If you’re into lighthearted and fun yokai/supernatural manga storylines, then Forbidden Scrollery is for you. The manga’s storyline is by ZUN while the art is by Moe Harukawa and it is known as “Touhou Suzunaan” in Japanese. It was released in English by Yen Press back in November 2017.
Forbidden Scrollery tells the story of Kosuzu Motoori who is the owner of a bookstore called Suzunaan in a place called Gensokyo, a traditional looking Japanese village. To a normal human, Suzunaan might seem like a your average bookstore but unknown to many, aside from renting & selling normal human books, Suzunaan hosts a variety of books imported from the other world called the youma books.
What is a youma book?
1. Books written by ancient yokais
2. Books written by yokais for humans
3. Grimoires written for Magicians
4. Texts which seals away yokais
Not only youma books are books written by yokais, it also requires a special ability to be able to read them. Therefore, only a select few human beings have the ability to decipher the books and this include yes, you guessed it right: Kozusu!
In the village of Gensokyo there also live Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame both happens to be a shaman and magician. One day after bumping into Kozusu, they found out that Suzunaan has been hosting the youma books and Kozusu can also read them! They then decided that it’s their responsibility to make sure that the books does not fall into the wrong hands due to the books’ abilities to release ancient yokais into the human world.
Throughout the first volume, you’ll find that Kozusu is very enthusiastic about her collection of youma books and due to her enthusiasm, sometimes she tends to cause troubles for the shaman and magician while being oblivious to it. You’ll also see how different yokais causes different disturbances throughout the manga.
What I really enjoy about the manga is that despite being oblivious and can come across as troublesome sometimes, Kozusu was drawn rather cutely. I love her outfit alot and the fact that she owns a bookstore and gets excited when she decipher the yokai books makes her character even cuter IMO.
Also, the interaction or rather rivalry between Reimu and Marisa is really funny. I also like the fact that the manga explores the livelihood or characters of different types of yokais such as: tanuki, tengu etc. However, if you put aside all that, the story does come off as a little simple hence why I said it’s a lighthearted manga at the very beginning of my review.
What I like about the manga:
1. Yokai/supernatural themed
2. Cutely-drawn characters (especially Kozusu!)
3. Japanese elements i.e: Kimono, Japanese house etc
4. Comedic interactions between the characters
5. Exploration of other yokai characters
Genre: Yokai, Supernatural, Comedy, Fantasy
Length: 7 completed volumes
Continue reading? : Yes, I’m definitely going to continue reading this manga!
All in, it’s a decent and entertaining manga. I’d recommend it as something you’d enjoy in between reading heavy and serious manga like Tokyo Ghoul.
Also, at the end of the first volume where mangakas usually create a character profile for its MCs, this time the mangaka included a character design instead which I really enjoyed compared to the normal character profile.
Hope you’ll enjoy reading it!