Sgt. Frog Manga Volume 18 Review

Sgt. Frog Manga Volume 18 Review

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Sgt. Frog Manga Volume 18With only two volumes published a year of Keroro Gunsou, it is easy to lose touch with characters and situations. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to get back into the swing of things, especially when the stories are of interest.

Things get started with a flashback prequel to volume 1 of the manga series, which features Momoka’s first encounter with Fuyuki some two years before the alien invasion. Yoshizaki-sensei takes special effort to make Momoka look cute with longer hair, which she cuts off herself once her birthday party is ruined and she goes off on the Cosmic Fighting Dog before making Tamama her “pet.” I liked seeing the story of how Tamama came into her household and how Momoka decided that Tamama would be her ticket to getting closer to Fuyuki. ^_^

The next story is a rather weak one with Keroro seeing how Natsumi doesn’t like mosquitoes and deciding their next invasion plan will involve the platoon becoming mosquitoes.

Next up, Giroro decides to train the platoon with some underwater training at their base, resulting in Keroro, Kururu, and Tamama getting possessed by a sea pig. This causes Natsumi’s and Koyuki’s “ocean” fun to be interrupted and prompts a visit from Alisa-chan. The fun part about this episode is the return of Alisa-chan and her alien “father,” Nebula. It had been a while since she’s been a part of a story and so I liked having her back. The wrong part of this chapter is that Nebula becomes Alisa-chan’s bikini, so it looks like his hands are cupping her breasts. *_* Oh well.

The next story is another weak one with Keroro coming up with some special paints for Natsumi’s art project. I didn’t get the joke at the end of this chapter at all.

I think that the next story is the highlight of this volume of the manga as Fuyuki ponders how today’s world is not likely what the astronauts who went to moon would have expected. Keroro comes up with his latest scheme and has a hotel resort built on the moon, which allows Fuyuki to explore without a space suit and even meet another alien. I gather from this chapter that Yoshizaki-sensei misses the excitement of the days of the space race when the U.S. and the Soviets tried to outdo each other to get into space. Those were exciting times of exploration and advancement. Now, where are we? We haven’t had a manned space flight leave earth orbit in decades and sadly it looks like it will be a very long time before there are any new flights. After all, our political leaders need to burn the cash that could be used in further space exploration to buy votes.

But I digress…

For the next story, Yoshizaki-sensei goes for a parody of the great James Cameron movie, Aliens, when Keroro decides the platoon needs to emulate aliens that humans would expect to find. It is just a fun story, especially as a fan of the Aliens movie.

Natsumi’s and Koyuki’s school trip is next up on the story line and this one is the longest story of this volume. As expected, the trip is to Kyoto, however Koyuki is warned that Tairen ninja clan did not disband as required by law and so there could be trouble. Sure enough, Koyuki gets caught up in the moment and loses Natsumi to this rouge ninja group, who end up being lead by Keron named Namumu. After a meeting with Kururu, Namumu has Natsumi released and Keroro buys the line that says that if you weed the entire Imperial Palace, you get to keep the place.

It seems that Yoshizaki-sensei is setting up a future conflict for the Keroro Platoon with this rogue ninja clan being secretly lead by Namumu, who appears human to them. Unlike other adventures, this one never really felt like it did more than go through the motions so I don’t know that any future stories will work any better.

Finally, we have another prequel story taking place on Keron just prior to the invasion starting out. When Keron comes under attack from a strong alien-ship, Keroro accidentally saves the day and becomes a hero before they depart.

TokyoPop returns to better quality paper with this volume, thankfully. Man, I couldn’t stand those flimsy volumes, which is where volume 17 fell.

Speaking of TokyoPop, I noticed that someone slipped up for a few pages and had Keroro address Fuyuki as “Fuyuki-dono” rather than the established “Master Fuyuki.” Personally, I would rather have “Fuyuki-dono” (as well as “Natsumi-dono” instead of “Master Natsumi” and “Mama-dono” instead of “General Mom”) but since the adapter of volume 1 went with “Master,” subsequent volumes have chosen continuity over the actual honorific usage. OK, I can understand that even though it is not my preference. Thankfully, as new characters are introduced, they are allowed to use Japanese honorifics as normal.

Overall, this volume of the manga is pretty fun, though there’s nothing really that funny when it comes to comedy. The Momoka prequel, the return of Alisa-chan, and the wistful look back at the days when humans started to leave the crib were all highlights for me.

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5 Responses to “Sgt. Frog Manga Volume 18 Review”

  1. O-chan says:

    I actually started to collect the manga series this year shortly after Funi released the anime version. The early manga volumes are pretty hard to find these days (what with Tokyopop trying not to go bankrupt and all…) but for some reason I have “accidently” collected the first 6 volumes of the series with little trouble.

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I can’t even remember which I got into first — the manga or anime. I think it was the manga, but I’m not sure what prompted me to start buying the TP volumes though.

    I guess I need to try to watch a few more anime episodes. While the anime started off strong, it got bogged down over time as it mostly tells its own stories and occasionally brings in a manga tale.

  3. O-chan says:

    To me Sgt. Frog is pretty much a modern day Urusei Yatsura and both series have A LOT in common. From the zany humor to the gradual subliminal progression despite nothing really ever changing.

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    That’s an interesting take on this manga. I don’t think I would have ever thought to compared UY to Keroro Gunsou but it works. *lol*

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