Author: Yumi Tsukirino
Genre/Category: Disney, Aliens, Cute and Fluffy, Children’s Books
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of the views in review are my own.
Back in 2008, Lilo and Stitch got an anime spinoff that was more like an Alternate Universe version of the film and original cartoon series. The series (Stitch!) finished its third series back in 2011 and since then, no one’s heard much about Stitch until comic publisher Tokyopop added the official manga to their Disney Manga line.
At a few months shy of turning twenty-six, I know I’m not the intended audience for this manga.
Tokyopop’s Disney Manga line has always been aimed more at little kids and I’m an actual tax paying adult. But I’m also a huge Lilo and Stitch fan because of the original movie’s message about family and the adorable character designs. So as I read the manga, I tried to keep both of that in mind, looking for things my little niece would enjoy as well as the aspects of the character that drew me in when I was about her age and watching Lilo and Stitch for the first time.
Stitch! is really cute. The plot of the manga is a version of the main franchise where Stitch lands on an island off the coast of Okinawa instead of in Hawaii. Instead of Stitch needing to capture 625 experiments, here, he has to do 43 good deeds in order to be considered “good enough” to make a wish on a magical stone.
In the first half of the volume, there are about a dozen little “chapters”, each focusing on Stitch’s new adventures with a little Japanese girl named Yuna. The chapters all have titles like “Stitch Makes Juice!” and “Stitch is a Super Star Skater?!” and they cover everything from Yuna’s grandmother correcting Stitch’s table manners and teaching him to use chopsticks to catching fish for Yuna to eat.
Many of the chapters involve Stitch learning to do something new (like the laundry) and there’s something endearing about watching that little blue alien fumble his way through household chores and whatnot.
What’s pretty awesome, is that the second half of the book is all about Stitch’s adventures in Hawaii with Lilo, Nani, and the rest of their makeshift family (and even characters like Mertle). So readers get to find out all about Stitch’s new adventures on that Okinawa-adjacent island and then catch up with Lilo. This second half has stories like “Stitch Makes a Cake” where Lilo and Stitch bake a cake for Ohana Day.
I think what I like the most about the Stitch! manga is how it blends the old and the new, appealing to fans of all ages. It’s definitely a book that you can buy for a little reader because it’s easy to read with lots of simple words but it’s not as “babyish” as a Doctor Seuss book could be. While I think that it’s a bit too simple for older kids and adults, Disney fans of all ages will still find something to love about the various and very cute stories in this book.