The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story by Marie Kondō

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Diamond Distributors
Published: 2017
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Manga, Educational, Organization, Lifestyle, Cute


From the #1 New York Times best-selling author and lifestyle/cleaning guru Marie Kondo, this graphic novelization brings Kondo’s life-changing tidying method to life with the fun, quirky story of a woman who transforms her home, work, and love life using Kondo’s advice and inspiration.


Never before have I read an educational non-fiction/fiction manga. I have before read perhaps one memoir in manga format, but that is all. All the rest have been fictive tales.

What is interesting here is that we have both. We have someone who teaches – Marie Kondo herself – as a main character, and someone who absorbs the teaching material and applies it to her life and home, the two being interrelated.

Actually, I have listened to Marie Kondo’s non-fiction book about tidying up, on which this manga is based, so a lot of what is included here I was already familiar with prior to reading this, but I enjoyed the characters so much, as well as the conversations between them, that it felt like visiting old friends.

You do learn. Marie Kondo is straight-forward in her teaching and urges her students to take one step at a time. In her non-fiction book, it felt natural to talk about one topic per chapter, but because this is an educational manga disguised as a fictional story, it feels as though Marie Kondo is stalling at times.

After all, if she had explained everything to Chiaki (the fictional girl who needs to tidy up her apartment) and then Chiaki was ready to tackle the mess, it would have been a rather quick and boring story.

I am pleased with the result. I love that, given how popular manga is in some places, more people will have access to Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up. We can’t expect everyone to enjoy reading/listening to non-fiction books. It’s very cute, too.


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