Life Lessons from a UFO Catcher: An Autobiographical Manga

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Life Lessons from a UFO Catcher , an autobiographical manga by Kenny Loui, was such a creative, lighthearted read. Based on Loui’s personal experiences, he bestows life lessons and wisdom that he has gleaned through a fun, colorful manga.

The story’s main character, Kenny Loui, is a self-proclaimed “UFO catcher” alongside his role as a student, teacher, hopeless romantic, and officer. As a UFO catcher, Kenny essentially goes to crane and claw machines to “rescue” as many plushies and stuffed animals as he possibly can. The manga follows him in 13 different episodes as he plays the claw machine and learns many life lessons along the way. For example, in Episode 2 titled “Always Have a Plan”, the scene is set where Kenny is playing the UFO Catcher claw machine. As he enters his money to play, he moves the joystick back and forth, attempting to maneuver the claw to win a pink cat plushie. After pressing the button, he just misses the toy. Upset, he inserts more money and tries again for his victory. The moral of this episode, summarized by Kenny contemplating his next move next to the claw machine, is to always have a plan. As he states, “Don’t just jump in without knowing what you’re going to do.” Similarly to this, the rest of the episodes continue in this fashion.

As a whole, I enjoyed the plot of all the episodes and found them to be cheerful reminders of timeless advice. But, one of the most notable things about this manga was the gorgeous illustrations done by Yamawe. Truly, she outdid herself. With manga, the artwork is such a crucial, make-or-break component of the novel, and I am happy to say she truly made this book unique! Her attention to detail, color, and precision makes this novel come to life. I loved the way she played with pigments to show shadows, light, texture, and emotion on all of the characters and the scenery.

Finally, one of the most innovative things about this Manga was the incorporation of QR codes. Throughout the story, Loui and Yamawe include scenes with a musical component. On these pages, a character asks the reader to look out for the YouTube play icon, as a QR code is included to deliver you to a music video. The character then encourages you to listen to the song as you read, for a full immersive experience. Personally, I absolutely loved how originative this was. Never before has a book asked me to incorporate another sense as part of the experience, and I loved the results! This truly made this book stand out to me for its creativity and uniqueness!

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 150 pages
Publisher UFO Comics
Publish Date 14-Jun-2023
ISBN 9798986730004 Buy this Book
Issue June 2023
Category Sequential Art