Kiyohiko Azuma is the author of the continuing and current series Yotsuba to! It is printed in the monthly publication Dengeki Daioh in Japan by MediaWorks, now ASCII Media Works. ADV Manga obtained the rights to the manga in English and distributed five volumes of it between 2005 and 2007.
The manga chronicles the day-to-day exploits of a little child named Yotsuba Koiwai as she explores her surroundings with the help of her father, the locals, and their friends. A manga named “Try! Try! Try!” previously included several of the comic’s characters.
Volume six was scheduled to be released by ADV Media in February 2008, but it was postponed indefinitely so that the firm could concentrate on its primary industry, anime.
The series’ North American licence was obtained by Yen Press, who revealed at New York Comic Con 2009 that they will be publishing the first five volumes along with volume six in September 2009 and continuing with further volumes.
Due to Azuma’s creative ability, narrative, and evolution of the title character, the manga has received praise from critics and readers on a regular basis, and it has been nominated for numerous prizes.
|Alternative Names||Yotsuba and!, Yotsuba&!|
|Series timeline||March 21, 2003 – present|
|English publisher||Kadokawa Gempak Starz|
|Genre||Comedy, Shounen, Slice of Life, Graphic Novel, Fiction, Humor, Iyashikei|
Storyline of Yotsuba to! Manga
Yotsuba Koiwai, the protagonist of Yotsuba&!, is a five-year-old girl who is exuberant, happy, curious, weird, and eccentric to the point where even her own father describes her as unusual.
She is initially uninformed about a lot of things that a kid her age should be, like doorbells, elevators, air conditioning, and even playground swings. Her ignorance serves as the basis for amusing anecdotes in which she discovers—and frequently misunderstands—everyday things.
Yotsuba Koiwai, 5, sees the world as a treasure trove of fascinating activity and wonderful places to explore, whereas most people believe it to be monotonous. The active young girl instinctively sets out to explore the neighbourhood on her own after she and her adoptive father, Yousuke, move to a new city.
The Koiwais get to know their neighbours, the Ayase family, after a few occurrences at the neighbourhood park. Despite their outright scorn, their three daughters—the cheeky college student Asagi, the diligent high school student Fuuka, and the compassionate elementary school student Ena—eventually grow to like Yotsuba and participate in on her shenanigans.
The stories in the series are centred on Yotsuba’s everyday journey of discovery; there is no regular plot continuity. Since several chapters take place on days that follow one another, the story essentially follows the daily lives of the protagonists.
The motto, which appears on chapter title pages and advertisements, “Today is always the most joyful day,” or in the original English, “Enjoy Everything,” can be used to sum up the tone.
Where to read the Manga for free?
Yen Press is the publisher and therefore you can order the book from Yen Press here. You may also buy the book from other stores such as:
Read this wonderful manga along with commentary on this interesting YouTube video
About the Author – Kiyohiko Azuma
Kiyohiko Azuma is the author of this manga and he is an artist from Japan. He wrote the yonkoma comedy manga Azumanga Daioh from 1999 to 2002; J.C. Staff later turned it into an anime series.
He started Yotsuba&!, a slice-of-life manga series, in 2003. It is printed in the monthly magazine Dengeki Daioh and follows the adventures of a five-year-old girl.
Characters appearing in Yotsuba to! Manga
Following are the main characters appearing in this manga series.
A five-year-old girl called Yotsuba Koiwai, who resides with her adoptive father, is followed throughout the series as she goes about her everyday activities and interacts with neighbors and other people.
The protagonist of Kiyohiko Azuma’s manga “Try! Try! Try!” and Yotsuba&! is Yotsuba Koiwai, also known simply as Yotsuba. Yotsuba is the main character of the series and the subject of practically every chapter.
The majority of the stories centre around her encountering—and frequently misinterpreting in a childlike manner—a new concept or activity that is mentioned in the chapter title. She is renowned for her naiveté, childlike vitality, and iconic beauty.
Yotsuba is depicted as a little child with green hair pulled back into four pigtails, resembling her namesake, a four-leaf clover.
There are not many specifics regarding her life before the series began. Although she claims to be from an island “to the left,” she is an adopted child whose birthplace is unknown to the reader.
Yotsuba’s adoptive father, Yousuke Koiwai, claims that he first came across her while she was an orphan in another country and that he raised her before he even realised it. Strangers occasionally mistake her for a foreigner. She doesn’t comprehend questions about her mother and finds the idea of having two sets of grandparents perplexing.
Yotsuba had resided in a rural area with her adoptive father and grandmother before relocating to her current residence.
Yotsuba’s adoptive father is Yousuke Koiwai. The specifics of her adoption are unclear; Koiwai only discloses to Fuuka that, against his will, he found himself raising Yotsuba while travelling abroad.
According to Mrs. Ayase, Yousuke was raised someplace in the countryside, where his parents still reside. He and Yotsuba remained there before moving to their current location. His mother mentions that he needs her assistance with a variety of everyday tasks and that he used to be hospitalised, which suggests that his father is not in good health.
Koharuko, his younger sister, lives in Tokyo as well. Jumbo asserts that Yousuke has travelled much, and it is likely that he first encountered Yotsuba while on one of these journeys. Yousuke admits Yotsuba is a little strange, but he can also be eccentric.
He is portrayed as somewhat of a slacker; he frequently apologises for being “irresponsible” and works from home while wearing a boxer short and undershirt. He has admitted that he has a tendency to forget things. It is unknown what languages and subjects Yousuke translates, although he works from home.
It looks that he makes enough money from this job to sustain himself and his family and keep them in a respectable house. As seen by his messy home, he is also incredibly disorganised. Despite his inexperience and limited expertise,
He strives to be a wonderful dad to Yotsuba as a dad. Yousuke speaks in a sardonic tone, but not in an unkind way, especially when he is around his daughter. With strangers, such as his neighbours, he normally behaves nicely and politely, but when it comes to his close friends, he is more crazy and relaxed back.
The oldest of the three Ayase sisters is Asagi. While attending a nearby university, Asagi resides at home. She is shown as a pretty young lady who enjoys making fun of others, especially her parents. She has a thin build and long, light brown hair.
Asagi is the most skilled member of her family in running Yotsuba Koiwai, and according to her mother, Asagi resembled Yotsuba when she was younger. Asagi’s irreverence may have developed as a result of her mother’s childhood taunts.
For instance, when Asagi found a four-leaf clover, Mrs. Ayase demanded a five-leaf clover, which Asagi was unable to locate.
She might or might not be dating someone, but she appears to be close with Torako, who she considers to be her greatest friend. Her attractiveness attracts Jumbo and Yanda as well, but she doesn’t seem interested in any of them.
Asagi also has a secret ability for creating and fixing teddy bears, and in volume 11 she had the opportunity to perform a brave act by fixing Yotsuba’s cherished animal Juralumin. In chapter 14, Asagi fashions Yotsuba a princess gown out of garbage bags.
Asagi is seen as an example by Yotsuba, who initially refers to her as “the good-looking one” and Fuuka as “the not-so-good-looking one.”
The middle Ayase sister is Fuuka. 17-year-old Fuuka is enrolled in a nearby high school for the second year. She is Asagi’s primary target because she is the most responsible of the sisters. Fuuka is the most accountable of the Ayase sisters despite being the second oldest.
She studies a lot and is very diligent (though she claims she hates it). She participated actively in the neighbourhood committee and demonstrated her knowledge of neighbourhood customs when she notified Koiwai about the trash schedule.
She is also the Vice-President of her school, demonstrating her active participation in a number of events. Although she is mature for her age, Fuuka occasionally exhibits childlike behaviour, especially when Yotsuba is present.
The other characters frequently make fun of Fuuka, especially when it comes to her sense of humour and sense of style. With the exception of her father, she enjoys inventing awful puns, which annoys the majority of those around her, including Koiwai, Jumbo, and her family.
She also enjoys donning clothing with peculiar or unique graphics. Fuuka has short, brown hair and an average height and physique. She is self-conscious about how she appears and frequently feels that her eyebrows are too thick and that she is not slender enough.
Fuuka enjoys eating chips as well, but she looks a little embarrassed about them, perhaps because they make her gain weight.
The youngest Ayase sister is Ena. Yotsuba’s primary playmate Ena, who is a few years older than her, is a close friend. She tries to be ethical by recycling and minimising her use of air conditioning and is mature for her age. She is a lovely, intelligent, and friendly individual.
In an effort to protect Yotsuba’s feelings, she occasionally tells small white lies, such as complimenting Yotsuba’s crude sketches or making her think that Miura’s cardboard robot costume is actually a real robot named Cardbo, which has negative repercussions for both herself and Miura.
Ena enjoys playing with her teddy bears, whether by herself or with Yotsuba, and drawing, a hobby at which she is quite adept. Ena is not afraid of doing anything, including handling big frogs and gutting live fish. She has brown eyes and shoulder-length, dark brown hair. Ena, in Mr. Ayase’s opinion, is similar to himself.
Yanda is a buddy of Koiwai and Jumbo with the given name unknown and the last name Yasuda. He is a young man with messy blonde hair who is typically seen wearing a white shirt and tie, which look to be business attire even though it is unknown what his job entails.
Yanda is referenced in the first chapter, but he doesn’t actually show up until chapter 30. Yanda is labelled “no good” by Jumbo for creating flimsy justifications for not assisting the Koiwais move. When he eventually comes, he tries to enter while Yotsuba is at home alone, which makes her quite wary of him.
He conducts juvenile tit-for-tat pranks on Yotsuba, such as eating her ice cream, phoning her on the phone, and bribing her with candy only to take it back when it doesn’t work. He frequently competes with Yotsuba for the privilege of driving Jumbo’s car’s front seat, and he enjoys blowing his cash on things like soap bubbles.
Yasuda admits to Koiwai that he eats instant ramen since he doesn’t get paid till the end of the month and that he is living paycheck to paycheck. Koiwai and Jumbo appear to find it a little odd that he never consumes alcohol, though he has never given an explanation for why.
Following is the list of other characters that appear in this manga:
- Mr. Ayase
- Mrs. Ayase
- Takashi “Jumbo” Takeda
- Miura Hayasaka
Chapters and Volumes from Yotsuba Manga
The series has 15 volumes and more than 110 chapters. Read the summary from each volume below:
Yotsuba&! Volume 01
Asagi, Fuuka, and Ena, three Ayase girls who live nearby, are introduced to Yotsuba and her dad Koiwai on the final day of the spring semester as they move into their new home. As the Koiwais settle in, they run into issues, such as a broken washroom lock and Yotsuba having to learn how to use air conditioners, doorbells, and polite welcomes.
The old television from Fuuka’s family is offered to the Koiwais, and when Koiwai’s friend Jumbo helps move it, the Ayases are taken aback by his height. Koiwai introduces Yotsuba to buying at a departmental store for the first time to purchase additional home items. Yotsuba and Ena are taken cicada-catching by Jumbo, and when they return, they proudly display their haul to Mrs. Ayase.
The following day, Yotsuba plays in the rain after Fuuka assists him with bringing in the Koiwais’ neglected laundry.
Yotsuba&! Volume 02
Yotsuba joins Ena and her buddy Miura as they sketch in the park. Yotsuba uses her water pistol to seek vengeance on the Ayases after viewing a gangster movie. The following day, Mrs. Ayase assigns Ena, Miura, and Yotsuba to visit a bakery and purchase cake. Yotsuba is left to monitor the house alone when Koiwai, who has been studying all night on a deadline, goes to sleep.
Jumbo brings Yotsuba, Fuuka, and Ena swimming at the pool in an unsuccessful attempt to get nearer to Asagi. Ena loves the bullfrog Yotsuba catches, but Miura is terrified of it. Asagi brings leftover sata andagi for Yotsuba when she returns from a vacation in Okinawa with gifts for her family.
Yotsuba&! Volume 03
Yotsuba goes to the playground to buy Asagi and her friend Torako a gift as a gesture of appreciation. Asagi gives Yotsuba a set of pyrotechnics in exchange. Yotsuba purchases the entire stock at Jumbo’s flower shop while assisting Fuuka with her shopping for 10 yen.
Koiwai sends Yotsuba the following day, during Obon, costumed as the “Flower Cupid,” to distribute extra flowers. The following day, Yotsuba goes to her first zoo to watch an elephant with Koiwai. Jumbo accompanies Yotsuba, Ena, and Miura to a fireworks display in an effort to get closer to Asagi.
Yotsuba discovers that fireworks displays are more amazing than firecrackers and that crowds can be frightening.
Yotsuba&! Volume 04
Jumbo brings Miura, Yotsuba, and Ena fishing in order to give them everyone a “summer holiday memories.” Yotsuba forgets his wallet while Yoiwai and him go grocery shopping for dinner, so they have to borrow money from Fuuka.
Yotsuba tries to comprehend Fuuka’s hurt feelings after she sees the boy she likes with another girl and then comforts her. Yotsuba resolves to become a newspaper editor when Ena first brings him to radio exercises. Ena then invites him home for breakfast.
But when The Yotsuba Times leaks Fuuka’s sadness to the rest of the family, her career is over. Yotsuba dresses up after having a dream about being one, only to discover that they are actually a type of cicada rather than the summer’s end fairy.
Yotsuba&! Volume 05
Yotsuba mistakenly thinks the cardboard robot suit Ena and Miura made for her is a real robot, and Ena won’t allow Miura break her fantasies by revealing the truth. Yotsuba assists Mrs. Ayase with home duties before meeting Yanda, Koiwai’s khai, whom she dislikes right away.
Jumbo takes Ena, Miura, Yotsuba, and Fuuka stargazing to assist her with her schoolwork. Yotsuba invites Ena and Fuuka along while running errands on a wet day after misinterpreting Koiwai’s “There’ll be jellyfish!” justification for staying away from the ocean as a promise to go see the jellyfish.
He caves in when she had a tantrum, and the four of them spend the afternoon at the beach.
Yotsuba&! Volume 06
As Miura scrambles to finish her coursework on the final day of summer break, Yotsuba assigns herself the task of creating a utility shirt out of repurposed materials. Yotsuba goes bicycle shopping with Koiwai. She eventually learns to ride it after a few mishaps and uses it to go on an errand with Asagi and Torako.
Yotsuba seeks out a few more jobs, initially working in an office writing memos before becoming a milkman and bringing a milk bottle to Fuuka at her high school. Her bicycle privileges are taken away by Koiwai since she rode off without permission, but he restores them after she assists him and Jumbo in building some bookcases.
Yotsuba&! Volume 07
Ena and Miura take Yotsuba on a bike trip to their elementary school’s playground after demonstrating how to create a paper-cup phone that they string between Koiwai’s office and Fuuka’s bedroom.
Koiwai prepares a trip to a farm since Yotsuba is still curious about how milk is made, but this is postponed when she develops a fever. As a warm-up for their school’s cultural festival, Yotsuba assists Fuuka and a classmate in baking a complex cake.
Koiwai requests instant ramen for lunch, while Yotsuba insists on performing the first solo errand. Yotsuba is finally brought to the farm by Koiwai, Jumbo, and Yanda, where she sees lambs and discovers how to milk a cow.
Yotsuba&! Volume 08
Yotsuba delivers the Ayases some butter toffees as a memento of her vacation to the dairy farm and is enthralled with her mail-order catalogue. The following day, Yotsuba misleads Koiwai with her “opposites game” as Mrs. Ayase informs him about the upcoming cart-pulling event.
He takes Yotsuba to lunch when she runs into Torako and manages to place her own order. Yotsuba is dissatisfied with the bland pound cake her class serves during the cultural event she attends with Koiwai at Fuuka’s high school. Yotsuba, who is thrilled to have experienced her first typhoon, insists on walking next door in the pouring rain.
Yotsuba&! Volume 09
Yotsuba makes a timetable for the day while Koiwai is at work, but she quickly gets behind and starts playing with her acorns. The following day, Koiwai brings Yotsuba to a mall to look for a coffee maker. While there, she also purchases Yotsuba her very first teddy bear, whom she named Juralumin.
The following day, she shows Mrs. Ayase Juralumin, and she offers Yotsuba Ena’s old waggon for her to transport it in. Yotsuba sends Fuuka a mug of her father’s coffee to help her study, but spills it on the table. He brings Yanda and Koiwai along when one of Jumbo’s clients asks him to her yakiniku shop’s half-off night. The Ayase sisters stop by Yotsuba’s home after she fails to deliver coffee to Fuuka once more.
As they finish cleaning up, Asagi extends an invitation to Yotsuba and Koiwai to attend a hot air balloon festival the following day. Early in the morning, the Koiwais, Asagi, Ena, and Torako leave for the festival, where they witness the balloons fill and launch into a race. They play with hand helicopters, ride in a balloon, and collect candy that is tossed by a paraglider after breakfast.
Yotsuba&! Volume 10
Yotsuba plays home with her bits of wood while Koiwai is at work. She then persuades her father to play a game of hide and seek and go swinging in the park with her. Yotsuba and Yanda help her father teach her how to make pancakes after being inspired by a picture book.
The Koiwais display Jumbo pictures from the hot air balloon celebration that evening. Jumbo watches over Yotsuba as her father completes a task and gives her an animal-themed book. The following day, Jumbo takes the Koiwais digital camera shopping. Yotsuba and Fuuka explore the electronics store while the grownups compare cameras.
Koiwai takes Yotsuba to a guardian Ni statue at a Buddhist temple to scare the “lying bug” out of her after she lies about shattering several dishes. Yotsuba is angry when she discovers her empty cardboard robot outfit when she and Ena visit Miura’s residence. Miura dons the outfit and engages in some playtime in the park with the girl to persuade her that the robot is still alive.
Yotsuba&! Volume 11
Without her father’s awareness, Yotsuba visits an udon store where she is permitted to observe the preparation of udon. The Koiwais order some pizza after receiving a menu in the mail, but one of them is too much for Yotsuba to hold.
After announcing a forthcoming camping trip, Yanda shows up with a variety of bubble-blowing equipment, which they use to play both inside and outside. While picking chestnuts at a shrine, Yotsuba, Fuuka, and Miss Stake (Fuuka’s classmate from chapter 45) teach Yotsuba about burr covers and bug infestations. Yotsuba receives her own camera from Koiwai, which she uses to walk around and take pictures of people.
Upon meeting Miura at her apartment complex, Yotsuba takes her to Ena’s. They wash and dry it at the Ayases’ after a dog grabs her teddy bear and rattles it, making it smell like dog. Asagi agrees to fix the bear’s speech malfunction over the course of the next day. Before Yanda ultimately elicits a response from Yotsuba, she spends the most of the interim period moping about Juralumin’s absence. She visits the Ayases and discovers Juralumin has been fixed there.
Yotsuba&! Volume 12
Yotsuba is seen sketching Danbo in chalk on the sidewalk in the brief opening sequence before he notices migratory geese soaring overhead. She greets Torako to the Ayase home where she displays her photos and picks up how to tie a bow.
Yotsuba finds a can of blue paint in the shelving unit at home and paints the kitchen table as her dad works, staining her hands and spreading drips and blue footprints all over the house after arriving to the flower shop too late to assist Jumbo in painting a desk.
Her dad confronts her when she unsuccessfully attempts to clean up the mess and laughs at her instead of reprimanding her.
Yotsuba&! Volume 13
Early in the morning, Yotsuba visits the Ayase residence where she displays her trinkets and demonstrates the sleeping bag for Asagi. Yotsuba coerces Fuuka into driving her to the park where they meet Yotsuba’s friend Mii and play in the sandbox as Yotsuba makes taiyaki and pudding using sand moulds because her dad claims he is too busy.
Yotsuba’s father puts her to bed, and when she wakes up she looks about the dark house until stumbling upon her father at work. Ena lends a hand to Yotsuba the following morning as she prepares the house for her grandmother’s arrival before Yotsuba and her father meet the grandma at the train station, whom Yotsuba attempts to headbutt in greeting.
When they get home, Yotsuba’s grandmother gives her some mementos. Yotsuba assists her grandmother in cleaning the street in front of the house in the morning. Later, once Yotsuba’s grandmother is convinced that she is taking cleaning seriously, they clean the house together.
Before her grandmother must depart, Yotsuba and her grandmother practise origami with Ena and run errands together. Yotsuba tries to stop her grandmother from leaving by concealing her suitcase. The following day, Yanda comes over and helps himself to the grilled onigiri Yotsuba had made with her grandma as Yotsuba is sweeping the street in front of the house.
Koiwai later assumes the appearance of Sleepyman to put Yotsuba to sleep.
Yotsuba&! Volume 14
Jumbo gives Yotsuba a set of beads after assisting Koiwai with moving a new table upstairs, and the group engages in an intense necklace-making session as a result. Fuuka and Yotsuba are invited to join Miss Stake for a free yoga trial session; while the older girls struggle, Yotsuba demonstrates amazing flexibility.
After reading the Cinderella story, Yotsuba was inspired to style her hair with ribbons. However, Koiwai failed to notice her elaborate long hair, which enraged Yotsuba. Asagi, who lives next door, identifies her right away as a princess and uses plastic garbage bags to create a fancy attire for Yotsuba.
When she goes home to get her bead necklace, Koiwai atones for his earlier error by inviting the self-proclaimed Princess Zapunzel to dance.
Yotsuba&! Volume 15
Yotsuba assists in gathering stray items from all around the room as Koiwai declares it is time to set out the kotatsu. Koiwai is persuaded by Yanda to buy a blender, and Yotsuba is shown a straightforward banana smoothie recipe.
He scares her by screaming that the blender will blow up, but Yotsuba forgave him after tasting the smoothie. Yotsuba and Koiwai encounter Ena and Miura as they head to the seashore to gather rocks; the two older girls are eager to join the rock-collecting adventure.
They initially choose a location that ends up being a sandy beach with few rocks, but a strange man leads them to a better spot where they gather a lot of smooth and intriguing rocks.
Yotsuba gets enticed away from the Ayase home while comparing rocks with Ena by the treats Fuuka brought to her study session with Miss Stake. As a respite from her studies, Fuuka writes a quick test for Yotsuba, and Miss Stake shows Yotsuba how to fold an origami bird.
When Yotsuba gets back to her house, the teenagers pick up their studies again only to find that Yotsuba has devoured all the goodies. Yotsuba and Jumbo visit an art supply store after Ena asks her father for a paint set after Yotsuba observes her paint a birthday card for a friend.
Yotsuba paints an ocean for the fairy princess while Jumbo chooses a set for her. Jumbo and Koiwai play dead for Yanda when she gets there.
Reviews on Yotsuba to! Manga
A pleasant and straightforward manga that serves as a good introduction to the genre for children 5 and up. These are the straightforward adventures of a young toddler discovering the world, making some awkward social connections while also picking herself up after them.
When adults read aloud the drawings before night, they can occasionally make people laugh out loud. It goes beyond being a book about kids. Yotsuba’s father is a fully developed character, and there are some really sweet moments of everyday affection between them, as well as with the adults next door, Jumbo, his best friend, and the hilariously absent third friend who is never available and is thought to be useless.
These moments include in-jokes, monster impressions, laundry-day dances, and his competitive and childlike streak.
I think the artwork is straightforward but ideal for this kind of narrative. It is not a masterpiece, but that is not necessary. It’s okay as long as you convey the cuteness.
Yotsuba is the most interesting character, in my biassed opinion, but there are also many other funny characters in the novel, including her dad, her dad’s buddies, and the girls who live next door. Yotsuba is unquestionably the primary character in this tale, unlike Azumanga Daioh!, which lacks a clear protagonist.
I have a feeling you’d adore this if you enjoy adorable shops like these. Most stories are completely enjoyable. It’s one of those particularly endearing, ironic manga that most people, even those who aren’t into this kind of thing, would adore.
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The manga is serialised; each episode’s title, “Yotsuba & (something),” gives away the day’s major event. The chapters frequently occur one day after another and frequently address events from the past or future goals.
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