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Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter
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Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  691 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Part fantasy, part travelogue, Diary Of A Yokai Ghost Hunter follows the adventures of two foreign visitors as they tour Japan. When they buy an antique camera along the way, they discover they can capture images of Japan's invisible spirit world. The forgotten spirits they meet can be kindly, mischievous, and some, downright dangerous.

Everywhere they go from forests to S
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Tuttle Publishing (first published October 25th 2016)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  691 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The art was absolutely beautiful. I really love traditional looking art with soft colors. It had a cartoony feel but with a certain kind of lushness to it.

The story on the other hand was a bit lacking. It seemed kind of jumbled as we were thrown into the story of two travelers in Japan. No real knowledge behind why they were there in the first place, but the trip morphs into a hunt for yokai using a special camera. The story consists of visits to different places looking for these yokai and t
Oct 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
The art in this book is STUNNING. The gorgeously handled watercolors over penciled line art are wonderful, a style I really enjoy and would like to practice more myself. The story is a bit on the loose side, and falls into some tropes of a Western gaze on Japan and specifically Japanese ghost mythology. Based somewhat on a true story, two French tourists return to Niigata prefecture, a place they have stayed before, so have pre-established relationships with some of the townspeople. On a trip to ...more
Diana Ault
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very calming and atmospheric story. The choice of style and color carries a haunting air, and the short, normal life but subtly mysterious, tales convey wonder and a build up of gentle emotion for the last story.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A few months ago, I spent two incredible weeks in Japan. It was my first time there, and even though I’ve wanted to go to Japan since I was very young (blame my anime obsession), it was far beyond my wildest expectations. Japan is an incredibly beautiful country, from its forests and mountains and beaches, to its mind-blowing architecture, shrines, statues and temples. Its people are gracious and friendly and its food is unmatched. I just love Japan.

So it was with no small amount of nostalgia an
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Disappointing. I liked the art and colors, but the story was fragmented and stuttery without any satisfaction or pull.
laura (bookies & cookies)
I think some panels were out of order? Or the storytelling was just very jarring and jagged.
Jess Rowan
Felt like I was missing something. It may have been lost in translation.
Come with Cécile and Olivier as they travel through Japan, finding hidden spots that may have youkai!

I was super-excited about this book. Japan is on a shared number 1 (along with Venice and Egypt) spot of places I want to go to really badly. So naturally I had to have this book which combined travelling through Japan and finding + photographing Youkai.

The book is separated in parts, namely a prologue and then for each Youkai picture. I really loved that they went for this format, now each phot
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The "fundamental values" of this publishing company make me a little uncomfortable. On the verso, Tuttle proclaims "Our fundamental values remain... to publish best-in-class books informing the English-speaking world about the countries and peoples of Asia." Tuttle is based in Vermont, USA.
There's something unsettling about this to me.

I'm constantly thinking about power dynamics, privilege, and cultural appropriation. So, on the one hand, the whole idea of this American company seems a little i
Hal Schrieve
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This quiet fantasy travelogue follows two gaijin as they traipse around Japan, trying to take pictures of yokai (spirits) with a small plastic child's camera. Arranged in a series of short vignettes each centered around a single photograph, the story takes on a melancholy, existential quality as the characters wonder whether they are in fact photographing ghosts in the Japanese countryside, or just on a goose chase. Between chapters, readers can see that the photos they take really do bear fruit ...more
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
This is a stunning graphic novel. It is a subtle introduction to Japanese culture, as the characters are traveling through the country in search of yokai (ghosts). You see Japanese folklore woven into more modern settings. The plot is straightforward, but demands the readers attention due to the gorgeous pencil and watercolor artwork.
I thought the concept of discovering ghosts and the spiritual world through an old camera was cool. The the story is interesting and will appeal to kids and adults.
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Rachel Helps
Shelves: manga-comics
Interesting comic about two French tourists in Japan who come across a camera that takes pictures of yokai (Japanese spirits/demons). A fun combination of tourism and supernatural mystery. My favorite part was the "cyanotype yokai photos". ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gettin-graphic, ya
This was charming and the art is very lovely. A fun, slightly spooky adventure.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute little book about traveling and yokai, what could be better?
Andrew Greenlaw-Houldsworth
This was a sufficiently entertaining graphic novel about a couple friends yokai hunting a region of rural Japan. Definitely has a "this is a book that teaches you stuff" feel, with a luke warm story, but exemplary artwork and subject matter. If you're looking for a fun learning read, it's great, just don't expect deep characters or plot. I wpuld do 3.5 stars if GR allowed me. ...more
This is so pretty! Two tourists in Japan buy a supposed special camera that can capture images of the supernatural. They explore the countryside, but don't find any ghosts -- or do they?

Beautiful art and a fun, episodic story make this a rewarding afternoon read.
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Little vignettes on yokai hunting inspired by the authors' travels in Japan. Cute but short. ...more
Supermomochan (PeachyFishyBooks)
Picked this up on a whim. I loved it! What a fun/creepy little yokai story! Would recommend!!
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
An engaging story with an appealing quirkiness (some of which might be due to the translation), and an illustration style I really dig. I'll be on the lookout for more from this duo. ...more
Sarah I
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
The art was really cool, but there wasn't much of a story here. ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ah man, I had higher hopes for this because the premise was pretty cool. The art was pretty cool. The story? That was disjointed as all hell and really just didn't seem to connect. I mean, I kinda knew what was happening but...yeah that's a lie, no I didn't. I couldn't figure out why these kids were even in Japan (they give a reason, but it makes no sense, these are kids). Then they just seem to meet up with random people who are not really developed, so it just leaves the reader saying "I have ...more
Vicky Reads MG
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ugh. What a disappointment. The promised story, two French best friends vacationing in Japan who, after buying a camera that can capture images of yokai —supernatural creatures— , travel around Japan in search of stories about them and to witness the creatures for themselves. Japan has a rich tapestry of legends and folklore that Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter could’ve threaded into the plot. This book could’ve been an incredibly potent look at folklore and legends and the creatures that ...more
Jenny Staller
Once again, I made the mistake of judging a book by its cover. The artwork on the cover was appealing and the description--two foreigners with a magical camera hunt for yokai (Japanese spirits)--seemed unique and exciting. Unfortunately, the story was very fragmented; instead of being a linear story, the book is a series of vignettes about stories these travelers heard (or dreams they had) about yokai. The "magical camera" isn't really magic at all, it's just a plot device to get the protagonist ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Onibi: Diary of a Yôkai Ghost Hunter is the charming story of two French comic artists, Cécile Brun and Olivier Pichard, traveling throughout Japan to find yôkai, or Japanese ghosts. Brun and Pichard acquire a special camera that can supposedly capture pictures of these spirits using its special film and a lens that has been polished by monks! They meet with some odd individuals along their journey, but luckily many people are more than willing to show them around old forests and shrines as well ...more
Generally a fun book. It really captures the look and feel of the more rural areas of Japan, and is enjoyably familiar for that. And the people also have a familiar feel with their random enthusiasm for taking visitors under their wing and showing them around. The art is nice, and reminiscent of manga in its style, but also distinct, which feels appropriate for the story.

But the book also feels a bit weird in ways. It is a sort of fantasy adaptation of the authors' real travels; I think that fic
Kim Tyo-Dickerson
I enjoyed so many of the Studio-Ghibli-esque aspects of this story, as French tourists Cecile and Olivier travel through supposedly haunted sites in Japan meeting eccentric Japanese characters, eating food that looks and sounds delicious, buying a child's camera and roll of film that takes pictures of unseen Yokai or ghosts. It's not exactly clear why they returned to Japan to visit in the first place, which is strange and unsettling and kind of cool. They stay at a hostel run by an enigmatic Ja ...more
I feel like I should preface my review of Onibi by saying that it generally has positive reviews on Goodreads and has even won an award . . . because generally speaking, my own personal review isn’t that great, so maybe I’m totally missing something. I think a lot of my issue is just mistaken expectations. I mean, looking at this book–both the cover and the description–it looks like some cool graphic novel of a couple of kids going around hunting yokai. Which sounds awesome, incidentally. In act ...more
Riana (RianaInTheStacks)
Oh my goodness, I fell in love with this book. I knew I had to get it when I saw that the art was done by an artist duo I really love, Atelier Sentō and I am so glad that I did! The story of this graphic novel follows the two artists on a visit to Japan. Soon after arriving, they stop by an old antiques shop. They are looking at some cameras when the shop owner insists they buy this special camera with lenses polished by monks, allowing it to take photos of supernatural beings (Yokai). But! They ...more
Braden Estes
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book is called Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter. The reason that I chose this book is because I had to finish a book in 3 weeks and this was the shortest one I had. This book is about two kids, Cecile and Oliver, that go on adventures after buying a special camera. This special camera can take pictures of Yokai. Yokai are strange spirits from Japanese folklore. Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter is written differently than the average book. First of all, it’s a graphic novel, meaning it has pictur ...more
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