Sarah Eitelberg

Manga Review: Time Killers – Short Story Collection

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Time Killers is so packed full of exciting and fantastical stories it hard to believe they all fit into this slim little book!

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Time Killers
Author: Kazue Kato
Publisher: Shueisha inc.
English publisher: Viz Media

Release date: September 2, 2014

No one likes to show off old projects, years of progress and practice at your craft makes any old work down right embarrassing. The masterpieces you thought were your best work and would have loved to show the world 10 years ago now make you cringe at the thought of anyone catching a mere glance at them. Time Killers is a collection of the fabulous manga creator Kazue Kato’s first mangas to be published, and let me tell you they are anything but embarrassing.

The fact that I loved every story in this book is amazing to me. Usually in short story collections there is at least one that you give the “meh” to–one that just didn’t capture you like the rest of them did. Not in Time Killer though, each time I turned the page to start a new adventure I was excited! What would this one be like? From theme to art style and even length, each story is so different from one another you have to constantly remind your self they are all by the same person. Even the shorter stories that ran only a page or two were a fun read. Normally I’m not a fan of shorter stories as I feel they sometimes leave things out, but not Kato! A Guide to Princess Clothes is a cute little story of a princess who hates the hassle of changing clothes and thinks of a new faster way to get dressed. A beautiful story one single page!

While all the stories are gems, my favorite one was Astronerd. It’s one of the longer stories in the book about a high school boy who loves astronomy. However, ridicule from the kids at his old school makes the boy hide his love of astronomy from the students at his new school. Even from his cute classmate who claims to love the stars too.  I enjoy a good “be yourself” theme in a story and Astronerd had me rooting for the protagonist the whole way. From breaking your heart in three pages too giving you such an amazing sense of wonder, this book has a wide spectrum of themes that you never know if the next story will make you laugh or cry. The author’s note at the end of the book was a great look inside Kato’s mind when she wrote each story and a little history about them. A great reason to re-read the book, and you will re-read it many times, to get a different look at each story.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked past Kato’s breakthrough manga Blue Exorcist in the store, contemplating it’s purchase. Do I really want to invest into another manga series? Do I even have room for another one? I already watched the anime. The excuses were endless and I moved along. But now after having a taste of what this amazing artist can do I can’t think of a single reason to not start up on that manga. Kazue Kato welcome to my list of favorite manga authors!

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