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Review: Domo: The Manga

Lori Henderson

If you shopped at Target anytime last year, you would have seen this square, fuzzy brown figure with black beady eyes and a mouth in a perpetual roar.  He is Domo.  He started out as the mascot for the NHK, the Japanese Public Television station, but gained a following over the internet.  He has had his own TV show and toys, and now Tokyopop has given him is own comic.

Domo: The Manga
Stories by: Clint Bickham, Art by Rem, Sonia Leong, Lindsay Cibos & Jared Hodges
Age Rating: All Ages
Tokyopop, September 2009, 978-1-4278-1597-2
89 pgs., $9.99

Domo lives in the woods with his animal friends.  He shares a home with Mr. Usagi, a gray rabbit.  Domo has a very vivid imagination, which we see him using a lot throughout these stories, much to the detriment of his friends.  Whether it’s pretending to be a character on TV, a superhero, or playing a video game, Domo tends to lose control and wreck havoc on not just his home but his friends and their homes as well.  There’s nothing malicious about Domo’s destruction, he just doesn’t realize what he’s done until it’s too late.

Domo Review: Domo: The MangaThe stories in this title are short and simple, and sometime just plain cute.  I really enjoyed "Hero For a Day," where Domo pretends to be a superhero. You can see his simple logic as he goes around doing his "good deeds," and his friends reaction to them.  I really felt for Domo at the end.  "The Ultimate Beetle" was a nice story too, as Domo trains his pet beetle to be wrestler, but the beetle has other things in mind.

The art in this title really helps to sell the stories.  The character designs are simple, and are rendered in full color, making this title seem more like a comic book than a manga.  The art is carried mostly by Tokyopop alumni Rem (Vampire Kisses) and Lindsay Cibos & Jared Hodges (Peach Fuzz).  The way they produce their art may be different, but their rendering ends up being very similar, making for a seemless reading.  There isn’t a lot of taking in this title, as Domo doesn’t say anything but "Domo."  But even in the frames where there is talking, the art can just as easily tell the story without words, making this a title that 4-5-year-olds can enjoy just as much as 8-9-year-olds.

Just to see if an older child would enjoy this, I had my 10-year-old daughter read it, and asked her what she thought.  She liked the book a lot.  She thought the stories and characters were funny.  Her favorite character was Domo, and her favorite story was "Living in the Now," where Domo and his friends get cell phones.  There wasn’t anything she really didn’t like, though she didn’t care too much for the character Hungry Bear.  She liked the art, both the "computer-made and hand drawn."  She thinks other kids her age would enjoy it because "1) It’s not bloody, 2) It has funny stories, and 3) It’s Domo!"  She highly recommends this title.

Domo: The Manga turned out to be a fun and entertaining title.  It would do well in an elementary school library or the young readers section.  There’s nothing objectionable in the stories, though, if you have a child that is as easily impressionable as Domo, you might want to supervise him or her after reading.  I would recommend this title as well.

This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Tokyopop.

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Lori Henderson About Lori Henderson

Lori Henderson is a mother of two teenage daughters and an avid reader. She blogs about manga at her personal blog Manga Xanadu as well as contributing and editing for Manga Village. She blogs about all things fandom (mainly Doctor Who) at her other personal blog Fangirl Xanadu. She's been at it so for over 5 years now and counting!

Comments

  1. Kat Kan says:

    Your review has helped me to decide to share this book with my grades 3-5 lunch time book group next week. I read it and wondered if it was just as cute as I thought it was.

  2. Summer says:

    I’m trying to figure out how a person gets to be an editor-in-chief of anything when she makes the following spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors. (Shouldn’t she be proofreading herown work?) Can anyone count how many errors Lori Henderson made in total? Each example below has one OR MORE errors that needed correcting.

    Errors/corrections:
    -He’s had his own TV shorts, toys, and now Tokyopop has given him is own comic. / He’s had his own TV shorts and toys, and now Tokyopop has given him his own comic.
    -Whether it’s pretending to be a character on TV, a superhero, or playing a video game, / Whether it’s pretending to be a character on TV or a superhero, or playing a video game,
    - Domo tends to lose control and wreck havoc / Domo tends to lose control and wreak havoc
    -You can see his simple logic as he goes around doing his “good deeds”, and his friends reaction to them. / You can see his simple logic as he goes around doing his “good deeds,” and you can see his friends’ reactions to them.
    - “The Ultimate Beetle” was a nice story too, as Domo trains his pet beetle to be wrestler, / “The Ultimate Beetle” was a nice story, too, as Domo trains his pet beetle to be a wrestler.
    - but their rendering ends up being very similar, making for a seemless reading. / but their rendering ends up being very similar, making for a seamless reading.
    - Domo doesn’t say anything but “Domo”. / Domo doesn’t say anything but “Domo.”
    - a title that 4-5 year olds can enjoy just as much as 8-9 year olds/ a title that 4-5 year-olds can enjoy just as much as 8-9 year-olds
    - I had my 10 year old daughter read it, and asked her what she thought. / I had my 10 year-old daughter read it and asked her what she thought.
    - her favorite story was Living in the Now / her favorite story was “Living in the Now”
    - she didn’t care too much for the character Hungry Bear. / she didn’t care too much for the character, Hungry Bear.
    - both the “computer-made and hand drawn”. / both the “computer-made and hand drawn.”
    - She thinks other kids her age would enjoy it because “1) It’s not bloody, 2) It has funny stories, and 3) It’s Domo!” / She thinks other kids her age would enjoy it because 1) it’s not bloody, 2) it has funny stories, and 3) it’s Domo!
    - though if you have a child that is as easily impressionable as Domo / though if you have a child who is as easily impressionable as Domo

    Judging by the nature and frequency of these errors, I have to conclude that it’s more than mere laziness that is the problem of Lori Henderson; she just doesn’t know how to use the English language very well.

  3. Lori Henderson says:

    Kat Kan – I’m glad I could help. My daughter really enjoyed it, and your kids will do, I’m sure!

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