Manga of the Month: Sgt. Frog

Sgt. Frog (ケロロ軍曹) by Mine Yoshizaki

hisui_icon_4040 As I mentioned in last month’s pick there are a few selections for Manga of the Month’s early run that we never archived and are now lost to the annals of history. I could try to deep dive the collective unconscious of the Internet and find those old posts but I rather just write some of them over now that we have a few years at this under our belts. Lets start with Sgt. Frog. It was always a bit of a strange manga license back in the day. It was clearly one of those titles that would have only been picked up at the height of the manga bubble when manga publishers in the US were trying anything and everything. It sort of existed with a minor US fanbase and it even got some of the anime released with a dub. But as time went on the series never really caught on and has pretty much faded from the collective fandom’s memory.

Since Sgt. Frog is getting a new anime series this year it seems like a good a time as any to revisit the show.

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Manga of the Month: Bartender

Bartender (バーテンダー) by Araki Joh and Kenji Nagatomo

hisui_icon_4040 I swore at some point in time I had written up Bartender as a Manga of the Month. I just can’t find any record of that ever happening. It might have been one of the early Manga of the Month posts that were lost to the mists of time (and maybe an obscure corner of the Wayback Machine) or it just might be that I have REALLY BAD memory. Either way since the current iteration of the blog does not have any such post it is time to correct that oversight no matter how it occurred.

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Manga of the Month: April

X-Day by Setona Mizushiro

This is a very short title that came out a number of years back. It easily caught some attention with the surface premise. Four people, three students and one teacher, come together through various  tragedies and decide to blow up their high school. But rather than being a look at an anarchistic plot, it is a story about the meaning of friendship. Rika was high on the social ladder till her injury and her break-up with her boyfriend. She no longer views her world the same way. As she tries to adapt she stumbles across a chat room where she meets three people who change her indefinitely. These people bond together and no one is more surprised about it than themselves. As the story goes on, and as the characters better learn about themselves, the plot against the school takes a backseat to them helping each other. This is a good short story, just two books, which is able to develop its characters in the limited amount of time.

Addicted to Curry by Kazuki Funatsu

Addicted to Curry is definitely a senien manga. Koenji Makito is clearly a senien hero because he basically starts off as a godlike curry chef. He might perfect his craft slightly or learn a minor lesson but he’s already an expert. You also have more of the healing manga setups than tournament manga ones. This means someone will have a problem and Makito will show them the answer with one of his dishes. That is not to say that there aren’t cooking battles. They are just more one on one battles over some point of ideology than tournaments. Being senien manga also means more fan-service and racy content but it’s nothing prevalent.

We start with Sonezaki Yui whose father, the owner of a curry restaurant, has disappeared after saying he was going to sharpen his skills. Despite her best efforts she will soon have to sell the restaurant due to mounting debt. On the way home she finds Koenji Makito starving on the street and accidentally throws food at him when trying to feed him. When he tracks her down it turns out he is a friend of her father and was hoping to work at his restaurant. He soon agrees to be the curry chef until her father comes back. It is going to take a lot of work for Yiu and Makito to get back into the black. There also seems to be an evil corporation that wants to buy the curry house and will do anything to buy the land.

Most chapters have a full recipe for whatever was made in it so you can make your own dishes. It is always nice to see a cooking manga that teaches you while entertaining you at the same time.