Tuxedo Gin Vol. #04 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 196
  • ISBN: 1-59116-131-2
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Tuxedo Gin Vol. #04

By Eduardo M. Chavez     June 20, 2005
Release Date: January 01, 2004

Tuxedo Gin Vol.#04
© Viz Media

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

What They Say
Ginji Kusanagi "dies" but in order to stay close to Minako, his one true love, he comes back to life reincarnated as an Adelie penguin. If that's true, then how could Ginji have fathered an egg with pretty little penguin, Linda?! Minako doesn't seem to mind, but Ginji doesn't know how this could have happened. After all, he still doesn't know all the ins and outs of his own penguin plumbing. Does penguin parenthood mean that Gin's days as a footloose and fancy free single penguin are over?

The Review
This volume has a huge image of Ginji carrying Minako in his penguin arms with a silly looking Mike in the foreground. 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. Originally it was blue for volume four.). Viz removed the two seagulls that were also on the front cover so it's not exactlly the same as Shogakukan's.

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.

This volume contains ads for Action Graphic Novels, InuYasha DVD set, Excel Saga, Flame of Recca 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.

SFX are translated in a glossary. Personally I like it, but I can see this being frustrating to some.

Solid Viz release. Good translation with few if any errors. Honorifics are left in only when in reference to Gin (Gin-chan).

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
The Linda arc comes to a dramatic conclusion with a few twists and some interesting romantic turns.

Linda's strategy to get under Minako's skin is working. Minako is still her genki kind self but she knows that there is something definitely wrong with this new arrangement. She does not want to let go of Gin-chan but at the same time she notices that Linda has been acting strange when the three are together. The only answer is to take them all to the aquarium where they can live together as a happy family.

Now Ginji may have a penguin body right now but this guy has always been human and he is not going to lose his chance to be happy so easily.... So, he runs away. Ginji starts to freak out. All he can think about now is having a penguin child.... He's a human again and there is his penguin child. He's at the aquarium and there is his little guy in his feather suit. He's in his grave and there is Gin Jr. praying for a peaceful passage to heaven!! He has no way to escape this; he's gonna be a penguin pappy. And making things worse everywhere he goes there is Linda and Mike.

But what's up with Mike? He says he is in love with Linda but he doesn't do anything about it. He'd rather see her all over Gin being happy than make a move. But why would he like her? She is truly a bad egg and for as long as Mike and Linda have known each other Mike has been a whipping boy naively taking all that abuse with a smile. But when being out in the wild gets to be a little too dangerous there is Mike to save the day! Yup, Mike! That bird sacrificed himself to protect his friends and most importantly Linda's egg. Umm.. sort of. You see, Minako really saved them from being eaten by feral cats and Linda's egg actually cracked and hatched (giving birth to an ostrich!! Oh, Linda is evil!). But what the heck, Mike's a hero and Gin's finally got Linda off his back. Win-win situation!

After a pair of fan-service filled filler chapters, trouble comes calling again. Someone has sent a letter to Minako informing her that Ginji is alive! Old rival Ayano Hikomaro is back and he has a plan to get Minako. At first using his money and status did not impress her and that silly penguin kept getting in the way of his panty shots! But once he decided to impersonate Ginji then things started to turn his way. By disguising himself as biker boxer, Kusagani Ginji, Ayano could be close to Minako and make Ginji look like a creep. Even Gin could not figure out who was behind this. What is a penguin to do at a time like this?

Poor Ginji. First he has to deal with a lady that has a fatal attraction to him and then he has to deal with someone impersonating his human self to get to the gal he likes. It must be too much to take for a penguin and I do not think that a few shrimp tempura will make this all go away. Even with the filler that was in the middle of this volume I have to say that this had to be one of the better ones so far. As we get close to the 1/3rd mark we are back onto the romance rivalry that we saw at the start of the series. It is not going to be easy for Gin but that is really what makes this series so unique. How can he pull it off? And is Minako's love that strong?!

This is what Tuxedo Gin is about. While Gin was in a pinch at the start of the series things got increasingly worse towards the end as the story turns back to the struggle he has to keep the heart of his Minako. This series really brings me a lot of joy. The humor, the penguin action and the character designs make a very good package one that I really hope more people could experience.
Ganbatte, Ginji-kun!!

Highly Recommended


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