The cover for Yotsuba&! volume 1 (English version by ADV)
|Genre||Comedy, Slice of life|
|Written by||Kiyohiko Azuma|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||March 2003 – ongoing|
Yotsuba&! (よつばと! Yotsuba to!?) is an ongoing Japanese comedy manga series by Kiyohiko Azuma, the creator of Azumanga Daioh. It is published in Japan by ASCII Media Works, formerly MediaWorks, in the monthly magazine Dengeki Daioh and collected in twelve tankōbon volumes as of March 2013[update]. It depicts the everyday adventures of a young girl named Yotsuba as she learns about the world around her, guided by her father, the neighbors, and their friends. Several characters in Yotsuba&! were previously featured in a one-shot manga called "Try! Try! Try!" The phrase Yotsuba to means "Yotsuba and," a fact reflected in the chapter titles, most of which take the form "Yotsuba and [something]."
The manga was licensed for English-language distribution by ADV Manga, which released five volumes between 2005 and 2007. Volume six was supposed to have been released in February 2008, but was delayed indefinitely in order to focus on ADV's core business of anime. At New York Comic Con 2009, Yen Press announced that it had acquired the North American license for the series; it reprinted the first five volumes with new translations along with volume six in September 2009, and is continuing with later volumes.
Yotsuba&! is centered on Yotsuba Koiwai, a five-year-old adopted girl who is energetic, cheerful, curious, odd, and quirky—so odd and quirky that even her own father calls her strange. She is also initially ignorant about many things a child her age would be expected to know, among them doorbells, escalators, air conditioners, and even playground swings. This naiveté is the premise of humorous stories where she learns about, and frequently misunderstands, everyday things.
At the start of the series, Yotsuba and her adoptive father, Koiwai, relocate to a new city with the help of Koiwai's best friend, an impressively tall man nicknamed Jumbo. Yotsuba makes a strong impression on the three daughters of the neighboring Ayase family, Asagi, Fuuka, and Ena. Most of her daily activities and misadventures often originate from interactions with these characters.
The series has no continuing plot—the focus of the stories is Yotsuba's daily voyage of discovery. Many chapters take place on successive days (for details, see List of Yotsuba&! chapters), so that the series follows, almost literally, the characters' daily lives. The tone can be summarized by the motto, used on chapter title pages and advertising, "Today is always the most enjoyable day", or in the original translation, "Enjoy Everything" (いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 Itsudemo kyō ga, ichiban tanoshii hi?).
- Yotsuba is depicted as an energetic five-year-old girl with a child's wonder towards even the most unremarkable of new discoveries. She is shown finding enjoyment in nearly everything, and her constant enthusiasm is infectious. Before moving to their present house, she and Koiwai used to reside with his mother, and before that on an island that is, according to Yotsuba, located "to the left". Almost nothing is known about her biological parentage other than that she was orphaned somewhere outside of Japan and subsequently adopted by Koiwai. Hence, she is often mistaken for a foreigner by people who meet her for the first time. Her excellent skills as a swimmer are admired and even envied by some of the adults. But she is not a gifted artist as she is made to believe; those childish sketches she draws are praised just to prevent hurt feelings.
- The name "Yotsuba" (よつば?) can be translated as "four leaved clover," and is part of the phrase yotsuba no kurōbā (四葉のクローバー?, "four-leaf clover"). Her green hair is always styled into four pigtails (even during bedtime), giving her somewhat the appearance of her namesake.
- Mr. Koiwai (小岩井 Koiwai?) / "Daddy" (とーちゃん tō-chan?)
- Mr. Koiwai, (given name still not yet revealed) is Yotsuba's adoptive father. The circumstances which led towards her adoption are obscure and the fate of her birth parents/family is not even mentioned. When asked by Fuuka, he tells her that he found Yotsuba while visiting a foreign country then he just decided on adopting and taking the little girl along with him back to Japan; Mr. Koiwai provided no further details beyond that. Although he may be nonchalant in telling other people that Yotsuba is a weirdo, he can be very offbeat himself and has a tendency to behave in a plethora of unabashedly silly ways; Mr. Koiwai normally acts as such in order to lighten up the mood and/or when he is humorously emphasizing a point. He is depicted as a youthful dad with the carefree lifestyle of a slacker who habitually wears an undershirt coupled with a pair of boxer shorts since he is just at home most of the time; he often feels sorry for himself and is apologetic to other people who catches a rare glimpse of his "irresponsible" getup. The reason for this homebody way of life is due to the fact that Mr. Koiwai works in his house as a freelance translator, though the specific type of languages and/or materials he transcribes remains unknown. Every once in a while, he does get out of the house if it is required by his job or when doing errands such as grocery shopping; he would also gladly accept friendly invitations for outdoor activities and/or night-outs if his quite hectic schedule could allow it. He usually brings his little girl along in these trips which helps add a unique flavor to each encounters given the five-year-old's infallible eagerness and exuberance. Despite his laid-back personality and playful behavior, Koiwai does aim to be a good father and proper role model to Yotsuba; he will duly reprimand and chastise his child whenever she causes an unfavorable situation that definitely warrants a firmer disciplinary course of action.
The Ayases live next-door to the Koiwais.
- Asagi Ayase (綾瀬 あさぎ Ayase Asagi?)
- 20-something years old and the eldest of the three Ayase sisters, Asagi lives at home while attending a nearby university. She is depicted as a very attractive young woman who enjoys creating mischief and teasing people, especially her parents; her friend Torako once described her as a horrible person for slyly manipulating Ena. She is the best of the Ayases at making use of Yotsuba's enthusiasm and naivety for her own personal amusement albeit without any malicious intent. Her mother claims Asagi was very much like Yotsuba when she was young. Mrs. Ayase ponders on how such a cute child could turn out to be a delinquent, much to her eldest daughter's annoyance. Asagi's irreverence may have come from her mother's teasing when she was a child. For example, in the past when Asagi presented Mrs. Ayase with a four-leaf clover, her mother mischievously asked for a five-leaf clover instead. Unable to locate one, young Asagi was reduced to tears. Yotsuba often refers to her as the "Pretty one".
- Fuuka Ayase (綾瀬 風香 Ayase Fūka?)
- The middle Ayase sister, Fuka (also romanized as Fuuka) is 16 years old and in her second year at a local high school. She appears to be the most dependable and responsible of the sisters. Fuka is often called upon to purchase the groceries; she is knowledgeable and active in civic affairs within their community; and during Yotsuba's eventful first visit to her school, one student calls her "vice-president." Fuka usually finds herself frequently going out of her way to help out the Koiwais, even though she does not really intend to do so, which often devolve into embarrassingly awkward scenarios. Besides Jumbo, she has observed the Koiwais' eccentricities and oddball tendencies more than anyone else. Fuuka is often slightly ridiculed by the other characters in regards to her fashion taste and sense of humor; she is fond of making bad puns which irritates Asagi and she tends to wear t-shirts with odd or childish graphics (such as Chiyo's "father" from Azumanga Daioh, who also appears as a plushie in her room and as a keychain on her bag). Yotsuba earlier referred to her as "the one who is not pretty", much to Fuka's dismay.
- Ena Ayase (綾瀬 恵那 Ayase Ena?)
- The youngest Ayase sister, Ena is about 10 years old and enrolled in a nearby elementary school. Being the ones closest to Yotsuba's age, she and her best friend Miura are the titular character's most frequent playmates. Arguably the most genuinely kind and considerate member of the entire cast, Ena is generally well-liked by everyone she interacts with. Ecologically sensible despite her very young age, she tries to be environment-friendly by informing others about the negative effects of global warming (she limits her usage of air conditioning) and teaching Yotsuba the benefits of recycling. Appreciative, level-headed and smart, she behaves as an ideal big sister figure to Yotsuba. But her attempts to spare the five-year-old's fragile feelings sometimes lead her to make little white lies, such as praising Yotsuba's childish sketches or letting Yotsuba believe that her friend Miura (concealed in a cardboard costume) is a real robot named Cardbo (in ADV's translation) or Danbo (in Yen's translation) (ダンボー Danbō?), with repercussions that more often than not rebound on herself and Miura. During her free time, Ena often does sketches (she has very good drawing skills) and can be seen playing with her finely-dressed teddy bears, either by herself or with Yotsuba. Eager and willing to try out new experiences, Ena is unexpectedly not squeamish and even enthusiastic about such activities like handling large frogs and cleaning out live fish. Yotsuba once referred to her as the "small one".
- Mrs. Ayase (綾瀬家の母 Ayase-ke no Haha?) / "Mommy" (かーちゃん kā-chan?)
- The mother of the Ayase sisters. Mrs. Ayase seems to have aged quite well as she appears too young to be a mother of a twenty-year-old daughter. She frequently has Yotsuba over as a guest and even encourages the child to visit them every day. Yotsuba's overly-familiar habit of calling her "Mom" is due to her generosity (she is fond of giving Yotsuba treats because she likes to watch her eat) and uber-tolerant nature (she doesn't mind Yotsuba soaking her with a water pistol then acts dead to play the part). Nostalgia might be the primary reason for her endearment towards Yotsuba; she is able to relive and reminisce on Asagi's younger years (cuter and better days according to her) through the little girl. Asagi's pranks and vexatious behavior exasperates her constantly despite her husband's remark that mother and daughter have very similar personalities; an observation that both Mrs. Ayase and Asagi instantly deny at the same time. Having something akin to a sweet tooth, she has a fondness for ice creams, cakes, and other sugary desserts. These items are often regularly stocked in their fridge, a fact that Yotsuba always has in mind whenever she has her sights on such treats; cravings that prompt her to rush next door much to Mr. Koiwai's embarrassment and disapproval.
- Mr. Ayase (綾瀬家の父 Ayase-ke no Chichi?)
- The father of the three sisters and head of their household. Mr. Ayase is almost never seen at home, particularly during the regular workweek. While his profession is not yet revealed, it is comparable to the life pattern of a common salaryman. Asagi frequently teases him about his constant absences, even sometimes referring to him in the past tense as if he has died already. Still, Mr. Ayase is nonetheless on very good terms with his family; he is doted by Ena and is quite protective of Fuuka. Laid-back, congenial, optimistic, and sentimental; Mr. Ayase's personality is apparently inherited by his more agreeable children: Fuuka and Ena. Whenever he is at home during Yotsuba's visits, the little girl seems to be extra courteous towards him and appears to put on her best behavior even though Mr. Ayase has treated her like a member of the family ever since their first acquaintance.
- Takashi Takeda (竹田 隆 Takeda Takashi?) / "Jumbo" (ジャンボ Janbo?)
- A friend of Koiwai and Yotsuba, having known Koiwai since they were children. Standing 210 centimeters (6 ft 11 in) tall, he dwarfs the other characters, most notably Yotsuba. He is always called by the nickname "Jumbo," and when Fuka overhears his real name (Takashi Takeda) she seemed unimpressed and called it "common". He works as a florist at his father's flower shop, a formerly unmentioned occupation that Yotsuba and Fuuka only discover when they met him there by chance. Jumbo helps the Koiwais move in and frequently visits their house (usually bearing small gifts and treats for his best friend's child such as ice cream and picture books); he is more or less treated as a member of the family by Yotsuba. His dry wit and penchant for making deadpan quips can be confusing to the other characters but he usually means well and is very kind especially towards good-natured youngsters like Yotsuba and Ena. At the same time, he is rather impulsive, and often really goes all-out in organizing impromptu activities for the younger children such as catching cicadas, fishing and star-gazing. During one of these encounters, he enters into an immature one-sided rivalry against Miura which resulted in him spending a single day in Hawai'i just because he was told that she will be going there during the fall season. He also develops a deep infatuation with Asagi when he was introduced to her, but is too shy and awkward around beautiful women to directly act upon it. As a result he often devises ways of taking advantage of Yotsuba's close relationship with Asagi as an indirect method for him to improve his chances. Unfortunately, due to the little girls naivety on such matters, these underhanded schemes are never effective; uninvited people usually get mixed in with the planned activity much to Jumbo's annoyance. Despite this, these forced encounters paved the way for him to be better acquainted with the other characters such as Ena, Fuuka and Miura.
- Miura Hayasaka (早坂 みうら Hayasaka Miura?)
- Ena's close friend and classmate who lives in a nearby high-rise condo. Miura is tomboyish and brusque, in both her appearance and speech (this is very noticeable in the Japanese version; see gender differences in spoken Japanese). She maintains a shorter hairstyle, often dons athletic apparel (such as jerseys of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers) and is never seen dressed in overly girly attire. Jumbo once greeted her as Lamborghini Miura and then asked if she was a girl (Miura was wearing not-so-boyish clothing that day) much to her chagrin. Keeping true to her active nature, she was once seen using roller shoes; had a lively participation as a priestess at the local town festival; and is quite skilled at riding a unicycle. Most of the time, she can be brutally honest and callously frank; Miura tends to verbally retaliate in a tsukkomi-like manner whenever she feels wrongfully treated or ridiculed. Because of this mentality, Miura is depicted as a lot less kind and thoughtful youngster in comparison to her best friend Ena. A notable example: prior to the fireworks display festival, Jumbo was not being very polite towards Miura and in turn she was able to deduce the big guy's major crush on Asagi; Miura used this discovery to her advantage by making the hopeless romantic do all the spending on the premise of allowing Jumbo to indirectly gain favorable vibes with Asagi through her. Yotsuba is also sometimes playfully teased by Miura even up to the point where the little girl is on the verge of tears; Ena always has reliable counter-measures on hand if her friend's pestering goes overboard. But whenever her mischief and ire are mostly held at bay, she really is a good kid deep down who is courteous, appreciative and repentant; Miura, Ena and Yotsuba are often seen spending fun times together and they share a close bond as good friends and constant playmates. In contrast to her rather masculine demeanor, Miura is surprisingly very squeamish. When Jumbo took the younger children fishing, Miura vehemently refused in continuing to use the live bait then opted for salmon roe instead (a luxury according to her); she ultimately distanced herself from the sight of Jumbo and Ena fearlessly gutting and cleaning-out their still wriggly catch. She was also terrified by a large frog that Yotsuba brought home to the Ayases. In a later chapter, Miura immediately turned tail and ran away on instinct when she saw Yotsuba nonchalantly holding a worm with her bare hands.
- Torako (虎子?)
- A close friend of Asagi who also attends the same nearby university; the two young women frequently plan trips and hang out together. Focused on being 'cool', Torako smokes cigarettes constantly and is very skinny. Her name means "tiger" (虎 tora?) "girl" (子 ko?) and Yotsuba enjoys calling her as just Tora ("tiger"). She is fond of dabbling in amateur photography using her old SLR camera and is the only member of the younger cast shown driving a car. Jumbo has yet to meet Torako and was quite apprehensive upon assuming that she is male and Asagi's boyfriend. Generally humorless and diligently adhering to a no-nonsense mentality, Torako was initially irritated and even exasperated by Yotsuba's quirkiness and antics. Admitting to Mr. Koiwai her troubles in dealing with young children, Torako then told him that Yotsuba is an exception; she eventually began to like the little girl and now considers being around her "fun."
- Yanda (ヤンダ?) , actual surname Yasuda (安田?)
- Yanda, is a friend of Koiwai and Jumbo. Though mentioned in the first and fourth chapters, when Jumbo calls Yanda "no good" for making lame excuses for not helping the Koiwais move, he does not appear until chapter 30. He is somewhat childish, as shown by the tit-for-tat pranks he plays on Yotsuba, including bribing her with candy then taking it back when it does not work, eating her ice cream, and prank-calling her, and is shown enjoying teasing Yotsuba and acting as her "nemesis". Koiwai refers to Yanda as his kōhai, but in what context he is Koiwai's junior is unknown. He is living from paycheck to paycheck, telling Koiwai that he eats instant ramen because he does not get paid until the end of the month, and only eating frozen meals the rest of the time.
- Hiwatari (日渡?) / "Miss Stake" (しまうー Shimaū?)
- A friend of Fuuka's, given name unknown, who is in the same homeroom. Her first official appearance is in chapter 45, when she visits Fuuka's home and recognizes Yotsuba from her trip to their high school in chapter 40. Hiwatari has a somewhat eccentric personality. She is normally called by her nickname Miss Stake (しまうー Shimaū?) due to a "mistake" she made when she first introduced herself to her class (in Japanese, shimau used as an auxiliary verb can mean to do something by accident, hence the pun).
In 1998, Azuma published a one-shot manga and two webcomics called "Try! Try! Try!", in which Yotsuba, her father (who is unnamed), Ena, Fuka, and Asagi first appeared. Although some of these characters, including Yotsuba herself, are largely the same as in Yotsuba&!, Fuka has a different character design, a more mischievous personality, and a different spelling of her given name (in "Try! Try! Try!", it is written with the kanji 風 夏, meaning "wind-summer"; in Yotsuba&!, it is 風 香, meaning "wind-scent").
Despite its popularity and the success of Azumanga Daioh, no plans have been announced for an anime adaptation of Yotsuba&!. In an entry posted on his website on 15 May 2005, Azuma said there were no plans for it to be animated; he reiterated this 5 December 2008, claiming that the stories and style of Yotsuba&! are not well-suited for animation.
The manga is written and illustrated by Kiyohiko Azuma, and published by ASCII Media Works in the monthly shōnen (aimed at teenage boys) manga magazine Dengeki Daioh since the March 2003 issue, with serialization on-going. Chapters have been collected in twelve tankōbon volumes As of March 2013[update].
In English, Yotsuba&! was originally licensed by ADV Manga, who published five volumes between 2005 and 2007 before dropping the license. The North American license was picked up by Yen Press, which republished the first five volumes along with the sixth in September 2009; as of October 2011, Yen has released ten volumes. In addition, the series is licensed in France by Kurokawa, in Spain by Norma Editorial, in Germany by Tokyopop Germany, in Italy by Dynit, in Finland by Punainen jättiläinen, in Korea by Daiwon C.I., in Taiwan by Kadokawa Media, in Vietnam by TVM Comics, and in Thailand by NED Comics.
Each chapter of Yotsuba&! takes place on a specific, nearly sequential day of a common year starting on Wednesday. The year was initially believed to be 2003, coinciding with the date of the manga's serialization, but Azuma has stated that the manga always takes place in the present day. This allows the appearance of products created after 2003, such as the Nintendo DS Mr. Ayase plays in chapter forty-two.
Both monthly and daily Yotsuba&! calendars have been released every year since 2005, although a monthly calendar for 2009 was not released due to constraints on Azuma's schedule. The 2005 edition of the monthly calendar featured pictures of Yotsuba playing with animals such as lions, zebras, and kangaroos. The 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010 editions feature photographs altered to include Yotsuba doing such things as playing with other children or reaching for a balloon. The photographs were by Miho Kakuta, with drawings by Kiyohiko Azuma. The daily calendars have a mix of original and manga artwork, with occasional captions, as well as other fun items – for example, the 2006 calendar had a game of shiritori ongoing through the year. The daily calendars run from April to March, following the Japanese school year instead of the calendar year.
The 2010 monthly calendar was released in November 2009.
Two Yotsuba&! music CDs have been released, both purely instrumental, called "image albums". The music is designed to elicit mental images of events described by the titles. Both albums are composed by Masaki Kurihara and performed by the Kuricorder Pops Orchestra, who also worked together on the Azumanga Daioh soundtrack.
- The first album, Yotsuba&♪, released in April 2005, follows Yotsuba throughout the course of a typical day.
- The second album, Yotsuba&♪ Music Suite (General Winter), released in November 2006, depicts the season of winter, including Christmas and New Year's celebrations. "General Winter" (冬将軍 Fuyu Shōgun?) is a personification of harsh winters, similar to Jack Frost.
A Yotsuba&! picture book, Yotsuba & Monochrome Animals, was published on 16 December 2006 (ISBN 978-4-8402-3714-7). The book has pictures of Yotsuba playing with various black-and-white colored animals, such as pandas. The name of each animal is given in Japanese and English, along with the scientific classification of the species. Another book called Find Yotsuba was released in 2013, which is actually a compilation of all the calendar illustrations released previously.
Yotsuba&! is drawn not in the vertical four-panel strips of Azuma's earlier series, Azumanga Daioh, but in a full-page format, giving him more artistic scope. Azuma's work on Yotsuba&! has been noted for its clean art, detailed backgrounds, and expressive faces. Azuma is also praised for his joyous tone, slice-of-life storytelling, comedic writing, and eccentric yet realistic characters, especially Yotsuba herself.
The Comics Reporter described the series as "read[ing] like a love letter to the way kids can be at the age of 2–5," and a reviewer at Anime News Network compared Azuma's ability to capture "the wonder of childhood" to Bill Watterson's in Calvin and Hobbes. Manga: The Complete Guide described it as "a light, feel-good manga, like an endless summer day." Nicholas Penedo of Animeland said "with Yotsuba, we find ourselves plunged into the wonderful world of childhood," calling the French edition of volume eight, "A beautiful manga for children and adults." BD Gest praised Azuma's skill in making distinct secondary characters, calling them "immediately recognisable", and saying that they each spice up the story in their own ways. However, Azuma has been criticized for creating characters that are "too clean, too perfectly functional," for overusing "outrageous expressions and reactions," and for dragging out jokes too long.
Yotsuba&! has been popular with readers as well as reviewers. For example, on Amazon.co.jp, volume six was the third best-selling comic in Japan for the first half of 2007 and volume eight was the second best-selling comic in Japan for 2008; volumes seven and eight both were number two on the Tohan comics chart the week they debuted. Volume eight sold more than 450,000 copies in 2008, making it one of the top 50 bestselling manga volumes on the Oricon chart for the year. The first five volumes of the English translation were each among the top 100 selling graphic novels in the United States in the month of release. Volume six of the English edition reached number 3 on the New York Times best seller list for manga, and it stayed on the list for four weeks. Volume 8 debuted at No. 2 on the manga best seller list.
Awards and recognitions
Yotsuba&! received an Excellence Award for Manga at the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival, where the jury citation praised the vivid characters and gentle atmosphere. In 2008 Yotsuba&! was nominated for the 12th Osamu Tezuka Culture Award and the Eisner Award "Best Publication for Kids" category, but did not win either, and was runner-up for the first annual Manga Taishō award. The English translation was listed as one of the best 20 comics of 2005 by Publishers Weekly, one of the best comics of 2006 by the staff of The Comics Journal, and one of the top graphic novels for teens in 2008 by YALSA. Volume one was named Book of the Month in the June 2005 issue of Newtype USA.
There was an exhibit of Yotsuba&! artwork at the Gallery of Fantastic Art in Tokyo from 2–17 December 2006. The lead article of the May 2009 issue of the Japanese design magazine Idea was a study of Yotsuba&!, focusing on book design, interior layout, and how translated editions were handled.
- Chad Clayton (6 June 2005). "Yotsuba&! vol. 1". Anime Jump!. Archived from the original on 10 May 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
- Greg McElhatton (24 March 2005). "Yotsuba&! Vol. 1". Read About Comics. Retrieved 11 August 2007.
- "Yotsuba&! (Archive)". Wayback machine/ADV Films. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
- Alverson, Brigid (23 June 2008). "ADV Manga Is Still in the Picture". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
‘When will Yotsuba&! come out?’ We don’t know, and we’re not going to lie about it.[dead link]
- Scott Green (28 May 2008). "AICN Anime-Yotsuba Questions Answered, An Early Look at Gantz, Koike's Color of Rage and More!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
- Koulikov, Mikhail (7 February 2009). "New York Comic Con Yen Press". Anime News Network. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
- "Yen Press » YOTSUBA&! by Kiyohiko Azuma". Yen Press. Retrieved 5 March 2009.
- Initially, she claims to be six years old, but this is corrected by her father in chapter 36: Azuma, Kiyohiko (September 2009) [31 December 2006]. "Chapter 36: Yotsuba & Bicycles". Yotsuba&!. Volume 11. New York: Yen Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-316-07324-0.
- Doorbells: chapters 2 and 4; escalators: chapter 5; air conditioners: chapter 3; swings: chapter 1; in Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). Yotsuba&!. Volume 1. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0317-1.
- Tom Spurgeon (15 August 2005). "Yotsuba&! Vol. 1". The Comics Reporter. Retrieved 22 September 2007.
- Beard, Patricia (22 June 2007). "Yotsuba&! Vol. No. 04". Mania.com. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
- As reported by Ena Ayase in Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). "Chapter 14: Asagi & Souvenirs". Yotsuba&!. Volume 2. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0318-8.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). "Translator's Notes". Yotsuba&!. Volume 1. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0317-1.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). "Chapter 7: Yotsuba & Rain". Yotsuba&!. Volume 1. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0317-1.
- Carlson, Johanna Draper (28 July 2008). "*Yotsuba&! — Recommended Series". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
Dad’s not particularly normal, either. During move-in, Yotsuba gets distracted and wanders off. His reaction is that “she’ll be back when she gets hungry,” as though she was a pet.
- Chad Clayton (6 June 2005). "Yotsuba&! vol. 1". Anime Jump!. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2008.
Yotsuba's "dad" Koiwai has more than a little of the "twenty-something slacker" aura, but he genuinely cares about her and does his best to take care of her.
- Chapter 61: Yotsuba & Balloons
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). "Chapter 16: Yotsuba & Asagi". Yotsuba&!. Volume 3. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0329-4.
- Whether this means vice-president of the student council or another body is not clear. Azuma, Kiyohiko (September 2009) [31 December 2006]. "Chapter 40: Yotsuba & Delivering". Yotsuba&!. Volume 6. New York: Yen Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-316-07324-0.
- Chiyo-chichi shirt: Yotsuba&!, chapter 8. Plushie: Yotsuba&!, chapters 29 and 42.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). "Chapter 8: Yotsuba & Drawing". Yotsuba&!. Volume 2. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0318-8.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (2007). "Chapter 28: Yotsuba & Cardbo". Yotsuba&!. Volume 5. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0349-2.
- Frog: Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). "Chapter 13: Yotsuba & the Frog". Yotsuba&!. Volume 2. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0318-8.. Fish: Azuma, Kiyohiko (2007). "Chapter 23: Yotsuba & Fishing". Yotsuba&!. Volume 4. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0345-4.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). "Chapter 20: Yotsuba & the Fireworks Show?". Yotsuba&!. Volume 3. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0329-4.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (2007). "Chapter 31: Yotsuba & Stars". Yotsuba&!. Volume 5. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0349-2.
- For example, his various comments about his height in Yotsuba&!, chapter 4: Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). "Chapter 4: Yotsuba & TV". Yotsuba&!. Volume 1. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0317-1.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (2005). "Chapter 21: Yotsuba & the Fireworks Show!". Yotsuba&!. Volume 3. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0329-4.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (April 2010). "Chapter 50: Yotsuba & The Restaurant". Yotsuba&!. Volume 8. Yen Press. ISBN 978-0-316-07327-1.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (2007). "Chapter 30: Yotsuba & Yanda". Yotsuba&!. Volume 5. ADV Manga. ISBN 978-1-4139-0349-2.
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (December 2009) . "Chapter 45: Yotsuba & the Pâtissier". Yotsuba&!. Volume 7. New York: Yen Press. ISBN 978-0-316-07325-7.
- "あずまきよひこ.com: TOPICS (FAQ)" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 25 May 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
- "Yotsuba&! Creator Kiyohiko Azuma Addresses Anime Rumors". Anime News Network. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
- "Yotsuba&! Vol 1" (in French). Kurokawa. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- "¡YOTSUBA!" (in Spanish). Norma Editorial. Archived from the original on 4 August 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- "Yotsuba&!" (in German). Tokyopop Germany. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- "Yotsuba & !" (in Italian). Dynit. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- "Yotsuba&!" (in Finnish). Punainen jättiläinen. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- 요츠바랑! (in Korean). Daiwon C.I. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- 四葉妹妹! (in Chinese). Kadokawa Media. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- "Yotsuba&!" (in Vietnamese). TVM Comics. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- โยทสึบะ หนูเด๋อจอมป่วน! (in Thai). NED Comics. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- "Azuma Kiyohiko discuses volume 6" (in Japanese). 23 January 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2007.[dead link]
- Azuma, Kiyohiko (27 November 2008). "あずまきよひこ.com: ENTRY [カレンダーとか]" [AzumaKiyohiko.com: ENTRY "And Calendar?"] (in Japanese).
- "Yotsuba Wall Calendar Site" (in Japanese). Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- "Yotsuba Desktop Calendar Site" (in Japanese). Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- "Yotsuba Calendar". kiyohiko Azuma. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
- "Yotsubato! Image Album". Anime News Network. 23 March 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
- "Yotsuba Music CD Site" (in Japanese). Retrieved 18 May 2007.
- "Fuyu Shōgun CD Site" (in Japanese). Retrieved 18 May 2007.
- よつばとしろとくろのどうぶつ (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
- Carlo Santos (27 November 2007). "RIGHT TURN ONLY!! – Society for the Study of Really Awesome Endings". Anime News Network. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
Such is the way of Kiyohiko Azuma's slice-of-life storytelling, which was mastered within the four-panel pillars of Azumanga Daioh but perfected only in the full-chapter format that Yotsuba&! brings.
- Carl Kimlinger (9 February 2008). "Review: Yotsuba&! GN 5". Anime News Network. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
What is really special about Yotsuba, though, is that newness with which she, as a child, sees the world. That the manga allows us to glimpse the world through those same eager eyes is what gives it appeal far beyond its humor. And it's in this that Azuma's decision to move past the four-panel format really pays dividends.
- Jessica Chobot (2 August 2005). "Yotsuba&! Vol. 1 Review". IGN Comics. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
Incredibly strong drawings with excellent composition, detailing without being over-drawn and solid inking enhances the whole package.
- Deb Aoki. "Yotsuba&! Volume 4 by Kiyohiko Azuma – Yotsuba Manga Review". About.com. Retrieved 13 June 2008.
Crisp, un-fussy artwork, with delightful character expressions... The humor flows effortlessly with flawless timing.
- Greg McElhatton (21 June 2007). "Yotsuba&! Vol. 4". Read About Comics. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
- Carlson, Johanna Draper (28 July 2008). "*Yotsuba&! — Recommended Series". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
He beautifully draws everyday life and items, providing a grounding background. The detailed settings, such as the town streets, nicely contrast with the simpler character faces. And his sense of motion makes action sequences feel like a cartoon, they move so smoothly.
- Dan Grendell (29 December 2005). "Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents YOTSUBA&!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
Azuma's facial expressions bring YOTSUBA&! to life, making every page feel rich with personality, almost radiating emotion. The faces play a key role in the art, dominating each panel but not overpowering it.
- Johnston, Chris (June 2005). "Yotsuba&! Volume 1: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic". Newtype USA 4 (6): 162.
Its light-hearted fluffy slice-of-life episodes are accentuated by Azuma's cutely expressive artwork, which gives the book a near-weightless quality.
- Mike Dungan (31 March 2005). "Yotsuba&! Vol. No. 01". Anime on DVD. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
Yotsuba is like a blank slate of joyous fun, learning about everything and loving every minute of it ... Yotsuba&! manages the clever balancing act of being both manic and gentle fun at the same time.
- Tom Spurgeon (31 May 2007). "Yotsuba&! Vol. 4". The Comics Reporter. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
- Carlo Santos (26 June 2007). "Yotsuba and RTO – RIGHT TURN ONLY!!". Anime News Network. Retrieved 22 September 2007.
The second half of the book is observational humor at its absolute pinnacle ... [T]here are plenty of times when Yotsuba&! is less than brilliant—usually when the series defeats itself by dragging out a joke too long.
- Carlson, Johanna Draper (28 July 2008). "*Yotsuba&! — Recommended Series". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
Almost everything is a new experience for her, and her enthusiasm provides the appeal of the stories. Her wide-eyed innocence and seemingly inexhaustible energy makes for charming misunderstandings and comedy.
- Tom Spurgeon (15 August 2005). "Yotsuba&! Volume 1". The Comics Reporter. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
Kyohiko Azuma's Yotsuba&! manga reads like a love letter to the way kids can be at the age of 2–5, when they are in most ways functioning human beings but function in a world that's impossibly huge and easy to accept for its more benign surface qualities.
- Thompson, Jason (2007). Manga: The Complete Guide. New York: Del Rey. pp. 402–403. ISBN 978-0-345-48590-8.
- Penedo, Nicholas (13 January 2009). "Animeland – Critiques – Yotsuba ! • Vol. 8 – La BD" (in French). Animeland. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
Toujours aussi frais et mignon, ce tome ne déçoit pas : avec Yotsuba, on se retrouve plongé dans le monde merveilleux de l’enfance. Un beau manga pour petits et grands.
- Natali, M. (31 August 2006). "BD Gest' – Yotsuba ! 1. Yotsuba et le Déménagement" (in French). BD Gest'. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
Azuma brosse des personnages attachants, aux caractères bien marqués, immédiatement reconnaissables et qui pimentent chacun à leur façon les savoureux chapitres de cette comédie.
- "'07 上半期 Booksランキング > 和書" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
- "Amazon.co.jp Posts 2008's Top Comics, Light Novels". Anime News Network. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
- "コミックランキング – THE 21 なんでもランキング – お楽しみ – PHP研究所" (in Japanese). Retrieved 9 January 2008.
- "コミックランキング – THE 21 なんでもランキング – お楽しみ – PHP研究所" (in Japanese). Retrieved 6 September 2008.
- "2008's Top-Selling Manga in Japan, #26–50". Anime News Network. 21 December 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2008.
- Volume 1: , volume 2: , volume 3: , volume 4: . Retrieved 31 July 2007.
- Volume 5: . Retrieved 27 November 2007.
- "Best Sellers: Graphic Books". New York Times. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
- "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, October 4–10". Anime News Network. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
- "Best Sellers: Graphic Books: Manga". New York Times. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "2006 Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Division Excellence Prize YOTSUBA &!". Japan Media Arts Plaza. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
... [A]ll the characters are vividly depicted, which gives exhilaration to the work and the whole atmosphere has a gentleness.
- "Asahi Shimbun 12th Osamu Tezuka Culture Award Final Nominees Announcement" (in Japanese). Retrieved 17 April 2008.
- "2008 Eisner Nominations Most Diverse Yet". Comic-Con International. Retrieved 19 June 2008.
- "Shinichi Ishizuka Wins First Ever Manga Taisho for Gaku". Anime News Network. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
- Calvin Reid, Heidi MacDonald, and Douglas Wolk (7 November 2005). "Best Comics of 2005". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
- "Best Comics of 2006 Index". The Comics Journal. 2 March 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
- "YALSA Announces Great Graphic Novel List". 17 January 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
- よつばと!展 [Yotsuba&! exhibition] (in Japanese). Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- "idea magazine » IDEA NO. 334 : Designs for Manga, Anime & Light Novels (Vol.1)". Seibundō Shinkōsha. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
- "Yotsuba&! Design" (in French). Kurokawa. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
- Official websites
- ASCII Media Works website (Japanese)
- Yotsuba Studio, Kiyohiko Azuma's studio website (Japanese)
- azumakiyohiko.com, Kiyohiko Azuma's personal website (Japanese)
- ADV website at the Wayback Machine
- Yen Press website