Animus

by Antoine Revoy
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: There are some unsettling images. It’s in the graphic novel section of the bookstore, but I’d give it to a 5th/6th grader who wants something weird and unsettling.

Tucked away in Kyoto, Japan is a small, unassuming playground. No one things about it, not parents, not kids who play there. Except, one day, friends Hisao and Sayuri see a masked ghost. That tells them the playground is alive: the swings can transport you into people’s dreams, the statues can hear everything, and the slide… well, the slide ages you super fast.

Which might explain all the missing children.

So, Hisao and Sayuri embark to figure out what makes the playground tick, and to perhaps find some of the missing children, and maybe put things back to rights.

I think I expected this to be creepier than it was. It was odd more than unsettling, Weird more than disturbing. The mystery wasn’t terribly mysterious. And I kept thinking that maybe Japanese kids being drawn by a Frenchman was a bit, well, problematic. That said, the art was gorgeous, and I appreciated that Revoy kept the traditional manga black and white instead of coloring it.

Maybe I just went in with too high of expectations.

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