Title: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Deserted Island Diary Vol. 1
Author: Kokonasu Rumba
Release Date: 09/14/2021
Publisher: Viz Media
Coming out in March 2020 amid the pandemic, Animal Crossing New Horizons exploded in popularity as the game to hang out with friends. Whether it was building the island of your dreams, hoarding all the bells to buy one of everything, or visiting your friend’s islands in real-time by using Dodo’s airlines, it was what everyone was doing while being socially distant. Now over a year later, we have Animal Crossing New Horizons Deserted Island Diary as a companion manga for the game.
Though relatively short, Deserted Island Diary has four characters Coroyuki, Benben, Himepoyo, and Guchan. With four distinctly different personalities, they then learn they’ve landed on a deserted island and Tom Nook begins introductions. NPC’s that can be found on your island within the game, are introduced in a similar fashion through this book but are given more personality. You get a better sense of who they are and how they act. The manga has some cute puns and more background to the characters while also putting them in silly scenarios with the four children.
Half the manga is comparable to the game being played but in story form. The next chunk of the book is a guide on the actual game. It has game tips, uses images of gameplay, and has info on characters including ones that can end up moving to your island which would be very useful if you’re just starting your Animal Crossing journey. This makes it feel like the ultimate companion guide rather than just a straightforward manga, which makes it tough to decide who it’s actually for. Those who like the design of the characters, but not the gameplay will find a half-written narrative, but those who love the game will find a nice way to share that admiration.
The artwork is adorably drawn and there are a lot of chibi-cute moments. They also show many of the items that you can acquire within Animal Crossing scattered across nearly every panel. Every page is filled and has a lot going on in a condensed amount of pages.
Unless you’re a diehard fan and collector of everything Animal Crossing, I’d recommend buying or gifting this at the start of your Animal Crossing journey as it would have been a fun and helpful aid. This feels geared more towards the younger audience but nonetheless enjoyable to read.
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