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Jul 18, 2012

Manga Introduction: Yotsubato!

Title: よつばと! Yotsubato!
Author: 東 清彦  AZUMA Kiyohiko
Difficulty: 1 (1 easy, 5 hard)
Furigana: Yes
Format: 漫画 (Manga

よつばと! has several primary qualities: slice of life, child main character, comedy

This is probably the ultimate beginner's manga. The story and characters are easy to understand and enjoy even without fully understanding the language, and the language itself is often quite simple. Because the story focuses on the adventures of Yotsuba, a young girl, the topics dealt with are often familiar and easy to follow.

Plot: Yotsuba is a strange little girl with a big personality! Even in the most trivial, unremarkable encounters, Yotsuba’s curiosity and enthusiasm quickly turn the everyday into the extraordinary! Join Yotsuba’s adventures as she explores the wonders of the world around her. (Yen Press)

In Summary, this manga is an excellent starting point in reading manga. Even just starting out, you can enjoy the story and build your reading skills. In fact, it's such a great place to start at that it's the subject for the first Living Japanese Reading Pack! (More info on this later!)


  1. Very much looking forward to this.

  2. むしろ可笑しくも。

  3. Today I tried to read the first pages and it was hard (I feel kind of sad knowing that this is the easy manga) It's weird because I need some previous vocabulary in order to learn the begginer's vocabulary in this manga, how I'm supposed to do that?

    I'm currently working my way (very slowly) through the Kanjis using RTK, but I really needed to test myself by at least trying to read.

    Awesome website, by the way. It really encouraged me to start learn japanese in the first place and I enter here when I need a little bit of motivation.

    Greeting from Venezuela.

    1. It's perfectly fine for it to be difficult on your first run. Regardless of which series you start with, you still have to take those first steps and begin picking your way through reading, so starting will be tough.

      Focus on finding parts that you can look up and and learn, and don't necessarily worry about understanding all of it at once. If you just keep learning bits and pieces, eventually you'll be able to understand all of it.

      Another strategy that you can try is to make an initial run through a chapter or a few pages of the manga and add some vocab to your Anki deck. Run through that for a few days and then try reading it again - it should be a lot easier.

      I'm hoping to finish the reading pack for this manga once the semester ends (one week left!), so keep and eye out for it on the site - it should prove helpful!