Peepo Choo Vol. #01 - Mania.com



Manga Review

Mania Grade: A-

0 Comments | Add

 

Rate & Share:

 

Related Links:

 

Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translation Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 17 and Up
  • Released By: Vertical, Inc.
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 256
  • ISBN: 9781934287835
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Peepo Choo

Peepo Choo Vol. #01

Peepo Choo Vol. #01 Manga Review

By Matthew Warner     September 16, 2010
Release Date: July 13, 2010


Peepo Choo Vol. #01
© Vertical

Dark, twisted, and overly sexualized, yet at the same time fantastic commentary on cultures both East and West.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Felipe Smith

What They Say
The neon-lit streets of Tokyo's Shinjuku district are synonymous with culture clash. With the rapid spread of globalization within the last two decades, Tokyo's largest district has become a hotbed for hybrid forms of mass media, pop culture, and technology. It's also home to much of Tokyo's underworld, as they covertly control many of the district's nightlife outposts.

When teenaged otaku Milton first sets foot in the heart of Tokyo, he is shocked to see hustlers and hoes instead of the cosplaying crack-ups of his favorite cartoons and comics. Where is his animated version of Tokyo? How could he not have known about this dark side? And if he doesn't find what he was looking for, why did he go in the first place?

Answer: it's all the underworld's doing!

The Review!

Technical:
The front cover of here is a rather sexual one, displaying Reiko licking her lips, breasts taking up the center of the page and nipples clearly visible.  It’s an okay cover, though it makes the book appear a tad more focused on its sexual aspect than I’d prefer.  However, the cover goes from a mediocre one to a rather intriguing one when you flip the book over and realize that, in addition to your average summary of the plot, a reverse of the image on the front is displayed, showing Reiko hiding a blood stained knife behind her back.  It’s a clever approach that works really well when you take both the front and back cover into account, displaying both the blatant sexuality and violence contained within the book.  The paper quality is solid, and the book is printed in a nice, slightly oversized format.  
 
The artwork here is certainly strong and has a nice style to it, but it does have a tendency to stick to an overly simplistic, almost cartoony feel.  While the base art for the series is a tad simple, it also has a tendency to reach beautiful yet often disturbing levels of detail when violence, gore, or sexuality comes into play, or to drop down to an incredibly basic art style for the actual Peepo Choo “show” (which is eerily contrasted by the overly detailed, creepy things coming out of the titular character’s mouth).  It may not always be the most “beautiful” artwork, but the artist certainly manages to make it work.
 
Content:
Milton is a young boy growing up in Chicago, one of many siblings in a large family trying to get by, forced to dress “tough” just so he won’t “stand out.”  Of course, this side of Milton isn’t one we see for long, as it turns out Milton is a self-proclaimed “bonafide Otaku” who loves to cosplay as his favorite character, Peepo Choo, and works “unofficially” at a comic book shop to fuel his hobby.  (“Unofficially” meaning he does the job of Jody, who hates comics and anime, and gives Milton figures and other merchandise to do his work instead.)  The owner of the shop is a large, mysterious, intimidating man named Gill who has apparently been to jail.  After a short cut to Morimoto Rockstar, an eccentric member of the Yakuza who is starting to become out of control, and his stoic boss Aniki, we see that Milton has more than a few misconceptions about Japan and its culture.  It then turns out that the comic shop is having a “win a trip to Japan contest,” which Milton ends up “winning” when Jody secretly throws the results of the drawing.  
 
From there we see how Morimoto became the way he is today, watch Milton get caught up in a battle between the “Otaku” and comic book nerds, and meet the voluptuous yet crude high school girl Reiko and her “ugly” friend Tanaka who is always getting tormented before Milton, Jody, and Gill can finally set out for Japan.  Over the rest of the book, we learn that Jody is a sexless loser who pretends to be “pimp” and is desperate to get laid, Morimoto Rockstar probably has about as many misconceptions about American culture as Milton does in regards to Japan, and that Gill is really a merciless assassin who has been hired by Aniki to assassinate Morimoto.  As the book closes, Milton is finally starting to think Japan might not be everything he imagined, but still manages to find a kindred soul due to a chance encounter with Tanaka.
 
In Summary:
There is a good bit of dark, disturbing gore and a plentitude of pornographic material in this release to sate those looking for it, but the true reason to pick this release up is the surprising commentary and satire going on throughout the story.  The author not only picks on the misconceptions that early Western “Otaku” often fall prey to, but those of the East as well.  The parallels between characters like Milton and Morimoto Rockstar are both clever and interesting to watch.  Not only that, but every character seems to play their part in making the story enjoyable, from the humorously pompous Jody to the brooding, mysterious Gill.  Everything pulls together well here, and is likely to leave the reader wanting more.  Hopefully the next volume can deliver well on the premise that is set up so well in this first book.  

 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES



Be the first to add a comment to this article!


ADD A COMMENT

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.

POPULAR TOPICS