Recently Japanese iBookStore (Apple’s online store for books) begins to sell Japanese manga and light novels, but I decided against buying from there because its books are limited for viewing on iOS devices (in my interest of future-proofing). Its selection is also limited compared to other Japanese digital bookstores (though no doubt it will continue to grow).
The kicker however is that iBookStore initially offered To Love-Ru Darkness but recently took it down, no doubt due to the nature of its content. Other Japanese digital bookstores continue to offer To Love-Ru Darkness and their books can be viewed on more devices, so why settle for less, really.In Japan, two digital bookstores that offer the widest selection seem to be BookLive! and honto. I can’t find a book offered in BookLive! that is not offered in honto and vice-versa. I had trouble deciding which store to stick to but in the end I decided to go with BookLive! since I prefer its iOS reader app.
For my first book, I decided to get Mikuyon. It’s a spin-off story of Hatsune Miku, and as the name suggests (for those of you who understand Japanese) it’s a 4-koma.
I only found out later that a free web version is available online, made available by the author himself (so it’s legal). The manga version however is the definitive version; it has additional scenes, some scenes are modified for the better, the drawings are improved, etc. Also, the manga version has the 4-koma spread across 2 pages, instead of the usual format. Nevertheless, the core of the story remains the same so you’re not missing much even if you read the web version.
What I can say, it’s a beautiful story. There is minimal dialogue, only when it’s absolutely necessary. I have been rereading it multiple times and each time I may discover new subtle details (well, Vocaloid fans will get more references, but non-Vocaloid fans should still be able to appreciate the story). The manga version is tad more touching but again the web version is essentially the same story.
It makes me want to look for similar books with 4-koma and minimal dialogue. Do you know of such books?