Book Review: Manga (The Citi Exhibition)

Manga (The Citi Exhibition) edited by Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere and Matsuba Ryoko. Thames & Hudson, 2019. 9780500480496. 351pp including notes, a checklist of works in the
Citi exhibition at the British Museum in 2019, a glossary, a Japanese language bibliography, an index, and more.

This is simply the most attractive, best designed reference book on manga I’ve ever seen. From the dust jacket art (it’s from Golden Kamuy by Noda Saturo) to the cover art (“Edo As It Was!!” by Akatsuka Fujio) to all of the manga reproduce within, this book is one that belongs in every public library. It’s as fun to flip through as it is informative to read. Many extracts of manga drawn in different styles are reproduced, with translations in the gutters alongside the pages. The book can function as an introduction to manga and graphic novels, or a resource for those who want to know much more than they already do. There are interviews with many involved in the field including creators (my favorites are with Akatsuka Fujio and Inoue Takehiko) as well as essays on everything from manga’s symbols to Tezuka Osamu to the history of manga and its future. It will probably take me years to read every page because it keeps leading me on side trips to other books and authors. I’m sad I missed the exhibit but this is the next best thing (and maybe better since I tend to race through museums).


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