Whenever Roman architect Lucius is suddenly submerged in water, he always surfaces to find himself in the land of the "flat-faces," a people whose appreciation for the public bathhouse matches that of even the mighty Romans! (Little does he realize that the land of his watery journeys is in fact the Japan of 1,500 years in the future!) Observing the strange practices of these foreigners has allowed Lucius to revolutionize the Roman bathhouse, and public opinion on his innovations-and on Aelius Caesar, the emperor-to-be to whom these marvels are attributed-soars. But those in the Senate maintain strong reservations about the suitability of the emperor-to-be, and they mean to cut off the flow of support at its source-Lucius!
About the Author
Mari Yamazaki was born in Tokyo on April 20, 1967. At age seventeen, she moved to Italy, where she started studying drawing at an art school in Florence. Yamazaki made her manga debut in 1996 with an autobiographical look at her life in Italy. After bouncing around between Japan, the Middle East, and Italy, she finally settled down in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2003. In 2008, she began drawing Thermae Romae for the monthly magazine Comic Beam on an irregular basis, and the first collected volume was a smash hit upon its 2009 release. In 2010, Thermae Romae received the Manga Taisho Award 2010 and the 14th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, Short Story Award.
Mari Yamazaki currently lives in Chicago with her Italian husband and their son.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you wonder just how much someone can draw and write about baths, you might feel in the first few chapters of this second book that you have an answer. The power of hot water reaches its silliest taming bandits and protecting the Roman Empire. So perhaps it is very fortunate that the English release is in omnibus format so readers do not have to wait for the stronger chapters. Yamazaki seems aware of the length she has taken the series to and smartly shifts the formula a little. While spending more time on Japan would seem to only increase an idea of its superiority, in contrast this allows Yamazaki to express obviously, that Ancient Rome was an amazing and admirable civilization with a legacy and awe still present in modern times. The introduction of less disposable new characters also returns the humor that made the story so fun to read. Presented in over sized format with a dust cover and cultural notes Thermae Romae is an excellent addition to any graphic novel library.