For many readers, the plot of Thermae Romae
is more than enough to incite either a great curiosity or simply a brow arched in disbelief. This award-winning series follows Lucius, an ancient Roman bath architect who finds inspiration for his work from Japanese bathing technology and tradition via unexpected teleportation to modern day. The book is an entertaining as it is educational, teaching readers a great deal about ancient times in Rome, as well as on-going Japanese tradition. Lucius’ reactions range from impressed to hilariously blown back in disbelief, but it never stops his determination to bring the innovation back to his own time to please his clients. Mari Yamaki’s strong artwork has a realistic appearance that will be appealing to many readers, even those new to comics, and the book’s large hardcover trim is both a pleasant surprise and an effort well put into matching this book’s unique plot with a standout design.