REVIEW: ‘Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book’

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book

Ah, Spring has officially sprung! Time for a good amount of spring cleaning. Typically, most folks are looking to overhaul their wardrobe, especially their closets. But maybe instead of sparking joy, your closet is sparking irritation. Maybe you’re finding yourself completely out of season, fashionably-speaking. Well, worry not! That’s where Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book can come in handy to give your current wardrobe a new lease on life.

Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book is written by Nodoka. Nodoka is billed as “an official top blogger for the popular Japanese social media site Ameba,” which you can check out here. Nodoka also has an all-Japanese Instagram featuring her illustrated OOTD (outfit of the day) suggestions. Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book was translated by Abby Lekrke. Evan Waldinger handled the retouch and lettering. Yukiko Whitley did design. Finally, David Brothers served as Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book’s editor.

A design school graduate, Nodoka worked as an advertiser before joining a large, fast-fashion company. Afterwards, she used her fashion industry know-how and art skills to create a blog and a fashion column titled “Don’t Spend Money, It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect.” Naturally, with a name like that, the column was a hit. It’s still regularly updated, with lots of recent entries. That same snappy naming extends to Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book. Some topics include the three kinds of bags/purses you need, limiting your wardrobe to the colors in a twelve-piece color pencil set. For masculine readers, there’s a section with a small range of topics. Those include wearing high-water pants and some general tips.

Despite being published in 2018 in Japan, I found Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book to be incredibly helpful. It’s incredibly accessible no matter what level of fashion enthusiast the reader is. Having a section for “women” and “men” was nice, and while the language is gendered, all the fashion tips can be used regardless of gender. In fact, I encourage readers to apply what they feel works to their own wardrobes, especially if you’re curious about inviting a bit of late 2010’s Japanese fashion into your life.

One thing I’d like to praise Tokyo Fashion for is its body inclusivity. Oftentimes, we see only a singular body type in Japanese media: thin. However, in reality, there’s a range of sizes, shapes, and presentations. The idea that Japan is a country of rail-thin women is incredibly outdated. So seeing a Japanese writer include all bodies with a Tokyoite style feels really nice, especially as a plus-sized writer myself.

Japan has just as much body diversity as any other country. Think about Watanabe Naomi, Yuriyan Retriever, and Nao. All those women I listed are notable plus-sized women who have helped to diversify Japan’s fashion industry in one way or another. You can also look at La Farfa, a hit plus-size fashion magazine that’s still up and running. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about AMAB models in Japan to speak to that, though I know they’re out there.

Essentially, seeing a Japanese fashion blogger write an accessible book about fashion for all is important. Thankfully, I felt Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book captured that mindset, even if it’s not front and center.

Additionally, all of the items in Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book are items that Nodoka owns, which I found really interesting. She’s really practicing what she’s preaching, which is further encouragement for folks looking to revitalize their closets. In fact, Nodoka really encourages you not to chuck everything out. Instead, work with what you’ve got, and buy practical things that you can actually use. That’s my kind of advice. However, Nodoka does note that some items are probably no longer available, which of course, makes sense. Fast fashion is fast for a reason. Still, I suggest checking out UNIQLO, one of Japan’s biggest fashion companies. While they’re not necessarily fast fashion, they still capture the styles that are in this manga.

I’d love to see Viz bring over more non-fiction advice manga in the same vein. In fact, I’d really love to see more manga publishers pick up non-fiction titles like this. These titles are just as much fun as the rest of Viz’s line up. In fact, as an adult reader, I found Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book to be really refreshing, though I’ll always be a manga fan at heart.

I can’t wait until I integrate Nodoka’s tips into my own wardrobe for a bit of Tokyoite flair.Thanks to Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book, I’ll have a much easier time updating my wardrobe. For all you fashion enthusiasts out there, I hope you have just as much fun as I will!

All in all, I’m really glad I got to spend some time with Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book. As a comic, it’s a thick, enjoyable read. But as a fashion guide, that’s where Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book really excels. It’s fun, it’s straightforward, and honestly, there’s a lot of really good advice within. Nodoka’s advice is witty, enlightening, practical, and best of all, easy to implement into your current wardrobe with a few adjustments. Coupled with a solid, but playful translation, stylish lettering, and an overall high quality of production, Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book is an easy recommendation.

Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book is available wherever books are sold. 

 

Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book
5

TL;DR

All in all, I’m really glad I got to spend some time with Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book. As a comic, it’s a thick, enjoyable read. But as a fashion guide, that’s where Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book really excels. It’s fun, it’s straightforward, and honestly, there’s a lot of really good advice within. Nodoka’s advice is witty, enlightening, practical, and best of all, easy to implement into your current wardrobe with a few adjustments. Coupled with a solid, but playful translation, stylish lettering, and an overall high quality of production, Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book is an easy recommendation.