An Early Look at Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan by Aimee Major Steinberger

Title:  Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures In Japan

Author:  Aimee Major Steinberger

Publisher:  go comi!

ISBN: 9781933617831

May Contain Spoilers

This is another book that I picked up to flip through the pictures and then put down for when I had more time to actually sit down and read it.  I just returned from a short jaunt out of town, and my house is just screaming for attention.  The dust has been given a reprieve, because once I opened this book, I couldn’t close it again until I finished reading it.  I don’t think go! comi knows about the insidious allure of spirals, so I’m not quite sure how this happened.

Japan Ai chronicles the author’s journey to Japan, the Mecca of every otaku, with cute illustrations and a wealth of cultural notes.  Along with her two friends, they created a battle plan to visit many of the magical destinations that anime and manga fans dream of seeing.  A trip to an onsen?  It’s in here.  Shopping – yup, complete with maps.  Even primping in Harajuku, in costume!  These guys had a blast, and it’s evident that Aimee is as passionate about her dolls and cos-play as I am about my manga.  Thank goodness for indulgent spouses!

The narration is fast paced and engrossing, and the accompanying illustrations captured the feeling of the situations and events covered in each chapter.  From having her luggage lost to the simple joy of the view of sakura blossoms outside the window of their room at the onsen, the author effectively conveyed her emotions during her adventures in Japan.  Her tall stature helped her to stand out during her travels, though some of these experiences were less than enjoyable.

I’m impressed with the presentation of this book.  The paper stock is nice and thick.  There are a ton of illustrations, some of them in color, and a glossary is thoughtfully included in the back.  Also included is an informative appendix, with  addresses, phone numbers, and websites for many of the locations covered in the book. 

Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures In Japan is a fun travelogue recounting a geek’s journey to the Land of the Rising Sun.  It’s cute and an enjoyable read, and makes me want to pull out my passport and make the trip myself.  Maybe one day…

Grade:  A-

Rated for Teen 13+

Review copy provided by go! comi

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