Penguin Revolution

Alt title: Penguin Kakumei

Vol: 7; Ch: 35
2004 - 2007
4.352 out of 5 from 593 votes
Rank #2,690
Penguin Revolution

When Fujimaru's father's business fails he runs away once more and leaves Fujimara on her own to sleep in the park. However, Fujimaru's luck changes when she saves the beautiful vice president of the student council from a guy, only to find out that the vice president is male and cross-dressing as a girl. Ryou works for Peacock, a showbiz company, and it's company policy for their actors to disguise themselves for everyday life. Ryou offers Fujimaru a job as his manager because he needs help getting work, and thus Fujimaru must disguise herself as a boy from henceforth. Can Fujimaru fulfill her obligations, defend Ryou, and keep their secrets safe at the same time?

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Reviews

HiloPeople
7

This is my first time writing up a review so apologies if I start rambling. Well anyways, Penguin Revolution was an enjoyable manga. It's a light read, only 35 chapters, and the pacing is enough to keep you engaged to binge the whole thing through. This manga is targeted towards shoujo lovers who like cute stories. The romance is minimal compared to most shoujo manga, but the cute "we did it" moments make it up for me. I'm very thankful that the main romance is at least not rushed, compared to other titles, and the cute moments leading up to the realisation makes it feel natural and not out of the blue. [SPOILERS] Well, anything related to the plot is kinda hard to not do spoilers for. The only thing is, as a story, it has a lot of loose ends. The ending is only somewhat satisfying because barely anything has been resolved. There are so many different sub-plots that this manga can delve into to make this a more imersive read. Some which could be tied into the main story. Characters like No. 8 appear in a single arc and shows such great potential to be an important supporting character who has an interesting backstory and great character development, just disappears for almost all thee rest of the novel, only appearing as some mob chara in the background and getting a surface level short strip about what happened to him at the end. Just listen to this potential story, No. 8 is a jaded actor working at Peacock Ent who uses dirty underhanded methods to eliminate rivals and to boost his own image and status. His manager is his follower who does all the dirty work for him, like when No. 8 figured out our protagonist, Yuka-chan, is a girl and wanted to expose him. No. 8 knows a talented person (Yuka-chan is always commended as a great manager) when he sees one and has his manager try to record Yuka-chan changing. Of course, both Yuka-chan and Ryou find out about his plan and foil it before informing the boss. No.8 is punished for his actions and his resentment grows. He continues to try and expose Yuka-chan for several arcs but is always foiled. During that time, he also starts growing an resentment against Ryou, not because of his acting talent, but because he has someone like Yuka-chan by his side. No. 8, being known as an actor who causes bad luck to others, is a lonely soul who doesn't have anyone reliable to support and believe in him. But then after one final attempt to expose Yuka-chan, Yuka-chan and Ryou confront No. 8 once and for all. They have a talk about why he is so set on exposing them and through the process, the pair learn how vulnerable and lonely No. 8 really is and No. 8 realizes how cruel he's been. The pair soon become the support No. 8 needed to become a better person while No. 8 grows as an actor, giving Ryou and Yuka-chan a new rival they'll learn from. Even Crow's Top Actor also has some good potential. He's a kid who is always stuck in his uncomfortable position as top of Crow Class but not good enough to become a Numbered Class. Plus his manager originally wanted to work with a certain Numbered Member but got saddled with this kid because he couldn't keep up with the Numbered Member's stamina. The manager only accepted to take care of the kids because he had natural black hair like the Numbered Member. The kid kinda always knew he was not his manager's first choice and decided to dye his hair so his manager would look at him. The manager now does truely care for the kid, but it seems that only until we get the time skip, does the kid realize that. A great side story could be the kid facing off with the Numbered Member by playing the younger version of the same role as the Numbered Member to prove to the Manager that he's the better actor. It doesn't turn out well, so the kid goes off to sulk but the manager thought his performance was amazing and he tells the kid that he prefers him over the Numbered Member. The kid and his manager reconcile and their relationship is better than ever. And this is only 2 of the many possiblities there could be. Such as what happened to Yuka-chan's mom, the story behind No. 1 and his cousin, why Yoko only wakes up in the presense of amazing acting, etc. The ending is very lackluster, and even without the various loose ends, it would still disappoint the readers. I'm not saying this type of no change, time-skip ending with love triangle still intact ending is bad, it's just not what the readers were expecting or wanted. This type of shoujo manga is not set up like some sort of slife-of-life where a anti-climatic ending can be expected from. But shoujo mangas that are not slice-of-life can also pull this ending off. But that requires an already established dynamic between the love triangle that can be accepted by the audience. Penguin Revolution does create establish the dynamic's state in the ending before the ending. But it is quickly created in the last few chapter so it feels rushed and readers won't have enough time to get used to it. Plus, Yuka-chan's romantic interactions with Ryou overshadow her moments with No. 1. It's to the point that I can't even remember No. 1's name already I just recently finished the series. To me, No. 1 doesn't even seem like a male lead, but one of the cannon foddler love interests who just add to Yuka-chan's harem. Yes, there is a chapter where they basically go out on a date, but that cannot compared to the various chapters of interaction with Ryou. Heck, it was only Ryou who went out to chase down Yuka-chan when she resigned from her position. So the fact that the readers are just supposed to accept that Ryou and No. 1 should be treated as equals to possibly gaining Yuka-chan's affections as the ending, just doesn't work. [SPOILERS END] Opinions on art is completely subjective but I'm a shoujo fan, so I'm very used to big eyes and small faces. But there's not much variety when it comes to character design. On multiple occassions, I've mistaken characters for another. In this type of art style, the faces becomes very similar and it's kinda become expected in this sort of art style so I'll rely on hair. But the hair is so similar on the male characters I have to read the speech bubbles to figure out who is who. Yuka-chan is a very cute protagonist. She's both physically and mentally strong and her character is consistent. I don't have any complaints. Ryou's past has been touched upon. This gives him a unique motive but he doesn't have much character development after that. Sure, the reason for why he acts starts to change as Yuka-chan comes closer to his heart, but that's to be expected of any shoujo ml. So he's an average reliable support type ml. No. 1... didn't even feel like a ml. I explained why in my last paragraph of the spoilers section. So overall, this manga is good, but it could have been something more.

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