Friday, December 25, 2015

Pen-chan Chapter 8

Merry Christmas, everyone! Santa left a brand-new chapter of Pen-chan for you under the tree this year... and it's even Christmas-related! Pen-chan is helping his old boss, Mr. Kijima, get together with his family for the first time in five years for Christmas! The only problem is, Kijima doesn't want to do it!! Also, there's mahjong.

Thanks to Iapetus for cleaning this literally years ago, and special thanks to Tambur for sticking with all the sound effects and the massive amount of text this chapter had to offer. We'll be having our own Christmas Mahjong Get-together tomorrow at 3:00 PM PST, and there'll be a bonus of 20 points added to your score no matter where you place!

Chapter Link

"You don't even know the first thing about other peoples' feelings."

So the story for why I wound up waiting a whole year to release a new chapter of Pen-chan is that last year we did our christmas release of some random Akagi chapter, and I decided for my new year's resolution that I'd start doing some pen-chan. Only I started on the next chapter and realized it would've been perfect to release on Christmas! I was kind of irritated that I missed my chance, but at least I got it out this christmas. There should be more chapters of Pen-chan in your future as well.

As for the chapter, I thought the story fell a little flat. Kijima jumps into the poop just so he can say everyone else stinks, and then after the mahjong game he kind of just gets better all of a sudden and starts acting like a good dad to Minako. It was kind of strange how it happened and I'm not sure what the moral of the story is supposed to be.

But the chapter certainly had its fair share of funny moments, like Kijima's "I CAN'T STAND IT" moments and him intimidating everyone as the poop-man. Why hasn't it caught on as a christmas tradition to cover yourself in poo and chase your family and friends around? Actually, I know exactly why.

I think the most interesting part of the chapter was the dichotomy between Old Kijima and Young Kijima. The word that kept coming up over and over was "Serious", but I could have just as well translated it as "Honest". Living an honest life, doing things seriously, that kind of thing. It's interesting to see how young Kijima, someone who thinks that anyone who doesn't live "seriously" is garbage, has a father who's living probably one of the least serious lives imaginable as a homeless bum. But while young Kijima is lonely and isolated from his family and everyone else, old Kijima has companionship, has fun, and seems to enjoy life much more. It kind of goes against societal norms to see someone who has a real job doing so poorly while someone who has no job is living exactly the kind of life they want to live, and it's really interesting to me. It's part of why the New Kurosawa is interesting to me as well.

It kind of makes you wonder. Sure, if you have a job you can afford all the luxuries of life like a car and a computer and a roof over your head, but if you don't have people you care about, what's the point of it? Is it really that much better than being a bum who lives in the park, but has friends of his own? It's like that old saying, money can't buy you happiness.

It's especially true in Japan, where people are expected to work extremely long hours (we're talking 20 hours a day, 6 days a week in the worst case) with no overtime pay, just because everyone else is doing it too. If you're someone who works literally all the time, who only has one day off a week and on that one day you're too tired to even talk to your family, and the only thing you hear around you is that you should be working harder and longer and faster, who's to say that living on the streets wouldn't be better? Sure, you're earning money, but at what cost? Sure it's a serious life, but are you really enjoying it?

I may have taken a chapter about someone covering themselves in poop a bit too seriously. But this is kind of how I view life as a whole, if you're putting your job above your own life then you're not really living. I suppose that's the moral of this chapter, to make sure you don't end up like Mr. Kijima, someone who cares so much about his job that when he opens his eyes a homeless bum's life is starting to look better than his. I hope you have a merry christmas, and a happy new year!


  1. Awesome, thanks you guys!

    I'd love to join you all for some mahjong but I'm afraid I'd end up slowing things down too much. I practice with the gamedesign jp flash game sometimes but I'm still a bit fuzzy on some rules (not to mention getting a decent hand together! :P). Hope you all have a blast anyways, happy holidays and merry Christmas!!

    Btw, does anyone remember who won that mahjong contest from a while ago? And what they chose for the prize? I meant to keep up with that but I ended up in a bit of trouble and keeping up with my comics (among other things) wasn't really viable.

    1. No, please join us! We'd love to have you! And Ricu won the tournament, he chose Mukoubuchi which we're releasing biweekly over at Mahjongkrazy.

  2. chapter 9 coming early 2017.

    I kid, I kid. Thanks for your hard work and diligence, as always.

  3. "There should be more chapters of Pen-chan in your future as well."

    I really hope so since it's sweet and short. Atleast so far. Thanks for the great christmas special!

    1. My hopes go in a different direction: while it's great that people have another series to be entertained by, I really hope more chapters of Penchan don't mean less chapters of other, more preferred (by me) series, like Akagi, Kaiji, Kurosawa, Hero, and (still waiting for it!) Washizu.

    2. I doubt it will take time from the regular releases and it's only 2 volumes long so even if it did it wouldn't last for long.

      As for Washizu I think there is a chance that it will get translated when we have caught up with Akagi.