Tuxedo Gin Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Thursday, June 02, 2005
Release Date: Monday, September 01, 2003
Translated by:Kenichiro Yagi
What They Say
Things were going great for Ginji Kusanagi - Not only did he just make his debut as a pro boxer, he also met the girl of his dreams, Minako Sasebo. Unfortunately, Ginji has an accident and dies... and is then reincarnated into a penguin! In this most silly of romantic love comedies, will love be able to bloom between a boxing penguin and a beautiful girl?
While I cannot say I enjoy the penguin pattern behind the character art on the cover, I still liked the look overall. I still think the design looks a little too cute for the material inside, as there is a shot of a very cute Minako standing behind a very happy Ginji (in penguin form.) The printing is pretty good and Viz kept the original chapter and volume headers, which is a good touch. Only extra is an Excel Saga ad.
The art is pretty good but in time one will start to see the style move away from the look of Egawa Tatsuya, creator of Golden Boy and others, who he was an assistant to. Lines are long and not too thick. To be honest the stroke work is very similar to what a lot of artists were doing in the shonen/seinen world at the time. Sketchy lines are used for added depth sometimes even on top of screen tone that already presents shadow and perspective. Cool stuff. To be honest I can do with out the crazy hair but heck this was Japan in the 90's right. That look really shows in Minako and in Ginji's human form. The shapes used for faces and the characters proportions are almost exactly out of early Tokyo Daikgaku Monogatari. The main difference is the way most of the male characters are designed. Matsuura’s faces have a different look as I consider them to have a broader range of expressions and a little more detail then Egawa's.
Have to say I love the look of the penguins. Giving them clothing and other characteristics really works and gives each one of these cutout characters a little more individuality.
This series has a good amount of penguin boxing action so the layout is pretty active. At the same time its also a comedy that relies heavily on sight gags and slap shtick so the pace never really lets up. Even though this is a shonen comedy the backgrounds are great. Quite often pretty detailed (and funny because of what you can find in some backgrounds); so the art never really disappoints. Good stuff for shonen if you ask me.
SFX are translated in a glossary. I like it, but I can see this being frustrating to some.
Apart from that is is another solid Viz release. Good translation with few if any errors. Honorifics are left in mainly when in reference to Gin (Gin-chan).
Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In the second volume of Tuxedo Gin we Matsuura begins to present a little more of Ginji’s past. We know just how much Ginji cares for Minako but why would Minako like Ginji and what was he about.
After a little confusion about what Minako was doing with a potential rival, the story moves towards Ginji’s old boxing gym. One would think that this run down place would not produce many quality fighters and for the most part you would be right. At the same time there really was something special happening there. The head trainer there was really waiting for his diamond in the rough. He would care for each of his boxers but when he found something special he really went to it with a lot of passion.
When people like were no longer in the gym then there really was no motivation. So when Ginji went missing the gym started to go down hill fast. The coach has gone to the bottle for support and his last boxer is still always from making the pro ranks. Nothing is really motivating the old man but his resolve to see Ginji in the ring is keeping him from agreeing to close the place down.
With a little help from a fighting penguin and Minako’s new attachment to the place where Ginji trained things turn around slowly. Hope comes in the form of Koganezawa Shosuke, a teammate of Ginji. The kid really is not ready for the pro ranks. He is at least a year away. But he’s determination has brought back the fighting spirit to the coach and eventually brings life to the gym. By taking a few tips from Ginji and using the knowledge of his coach he does well despite his loss. HIGH VOLTAGE QUADRUPLE PUNCH!!
Most of this volume was spent building up Ginji’s character. It starts off with him being very jealous, moves on to him trying close the communication gap between humans and penguins and concludes with the gym arch. It's really done well. While you can understand Ginji’s motivations for being human again you really do not know what the guy is about. The story starts off without much time for background so getting a chance to go deeper with Ginji's history and background is pretty cool. I would have enjoyed more time dedicated to Minako as well but it was not there. I can understand it and fortunately there still are enough volumes left for it but with her being the other lead I felt a little short changed.
I must continue to say that Tuxedo Gin is one of the better titles out there currently running. Funny, outrageous, romantic and cute this series is something very different from most stories we see out there in that crowded love/comedy genre.
I love this series. And with VIZ doing a solid job on this GN I really cannot complain. I am really excited about how well people will take to this series as I can see this being a sleeper hit with a lot of people.
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
Orientation: Right to Left