Manabeshima Island Japan is a whimsical, warm stay at one of Japan’s small islands. Populated by 300 people, Manabeshima’s small size allows the artist Florent Chavovet sketch all aspects of life, from the insects to the residents and even to the gangs of cats that control the island.
Chavovet’s art contains gentle humor and an awareness for life’s details. Personalities and quirks enliven his fond caricatures, and each page brims with life. Chavovet’s notes and observations provide further details about life on a small island. He notes the resident’s habits and the antics of the many cats that rule the island. These small details, many of them surprising, give Manabeshima Island a different outlook than a guide book. It is a smart, warm, gently comical look at everyday life. Vibrant colors and interesting perspectives keeps you turning the pages.
Much of the book focuses on the people that adopt Chavovet. The town is a fishing village, so expect to see plenty of fish drawings. Chavovet includes drawing of important buildings and maps to help you understand where his drawings come from. I particularly enjoyed the map of cat gang territories.
The book features comic-book style pages and messy, haphazard sketchbook pages that come to life. If you enjoy learning about the everyday lives of Japanese or enjoy art books, check this one out.