Cover Image: Weeaboo


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Member Reviews

I feel somewhat guilty for only giving this three stars. There is a lot of excellent writing in Weeaboo. Sallah does a superb job of creating a real sense of period in this coming-of-age story, that sense of being in a niche culture that others find a bit weird before the internet really opened everything up for everyone. 

The dialogue is sharpe, funny and feels authentic, and as a result the characters feel like they have emotional depth when they interact.

The art is awkward and angular, it somewhat reminded me of Tekkonkinkreet, the long body characters have a gawky, all elbows and knees, quality that aligns well with the sense that all the main protagonists feel out of place in the world as they enter adulthood proper. 

Maya, James and Dan are bound together by their love of anime, and when they are together there is real chemistry on the page. However I like any of them as characters and struggle to care about the stakes of conflict as the story unfolded. Maya is cringe inducing and put my hackles up. James seemed so beaten down that it was hard to root for him and I couldn't get a handle on what Danielle arc was supposed to be.

The is good stuff in here. There is nuace in the writing, the art switches between styles and delivers impactful moments. It had things I appreciated but I couldn't connect with it. It's also way too long. Your mileage will massively vary with this book. I think I disliked it.
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This one really wasn't for me. The art style felt very flat and rushed, not a professional level at all. I couldn't connect with the story or characters and just found myself bored.
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This was cute. My kid loved it! We read it together before bed. He liked the characters and the graphics.
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It was a nice one-time read, also the graphic style was okay, but nothing special. Could not really getting into it sadly, and it was too childish for me.
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I was not a fan of this book. The message was nice and much-needed, but the novel needs some work. The art is very rough and the story reads like a first draft. I couldn't get past the first half, unfortunately.
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I really enjoyed reading Weeaboo. It was an unexpectedly fun read! I thought the characters were fun and the art style stood out!
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2/5 barely got into this before dropping it and then the download expired so I will not be finishing it so two stars.
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This was definitely an interesting comic in terms of its artwork. It was different. I’m still contemplating on if I liked it or freaked out by it lol.
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This was a really interesting comic to read after years of growing up hearing this term! I definitely have readers who will be interested in this and I can't wait to recommend it to them.
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'Weeaboo' by with story and art by Alissa M. Sallah is a graphic novel about three friends in their senior year of high school trying to find their way.

Maya, James and Dan are friends and they all have difficulties in their lives.  For Maya, it's being called a weeaboo, or a kind of poser to Japanese culture.  When Maya proposes they all go to an anime convention in cosplay, it seems like a simple thing but sets off things in each characters life.

The story grew on me as it went, but I had a hard time getting in to it, and I think that was because of the art choices.  I did like the mix of styles and mediums, but the main style was weirdly harsh in nature.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Oni Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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I'll start with the positive. The story has a great message of being true to yourself and loving everything that makes you unique. Each of the three characters is forced to face who they think they are versus who the world sees them as they approach their final year of high school and the beginning of the rest of their lives. It's a great message approached from three very different angles to give a broader perspective.
The art is in a sketchy, not-very-attractive-to-me style that I knew I disliked just from the cover, but I'd heard great things about the story so I was willing to ignore it. It gave me flashbacks to the 90s and people first discovering manga and trying to draw in that style without really knowing the basics of illustration. I recognize it as a stylistic choice, but it's just not something I enjoy.
And then we have the thing that made it so that I took forever to read this despite the title being a warning of what was in store. All three characters enjoy anime. They're giant geeks and I love them for it. But Maya is one of those geeks that drops random Japanese phrases and honorifics into her speech and I hate that. I've hated it forever and even more when I made friends with Japanese people who constantly tell me it's insulting. I had to force myself to read all the parts with her until she is very rudely insulted about it, and then I felt bad for her. It's perhaps a sign of good writing that I could see where Maya was coming from and understand her desire to immerse herself in the things that made her feel better.
Overall, I enjoyed the message of the story, just not the way it was presented. I would still recommend it for younger readers simply because I appreciate what it's trying to say.

Thank you NetGalley and Oni Press for the early read.
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Weeaboo attempts to tell a relatable story but struggles to do so with a questionable representation of groups presented. Ultimately this leads to a book that feels not worth the time for many readers.
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I think the author tried to address issues within the anime community about cultural appropriation/racism/homophobia but it just felt so surface level and inconsequential. Overall though, I found the story cute and relatable (as an ex-highschool weaboo myself). However, the art style did make reading this a bit of a struggle.
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Weeaboo is a coming-of-age story about three high school friends in their senior year.

Maya is an African American girl who dreams of being a lolita like those in Japanese anime. James is a self-loathing Japanese American because he is not the stereotypically high achieving Asian kid. Dan(nielle) is a charming, talented, hardworking actor-to-be that doesn’t exactly identify with their gender assigned at birth.

The three friends plan to have a smashing time at the ani-con this summer dressed up as a group, but they slowly drift apart as the school year draws to an end, each caught up in their own doubts about identity and the future.

I love everything about this book: the characters, the narrative, the drawings especially. The use of manga visual language and humour really spices up the storytelling. The watercolour drawings are an absolute treat for me because the graphic novels I read (and most manga) are usually black and white.

And if you’re someone that likes behind-the-scene stuff like I do, another bonus is the short section at the end of the book that showcases the creative process of the artwork and how the characters were developed.
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I wanted to enjoy this book. and it had potential, but none of it came together. Character development started and stopped, and then picked up somewhere entirely different. Issues such as racism, homophobia, sexual identity, emotional abuse, and cultural appropriation were touched upon but never resolved or portrayed in a way that told the reader it was more than an afterthought. Any time an issue touched a character it was never brought up again. All attempts and making an interwoven story over the course of a senior year felt disjointed. Additionally, the art style seemed rushed at points, and it did not assist with the overall story flow. 1.5/5
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The graphic novel looked so funny and interesting, but it ended up falling flat and boring to me. Very much a bummer, the cover looked cute!
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I got an ARC of this book.

So I loved this book. I loved the art, I loved the story, I loved that things weren’t neatly tied up. There was a lot going on, but not a lot of it was perfectly solved.

There were two distinct art styles happening. There was the anime/fantasy sequences that were GORGEOUS. They were the prettiest parts of the book. Which makes sense, anime is often gorgeous and filled with pretty people. The day to day art wasn’t as pretty, but I liked it more. I loved that the hair line on Dan kept changing. It gave the appearance of messy, can’t be contained hair.

I loved how Dan’s gender was explored, but not full labeled. That was not the focus on the book, but it was an aspect. Dan very well may be trans and/or non-binary, but Dan is not at the point to announce that. That felt more realistic than forcing an identity label at this point. I loved there there were a few hints of romance between Dan and a few other characters. That this was not really addressed either. It allowed for a more slice of life feel. It was not their entire lives, but one year of them starting to come into their own.

I loved how there were hints of discussions about racism. I wish that it had gone a little bit harder on that, but I also appreciated that there was not an immediate lesson for the reader. I loved that Maya just dealt with it. There is not always the emotional bandwidth to address and protect against the attacks. Instead they can crawl under your skin and live inside of you. The way that it was handled gave a more human feeling instead of a more educational feeling to that plot line. It hit really close to my heart.

James’s plots were a bit harder for me. They were more focused on dealing with anxiety and pressure from stereotypes. His parents were not loving and helpful. Instead they were possibly the biggest bullies in his life. It took me a long time before I thought I was starting to see James. The ending focusing on James was really wonderful. It felt freeing and wonderful, but I was left with the anxiety of “what happens after?”. I am used to his type of parents so I know that his life will not be magically better now.

The friendship is wonderful. It is clear that James is not as big into anime as Maya is. Maya is clearly the most into it. They all support each other in their own lives, but they have this bonding through something that means so much to Maya. It is wonderful to see that friends, even when they aren’t super into the exact same things, can be so supportive and human at the same time. This is not to say that there were no rocks in their relationship. Instead it was more about how sometimes rocks happen and there is still life after.

Overall, I loved this book. I need more by Sallah!
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There comes a moment in every young person's life where you've got to fly or fall. James, Maya, and Danny are finishing up their final year of high school. They've been friends for forever, but they're discovering that they don't really know each other. Each finds him or herself at a crisis point and has to decide to either go along with how things have always been or to make a decision to grow up and become someone. 

This book found me at a time when I really needed a reminder that reinventing oneself isn't the end of the world. Prejudices, societal problems, and hard things will always be around, but I can still choose who I am and how to respond. I really enjoyed the watercolor art style, although I occasionally mistook Hana for James. It's a unique style that wouldn't work just anywhere, but it pairs really well with the uncertainty of the plot. People can be cruel, but if one reaches out, there are always communities who are willing to support and connect.
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I'm not fond of the art style and  not invested in the story so I decided to DNF it.

Many thanks to  Oni Press Publication and to Netgalley for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
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This is an excellent graphic novel focused on coming of game, and becoming your true self.  The art is well done and adds the story.  Thank you for the opportunity to read this ARC>
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