Monday, December 03, 2007

Sgt. Frog, Ultimate Edition, vol. 1

By Mine Yoshizaki
Released in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: Amphibians make lousy invading hordes. Unless you live in Australia.

This Ultimate edition has the first three volumes of the original series packaged together.

The Hinata family has managed to accidentally capture an alien invader. Which wasn't too difficult, since they are two feet tall frogs with advanced technology and a love for Gundam action kits. Wackiness ensues.

If there was anything ever made to be turned into an anime, this was it. An episodic structure, simple clean lines, super competent kids with comically over the top impulse control issues, hapless aliens and random rich folks and evil geniuses to make any impossible situation or item possible. And while it is rated 13+, considering today's environment, it would not be jarring for most kids a few years younger. Though if Sgt. Keroro was among the best Sergeants that his world has to offer, well, I think they don't conquer that many planets. Or that his proclamation of being an alien invader is all in his own mind and that he and his platoon was left behind at the first sign of trouble, because who wouldn't want to find any excuse to leave these guys behind? It is competently written, but it is not very exciting, and it relies a lot on telling us stuff and using many of the cliches of manga and anime. And when that well runs dry, they start pulling MacGuffin plot devices, a 'magical' alien ray or device that is used once, never seen again and is mostly used for comic effect. I think I about hit my limit with this collection. I suspect that if I read much more of this, the rating will start dropping.

Sgt. Frog, Ultimate Edition, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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