Thursday, November 02, 2006

Penguin Revolution, v.1

Created by Sakura Tsukuba
Published in the US by CMX Manga

Slugline: Beware armed penguins! (Which is true only in the most
metaphorical way.)

I usually do not like shoujo titles, because they seem to use the same three
or four plots over and over. When I first read the cover copy for Penguin Revolution I was very tempted not to bother. We have cross-dressing characters and it is set in the talent agency. I've only read about a dozen titles in that ballpark.

But while Penguin Revolution is not the salvation of the shoujo genre,
neither does it fall headlong into all of the traps that I expected. The cross-dressing, while played for laughs, isn't because of romantic misunderstandings. While the reason that it is happening isn't an especially sound one, let's admit it, how many sound ones can there be? And our lead character isn't trying to beat the odds and get people to see her obvious talent, but instead just trying to help out a friend and trying to avoid living on the streets.

The main character Yukari has the ability to sense a person's creative
talent by seeing an otherwise invisible set of wings on the person, the greater the wings, the greater the talent. Considering how she grew up, she craves stability and wants to avoid the entertainment industry but she still ends up living with a talent crossdressing as a girl and she has to get into entertainment to help keep his secret. While she is fond of him, she is not reduced to a simpering mess by his or any man's presence (except by the brilliance of his wings, but then again any set of wings can affect her) and she can defend herself.

The art is straightforward and tells the story effectively and while there
is nothing in the title that speaks of brilliance, sometimes executing the same old thing in a good way is worth more than you think.

Finally, this is a CMX Manga title, which may leave a bad taste in fans'
mouths, but the company has learned from their previous mistakes and this book at least seems solid.


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