Sgt. Frog Vol. 1 Review
Title: Sgt. Frog
Author: Mine Yoshizaki
“In 1999 the Earth suddenly found itself under attack by mysterious extra-terrestrials! The world’s defence forces were no match for the powerful alien life forms!” – An ominous premonition, or just the harmless dream of an eccentric pre-teen?
Fuyuki Hinata is the 12 year old president of his elementary school’s unofficial Occult Club, a group of students with a dedicated interest and belief in the supernatural, and his sceptical elder sister, Natsume, is less than impressed when he uses his doomsday scenario as an excuse to stay in bed and bunk off school. However, the discovery of the frog-shaped alien Sergeant Keroro (who claims to be a normal frog on growth hormones), throws her beliefs out of line.
And so commences one of the most insane manga I have ever had the pleasure of reading, as Sergeant Keroro, commanding officer of Planet Keroron’s invasion force, is left stranded and captive in the Hinata residence, while the Keroron fleet retreats from the solar system.
Driven by the extreme and exaggerated qualities of its main characters, Sgt. Frog progresses itself largely through the introduction of new characters, and revelations about their life during the first volume, taking numerous manga cliches and mocking them mercilessly throughout. As the earth invasion force is slowly reunited, the incompetence of its soldiers is brought to light, along with the sargeant’s strange obsession with Gundam modelling kits…
Strong art is not a requirement of a gag manga, and whilst Sgt. Frog’s art isn’t as detailed as some series, it is clean and expressive, taking characteristics from the manga it spoofs. Sgt. Frog is wacky, weird, impulsive, and utterly hilarious, whilst some of its more subtle jokes may be lost in translation, or slightly confusing to the more casual fan, Sgt. Frog is stuffed full of enough humour and character for it to pass largely unnoticed.
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