter is not a regular book, oh no, this is a comic book. Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter is by Atelier Sentō under Tuttle Publishing. However, this book is a comic book formatted in chapters. The two main characters, Cécile and Olivier, are taking the adventure of a lifetime.
Arriving at Niigata in Japan, together they purchase a camera that can capture images of the invisible spirit world. With the camera in hand throughout the duration of this book, they take on new adventures. They go from the highest of highs: the mountains. To the lowest of lows: the forest. Along the way, they meet new people, taste new food, and find out where the natural and supernatural intertwine.
In the shadows of old Shinto shrines remain ancient spirits, foxes, ghouls, and other Yokai who wait to play tricks on passersby.
Sometimes, they may even be in the places you least expect. The creative team behind this book, or comic book for all intents and purposes, created the artwork from watercolors, colored pencils, and printmaking.
The artwork in this book is outstanding, by far. Knowing that watercolors, printmaking, and colored pencils remained used in the process makes this a wonderful experience to partake in.
By the first page, you remain encompassed by this story and this adventure that is about to unfold with Cécile and Olivier. After I finished reading this book, I remained taken aback by how great the artwork was. I didn’t expect it to be hand-drawn (essentially) and still jump off the page as it did.
The panels are executed well and the art doesn’t look pale or come across as it was watercolored or print-made. (Check out the picture above for an example of this.)
The Writing & The Culture
The artwork is not the only positive about this book/comic book adventure. The writing holds up just as much as the artwork does. The writing is effortless and written in a way that is beautifully constructed onto the page. We get a good glimpse into these characters’ lives, where they come from, who they meet, and all that is happening along the way.
Without spoiling anything about this fantastic adventure of a book, we do want to appreciate the culture just the same. Throughout there is great Japan culture in this book. Not only from the atmosphere, but we get a glimpse into the culture they come in contact with. And, the coloring adds to the setting as well in regard to the culture.
For example, we see forests (oranges and browns), we get bodies of water (blues), and we get the darkness (dark blues and blacks). The colors alone add to the setting and culture we take in. It adds to the imagination while reading, which is a quality aspect to have in anything.
Special Features (At The End)
At the end of the book, there are a ton of great extra tidbits. We get an aspect called, ‘Yôkai Hunter’s Notebook.’ What this gives the reader is a few extra pages of the adventure. There is a map, some great pictures under ‘Travel Memories’ you can check out, and how to develop Yôkai pictures.
Without giving too much away about the actual plot, Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter, I will say — this is a must-read for a fun adventure to partake in, no matter the shape or size of a person. It can be for the little ones, or it can be for the big kids. Nonetheless, this is truly a fun and exciting book/comic from the first page to the last.