Tuxedo Gin Vol. #06 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 194
  • ISBN: 1-59116-322-6
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Tuxedo Gin Vol. #06

By Eduardo M. Chavez     December 30, 2004
Release Date: May 01, 2004


Tuxedo Gin Vol.#06
© Viz Media


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

What They Say
What's going on?! Gin-chan's hooked up with a super hot bikini-clad weather announcer. He's even been given the key to her apartment! Gin was reincarnated as a penguin so that he could stay close to Minako, but has he given her up for the sexy weather girl on TV?!

The Review
Packaging:
Like most of Viz's titles, Tuxedo Gin is presented right-to-left in a tall B6 GN. This volume has Minako and Ginji in their beach wear; showing lots of skin. Once again, the cover art is on a penguin pattern. Although I am not a fan of the pattern I still liked the look overall (and yes the pattern was there on the original). The opposite cover has a rare portrait of cousin Musashi next to the short volume description.

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. Viz was also kind enough to add a page long word from the adaptor Annette Roman.

This volume contains a glossary of SFX and signs followed by an ad for Video Girl Ai.

Artwork:
Influenced by Egawa Tatsuya (Golden Boy/Tokyo Monogatari, 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 many 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, as 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.

Text/SFX:
SFX are translated in a glossary. 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: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Love is in the air. Human love, penguin love, walrus love, and preteen love - it happens to practically everyone sometime. Ginji has been suffering with a unique version of love for a while but now he is finally being influenced by his more "animal" instincts. Love is no longer solely respect, affection and admiration but it is slowly becoming competitive. To the penguin in Ginji, passing his genes have become a physical priority. He will do anything or anyone to raise an egg. Better start working on that mating ritual Ginji!

When Ginji was given another chance at life, he just assumed that his soul was dropped into a penguin's body. He thought he would have to endure living off a seafood diet, having to molt feathers in the spring and avoiding killer whales, but now he realizes that his feathery body also has its own needs. Penguins have other needs, very primal needs that they have to control. How that instinct is being expressed in Ginji is something no one could have seen coming though. As a human, he should love humans; as a penguin, he should like other aves. How can he choose between the two? Maybe could just go somewhere else like walruses! Right now, his body just wants some lovin' and his little penguin heart is racing out of control.

People fall in love too! Minako has been in love with Ginji's memory for as long as we have known her. Her image of his is based on the handful of times she ran into him with her cousin. Sometimes she has to obsess on the memories she holds dear - Ginji's fondness of cod-roe rice balls and his boxing - for comfort. Then there are times that she has to ask about Ginji's past to try to feel closer to him. Her actions have not been unusual, but her devotion at this age definitely is. Love is carrying Minako right now. If only Ginji could support her and realize her wishes.

Love does not always end up with roses and kisses. Sometimes there are fights. Sometimes there are breakups. Sometimes there is jealousy. Sometimes people realize what they felt was not love at all; instead it was just lust or curiosity. Sometimes love is just friendship and nothing more. Ginji does not cannot understand it all himself (walrus love is difficult to understand), but in this volume, as he grows and as he sees it from his unique perspective, it begins to become clearer to him.

Comments
What has made Tuxedo Gin so entertaining to me has to be what I like to call "penguin fun." Penguin performance art, penguin winter sports, penguin boxing, penguin adventures and onsen scenes with penguins are just a few examples from a never-ending list of fun penguin related activities the mangaka has choose from. Under normal circumstances (which would mean an all-human cast) seeing most characters in what essentially are slice-of-life activities would lead to a slow-paced manga that would rely heavily on jokes or excellent writing. But add a penguin to a story like that and you will have non-stop fun because of extraordinary a feathery lead character amongst a human cast is. If the penguin has human characteristics, the mannerisms and actions will be cute and possibly funny. Conversely, if the penguin just acts like a penguin, the cast will react to the penguin with genuine enthusiasm and curiosity. Either way you win!

In Tuxedo Gin, you get both and more!

Reading Tuxedo Gin straight up makes me happy. At its core, it is a great example of a feel-good story. There is so much more to this funny episodic manga. Matsuura creates a unique love story - a love story with lovers that are a world apart even though they spend so much time together. One spends his time learning why he is so lucky to be loved by someone. He will come to respect her for her honesty and her compassion. The other will learn why she fell in love. Her new experiences will bring her closer and give her the strength to wait to realize her true feelings. Yes, it sounds sappy and maybe this romance does not sound very realistic, but for a shonen manga that is pretty substantial. There are actual feelings shared, so nothing is ambiguous or held in. These two leads would have had a relationship if they could communicate with each other, and that barrier creates a needed sense of tension and also creates a sense of charm. It leads to penguin silliness. It leads to supporting romances that are in trouble. It also resulted in a very fun manga that is much more than the cover or title suggests.

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