Cute Is Not Always Safe! Cover Stories: Judge a Book on Whether You’d Buy It

Ani-Imo, Ani ga Imouto de Imouto ga Ani de, Kodansha, manga cover, Kurumatani Haruko

This time on Cover Stories, where we judge a book by the first face it presents…

Ani-Imo: Volume 1

Haruko Kurumatani
Yen Press

Spine of ANI-IMO by Haruko Kurumatani, Yen Press, Nov 2014

The spine

White! White looks clean and stands out. It’s confident. The font choices are all cute and the colour scheme is pleasant. I love a very round font; it looks so comfortable! The “Imo” in Ani-Imo is even pinka happy little Kirby at the end there, pink and round like a marshmallow. Powdery purple at the top and bottom bracket the mostly white, well-spaced whole, and the dark brown and red on the girl in the centre do a good job of intensifying things. Pink to red, lighter purple to the dark purple of her hair—it’s a very nice balance. The font chosen for “Haruko Kurumatani” is sweetly cursive, and with the large spaces between each letter, has a naiveté that complements the puffy wing in the Yen Press logo and the girl’s school uniform. I like this spine! Please, tell me more.

Cover of ANI-IMO by Haruko Kurumatani, Yen Press, Nov 2014The front cover

White again, which is very nice. The colours are rich, complementary, and well composed. The light brown hair on the boy buoys up the rich dark brown on the girl’s uniform, the mauve tones in his hair draft down to her deep purple. The mustard yellow of his fabulous blazer is used to tone her sleeve, which is facing him, and her breasts, which are facing us. So that’s slightly less than cricket, but at least it’s not aesthetically ugly. Red tie and red neckerchief are grand. The purple “Ani” text above her purple hair lets the eye swap back and forth with ease, and the pink in the text “Imo” leads you over to the red tie, down it, and around again.

The girl looks rather disheveled, seen larger than she appears on the spine. She looks tired and confused, like it’s 4am, and she’s been napping on a ferry. Unfocused eyes, belly-forward posture (this may be a trick of the “floating fuku” illustrative phenomenon). And what is this boy doing, coughing? Your picture is being taken, lad. Smarten up! These kids, they have no respect. The sicklier I notice they look, the less interested I am, but the design is still good. It’s so beautifully uncluttered.

As can be seen here, and as with Fairy Tail, much of the credit for this layout can go to the original Kodansha design team.

The back cover & blurb

Back cover of ANI-IMO by Haruko Kurumatani, Yen Press, Nov 2014


Claire Napier

Claire Napier

Critic, ex-Editor in Chief at WWAC, independent comics editor; the rock that drops on your head. Find me at and give me lots of money

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