The Animal crossing The graphic novel is an interesting spinoff of the beloved Nintendo video game franchise, and since it features multiple dogs and cats, we thought we had to revisit it.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Diary of a Deserted Island, written and illustrated by Kokonasu Rumba and translated from Japanese by Caleb Cook, is an intermediate-level graphic novel published by Viz Media in September 2021.

It’s written in Japanese manga style, so everything reads right to left which is a fascinating reading experience.

It features on-hold series like Moms-loving Tom Nook, Lucky the Dog, and other fan-favorite villagers as they interact with several of the island’s human residents.

The Animal Crossing graphic novel is a good introduction to Japanese manga.

Scenario

The Animal crossing graphic novel opens with four humans – fishing expert Coroyuki, studious Benben, social media influencer Himepoyo and the ever-ill Guchan – arriving on a desert island after accepting the Desert Island Getaway Package from Tom Nook. (This is also where the game opens, so it makes sense.)

Along the way, they encounter resident animals like the Gulliver gull, the conceited cat Raymond, and more, as they “help” Blathers the owl run the museum (this is not going well), are frightened by Lucky and Wisp. the ghost, and build a variety of strange housing structures.

What we thought

While the artistry and dialogue of the NPC characters come straight from the game, the often goofy actions of humans are often out of left field. This may be due to its target audience, or it may be a cultural difference that doesn’t quite make sense to a reader unfamiliar with manga storytelling techniques.

It’s a cute and quick read, however, and would work well as a gift for the Animal Crossing fanatic (the kind that has the Monopoly set, makeup kit, etc.) and a kid or teen looking to get started in comics.

Once the story is over, there are mini-profiles on about fifteen or twenty animals, which allow readers to familiarize themselves with the universe of AC, then a few pages on the ACNH personal island of the author, which is nifty, seeing how players customize their islands to their own tastes is a big part of what makes multiplayer enjoyable.

It seems likely that there could be more Animal Crossing graphic novels released in the future, offering even more wacky adventures as other NPCs like the Hedgehog Able Sisters and Saharah the Camel take the stage.

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