Kiichi And The Magic Books

May 12, 2008 at 12:03 am 2 comments

Last Wednesday when I spotted Kiichi and the Magic Books, a new CMX manga about a young demon boy who meets a travelling librarian who rents out magical books I had to pick it up.  Magic books?  A travelling library?  I’m there!

Kiichi is a young boy living in a small village, sheltered by his mother and hiding his true appearance.  After his mother dies, the villagers discover that Kiichi has a horn growing out of his forehead, label him an “oni” and therefore a bad omen.  Shunned by his former friends yet unable to leave, Kiichi lives a lonely life until one day he comes across a strange man in the forest reading a book to a little girl.  Not just any book, though.  This one has little dancing demons inside!  Kiichi is excited and positive he’s finally found his own kind, but is disappointed to find out that the book is magic and isn’t really full of oni.  Mototaro, the travelling librarian, assures Kiichi and the villagers that oni are actually good, but the knowledge has become lost over the years.  Kiichi decides that he should leave the village and travel with Mototaro to learn more about his own kind.

While I’m sure that Kiichi’s journey will be interesting (Kiichi’s character is the standard friendly, earnest sort of kid you see setting off on some quest in manga all the time), I admit what really caught my interest were the books and librarian.  The books we saw were magical and dangerous in the wrong hands, and contrary to a real world librarian Mototaro seemed quite put out to find that the next village had it’s own small library. 

Ooh!  Why is it forbidden?  Obviously it’s not reading itself that’s bad, otherwise why would they have travelling librarians?  Are all books magical?  Mototaro certainly needs to know magic to contain the contents of the books, but it doesn’t seem to take any special abilities to pull things out. 

Forgive my tilted scan job here.  Mototaro is a fairly typical gruff, grumpy character with a soft spot underneath.  Otherwise why agree to travel with two children, even as odd as they are?  He very reluctantly agrees to let Kiichi travel with him but is appalled by the fact that no one has ever taught the boy to read.  Because of course, the information about the lost oni Kiichi is looking for is all contained in books at the Depositories.

Heh.  Abridging.  They make it sound like a ceremony.

In volume one, Kiichi and his group visit a new village (the one mentioned above that owns books) and Kiichi befriends a girl with a strange kitty that turns out to be a little more dangerous than it first appears.  We also see Hana (the little girl with problems of her own) get kidnapped by a huge bird, there’s a run in with bandits and finally an encounter with a new friend in the forest that Mototaro doesn’t quite trust. 

I found the art a little rough, but charming and it managed to be quite expressive.  I really enjoyed the first volume and I’m definitely going to pick up volume two to see how Kiichi’s journey to the first book depository turns out.

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Entry filed under: manga.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • […] checks out vol. 3 of Cherry Juice, and Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 1 of Foxy Lady. Cathy enjoys Kiichi and the Magic Books at It can’t all be about manga… Erica Friedman reviews chapters 3 and 6 of Gunjou, […]

    Reply
  • 2. Kiichi and the Magic Books  |  August 5, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    […] Maniac Cafe Slightly Biased Manga it can’t all be about manga… (includes some scans of the art) Tags: […]

    Reply

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