That is the on a regular basis story of Hayakawa, a pupil at college, and his pet/companion Pen (who simply so occurs to be a penguin). Hayakawa is an easy-going younger man (totally oblivious could be a extra correct strategy to describe him) so it’s most likely simply as nicely he has Pen to take care of him, do the family chores and prepare dinner his meals – even when more often than not he doesn’t discover, a lot to Pen’s annoyance. However Hayakawa’s kind-hearted buddy Seto notices. He actually appreciates Pen’s cooking expertise. He can’t cease himself following Pen to look at him in motion (folding laundry, going to the native grocery store) and is crammed with admiration, wishing Pen might be his pet. However Pen is – for no matter causes – dedicated to the clueless Hayakawa. We additionally meet outgoing Ota, Hayakawa’s different buddy, when he and Pen get into an okonomiyaki-making contest at Hayakawa’s place – though by the point all of the chopping, mixing and cooking has occurred and the okonomiyaki are able to eat, what has Hayakawa performed? Gone and made himself pancakes, which he’s scoffing, leaving – in fact – no room to eat the rest.
And they also go on from daily, celebrating Christmas with Seto and Ota, then Pen getting misplaced within the crowds visiting the shrine at New Yr and someway turning into a part of a bunch present process the character-building ‘Yamabushi Expertise’! … till someday they arrive upon a feminine penguin (she has a cute bow on her head) in a state of nice misery. Her proprietor has collapsed! And there, mendacity face-down on the pavement, is a schoolgirl. It’s time for Pen and Hayakawa to go to the rescue. Might this be the beginning of a fantastic friendship?
Penguin & Home is mangaka Akiho Ieda’s first manga to be translated into English and it’s delivered in very quick chapters (with a number of 4-koma strips on the finish of the quantity). This components tends to depend on a single gag which is then developed and resolved by the tip of the chapter. Kodansha have given it an All Ages 8+ ranking, which is invaluable for varsity libraries searching for to broaden their manga vary. (Though the truth that the primary human characters are at college doesn’t make it practically as relatable as Cardcaptor Sakura or Chi’s Candy Dwelling for youthful readers.) Additionally, the humour just isn’t very younger-child reader-friendly. Silent Pen is quirky, relatively than cute, and as we learn an increasing number of of Hayakawa’s insensitive, even inconsiderate reactions to Pen’s laborious work, now we have to surprise why the a lot put-upon little companion doesn’t simply up and go away. There’s no backstory, the state of affairs is what it’s. Actually, Hayakawa is so inconsiderate at instances (particularly within the 4-koma gag strips on the finish) that he comes throughout as relatively disagreeable; the humour right here simply isn’t very humorous.
The interpretation for Kodansha is by Sawa Matsueda Savage and kudos to them and the designer for the pleasant and useful translation notes on the again (resembling Okonomiyaki or Yamabushi) each with a bit house-shaped picture from the textual content as an instance the subject material. Splash pages (‘spot the distinction’) and single photographs (Pen as Van Gogh, Yamabushi Pen, and so forth.) between chapters add to the enjoyable. However, regardless of these good little extras, the general impression is considerably at odds with the manga the publicity blurb chooses to liken it to, going for the ‘when you favored these, you’ll love this’ strategy: A Man and His Cat or Means of the Househusband. Neither of those titles seem to be a great match. There’s a lot extra coronary heart in each these sequence and whereas Pen could be very caring in direction of his proprietor, the operating joke of the sequence appears to be that Hayakawa is so oblivious that he consistently frustrates the little fellow’s greatest makes an attempt after which some. Additionally, regardless of the smitten Seto consistently telling us how cute he finds Pen-chan, I discover he appears to be like relatively sinister. It’s the eyes. However possibly that’s simply me…
Quantity 2 is out already from Kodansha and there’s a 3rd to come back at some stage.