I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Macmillan on May 8, 2018
Source: the publisher
The residents of a quiet Kyoto neighborhood have slowly come to realize that inauspicious, paranormal forces are at play in the most unlikely of places: the local playground.
Two friends, a young girl and boy, resolve to exorcise the evils that inhabit it, including a snaggle-toothed monster.
Beautiful and eerie, ANIMUS weaves an entrancing spell out of childish curiosity, folklore, friendship, and fears that lie deep in the human heart.
Writer/Illustrator Antoine Revoy has a long-held passion for all forms of comics―graphic novels, manga and bandes dessinées―fostered by his childhood living in Paris, France and Tokyo, Japan. Antoine's clients include Der Spiegel and New York Times, and his work has received acclaim by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and Spectrum. Antoine currently teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in Providence, RI, with his wife, illustrator Kelly Murphy. www.revoy.net.
A message from Meredith: Hey everyone! Today, I have Jessica here with a guest review for Animus by Antoine Revoy
Without further adieu, here’s Jessica’s review! Enjoy!
I normally do not get the chance to read many graphic novels. I do enjoy them and wish I had the opportunity to read more, but my access to graphic novels that I want to read vary and I usually end up purchasing other books instead. However, when I am able to read graphic novels I always hop on the chance. I am happy to say that when I received Animus for review I dove right into the book and not only found the story exciting, but the illustrations to be some of the best and most creative illustrations I have ever seen in this genre.
Animus by Antoine Revoy is about a two young children named Hisao and Sayuri living in Japan. One day they come across a playground and a young ghost in a mysterious mask. The ghost, named Toothless, starts to explain the mysteries of the playground and causes one of the local children to disappear. It is up to Hisao and Sayuri to discover Toothless’s secret and how to stop these strange events from occurring.
There are many things that I really liked about Animus. The first being the illustrations. The designs of the playground and the terrible &/or strange things that could happen due to using the equipment were stunning. From monsters coming to life and trying to grab a character to seeing the dreams of a cat…these graphics were nothing less than extremely creative and wondrous. I had an issue regarding the story that I will discuss later, but I have to say that even with that issue the graphics were so interesting to look at that I still was finding myself enjoying the book despite my problems. It is a little difficult to talk about pictures as you need to see them to fully understand the creativity and detail that was put into them. However, I think that if there is any reason to read this book the graphics and design of the illustrations alone should be enough.
The second things I really liked was the creativity of the story. The story & the mysteries of the story were unlike anything I’d ever read before. I especially loved the unique aspects regarding the playground equipment and how each piece of equipment could cause a different thing to happen like going up or down a slide could impact someone’s age or a sandbox causing someone’s worst fears to come to life and try to attack the person in the sandbox. The imagination that was put into this part of the book was spectacular & something that really made me want to keep reading.
Sadly, there were also some pieces of the book that I was not so keen on and that kept me from giving this book a 5-star or even a 4-star rating.
The first negative of mine was the story itself. While I did find a lot of parts of the novel to be interesting and intriguing, the story overall became more & more confusing as I went on. I was confused by how many missing characters there were, connections, to the supernatural aspect and real world part of the book, and more. This only got worse also as I read on. As I said before, the graphics really helped me to keep enjoying the book even as I was confused. However, the fact that I was getting very confused with what was happening and feeling so jumbled is what caused me to not be able to give this book as high of a review as I wanted.
The next thing that I really didn’t like in this book was the ending. I usually say that I can’t give much away about an ending due to spoilers, but in this case I feel I can’t give much away about an ending because I really can’t say with 100% certainty that I know what happened in the end. The book’s ending felt very odd to me and mixed my other concerns about the book all together from the confusion regarding the characters, timeline, events in the story, etc. Now when I am confused about a storyline I feel that it is something that shouldn’t be taken so seriously or that should be seen as something that should make a reader not want to pick up this book. I don’t feel that just because I was confused about a story, doesn’t technically mean that everyone will be. I just wanted to show a concern that I had for that book (that maybe you will have too) and my reasoning for the rating I am giving this book. Which includes both the good and the bad. And in this case it was just a bad point for me, but maybe not for another reader.
Overall, this book had excellent illustrations and an imaginative story. While it does get a little confusing (specially towards the end) I do not think that should technically discourage someone from reading the book, unless that sort of thing really upsets you and you really think my views will match with yours. I do think people should read this book for themselves and see how they feel, but for me I just thought it was good. It wasn’t terrible or amazing, just a decent graphic novel with some good creative elements mixed in.