Tuxedo Gin Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Saturday, June 11, 2005
Release Date: Saturday, November 01, 2003

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Matsuura Tokihiko
Translated by:Kenichiro Yagi
Adapted by:

What They Say
Summertime means beaches, girls in bikinis, and penguins on the loose! But all this fun isn't without consequences. Poor Gin-chan discovers that he's fathered and egg. Ginji claims innocence because he's still unfamiliar with his own penguin plumbing, but how's Minako going to feel about her two-timing penguin?!

The Review
While I cannot say I enjoy the penguin pattern behind the character art on the cover, I still liked the look overall (and yes the pattern was there on the original). This time there is a shot of Minako with a super cute Ginji (in penguin form) sitting in the hood of her jacket. Too, too cute. Personally would have loved to see Mike on the cover as well like the original but this is still very nice.

Logo Check!! (2003 Megs)... Viz's logo might not be as cute as the original but its still pretty creative. They use penguin shapes under a crooked blocky font. It's cute and fun but not as cute as the red and penguin filled original.

The printing is pretty good in this volume, no issues with tone or the pages being placed to close to the binding, but there is one little scan glitch on page 10 (you'll notice it on the first panel.)

This volume contains ads for Action Graphic Novels and Firefighter.

Influenced by Egawa Tatsuya, creator of Golden Boy and others, who he was an assistant to, Matsuura's characters are long, a little blocky and have a sketchy feel to them. 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. Looking closely you might find similar designs in Egawa's Golden Boy or Tokyo University Story. Fortunately his characters are not cutouts, like Egawa's early works were.

Matsuura's facial expressions and costume designs add another level to the art. With a few penguins, who would normally all look identical, costumed up with different looks on their face can really make things easy on a reader and make the humor flow easily as well.

This volume tones down the action while raising the amount of sight gags and slap shtick.

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.

This is presented in a right to left tall B6. SFX are translated in a glossary. Personally I like it but I can see this being frustrating.

Solid Viz release. Good translation with few if any errors. Honorifics are left in only when in reference to Gin (Gin-chan). With this being a summer themed volume there are a few cultural references that are nicely translated in the gutters. Overall a solid translation that kept the pace high and the humor funny.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
After a chapter of penguin volleyball fun at the beach, Gin and Mr. Sasebo take off for some fishing. So far Mr. Sasebo has not really gotten much to say. You often see him in the restaurant cooking and trying to care for Minako, but here you get a little bit of his past and his personality is fleshed out a bit. This slow paced chapter also gives the reader a little background on Minako. How she has lived with her dad for the past 10 years (her mom passed away.) And a little bit of the joy the father and child have from some of the memories they share.

The following chapter has Minako helping out a random customer. You would wonder why someone would go through the lengths that Minako does in this episode but it's a good example of just how much effort she has put into waiting for Ginji to come back to her. It was not easy work but in the end she was pretty happy about the results. Ginji can only wish things work out well for them, as well.

Towards the end of this volume (after a trip to the summer festival and a heroic episode in a typhoon) we are introduced to a new character, Linda. She comes with a new twist to the already strange plot - she has laid Ginji's egg. Ginji has no clue on how this happened (and it hasn't been explained, either) but now he's going to be a father and Linda does not want to leave his side. Bridging the human and penguin worlds are not easy though, so Ginji has to suffer quite a bit as Linda tries to win him over. And when Linda finds out that Ginji is in love with a human you wonder if Ginji is going to live to see his child or be human again!!

After a couple of character developing volumes, we are treated to a fan-service volume. Yes its summertime!! And with the summer comes trips to the beach, fishing expeditions, fun at the water parks, summer festivals and typhoon season. Personally I like filler and fan-service but this volume was a bit of a let down. Things get really episodic but we do get a little bit of development of Minako, just not enough.

While we get a little more background behind Minako this volume its mostly fluff. Summer fun takes over for most of the GN and the plot takes a break as we get to see Ginji at practically every summer spot. This isn't entirely a bad thing but after the build up in the first two volumes this volume is a slight let down. Yes the fan-service is pretty cute (as the character designs are pretty nice to begin with, even nicer on the beach) but the romance seemed to take a step backwards here and we lost the plot for a little while.

To me Tuxedo Gin is a hoot. The concept is just outrageous but there are moments, like this volume, that make this series seem so average. Yeah, penguin comedy and penguin action is more than enough to carry a manga (okay its enough for me) but the plot is actually good here so having to wait through the filler is a little frustrating. Fortunately we get a good presentation from Viz and some solid art overall, so it's worth being patient for more of Ginji's struggles to be human again.

Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: C+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 198
ISBN: 1-59116-102-9
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left