At Kingyo used books, every manga one could ever want is available to those seeking to reconnect with a childhood memory of better times, whether it be aspirations to be a world famous detective or the desire to find a soul mate similar to one they had read about. Every day, an eccentric group of people congregate to the tiny bookstore celebrating their love of manga and the influence it holds over their lives.
Published under Viz Media’s SigIKKI imprint, Kingyo Used Books is the reader’s answer to why they enjoy manga. Each chapter focuses on a different character, each connected through their appreciation of manga. Each one believes they have grown out of what they believe to be a childhood hobby. Over the course of the story, the characters gradually realize the truth that they cannot nor do they desire to forget the medium that has brought them so many years of pleasure. In doing so, they discover Kingyo used books, a second hand bookstore specializing in manga.
Seven different stories are told, each one realistic and magical at the same time. In many ways, Kingyo Used Books is an observation of what it means to be fan of manga. In many ways, manga is a tool to lift people’s spirits and connect to others.
The series episodic nature at times makes the story predictable, following a pattern of introducing a random character with memories of their favorite series, eventually leading to that character wanting to recapture the magic of their favorite manga and coming across Kingyo. For the most part, the series hits surprisingly close to home, providing sentimental flashbacks for manga lovers.
Also included are linear notes, detailing the series mentioned. This is helpful in understanding the appeal of the series the characters are discussing and may act as a gateway for others wanting to read the same story. There are also more detailed profiles located in the back of the book.
From cover to cover, Kingyo Used Books is a pleasure to read, reminding manga readers why they love the medium.