Julian Sedgwick & Chie Kutsuwada - 100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café is a captivating and enchanting book that seamlessly blends manga/graphic novel and prose to deliver a rich collection of ghost stories. Written by Julian Sedgwick and beautifully illustrated by Chie Kutsuwada, this book takes readers on a thrilling journey through Japan 'between the worlds'.

The story revolves around Akira, a young boy who is abducted by spirits, who sets out on a quest to find his family and rescue his sister before time runs out. As Akira and his companions venture deeper into northern Japan, they encounter a myriad of yokai monsters and famous ghosts, unravelling a tapestry of interlinked and ghostly short stories.

Julian's storytelling prowess shines through as he masterfully navigates his imaginative skateboard by weaving together tales that are both heartfelt and eerie. He really does create a delightful balance of emotions. The prose effortlessly transports readers into the mystical folklore realm, allowing them to immerse themselves in the vivid and rich atmospheric setting of the Tokyo Ghost Café.

What sets this book apart is the inclusion of manga illustrations by Chie Kutsuwada. Her artwork beautifully complements Sedgwick's prose, bringing the characters and the supernatural world to life with stunning detail and evocative imagery. The combination of manga and prose adds a unique and dynamic element to the storytelling, enhancing the reading experience as you go on a journey throughout the story.  

Each ghostly tale within the collection is carefully crafted, presenting a diverse range of narratives that explore themes of loss, redemption, and the power of human connections. Sedgwick's ability to capture the essence of Japanese folklore and mythology is commendable, offering readers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Japan. The book connects really well to the previous book Tsunami Girl which was also excellent and fabulously immersive. 

"100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Café" is a must-read for fans of ghost stories, manga, and captivating storytelling. Sedgwick's imaginative experiences and love for the Japanese culture make the narrative very special. Kutsuwada's exquisite artwork makes for a truly immersive reading experience. Whether you are seeking spine-chilling encounters or heartwarming moments, this book delivers an abundance of both, leaving readers spellbound until the very last page. The book was published by Guppy Books (23 Nov. 2023).