Throughout the years, many comic books have been set in the mystical land of Japan. But, often it is only used as decoration for the story. Oftentimes, the Japan we see in comic books is over the top futuristic, reserved, or full of extremely provocative imagery.
But, with the new comic book ‘Wayward’, which began earlier this year, we can see Japan in a whole new way.
Wayward is set in Tokyo, Japan, and right from the get-go, you can recognise the city sights. The artists have worked so hard to ensure the setting is realistic, and really shows everyday Japan. The writer for the book even said she spent a lot of time searching for any kanji mistakes in the background, but was surprised to see it was perfect, and even more: Japanese speakers will be able to find clues and secrets in the kanji in the background of the book!
The story of Wayward follows a young schoolgirl who moves from Ireland to Japan to live with her mother. During her first day walking around the city, she meets a strange girl who helps protect her from even stranger monsters – or yokai in Japanese. Throughout the series, she meets more characters to help her defend Japan against these crazy monsters, as well as encountering a wide range of scary Japanese monsters. She helps to lead the way with her ability to see threads in the world that lead her to important people or places. She also meets a neko musume (cat daughter), a boy who eats souls, a boy who can control emotions, and a girl with the ability to change her form into different materials.
The variety of yokai in the Wayward series is fantastic. Not only are the creatures scary and interesting, they are all based on the hundreds of Japanese Tokai that already exist. Throughout the series, we meet; Kappa, Kitsune, Kyokotsu, Suiko, Tengu, Jorogumo and Hyakume. And that’s just in the first 10 issues!
The books are available to order on Amazon, printed in both English and Japanese!