You all understand that certain things happen once in a blue moon. Or happens in certain periods of time. Like it being February 29. Or the Olympics. Whatever it is, when it occurs, you’ll either dread it or look forward to it like you’ve never looked forward to anything ever before in your life. Which brings us to Yotsuba&!. The 15th volume came out this past September. I last read volume 14 in 2020. That actually came out November 13, 2018.
So it’s technically been over a year and some time for me. For others, it’s been over three years since a new volume of Yotsuba&!. For that, I would say, hahaha, it hasn’t been that long for me, too bad! It’s just now since I’ve read 15, I too will be joining the many others who will be waiting for volume 16 when it comes out either in 2023 or 2024, and it will surely be painful. I believe the “dread it or look forward to it” mention earlier applies to this series since now the wait for new Yotsuba&! will be terrible, but boy did this volume of Yotsuba&! deliver!
Well, almost deliver. The topics this time, though they essentially are what the series is all about, borders on the really mundane side. We have a chapter about socks? Making banana juice?…Rocks?…….Cramming? Those can’t be at all interesting to read about in any way shape or form. Unless you have someone like Yotsuba getting involved in all of those, and then it becomes extremely fun and heartwarming.
Like yes in theory going out rock picking sounds incredibly boring. But then you see Yotsuba getting enthusiastic about it. She then gets Ena and Miura into the idea. Yousuke then drives the three over to the seaside and they have trouble actually finding rocks. A weird man actually understands Yotsuba’s drawing of a rock and leads them to an area with tons of rocks. And before you know it, all four of them — Yotsuba, Yousuke, Ena, and Miura — are enthusiastically pick up rocks. And have so much fun doing it.
This all is incredibly mundane but for these four, what they’re doing is so much fun you can actually believe it. In the cramming chapter we don’t actually see Fuuka and Miss Stake study (in fact when Yotsuba pops in on them they definitely were not studying!), but instead Yotsuba ends up joining them in their cramming, which consists of them giving her a quiz and her getting her answers right. Maybe Miss Stake looked a little funny when Fuuka said Yotsuba was right about the dolphins. But whatever the case, they did a bunch of things and everything went well enough, but all of a sudden, the snacks Fuuka brought up happen to be gone…
So yes, Yotsuba&! continues to be a delight, just that compared to the last volume, it’s a slight step down. But it’s hard to hate on a volume where Yotsuba creates an epic tale and even has the mind to include a bar code on the “book”, and especially hard to hate on a volume where on a trip to get Yotsuba a backpack, Yousuke really reflects on the moment that he really is a dad, like yes, he is a father. It’s a quiet moment that almost makes you wonder what would happen if this series ever got to Yotsuba growing up towards grade school or high school age. Then how would he really feel about that little child now all mature and growing rebellious?
Well, not only are we a long ways away from that, it’s unlikely we’ll have to worry about that in this series. Think we’ll be still be seeing Yotsuba learn lots of things, and continue to make accidentally making a mess in a room somehow end really nicely (Yotsuba’s dad summons a kotatsu!). And I’ll be looking forward to it…whenever it does come out!