Hanzai Japan was published just over a month ago, and boy, have the reviews been pouring in! We thought we’d share a few. First up was the October 2015 issue of Locus Magazine. The review by Karen Burnham is not online, but did conclude like this: All of which is to say that Haikasoru has put out another winner of an anthology, joining The Future is Japanese (2012) and Phantasm Japan (2014) in presenting a diverse array of voices, both Western stars (Valentine, Evenson) and Japanese authors in translation, to show just how appealing and intertwined the fiction coming out of Japan can be for the Western genre audience. Between the dark, the fantastic, the science fictional, the surreal, and the funny – there is no monolithic Japan here, just writers writing about crime, or things that might be crimes, or things that happen as the result of crimes (no matter how far stretched that definition may be) in all the different voices available to them.
Then we had a nice long 4.5 star review from SFSignal.com, which read, in part: So if this doesn’t sound like a trippy, fun, and highly entertaining collection to you, then I’m not 100% sure that you’re human. I mean, maybe you’re a space lizard in a human suit. With terrible taste. If my review of Hanzai Japan did pique your interest, though, then go grab a copy.
Albedo1 agreed! Despite its few flaws, Hanzai Japan was a gripping read throughout. If you feel that itch that only quality crime fiction can scratch, then this anthology is for you.
So did CrowsnBones! There are hackers, amateur sleuths, demonic tattoos, fox spirits, Yakuza bosses and a special guest turn by Godzilla, making this a strong contender for the collection of the year. Spinetingler Magazine did one of its famous story-by-story reviews, with a different author handling each piece.
Too many to link to but here are all the posts so far!
Dirge Magazine Loved it: It’s this spirited, loving, bloody rebellion against the genre rulebook that makes these stories tick, that brings them together. Winding through points of view from an ex-pat young woman exploring the quiet deaths of a broken-down theme park, to two American fuckboys getting wasted and in serious trouble in New York’s Little Tokyo, to a group of Yakuza bank robbers watching a PowerPoint on how best to utilise Godzilla in their latest heist, Hanzai Japan shows both Japan and the West through broken lenses, a playful perversion of how we see ourselves and the other.
For the manga and anime crowds, Otaku USA checked in, saying in part: All the stories are solid and build their own world, and the range of voices gives you everything from atmospheric horror to the creepily fantastic to stories dripping with dark humor and a wink at the readers. Hanzai Japan is definitely different from a lot of what is on the market and it’s a fun ride all the way through. Let’s hope to see more of these anthologies coming from VIZ Media!
And just today, from Deadend Follies: t is that kind of book that goes into so many directions and does it with such discipline (at the image of the Japanese people) that it is bound to have a story that’ll catch your imagination. HANZAI JAPAN brought me back to the early 2000s, back when I was binge watching/reading everything Japanese I could get my hands on. Everything great about Japanese pop culture is in this anthology (or almost). Convinced that we have created the greatest holiday present of all time for the reader in your life (even if the only reader is you!)? We hope so. Get shoppin’.