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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  523 ratings  ·  96 reviews

Raised by his Japanese mother in New York City, his American father taken by war before Ichiro ever knew him, Ichiro finds it difficult to figure out where he fits in.

A trip to Japan leaves Ichiro with his grandfather, a stranger to him in a country he does not know.

And then one night Ichi gets dragged down a hole by a monster. When he
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Seth Hahne
Ichiro by Ryan Inzana

One of the more recurrent themes of young adult literature is disorientation. A young protagonist one day wakes in an unfamiliar place and—through a variety of struggles and trials—eventually overcomes the cultural hindrances that hold him back. Or a young protagonist's home is destroyed and she, alone and unprepared, must discover and come to control the wildness of the greater, wider world around her. Or a young protagonist arrives at a new school (perhaps even mid-term) and must learn to swim
Sep 07, 2012 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
This one is hard to rate. Do I rate it for the illustrations and style, which would easily get 5 stars, or do I rate for the story, which sits at about a mediocre 3? I'll go halfsies and give it 4.

I picked this up at the library, and was about 10 pages in before I could put it down. It starts with an old story of a monk and a mystical tea pot. I'm all for old magical Japanese myths, so I was really excited about this one. Besides, the graphics and colors are gorgeous.

Then I got to the meat of th
Emilia P
Woo!!! Japanese monsters!!!
So yeah, I thought this book would be a cheesy war fantasy for boys when in fact it was about a half Japanese kid who gets stuck in the Shinto spirit world and learns all about the rift between heaven and earth from the war god! I have recently been lucky enough to have conversations with my fellow bookstore employees about the monsters of Japanese folklore. And they are really one of my favorite things to find in manga -- they are so weird and spooky and sideways and
Britt Wisenbaker
A Teen used to spending time with his conservative American grandfather travels with his Japanese mother to her homeland, to spend time with his hitherto unknown Japanese grandfather. After experiencing Japanese culture and recent history through the gentle guidance of his grandfather, he comes to realize that life is more complicated than Fox news had led him to believe. Ultimately he stumbles through a series of encounters with Japanese gods and demons, before gratefully being reunited with hi ...more
The day after I finished this book someone used the metaphor of a bridge collapsing to describe something to me, and my mind flashed vividly to "Ichiro". I flipped through the book and showed him the bridge between the heavens and the underworld, whose collapse caused much of the otherworldly troubles in this book. And what caused that collapse of this bridge? Bickering, ungenerous gods who are, sadly, all too human.

"Ichiro" is a coming of age story with mythological twists and turns. Reviewers
At heart, Ichiro is really about the power of stories. In this case, stories (both mythological and historical) change the perspective of our title character, teenage Ichiro. And indeed, the stories are the best part of the book. Ichiro's personal storyline is a little thin, though his character progression does make sense under the circumstances. But the art is brilliant, and I loved the way that Inzana dealt with the mythology.
I don't think I liked Ichiro as much because the plot was too reminiscent of Miyazaki's Spirited Away. I wasn't very fond of the art style either; one of the reasons I like reading graphic novels is to admire the artist's craft. the drawings in Ichiro struck me as sloppy and rushed, especially once Ichiro was dragged into the spirit world by the tanuki.

one thing I thought was refreshing in this graphic novel was the relationships between all of the characters. since this novel is told from a tee
I loved the Japanese gods and monsters. Many of the illustrations were superb. Some were a little confusing. The plot became a little nonsensical at times, and dragged in a few places. I wished there was more explanation/exploration of the tanuki. But I liked the characters and the book overall.
Wow, this book was a total mess. So many missed opportunities! I could see sort of what Inzana wanted to do with the story, but he just did not pull it off at all. Which is too bad because I really liked his art style and how it flowed on the page...but the story was a flop.
The beginning of this book was interesting to read in conjunction with A Tale for the Time Being because they both discuss the history of sky soldiers, or kamikaze pilots during WWII. I also appreciated the portrayal of the transition experiences of the main character as he is displaced from his home. And I also liked his relationship building with his grandfather. At times this relationship felt like mostly lecture and occasionally good humor, and unfortunately the heavy exposition continued as ...more
Chacha Centeno
Illustrated in full page color, “Ichiro”, tells the story of an American-born, city kid visiting his grandfather in Japan. What starts as an emotional tangle of loyalty and war weaves into the story of Izanagi and Izanami, two of Japan’s greatest gods. As Ichiro straddles the world of folklore, loyalties and morality, he learns that behind all acts of wrong lies human weakness. Ichiro’s great-grandfather was a general in Japan during WWII, his father, a deceased American soldier. This book cultu ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Boyle
Whilst seeking through the library, I happened to stumble across the cover of this book. I decided to pick it up because it came under the category: "A book that teaches you about a culture other than your own."

I found that category very interesting as because of it, I learnt some information about Japanese mythology which I hadn't known. And I don't want to seem rude, but boy are some of the characters in Japanese mythology weird! I mean one more than three eyes!

My favorite quote from this book
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Ichiro opens with an old Japanese legend about a tanuki, a raccoon that can shapeshift and often takes the form of a teapot. The tanuki forms the frame story for Ichiro, and it is also amusing and magical.

What Ichiro is really about is Ichiro, a young boy who idolizes his father. He wears his dads old sunglasses and constantly reads an old military book of his dad's that he found. Because he misses his dad, who he barely remembers, he romanticizes war and is bored by most everything else. He get
Immediate reaction to this book *gasp* samurais! But it's not that at all. It's actually more profound than that. Ichiro is a half American half Japanese. He idealizes his father who fought in Iraq. He carries around a solider book that once belonged to him and generally thinks he knows it all. His perspective about war changes when he goes from his home in New York to Japan as a result of his mother gaining a job opportunity. He is to live with his grandfather who shows him what war really is a ...more
After Ichiro's father is killed in a recent war, his mother decides to leave New York and return to Japan. The plan is for Ichiro to stay with her father, his Grandpa Sato, while she works. Ichiro gets to learn about his maternal grandfather as well as the history and mythology of Japan.

The story moves easily from legend, history, and mythology to a contemporary setting. Before his visit, Ichiro is obsessively pro-war. After a thought provoking discussion with his grandfather at Hiroshima Castl
Samantha (Where's My Bookmark?)
Summary: Ichiro is a boy adrift in this world. Raised by his Japanese mother in New York City, his American father taken by war before Ichiro ever knew him, Ichiro finds it difficult to figure out where he fits in. A trip to Japan leaves Ichiro with his grandfather, a stranger to him in a country he does not know. And then one night Ichi gets dragged down a hole by a monster. When he wakes up, he isn’t in Japan anymore. In fact, he isn’t in the mortal world. Ichi has entered the domain of the go ...more
Oct 14, 2012 Erica rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ages 12+
Mythology is retold in Ichiro's fantastical journey into Yomi, the mythological Japanese Underworld. Inzana utilizes events from WWII, stories from Japanese mythology, and the base storyline of being a stranger in another country to illustrate the constant cycle of peace and war in the life of all humans. Ichiro features a shape-shifter (Tanuki), a full cast of ancient Japanese gods/demigods (Izanami, Izanagi, Amaterasu, Susano-Wo, Hachiman, Yoritomo, +), and lessons we can take away from both m ...more
Ryan R
Oct 18, 2013 Ryan R added it
Ryan Rodgers English
October 14, 2013 T-4
Book Review

Ichiro by Ryan Inzana is not a book worth your time. The book was about a tween form the Bronx is going to live with his grandfather in Asia, while his mom is away for two months. Ichiro the main character is upset because he is staying with his grandfather he never got to now. Ichiro wants nothing to do with his grandfather, so he is rude and disrespectful to his grandfather. When Ichiro and his grandfather go fishing they go to a old ladies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 06, 2012 Lynn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young teenage boys, Japanese, Asian boys
Ichiro is a graphic novel about a young boy who has a Japanese mother and an American father (presumably white, but never seen) who lives in New York City. The father is dead and the mother is looking for work and a place in the world. They live in Brooklyn where the boy is teased about being Asian and seems to live a tough life. The mother hopes to look for a job in Japan and have the boy stay with his Japanese grandfather while she looks for work there. They fly to Japan where Ichiro stays wit ...more
Jen Show
I enjoyed the mythology bits quite a bit. The overall warfare/duality of man themes sort of took a backseat to the mythology for me, but I thought they were interesting enough. I feel like the ending was a bit rushed, especially considering that a lot of character development presumably took place. The setup was there, but it just fizzled out at the end.

The artwork is pretty ace though.
A beautiful and entertaining journey through Japanese mythology & history with a little coming-of-age/coming to terms with things thrown in as a personal storyline. Certainly a solid and fun read. The duotones are broken up by well-accented and signature colors throughout, and what could be an arcane explanation of the Japanese pantheon becomes an easy to follow story and something worth taking a look at.
Readers may initially mistake this for a book about baseball if they only look at the title rather than examining the actual cover art and reading the inside flap for more information. It is the story of Ichiro, a bi-racial Japanese-American boy. He is being raised in New York by his mother; he has never known his soldier father who died before Ichiro was born. Now Ichiro is being taken to stay in Japan with his grandfather for a while. One night he is dragged into the Underworld by a monster. I ...more
The graphic novel opens with a familiar Japanese legend about a shape-changing tanuki trickster spirit. The story cuts to New York City, where Ichiro and his mother prepare for their trip. Ichiro has been very close to his American grandfather, who has schooled him in the worst kinds of American jingoism. First his mother, then his Japanese grandfather began to share the legends and history of Japan, both positive and negative, with Ichiro. A nighttime pursuit of a persimmon-thieving tanuki turn ...more
Alexandra Hughes
I may have to start off with this: The artwork is fantastic. I like how the different color theories determine time in the comics whether it is flashbacks, periods in time, or myths. It lets the reader know very clearly where they are in the story.

There is a long "ordinary world" portion in this novel, which could be a stand alone story on its own. I like how that portion is the majority of Ichiro's character arc, and it finishes off in Yomi. It makes it all very beautiful.
I read this longer graphic novel in one sitting at the library and enjoyed the down the hole adventure of a young boy with mixed Japanese and American ethnic background who moves with his mom to Japan to stay temporarily with his Japanese grandfather. The book tells some interesting stories from Japanese folklore and from modern times.
Kendall Carr
Very well done! I love how it described the Japanese mythology and also connected it to Ichiro and this modern time. Plus the illustrations were amazing, just plain beautifully drawn. I felt like the the end of the story was satisfying and over all fantastic! Though I wish there was a sequel to tie some loose ends.
Jamie Fessenden
An interesting story about a young Japanese-American boy whose father died in the war (Iraq, if I recall), when he was very young. His grandfather, on his father's side, teaches him to idolize soldiers and warfare, but when Ichiro's Japanese-American mother takes him to live with his grandfather in Japan, he begins to see things very differently.

Combining reality with a rich fantasy world, somewhat akin to the films of Miyazaki, in which Japanese gods and demons war with one another and a teapot
Fraser Sherman
This feels like two different stories squeezed together, one where a Japanese American boy gets to know his heritage while visiting his grandfather in Tokyo, and one where he's sucked into the underworld and placed on trial. I like both parts, but Inzana wasn't able to make them fit together well.
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