The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story

Yuko Uramoto (illus.). Ten Speed: Crown. Jun. 2017. 192p. tr. from Japanese by Cathy Hirano. ISBN 9780399580536. pap. $14.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
In this fictional case study incorporating the philosophy of Kondo's best-selling self-help book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the practical techniques of its follow-up, Spark Joy, Chiaki is a messy, workaholic driven to hire Kondo when an encounter with the guy next door convinces her that her rats-nest apartment is sabotaging her entire life. Kondo first asks Chiaki to visualize her ideal future: How would she actually like to live? This simple challenge motivates Chiaki and hints at Kondo's appeal: people refusing to tidy under a parent's thumb are now tidying for themselves. Uramoto's (Less Than Married) charming art makes Kondo into a winsome shojo character and assimilates Chiaki into the tradition of a young manga heroine finding happiness.
VERDICT Readers reluctant to submit to word-heavy lectures may be beguiled—and even converted—by witnessing Chiaki's success as played out in an enjoyable story that paints Kondo as more inspiring than inquisitorial. Both of the original nonfiction books were LJ "Most Borrowed," so expect demand. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour's "Comics Cross Over," LJ 6/15/17, p. 40–46.—Ed.]
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing