Wallpaper: Penguin Revolution’s Ryou

narutaki I’ve decided to start posting some of the wallpapers I make. They are just for my personal use, but I figure hey why not share! I’ll be sharing them in three standard sizes, but if anyone requests a specific ratio I can probably make it for you without much of a problem.

I just love Sakura Tsukuba manga, period. It is a real shame that CMX closed down putting her titles long out of print. Luckily, my favorite Penguin Revolution was completed in English before that happened.

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Manga of the Month: Penguin Revolution

Penguin Revolution (ペンギン 革命) by Sakura Tsukaba

It is quite possible that everything, ever, by Sakura Tsukaba will eventually land here on Manga of the Month. Her heroines are a delight and I can’t say enough about her ability to meld romance and comedy with a little supernatural.

In Penguin Revolution, we meet Yukari a peppy, hard-working girl with an odd ability to see others’ potential to be a star which manifests as a pair of wings on their back. One day she runs into beautiful Ryouko whose wings shine brightly one moment but then become small sprouts. Their meeting quickly gets complicated when Yukari realizes Ryouko is actually Ryou, a guy dressed as a girl. Ryou is employed by famous talent agency Peacock which requires its members to disguise themselves so when Yukari discovers his identity he offers her a job as his manager (which actually requires her to dress as a man). Thus begins their journey through the entrainment world, friendships and rivalries, romance, and family drama.

The series is clearly over the top but the emotions resonate as do the characters. Yukari has a positive and infectious optimism, this is balanced out by Ryou who has great potential but is still a fledgling especially compared to many other members of the agency. Their’s is a slow building bond that begins with odd circumstances but becomes a trusting and true romance. This is a tame, fun, and sweet series with plenty of heart that can’t help but leave you with a smile.

Ongoing Investigations: Case #042

I eagerly finished the last volume (book 7) of Penguin Revolution. The final scenario in this book is a little over the top, but not out of tune with the rest of the story. Most of the revelations came in the couple of volumes before this so we get a lot of forward motion here. Both Ryo and Aya push themselves to out do the other on the stage and of course their internal battle over Yukari continues. Ryo realizes he has a romantic rival when he finally recognizes his own feelings. I would have liked the ending to be more concrete but it was still a happy one. Highly recommended as is anything by Sakura Tsukaba! I can’t say enough about her ability to meld romance and comedy with a little supernatural. I hope CMX releases whatever she decides to do next, would also love to see a collection of her one shots!

My theme this week is OVAs. I guess I will cheat by starting with the Haruhi ONAs. There are two Haruhi ONA series, Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya and Nyoron Churuya-san. I generally find the Haruhi-chan shorts amusing. The episodes remind me of the type of humor you would see in a comedy doujishi. Nothing in the series has had me on the floor laughing but so far all the episodes have brought a smile to my face. I find it interesting that they made Yuki a total visual novel otaku in this series. While it is funny, it makes me wonder if there is any basis for this in the novels. Speaking of Yuki the mini Ryoko Asakura that is staying at her apartment brings up the odd Japanese fascination with making miniature version of characters for omake. A great trivia question would be who was the first character to be portrayed in this fashion. Nyoron Churuya-san on the other hand is just bizarre. It is best summed up as Everyone Hates Churuya-san. It is  the story of a cheese-loving, super-deformed Tsuruya going around and being ignored or abused by everyone in these extremely non-sequitur sequences. It has very dry humor which I usually like, but not this time. Their ideal release would be as DVD extras on a boxset of the second series of Haruhi.

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