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acttil has recently published three Japanese folktale e-books: “Princess Kaguya”, “Issunboushi” and “Urashima Taro” on the iTunes store. They are classic tales that can be enjoyed by iPad, iPhone as well as Mac users (which requires OSX Mavericks). The stories are colorful, whimsy, charming and delightful as they are traditional stories that have been told for many generations in the Japanese culture and history. The artist Taniel, is behind the wonderful art that graces the pages of the e-books who has lent his talents previously to the Nintendo DS game, A Witch’s Tale. Further releases will made available in the form of Japanese Folktales series 4 to 6 at a soon to be announced date.

The e-books are small in size and range from file size of 7-9 MB each that are sold at $2.99 apiece. "Princess Kaguya" is the first in the series that tells the tale of Kaguya, a princess from the moon while "Issunboushi" revolves around the tale of a baby boy who grew up to a very miniature size man. Finally, "Urashima Taro", one of the more well known folktales, follows a fisherman who saves a tiny turtle on the beach and is rewarded by an opportunity to visit an underwater palace.

Although the e-books are restricted on iTunes to Apple devices and hardware, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the children’s classic tales being retold with illustrated imagery and artwork. As a huge fan of the video games, Muramasa Rebirth and Okami HD, I found myself drawn to the engaging but simplistic charm of the characters in these stories and their awaiting adventures.

As the books can be read and enjoyed completely in one setting, I eagerly await the release of the Japanese Folktale Series 4 to 6. For those interested in Japanese folklore and history, the Japanese folktale e-books is the perfect gift for yourself or for a family member and friend. For the price of a bit more than a coffee, these folktale books are highly recommended for both children and adults of all ages.


Score: A-






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