I saw someone I follow on Instagram describe Kishi Ueno’s manga, Penguin Gentlemen, as a delightful book of “penguinology”, and I immediately knew that I had to buy it!
A group consisting of several different species of penguins, all come to admire human society so much, they decide to transform themselves into humans and start running a bar together. Even though they’re all types of penguins, there turns out to be a lot of differences between these various besuited gentle-birds’ temperaments and ideas of social etiquette. Despite this, they do their best to get along and keep the bar running, and wind up learning a lot about each other along the way. Find out all of the amazing facts about penguins that you never knew you wanted to know, in this amusing and informative manga!
I love penguins. I love books about animals, and I have a soft spot for educational manga, in general. So, this title feels like it was made for me.
Penguin Gentlemen uses the light-hearted adventures of the penguins trying to adapt to human society, and to each other’s quirks, as a fun delivery vehicle for a comprehensive package of penguin knowledge. This manga covers a lot of information, including: a run down of the different kinds of penguins, details on how penguins are adapted to their environments and a humorous explanation of penguin mating practices and how they care for their young. I learned a lot of fascinating things about penguins, and I found the use of the anthropomorphized penguin characters to be a funny and cute way to demonstrate the differences in the various species’ appearances and behaviours.
I loved how the penguins’ physical characteristics were translated into their human designs. Emperor Penguin, the largest species of penguins, is bulky and towers over the other characters, a blackline of feathers under the chin of the Chinstrap Penguin is represented with a dashing beard, and the white patches around the eyes of the Gentoo Penguin are transformed into a white pair of glasses. King Penguin has by far my favourite design; I love how the penguin’s grey back feathers are portrayed as a dapper grey overcoat!
I think my favourite section in the book was the chapter that describes the courting behaviours of the different penguins. The manga switches between the penguins attempting to woo their ladies and their human counterparts trying to do the same things, and the juxtaposition of the dignified-looking humans acting like penguins was hilarious!
Thanks to this manga, I feel like I’m well on my way to becoming a penguin expert, and I was really charmed by these debonair birds. I had a great time reading Penguin Gentlemen and I’d recommend this title to animal lovers and fans of series like Heaven’s Design Team and Cells at Work.
Final Score 8.5 out 10
What did you think of this manga? Who was your favourite penguin? Let me know in the comments! In case it wasn’t obvious, King Penguin totally stole my heart!
For more information on this manga, visit Yen Press’ website.
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