web site hit counter Just So Happens - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Just So Happens

Availability: Ready to download

'I still remember arriving in the city for the first time... It wasn't easy... But here, London, is my home.' Yumiko is a young Japanese woman who has made London her home. She has a job, a boyfriend; Japan seems far away. Then, out of the blue, her brother calls to tell her that her father has died in a mountaineering accident. Yumiko returns to Tokyo for the funeral and fi 'I still remember arriving in the city for the first time... It wasn't easy... But here, London, is my home.' Yumiko is a young Japanese woman who has made London her home. She has a job, a boyfriend; Japan seems far away. Then, out of the blue, her brother calls to tell her that her father has died in a mountaineering accident. Yumiko returns to Tokyo for the funeral and finds herself immersed in the rituals of Japanese life and death - and confronting a decision she hadn't expected to have to make. Just So Happens is a graphic novel by a young artist and storyteller of rare talent. Fumio Obata's drawing, in particular, is marvellous in its power and delicacy.


Compare

'I still remember arriving in the city for the first time... It wasn't easy... But here, London, is my home.' Yumiko is a young Japanese woman who has made London her home. She has a job, a boyfriend; Japan seems far away. Then, out of the blue, her brother calls to tell her that her father has died in a mountaineering accident. Yumiko returns to Tokyo for the funeral and fi 'I still remember arriving in the city for the first time... It wasn't easy... But here, London, is my home.' Yumiko is a young Japanese woman who has made London her home. She has a job, a boyfriend; Japan seems far away. Then, out of the blue, her brother calls to tell her that her father has died in a mountaineering accident. Yumiko returns to Tokyo for the funeral and finds herself immersed in the rituals of Japanese life and death - and confronting a decision she hadn't expected to have to make. Just So Happens is a graphic novel by a young artist and storyteller of rare talent. Fumio Obata's drawing, in particular, is marvellous in its power and delicacy.

30 review for Just So Happens

  1. 4 out of 5

    George Marshall

    Gorgeous art- thin story. Start with the art, though, because that is what gets four stars: watercolours ( a very hard medium to work with) and stunningly assured brushwork that is entirely suitable for the Japanese theme. I look at any single image and am astonished with the elegance and simplicity with which Obata conveys a pose or expression. Literally (and rarely true) every line is perfect, and never a mark more or less. Yumiko is feminine and pretty but has an ordinary, slim body which con Gorgeous art- thin story. Start with the art, though, because that is what gets four stars: watercolours ( a very hard medium to work with) and stunningly assured brushwork that is entirely suitable for the Japanese theme. I look at any single image and am astonished with the elegance and simplicity with which Obata conveys a pose or expression. Literally (and rarely true) every line is perfect, and never a mark more or less. Yumiko is feminine and pretty but has an ordinary, slim body which conveys feminity though posture more than curves, It is the hardest possible body type to draw, and Obata gives himself no respite by drawing her throughout in light clothing. For comics, which are suprisingly demanding in this regards, he achieves the perfect balance of detail and abstraction. I should say that the palette too is wonderful: muted browns- though the cover is lousy and gives no idea of the quality of what is inside. Sadly the story does not match up. It is very gentle and lovely- and I admire Obata, a man, for writing so sympathetically for a woman character- but while it worked nicely for a short story (Going Back- submitted to the Observer competition) it never builds enough for a full book. It has some huge themes to hand- cultural differences, gender divides, family love, death and grief and sadly the light touch of the art becomes a light touch in the narrative. I would have liked much more of any one of these- especially the cultural aspects. He touches on the metaphor with Noh drama, but it is never taken further than a visual impression. Maybe Obata might have been better advised to keep with the tight short story format and produced other stories for the book. Inevitably I also find myself comparing it with the Nao of Brown - weirdly another recent graphic novel in watercolour about a young Japanese woman living in London...is this a growing sub genre? The art, to my eyes, is ahead of Nao (though this was also outstanding) but Nao had more depth of chracter, themes, ideas and above all, humour -which earned it 5 stars in my book. But how hard is it to write a great graphic novel? You need to do everything brilliantly- and Obata is clearly a great new talent.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    Lovely, elegant art--pen and ink with watercolors--perfect for the quietly contemplative story of a Japanese woman living in London, who needs to go home to Japan for a family emergency. The action is not the point of the story, but what the return trip requires of her, to think back to her spiritual roots in Japan, her father and mother. It's an old question: Can you go home again? Yes, to visit, periodically, but can you actually return there? There isn't much more to the story, in a sense… a Lovely, elegant art--pen and ink with watercolors--perfect for the quietly contemplative story of a Japanese woman living in London, who needs to go home to Japan for a family emergency. The action is not the point of the story, but what the return trip requires of her, to think back to her spiritual roots in Japan, her father and mother. It's an old question: Can you go home again? Yes, to visit, periodically, but can you actually return there? There isn't much more to the story, in a sense… a London boyfriend is part of it, a conversation with her mother, an encounter in dreams and in returning to places she grew up with Noh drama. There's spiritual and cultural and heritage issues at stake here. And the art is gorgeous. And as reviewer Geroge Marshall pointed out, it looks quite a bit like the also watercolored Nao of Brown which is also about a Japense woman living with a boyfriend in London, and about psychic struggles of another kind. Just So Happens (what kind of title is this?) as lovely and contemplative as it is, pleas in comparison to the literally more colorful Nao, and the story is just less engaging. It's more muted, all around, but worth a look. Very few graphic novels are this gorgeous to look at, in almost every single panel. The watercolor serves the story very well. Fumio, a Japanese male living in London, does a great job with this fictional story of a woman who, like him, perhaps, needs to confront the cultural clashes, finally. Maybe all of us who have left home need to do this in our own ways.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    Yes, the cover of this graphic novel doesn't do any justice at all! Because the illustration inside the book is so damn different and amazing! The story is so well written and illustrated in relation to the plot. Yumiko represents well the lives of migrants who feel a little lost when it comes to their places of origin, the traditions and family ties. The arguments and discussion about women working and living their lives to the fullest going against or with the support of family have been well re Yes, the cover of this graphic novel doesn't do any justice at all! Because the illustration inside the book is so damn different and amazing! The story is so well written and illustrated in relation to the plot. Yumiko represents well the lives of migrants who feel a little lost when it comes to their places of origin, the traditions and family ties. The arguments and discussion about women working and living their lives to the fullest going against or with the support of family have been well represented. I enjoyed reading this one more as I got to know a bit about Japanese traditions and beliefs.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Obata's story follows Yumiko, a Japanese woman living and working in London. She owns a design firm, is engaged to a British man, and extolls her love of the urban center for the first few frames of the book. Things quickly change when she receives a call from her brother that her father has died in an accident. She travels back to Japan and unpacks some of her last memories with her father, leading up to her departure. Yumiko has this recurring vision of a character from a Noh theatre that foll Obata's story follows Yumiko, a Japanese woman living and working in London. She owns a design firm, is engaged to a British man, and extolls her love of the urban center for the first few frames of the book. Things quickly change when she receives a call from her brother that her father has died in an accident. She travels back to Japan and unpacks some of her last memories with her father, leading up to her departure. Yumiko has this recurring vision of a character from a Noh theatre that follows her through town. The shadow character continues to visit her, seen in crowds, walking towards her on the street, etc. She is confused, but not necessarily scared of this vision. She visits her mother after her father's funeral and reads more about Noh theatre, and an interesting quote stands out: ...and within such sophistication and space, "self" becomes the obstacle... I enjoyed the tone of the book, and the look into Japanese funerary practices and the concept of grief. Yumiko's family dynamic is so different than my own, so this was an enlightening read in that way. Obata's artwork was remarkable, and I liked the tone of the story. -- Book Riot Read Harder 2018 Challenge "A comic written and illustrated by the same person"

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Lee

    After winning this book in a giveaway, I was quite excited to begin reading it since I would have a chance to delve deeper into my Japanese roots through reading. One of the reasons why I loved this book is because it truly depicted the beauty of the Japanese culture, from the ceremonies of death down to the behavior of the Japanese people overall. The mysterious customs of Noh theater was something that intrigued me throughout the course of the book, the occasional appearance of the masked figu After winning this book in a giveaway, I was quite excited to begin reading it since I would have a chance to delve deeper into my Japanese roots through reading. One of the reasons why I loved this book is because it truly depicted the beauty of the Japanese culture, from the ceremonies of death down to the behavior of the Japanese people overall. The mysterious customs of Noh theater was something that intrigued me throughout the course of the book, the occasional appearance of the masked figure foreshadowing her family roots that she longs to return to. The art was one of the unique aspects of the graphic novel, the usage of water color bringing out the scenery of the bustling cities of London and the traditional, foreign-like feeling of Japan. Although I do believe that the book should have been more fully extended to the whereabouts of Yumiko after her trip to Japan, I would suggest this book to someone that would like to read a short story about the struggles that a young woman faces upon her ancestral roots and the death of her father.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Basma

    This story is about Yumiko, a Japanese who moves to London to pursue her dreams in design. She’s having conflicting feelings about what it’s like living in London, her life in Japan, what home is and what it feels like, her traditions and culture that she can’t let go off and her inner conflicts that she hasn’t made peace with yet. A tragic event happens in which she finds herself back in Japan and meets with her mother at the end of the trip to discuss some of what’s going on in her mind. We se This story is about Yumiko, a Japanese who moves to London to pursue her dreams in design. She’s having conflicting feelings about what it’s like living in London, her life in Japan, what home is and what it feels like, her traditions and culture that she can’t let go off and her inner conflicts that she hasn’t made peace with yet. A tragic event happens in which she finds herself back in Japan and meets with her mother at the end of the trip to discuss some of what’s going on in her mind. We see glimpses of what life looks like for some of her family members without getting to know much about them. This felt like a nice, quiet and incomplete read. The art depicts the story very beautifully. Yet after each chapter or each end of a conversation I feel like there was a lot that was not expressed or voiced. We’re left feeling confused or filling in the gaps ourselves. Maybe that was the intention of the author or maybe that’s what it’s like for her and her family or that’s what she’s used to. I think this book could really do with a second part though because of all that was left unsaid. I’m curious and interested and even though there wasn’t much said in terms of each of the characters story or even explanations on what’s happening with the main character, there’s still something that makes them intriguing to me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fredrik Strömberg

    I've heard a lot about this graphic novel, and it mostly lived up to the hype. The story is on the surface quite simple, about a young Japanese woman, who lives in London and has to go back to Japan because her father suddenly dies. There she is confronted with her old self and starts to think about her choices in life, all the while the funeral and all the little practical things that has to be done after a death has occurred, goes on around her. The art is, as everyone seems to have noted, abs I've heard a lot about this graphic novel, and it mostly lived up to the hype. The story is on the surface quite simple, about a young Japanese woman, who lives in London and has to go back to Japan because her father suddenly dies. There she is confronted with her old self and starts to think about her choices in life, all the while the funeral and all the little practical things that has to be done after a death has occurred, goes on around her. The art is, as everyone seems to have noted, absolutely gorgeous. The characters are drawn with a light touch and the subdued watercolours are perfect to match the delicate artwork. Obata also excels in using small visual devices to transmit ideas of how the characters feel and experience a specific moment. My favourite was probably when the main character leaves London and walks through the airport, partly in a daze from the message that her father had died. The environments and the people around her is reduced to a blur, accentuating her feeling of loneliness and alienation. The visual storytelling is otherwise mostly in the Western graphic novel tradition, though there are times when a distinct Asian influence can be felt (Obata is, just like the main character, a Japanese living in London), especially in the silent, more contemplative scenes. Sometimes these reminded me of the comics of Jiro Taniguchi, which is praise indeed. The story is good, though not on the level of the art. It is a subtle tale of cultural differences, of finding yourself, and reconciling with your past, and as such it is deftly told. Just so happens is a moving tale, though not a groundbreaking graphic novel. Thus my giving it four stars, and not five which the art could have deserved. I will keep my eyes on Obata, though, as there is greatness in the making here.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Raina

    This book started really strong. It's gorgeously produced - no page is without design or wasted, and the illustrations are just stunning. It hones into a fascinating conversation, between our protagonist and her significant other, and they roam the streets of London. He notices something about the way she interacts with a certain group of people, and she reacts negatively, disliking that he's "watching her" as she moves through the world. As the story moves, and she travels to Japan, it gets more This book started really strong. It's gorgeously produced - no page is without design or wasted, and the illustrations are just stunning. It hones into a fascinating conversation, between our protagonist and her significant other, and they roam the streets of London. He notices something about the way she interacts with a certain group of people, and she reacts negatively, disliking that he's "watching her" as she moves through the world. As the story moves, and she travels to Japan, it gets more ethereal. We get a peek into her dreams. It's still illustrated beautifully - it just lost me, and I'm having a hard time even remembering the plot. You might fall head over heels more than I did, though. Read with: Turning Japanese by MariNaomi Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey The Nao of Brown

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Lovely illustrations create a calm and reflective reading experience, but I'm not exactly sure what the author is trying to express, or what kind of experience he is hoping we'll have. You close the book and think "Huh, That was nice" and you're not sure what to think after that. Lovely illustrations create a calm and reflective reading experience, but I'm not exactly sure what the author is trying to express, or what kind of experience he is hoping we'll have. You close the book and think "Huh, That was nice" and you're not sure what to think after that.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    Can we ever really go home? How do we define home? This graphic novel has wonderful sketchy watercolory (yes I just made up that word) art, and is quite lovely to look at. The story/plot however is so thin as to be almost transparent (pun intended). The questions asked are universal ones, especially for those of us who left home and now live in a country different from the one we were born and raised in. Yumiko was born in Japan, but now lives in London. Happily by all accounts, but when she lear Can we ever really go home? How do we define home? This graphic novel has wonderful sketchy watercolory (yes I just made up that word) art, and is quite lovely to look at. The story/plot however is so thin as to be almost transparent (pun intended). The questions asked are universal ones, especially for those of us who left home and now live in a country different from the one we were born and raised in. Yumiko was born in Japan, but now lives in London. Happily by all accounts, but when she learns of her father's death, she returns for the funeral, and is struck by the rituals of life in her birth country. This story disappointingly does not explore deeply any of the various themes it could have, so while I really liked the art, this is not a book I'd recommend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    JumbleofJargon

    It was okay. Maybe a little less than okay. It felt like things were missing; like they skipped over big gaps in the plot or conversations with no warning. It didn't flow well. And I was a bit confused at times. I get she rejected her culture for a long time and finally accept it by the end but how she gets from point A to point B is unclear. It was okay. Maybe a little less than okay. It felt like things were missing; like they skipped over big gaps in the plot or conversations with no warning. It didn't flow well. And I was a bit confused at times. I get she rejected her culture for a long time and finally accept it by the end but how she gets from point A to point B is unclear.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Asta Schmitz

    I've been wanting to read this ever since it came out. It didn't quite live up to my expectations but I did think it was interesting, just not fleshed out enough. The drawing style was more cartoonish than I had expected and it formed a jarring contrast with the serious subject matter. I wasn't crazy about the colour palette either. There were various figures in the background that seemed intended as some sort of inside joke except to me it just looked wrong to have Batman and Pinocchio sitting i I've been wanting to read this ever since it came out. It didn't quite live up to my expectations but I did think it was interesting, just not fleshed out enough. The drawing style was more cartoonish than I had expected and it formed a jarring contrast with the serious subject matter. I wasn't crazy about the colour palette either. There were various figures in the background that seemed intended as some sort of inside joke except to me it just looked wrong to have Batman and Pinocchio sitting in a fish bar in Japan for no apparent reason. At first I thought maybe I'm not informed enough about Japanese traditions to understand why Sherlock Holmes pops up at a fireworks display but when a clown showed up at the wake of the protagonist's father it became clear this was all intentional. But wtf is it supposed to say? Overall I was interested in the subject matter but its treatment was too superficial. The pacing felt off to me: scenes that were boring because they showed the same thing over and over were drawn out while moments of actual contact between characters were cut short. Maybe that was intentional, making a point about communication. More likely, this author needs more practice in telling a story that actually goes somewhere. Anti-climactic.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Jones

    I picked this up from the library. I've had my eye out for it since Mercedes from MercysBookishMusings mentioned it a few years ago and although I'm glad that I finally got an opportunity to read it, I have very mixed feelings. On one hand, I found that the story jumped around quite a lot to a point where I sometimes felt that there were panels missing or something. I could follow the plot well enough but these jumps just took me out of the story and confused me at some points. However, having sai I picked this up from the library. I've had my eye out for it since Mercedes from MercysBookishMusings mentioned it a few years ago and although I'm glad that I finally got an opportunity to read it, I have very mixed feelings. On one hand, I found that the story jumped around quite a lot to a point where I sometimes felt that there were panels missing or something. I could follow the plot well enough but these jumps just took me out of the story and confused me at some points. However, having said that, the artwork is probably the best I've ever come across in a graphic novel. The watercolour illustrations contained the perfect level of detail and colour without being too garish and it really evoked a sense of place.  I found this a sad read because it deals with the protagonist losing her father, a theme that hit very close to home for me and I feel that her emotions were portrayed very realistically. On the whole, I feel that this could have been longer, with more panels being added throughout to flesh it out a little more. As I said, I have very mixed feelings but overall it definitely had an impact on me and I'm glad I picked it up.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I don't know how to rate this. The art is beautiful but the story is... less of a story and more of just musings. The Noh image/metaphor about being a performer in one's life where one's actions and behavior are strictly and carefully controlled was quite interesting, but it didn't really seem to go anywhere. The comic ends with Yumiko telling herself that some things never change and she must believe that. The denial/lie there reminded me a little of Kazuo Ishiguro. Beautiful art though!!! It w I don't know how to rate this. The art is beautiful but the story is... less of a story and more of just musings. The Noh image/metaphor about being a performer in one's life where one's actions and behavior are strictly and carefully controlled was quite interesting, but it didn't really seem to go anywhere. The comic ends with Yumiko telling herself that some things never change and she must believe that. The denial/lie there reminded me a little of Kazuo Ishiguro. Beautiful art though!!! It was a treat for my eyes.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    The art is the best part of this graphic novel. The story is interesting as well, pulling from Obata's real life experience of moving from Japan to London and feeling misplaced in the world. The story is moving, but surprisingly simple, dealing with grief and the divide Yumiko feels between London and Japan. It's also a quick book to read (I finished it in less than an hour) and it is well worth taking the time to check out, especially if you are a fan of watercolors. The art is the best part of this graphic novel. The story is interesting as well, pulling from Obata's real life experience of moving from Japan to London and feeling misplaced in the world. The story is moving, but surprisingly simple, dealing with grief and the divide Yumiko feels between London and Japan. It's also a quick book to read (I finished it in less than an hour) and it is well worth taking the time to check out, especially if you are a fan of watercolors.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Deepali Barapatre

    I would recommend everyone who stays away from home to read this! I have always thought of what home is? Is it a physical space or it's a feeling? Can we have multiple home? Is home related to our roots? The story of Yumiko played very artfully with this exploration of mine. It's an aesthetically pleasing sad calming story. I love it!! I would recommend everyone who stays away from home to read this! I have always thought of what home is? Is it a physical space or it's a feeling? Can we have multiple home? Is home related to our roots? The story of Yumiko played very artfully with this exploration of mine. It's an aesthetically pleasing sad calming story. I love it!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    I haven't read many graphic novels, so I don't have much to compare this to. I enjoyed the story but it ended so abruptly that it felt like the author had run out of pages or something! I also wasn't sure what to make of the appearance of a figure from Noh theater throughout, but I think that was sort of the point. Interesting, but not terribly memorable overall. I haven't read many graphic novels, so I don't have much to compare this to. I enjoyed the story but it ended so abruptly that it felt like the author had run out of pages or something! I also wasn't sure what to make of the appearance of a figure from Noh theater throughout, but I think that was sort of the point. Interesting, but not terribly memorable overall.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Nagle

    Absolutely loved the art style.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hayley McKinney

    Daughter returns home to confront her past, family and cultural traditions. This was theoretically, a very interesting story. I felt like this story needed to be longer and explore more on the character development. Beautiful art and designs throughout the book to support the storyline.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Loz

    Really touching ephemeral exploration of grief and reconciling battling responsibilities. Art is light and engaging.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm

    This is a gorgeously drawn, delightful story about being out of place. Yumiko, a young Japanese designer living in London, is called home by the death of her father and finds herself unexpectedly grappling with the sense of not fitting in either Japan or England – it seems because she has not had the opportunity to reorient herself to being back ‘home’. It is one of the more unsettling elements of the migrant experience – the place where our memories are is no longer ours and no longer the same This is a gorgeously drawn, delightful story about being out of place. Yumiko, a young Japanese designer living in London, is called home by the death of her father and finds herself unexpectedly grappling with the sense of not fitting in either Japan or England – it seems because she has not had the opportunity to reorient herself to being back ‘home’. It is one of the more unsettling elements of the migrant experience – the place where our memories are is no longer ours and no longer the same (“When did they build that stupid thing? It wasn’t there when I was at high school,” she asks her father – in a flashback – at one stage), while we have no memories of the place where we live. Part of Yumiko’s struggle is with tradition and expectation: a double-hander marked by family and religious obligations at the wake & funeral, and by the serenity of a local Shinto shrine where a No group seems to be rehearsing. As gorgeous as the imagery is here, it was not well draw out for me: while that may be a limitation of cultural reference points, given the intended audience of the book it seems to be a problem with getting the balance right in cross cultural texts. The risk of over-explaining is always powerful. In this case, however, because the narrative is quite slight, or perhaps subtle in its telling, these points could have been more directly made: there is perhaps a little too much allusion. This problem of narrative explicitness is out-weighted by the visuals. Obata, a workmate in that we are employed by the same University although different schools on different campuses, has a delicate, elegant style that evokes as much as exposes. Throughout this he works in a light palette where even the bright reds are muted, and in doing so effectively shows his talent. For sheer gorgeousness alone this is well worth the time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ada

    ***SECOND TIME READING FOR THE MAGICAL READATHON YEAR 2020*** OWL Muggle Studies - Book from the perspective of a Muggle (contemporary) I read this while my partner was listening to metal songs in Hindi, Turkish, Japanese and Maori (?) Somehow it felt very fitting to this story. ***AFTER THE FIRST TIME READING*** I bought this as a birthday present to myself (not because the salesperson was so enthusiastic about it). Then I forgot about it because I do that sometimes when I don't immediately read s ***SECOND TIME READING FOR THE MAGICAL READATHON YEAR 2020*** OWL Muggle Studies - Book from the perspective of a Muggle (contemporary) I read this while my partner was listening to metal songs in Hindi, Turkish, Japanese and Maori (?) Somehow it felt very fitting to this story. ***AFTER THE FIRST TIME READING*** I bought this as a birthday present to myself (not because the salesperson was so enthusiastic about it). Then I forgot about it because I do that sometimes when I don't immediately read something. I'm glad I did. This... was a quiet story. Not much happens but that was its power. I have the tendency to forget things. To get distracted with other stuff. I also did while reading this. But the emotion it created had such an impact on me. It wasn't a bad thing I got distracted because I would remember. I would feel. Like I said it's a quiet story. Not much happens except for the emotions of one person. The art style helps with that. I don't have any training in the arts so I don't know what's it called. But it's beautiful. It felt like I was in Japan and London. Even the part about Noh theatre. I know nothing about it but for a vague memory of a documentary I once saw (?). Few tones of a instrument I don't know. I did have some questions but... in the end they don't matter because I loved it. A story I will enjoy in the years to come.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Denver Public Library

    This is one of the most elegant, perfectly illustrated comics I’ve seen in a long time. I literally gasped at each page: Obata’s control with watercolor is masterful without being overstated and his minimal approach to color perfectly fits the story. If you're looking for a thoughtful break from mainstream comics, this lyrical book is a breathtaking choice. Oh yes, there is a story! Yumiko is a Japanese woman who went to the UK to study and ended up building a life for herself in London. She goes This is one of the most elegant, perfectly illustrated comics I’ve seen in a long time. I literally gasped at each page: Obata’s control with watercolor is masterful without being overstated and his minimal approach to color perfectly fits the story. If you're looking for a thoughtful break from mainstream comics, this lyrical book is a breathtaking choice. Oh yes, there is a story! Yumiko is a Japanese woman who went to the UK to study and ended up building a life for herself in London. She goes back home to Japan to attend her father’s funeral and as one does after a loss, reflect on her own life. The story is told with flashbacks from a previous visit showing the prism view of an immigrant; acclimated to a different culture but still an outsider and upon returning to her home country, looking at her native culture from the eyes of an outsider. This is a compelling and nuanced look at a woman who broke with expectations in order to create a life she knew she wanted. Get Just So Happens from the Denver Public Library - Extra Medium

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jun Hien

    Deep

  25. 4 out of 5

    kb

    The watercolor art is absolutely gorgeous, and the themes explored (father-daughter, family, loss, leaving home, moving on) are easy to relate to. However, it might just be the Japanese way of finding the most important in the quiet spaces but I felt like I wanted more plot-wise. Here are all the books I read in 2019! :) The watercolor art is absolutely gorgeous, and the themes explored (father-daughter, family, loss, leaving home, moving on) are easy to relate to. However, it might just be the Japanese way of finding the most important in the quiet spaces but I felt like I wanted more plot-wise. Here are all the books I read in 2019! :)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Yumiko, has lived and worked in London for years but she is called home to Tokyo at the death of her father. As she attends the funeral, she once again asks herself where she belongs. Why I started this book: Amazon recommended this book, and since graphic novels go hand in hand with Japan, I purchased it to learn more about both. Why I finished it: Beautiful art, I will have to reread this and ponder the message again. Wonderful reflections about parental expectations and finding and see home wi Yumiko, has lived and worked in London for years but she is called home to Tokyo at the death of her father. As she attends the funeral, she once again asks herself where she belongs. Why I started this book: Amazon recommended this book, and since graphic novels go hand in hand with Japan, I purchased it to learn more about both. Why I finished it: Beautiful art, I will have to reread this and ponder the message again. Wonderful reflections about parental expectations and finding and see home with new eyes.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Andrikus

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book's design is simple and "soft" with its watercolor and pen artwork. The artwork is beautiful and very fitting with the Japanese culture. I can relate to the story because I was raised in Indonesia and moved to the U.S., where ambitious women are more supported and accepted than in the country where I grew up. However, I couldn't really understand the connection between the main character (Yumiko) and Noh. The book exposed bits of Japanese culture with the cremation and Buddhist process, fa The book's design is simple and "soft" with its watercolor and pen artwork. The artwork is beautiful and very fitting with the Japanese culture. I can relate to the story because I was raised in Indonesia and moved to the U.S., where ambitious women are more supported and accepted than in the country where I grew up. However, I couldn't really understand the connection between the main character (Yumiko) and Noh. The book exposed bits of Japanese culture with the cremation and Buddhist process, family, arranged marriage, women's ambitions, and the art of Noh.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    This book was fantastically beautiful. I'm surprised to see the reviews on here are so mediocre. I suppose, however, that I am a bit biased towards all things Japan (I have a lovely Japanese wife, I've lived in Japan for over 3 years, and I have always had a particular affinity for Japanese culture). This book made me wish I was still in Japan and I had not chose to move back to the US; for now, a life back in Japan will just be in my dreams. This book was fantastically beautiful. I'm surprised to see the reviews on here are so mediocre. I suppose, however, that I am a bit biased towards all things Japan (I have a lovely Japanese wife, I've lived in Japan for over 3 years, and I have always had a particular affinity for Japanese culture). This book made me wish I was still in Japan and I had not chose to move back to the US; for now, a life back in Japan will just be in my dreams.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    A graphic novel about an arty young Londoner's return to Japan after receiving news that her father died suddenly. Being back in Japan forces her to confront the question of where her future really lies. She has a bright future in America and a fiance, but the death brings up the old pressure of not wanting to disappoint your parents, even after they're gone. A graphic novel about an arty young Londoner's return to Japan after receiving news that her father died suddenly. Being back in Japan forces her to confront the question of where her future really lies. She has a bright future in America and a fiance, but the death brings up the old pressure of not wanting to disappoint your parents, even after they're gone.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    3.5. Gorgeous use of watercolors illustrating a thoughtful story about the sudden death of a parent. The main character returns to Japan after living in London for a decade, and attempts to process the passing of her father. It's remote, emotionally, and it kept me from connecting to the story - I felt the characters never came alive. 3.5. Gorgeous use of watercolors illustrating a thoughtful story about the sudden death of a parent. The main character returns to Japan after living in London for a decade, and attempts to process the passing of her father. It's remote, emotionally, and it kept me from connecting to the story - I felt the characters never came alive.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.