by Mine Yoshizaki; adapted by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane
published by Tokyopop; $10.99 US
I haven’t read a Sgt. Frog book since 2006, when I gave up after volume 12. At that point, I’d grown tired of the series, finding its comedy repetitive. Yet I was glad to get a chance to check in with it again, because I remember liking it in the early days, and with so much time passed, I was sure it’d be fresh again.
After a pointless flashback about super-rich Momoka comes the kinds of stories I remember. The frog aliens decide to become mosquitoes because they are so annoying to humans. Military training at the beach means excuses for girls in bikinis. Frog paint has special characteristics. (The most creative story, it’s also one of the shortest, unfortunately, so it feels like filler.) The boy wishes to go to the moon to get work done in peace, so the frogs build a lunar hotel.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t laughing. The frogs no longer seem to have separate personalities, or the distinctions are shown so subtly that I missed them. And the stories weren’t as funny as I remembered… or three years wasn’t enough time for them to seem fresh again. I gave up on the book halfway through because I was just turning pages wishing for the end to arrive. I guess you can’t go back again. (The publisher provided a review copy.)