What is Yotsubato!?
Yotsubato! is an ongoing Japanese comedy manga series by Kiyohiko Azuma, the creator of Azumanga Daioh. … It depicts the everyday adventures of a young girl named Yotsuba as she learns about the world around her, guided by her father, the neighbors, and their friends. … The phrase Yotsuba to means “Yotsuba and,” a fact reflected in the chapter titles, most of which take the form “Yotsuba and [something].”
Why is Yotsubato! so great?
1. Everything Yotsuba says is in hiragana.
Because the main character, Yotsuba, is onsly 4 years old when the series begins, everything she says is in hiragana to explicitly point out that she is still a small child. Everyone else’s dialogue is written in a standard way, but furigana is attached to the kanji so that anyone who knows hiragana can successfully get through a volume. That’s why Yotsubato! is a great resource for Japanese learners, especially beginners.
2. It’s hilarious.
Yotsubato! was created and is written by the same guy who did Azumanga Daioh. If you’ve read the latter, then you know that he is an insanely funny guy. Reading Yotsubato! is full of laughs from every character, not just Yotsuba herself, which makes every story that much more enjoyable.
3. It’s adorable.
Yotsuba is only 4 years old and definitely acts like one, tantrums and all- but she is also extremely cute. Everything she does is adorable, and her little pigtails (which are supposed to make her look like her namesake, a four-leaf clover) make it even better. She also sometimes mispronounces words, as small children do, which is both ridiculously cute and funny.
4. It was created by the Azumanga Daioh guy.
Kiyohiko Azuma is best known for the manga “Azumanga Daioh,” which, if you know anything about recent manga, you know Azumanga Daioh. Although that manga is mainly written in a comic strip-style rather than a storyboard style, is insanely funny, witty and original. Azuma’s sense of humor, drawing style and ability to create a story out of the most inane of topics translates well from Azumanga to Yotsubato. If you enjoyed Azumanga, there is a huge chance you’ll also like Yotsubato.
5. The goods are great.
Anime figurines can get scary or creepy-looking (sometimes vaguely fetish-y), but the Yotsubato figurines are just cute. The cardboard character Danbo is also from Yotsubato and has been included in an Amazon campaign where the Amazon boxes had Danbo’s face on it. Of course, there are also phone straps, notebooks, calendars, tote bags, etc, and all of them capture the Yotsubato “Enjoy Everything” spirit.