Eva Goes Solo” by Evangeline Neo is an adorable graphic novel about her stay and experiences in Japan.
While Neo is from Singapore, she has cleverly captured the exaggerated style of Manga artists. So the exaggerated but cute drawings help make her stay in the foreign country seem more hilarious than it is.
Since the author/artist studied in the country for a significant time, she has interesting cultural insights to share than the average traveler who stays in a place for a few months. From earthquake drills to wedding etiquettes, this books covers a lot of ground.
What made me smile the most was Eva’s frustrations when it came to dealing with the bureaucratic way in which the Japanese execute things. Just getting a phone connection discontinued takes her a whole day’s time. A lot of people who have been there on work trips have often observed that while the Japanese may be hardworking, they still stick to old methods of doing things and aren’t very tech savvy. So a work problem that can be solved in an hour using an app, will take four hours for them to do. Eva concurs with this opinion.
Overall, “Eva Goes Solo” was a fun read. Towards the end, the author shares some useful tips that one would find in a travel guide, but look adorable with her illustrations. It’s a cute book and will make for great reading for anybody who is fascinated by Japan.