Sgt. Frog Manga Volume 20 Review

Sgt. Frog Manga Volume 20
Keroro Gunsou/ケロロ軍曹

Well, its time to get off another volume of Sgt. Frog. ^_^

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Sgt. Frog Manga Volume 20A trip by Momoka, Fuyuki, Natsumi, Koyuki to an island controlled by Momoka’s family when Natsumi is kidnapped by an alien who is similar to those from Keron.  Keroro’s platoon is on the scene for other reasons and gets involved with the investigation when the alien base is found.  Shockingly, the Japanese town they reside in has been recreated perfectly, only from several years back.  The alien Prince Mer uses Natsumi to further his plans to turn Earth into a water planet, backed up by a Kiruru unit.  The race is on to save Natsumi before she becomes the first human to be adapted to the new water world.

When I read this volume, I was surprised that the entire volume was dedicated to a single story.  Usually, Yoshizaki-sensei loves to do small 1- or 2-chapter stories but occasionally. we’ll get a multi-chapter story.  This was the first time I’d seen an entire volume dedicated to a single story and when I finished the volume, I was struck at how this felt like something which could be adapted into a movie.  Since I’ve not seen any of the Keroro Gunsou movies and knew nothing of them, I didn’t know that this in fact was an adaptation but I became curious enough to look it up just to see after seeing one of the filler images at the back of the volume showing Natsumi and some of the aliens on what appeared to be a movie set.  Sure enough, it appears that Yoshizaki-sensei adapted the 2nd Keroro Gunsou movie for volume 20.

Because I don’t know if this is an original story by Yoshizaki-sensei or not (did he write the story for the 2nd movie?) and because I’ve not watched the original movie, I find myself struggling to write a review.  Well, I guess I’ll watch the movie later.

Anyway, I liked the story presented here.  While the little one-shots are hit-or-miss on whether they work for me or not, I’ve usually found myself enjoying the longer stories just from an interest point of view.  Having the whole volume dedicated to a single story helped a great deal.  I liked how the central characters are all brought together with a goal of saving Natsumi (as well as dealing with the other aliens and the ancient Keronian technology) and the adventure they have along the way.  Oddly enough, even though it took days for them to find and reach Natsumi, I never found myself thinking, “boy, it is taking them forever” or “why are they doing ‘this’ and ‘that’ instead of finding a way to get Natsumi?”  I just found myself carried along by the adventure and I liked it.

There was one element that I really liked and that was the little nod at the romance stuff between Fuyuki and Momoka.  Obviously, Momoka has long held a heavy crush on Fuyuki but this was the first time where I really felt that Fuyuki returned a bit of those feelings when the group camped out in the replica furniture store in the mall.  There was the moment of his blushing when Koyuki interrupted Fuyuki’s and Momoka’s sharing a bed together, but there was also Fuyuki getting another blanket for Momoka without her even asking.  That was pretty sweet and I wouldn’t mind them actually getting a bit closer (within the confines of a shounen mange, of course).

TokyoPop’s adaptation is pretty much standard fare for Sgt. Frog.  I did notice some slight changes, such as Natsumi being refereed to as “big sister” a few times, which at least would be an accurate translation since Fuyuki never addresses Natsumi by her name.  Also, some “Fuyuki-dono” addressing of Fuyuki by Keroro slipped through instead of the normal “Master Fuyuki.”  My personal preference would have been “Fuyuki-dono” but except for these accidental slip through moments, TokyoPop isn’t likely to change at this point.

Looks like volume 21 is due out this May, so I’ll be back then.  In the meantime, I will have to give the 2nd Keroro Gunsou movie a look-see.

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3 Responses to “Sgt. Frog Manga Volume 20 Review”

  1. O-chan says:

    I know this post was awhile ago but I actually just finished this volume. It was Funimation’s release of the first season that actually got me into reading the manga. After figuring out that the manga chapters came out on a monthly basis it surprised me how quickly we caught up with Japan (this volume came out February 2010 is JPN, and December 2010 over here).

    In light of the Tokyopop situation, I gotta say this was an excellent volume to leave out on. I, too, got the vibe that this volume was playing out like one of the movies and glad you did the research to pinpoint which one. With the Sgt. Frog manga’s future unknown in America I’m at least glad that:

    1. Outside of the chapters that were supposed to be Volume 21 we got pretty much the entire run.

    2. The last English volume gave us a “feature length” full volume story. It makes for a good closure point.

    Still, I eagerly await the English release of “Season Two” on DVD (since, in reality, we only the the first “season” of the show) this summer, and hopefully someone will license rescue the manga. But at least there’s not a huge gap of what we don’t have.

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    It was Funimation’s release of the first season that actually got me into reading the manga.

    Man, its been so long since I started either series that I’m not sure which I started first. I’m thinking that I started the anime first but I don’t remember what prompted me to even start it. ^_^;;;

    In light of the Tokyopop situation, I gotta say this was an excellent volume to leave out on. I, too, got the vibe that this volume was playing out like one of the movies and glad you did the research to pinpoint which one.

    You’re welcome, though I got to say that sometimes doing research ends up killing a ton of free time. *lol* I recall reading all sorts of things while looking up the movie information. ^_^;;;

    Anyway, I’m hoping that Sgt. Frog will be license-rescued by either Yen Press or Seven Seas though as you state, if they aren’t, this isn’t a bad place to end it in the U.S. I would have to seek out current, unofficial translations though. ^_~

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