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Ako and Bambi Volume 1 Review

Publisher Summary


What happens when you put one down-on-his-luck amateur novelist and one amnesiac ghost girl in one bargain-priced haunted apartment? You get the punch line of Bambi’s life. The good news is, Ako is neither the ghost of the person who supposedly committed suicide in the rental nor an unfriendly poltergeist hell-bent on causing chaos. But she needs a place to hang out until she can ascend to wherever ghosts go and Bambi needs source material for his career, so maybe they can have a mutually beneficial relationship


Story & Art by: Hero

Translation: Jan Cash

Lettering: Rachel Pierce


I received Ako & Bambi Volume 1 as an Advanced Review Copy from Yen Press in exchange for an honest review.


 

Background


Ako and Bambi originally started as a web comic, which was released on the author's Pixiv account along with their personal website. Hero then launched the manga in Asahi Shimbun Publication's Sonorama+ manga site in January 2020. Asahi Shimbun Publications then published the series for a physical print release in September 2022 inside Japan. This series is completed in eight volumes total with the last volume released October 20, 2023


Yen Press announced they acquired the licensed for an English print and digital release during their monthly license announcement event on X (Formally Twitter)


 

Review



We're introduced to Bambi, a new rookie writer who just got told his recent serialization received the axe in the magazine it's published in. His editor then presents the idea of gathering a few writers to create a short story collection. Bambi ponders a bit when his editor then suggests that he write about something scary that happens in his life. Bambi immediately scoffs at the suggestion before a high school girl appears in his room. Spooked by this, Bambi looks around to investigate until he finds out that there is indeed a high school girl in his room, but not just any high school girl, a ghost high school girl. At first, their conversations were brief before she disappeared, but over time, we learned that her name is Ako. With this in mind, Bambi asks Ako if he can write his next story based on her and her daily life, which sets up the story for Ako and Bambi.




With each chapter, we get to learn a little bit more about both of our main characters as Bambi writes more of the story. For example, we learn that Ako is able to sleep, wake up, and touch physical things. But she is unable to remember who she was before she died or what activities she used to do. However, she is able to see other ghosts and interact with them. On Bambi's side, he shares that he's been writing for a while but is very suspiciously tip-lipped when talking about school life. At this point, things begin to get interesting as the story begins to add more characters, such as another high school girl named Ako Yamashiro, who we see struggle to find out why she has the same dream of meeting Bambi. She attempts to make contact to get to the bottom of this.





We're also introduced to Bambi's editor, Kagekuni Hiki, who comes off very stiff at first. However, he does everything he can to help guide Bambi's Ghost Girl story. I personally found his moments to be the comic relief in this story as we get to find out more about who he is and his backstory.


Ako and Bambi biggest strength is it's slow burn pacing which allows the reader to have enough time to get settled in with each character as they're introduced. Combined with it's slice-of-life elements, it helps build enough of an enticing hook for readers to get involved in wanting to know more about the world Hero created.


While I personally didn't find any issues, some people might be discouraged as this story is presented in a 4-koma style, which took me a bit to get used to reading. But it's cute and simplistic art style is a joy to look at as each of our characters gets an opportunity to have their moments in the story.


 

Final Thoughts


Ako and Bambi is slow burn slice-of-life story who's strong written characters kept me engaged throughout the volume. I was sold on the paranormal mystery they presented as we find out more about Ako's backstory and the conditions on how she appears/disappears. When not focused on the mystery, Bambi's slice-of-life moments improve based on ako's encounter and meeting his editor all come around to create a very chill yet engaging story.


Verdict: Buy It


Ako and Bambi Volume 1 from Yen Press is now available at all retailers.


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