Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Review: Peepo Choo Volume 1

One of the things that I making sure I do a better job of this year is to read more diverse books and novels. My book tournament and the Cybils have both opened my eyes to some great reads outside of my favorite genre and themes.

With that being said I had read several people in the blog atmoshpere talk about a manga that was worth the read. This manga was Peepo Choo: Volume 1.

I will start right now by stating this is not one for students. This is not a manga that I would recomend for any middle school student period.

I knew that it would probably be a little edgy based on the cover, but it went far beyond the use of the word edgy.

From the publisher site

about this book

They say you cannot choose where and when are born; we are gifted into the worlds are parents are living at the time.  Whether a blessing or a curse, as individuals we must make the most of our environments to advance as best possible given the circumstances present.  For the cast of Peepo Choo, their places of birth, whether they be the suburbs of Tokyo or the South Side of Chicago, appear to be a curse they cannot escape...until they realize the world is a much smaller place than they thought.

On the surface Milton appears to be your average a high school student living in the thugged out streets of Chicago's South Side. As is the case with many teens looks can be deceiving.  When he's not at school or riding the metro, he is at the local comic shop cosplaying as his favorite Japanese animation character Peepo Choo!  A hardcore fan, Milton knows every line from the Peepo Choo animation by heart.  He can happily replicate the Peepo Dance with ease, and genuinely believes the world depicted in this cartoon is "the real" Japan.

On the other side of the Pacific lives Reiko.  A teenage model on the rise, she also has another side of her.  Reiko is a feminist working hard to someday move overseas to a place where she could be treated equally and fairly by men and women.  In Japan, Reiko feels she is a teenage sex object, and after a number of interactions with young Americans in Tokyo she begins to believe that her American dream is going to be painfully similar to her worst Japanese nightmares.
Chance would bring the two teens together. But in this case fate comes in the form of the underworld! 
My Thoughts
Every year I try to read comics and manga. I do. I really do. I just don't get the whole manga appeal. It is not my cup of coffee. This one did not do much for me. The story lines kept shifting all the time and I felt like it was just after shock value. I was rather disapointed in reading this after reading quite a bit of hype for this manga. Maybe I am just one of these old people in the comic store in the manga that don't like this type of comic. The violence was very violent. I had a hard time following why certain people were being killed. I could not really follow the storyline to know why things were happening. I could follow the story of Milton, but not the rest. There is an overexposure of violence and sex that I felt was not needed. I am open to many things, but this one was just too much. If I see this in my school I would take it from the kids. This is a manga for adults or possibly high school, but nothing lower.
I found this to be tasteless. Nothing against the author and illustrator, but I was not converted to a fan. Once again I will probably be done with manga for another year until I find the urge to try another one.
At least I can say I gave it a try. I ventured out of my comfort reading and look forward to going back.
May I repeat that this is not one for kids or students.

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