Thursday, July 29, 2004
Sgt. Frog Vol. 2 & 3
by Mine Yoshizaki
This hysterical sci-fi comedy series featuring a group of frog like alien invaders, who are taken in by Japanese families continues. This series offers hijinxs galore as the aliens try and learn more about the world they are stuck on. Yet also offers some surprisingly indepth insights when the aliens offer advice or commentary on the world that takes an outsider's viewpoint.
In book two for instance, one of the families is doing a cleaning of the house in order to get things in better order. The young boy is hesitant to part with his library of books, so Kero (the lead frog) intervenes with a startling insight.
Informing the lad that reading is the experience of new ideas and stories, not the actual books themselves. Offering that while it is okay to want to keep close favorites, one must be on guard to not let it get to a point where you become hesitant to try new books. Because one should never close themselves out of new stories and ideas because that way leads to nonthinking.
Sounds like something the American comic industry could learn, with its over dependence on old stories and characters for its business. Which has led to a lack of acceptance or even openness for new ideas and characters.
While that is something deep, the main appeal of the series is its fun approach. Mainly because it doesn't take itself too seriously, something which just so rarely happens in comics these days.
Such as the take in Vol.3 on the idea of kids becoming magically adults and vice versa. As one of the aliens invents a weapon that can age or deage a human. The mother is turned into a kid and goes to school for a day, while one of the kids is turned into an adult and takes everyone to a beach.
These type of stories are always fun and interesting, because they show the viewpoints of life from two different takes. And allow for exploration into the idea that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Plus they are just fun too!;)
This series is just pure goofy fun, in ways similar to the classic Loony Tunes cartoons if filtered through a more modern lens.