Senzou the black fox was a terribly powerful bakemono - a magical beast - but he was finally brought down by the sun goddess and a legion of wolves. He was imprisoned for 300 years while the goddess siphoned his power away. Now, he’s been released, and he must serve out his penance: raise a little tanuki to be a good servant of the gods, or be constantly tormented by a magical pearl necklace that delivers pain kind of like a shock collar. In addition to raising the tanuki, whom he calls Manpachi, the pair must help 8 million gods with whatever problems they have.
This was pretty cute and definitely good for fans of cartoon films staring animals as characters. There were some wonderfully cute tanuki faces from Manpachi that looked straight out of Disney films. Senzou is such a grump and really irritated by all these good characters, so his demeanor and bit of helplessness might resonate with older readers, while younger readers will definitely be delighted by the comical Manpachi. There are also some helpful pages explaining all the different types of mythical beings, so readers who might be confused by terms like "bakemono" need only wait a few pages to get an explanation.
I really enjoyed the illustrations. The splash page illustrations are beautifully detailed with sort of a charcoal quality. On the rest of the pages, Tagawa uses more solid lines and precise shading, but the wilderness environments are beautiful and soothing.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 3-8
Publication Date: March 20, 2020
ISBN: 9781427863188 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Manga, Folklore, Animals, TokyoPop
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I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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