No reviews? that should be fixed.
Ashizuri Suizokukan is a collection of short stories. Some of them are very short (7-10 pages) and some of them are one shot length (40-50 pages). All of them are interesting and show a bizarre world mixed in with our "normal" world.
The story doesn't really exist here. Most of the stories feature some kind of little girl that goes to an adventure or interact with the bizarre creatures of her world. The stories feel like everything is a dream, there isn't a clear distinction between reality and a dream. Is everything merely an illusion or it really happened?
Some stories have some vague massages about them (sometimes it's less vague) but the real interest is the amazing world that we can experience and see more aspects of it.
For example in the story "the complete shopping district" the girl need to find an item for her mom but cannot read her note. So she search for a man that can read it and overhear conversion about a shopping district that you can find there everything you want:stuff from the past, the future, stuff that disappeared already. Or the time when she go to the newseum, the museum where everything is new, and is in constant construction to continue being new.
The characters are also bizarre, sometimes has animal heads or star shaped body. In one of my favorite from the collection, "city of the dead", we can see a city will all kind of abnormal creatures that seem to roam the streets. And they would be very kind to you if you give them a small piece of baguette!
The main character itself is a great choice in my opinion. Being a little girl, she accept all that happen around her in a very neutral, childlike way. She is curios, and interested in the way the world works, and her interactions with the other characters are very amusing. We can see in "the complete shopping district" that she tries to find a man who can read the note from her mom, and one man suggest her that the note might be in Russian. In response to her question "where can I find a man who can speak Russian?" the man says "you just need to go to Russia."
And that she does.
Through her we discover the wonderful world in very accepting eyes, we can accept everything that happen thanks to her.
As for the art, without a doubt the strongest aspect of the manga. As written in the MAL page the artist use detailed background with simplistic characters. This contradiction is beautiful. We can see sometimes zoom shoots on the hands of the characters and suddenly it's very detailed. We have also sometimes very rough, sketch like art, contributing to the bizarre, dream like feeling. Sometimes the art looks like it was drawn in a pencil, like the story "The innocent world". The art complete the experience and without it the manga wouldn't be the same.
Overall, this is a great read. Very short one too. Just take a time off and try to read it, you will have fun with it, and you can take from it whatever you like-the manga is open to interpretations. And even if it doesn't have a deeper meaning, just take it as a wild journey in a brand new-old world.