Friday, January 1, 2016

Pen-Chan Chapter 9

Happy new year!!! We've got a brand-new chapter of Atsuize Pen-Chan to start off the new year today! In this chapter, Pen-chan is playing mahjong with the friends he made last chapter, but he just can't seem to win! So that night, he has a very strange dream...

Thanks SO MUCH to Tambur for typesetting probably the most text-and-sound-effect-heavy chapter we've ever done, I knew I had to give him 3 months to do this chapter and the one before it or else he wouldn't have enough time, so thanks to him for sticking with it! Iapetus also certainly stuck with it to clean this chapter back when there was no telling when it'd ever be done, so thanks a lot to him as well!

Also, there will be a mahjong night tomorrow at 3:00 PM PST.

Chapter Link

"He had a feeling that he had let something important slip..."


Despite being a chapter about pen-chan turning into a mahjong tile and playing human with other mahjong tiles, I think this chapter is probably the best chapter of pen-chan to date and maybe one of the best chapters Fukumoto has ever written. You could interpret the moral as something shallow like "mahjong is more important than success", but I think it's a bit deeper than that. I think the moral is that life isn't like mahjong, there's no way to "win", and if you try to win you'll end up like Pen, feeling like he's wasted his life doing things he didn't want to do. One of the moments that best exemplifies this is when Pen draws "a millionaire daughter" and Haku makes him discard "daughter from Izu fishing village". It's really quick, but I think that's telling that if you try to "win" in life, it's necessary to cut ties with people that matter to you in favor of better people. Other things he discards show this too, like "mother", "friendship", and "kindness".

Of course, that's not to say this chapter was without funny moments. The whole idea of Pen-Chan using eenie-meenie-minie-mo to discard tiles was cute, and the entire theme of the chapter was ridiculous. The closed triplet of Katsuobushi was cute, and "do you think Nakayama Miho would consent to this" was a funny line as well.

But I dunno if it's just because I've known about this chapter for so long and the idea of Pen-Chan turning into a mahjong tile and playing mahjong with other mahjong tiles has worn off on me, but this chapter wasn't so funny to me as it was touching and sad. First there's Pen-chan deciding that getting rid of all the so-called "good" tiles in favor of mahjong, which he loves, was really touching to me. And then he regrets that it's too late for him to do that, feeling like he wasted his life, which was sad, and THEN Haku sacrifices himself so that Pen-chan can have mahjong and the peaceful life he wants.

So what I think people should be taking from this chapter is that it's not important to find success in life, so long as you find a life that makes you happy. It's okay to make sacrifices towards that end, but if you're trying to do something just because it makes a lot of money or people tell you it's what you should be doing, I think when you look back on your life when you're growing old you'll realize that it's not the life that you wanted to live. Do what makes YOU happy, not what makes you get ahead in the world. Don't focus on winning in life, focus on getting by while making time for things you love. I think that's the best way to live. :)

18 comments:

  1. Happy new year! Thank you so much guys.

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  2. Baba-pro is also a known mahjong writer. He also appears as in the mahjong manga/anime Super Zugan.

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  3. Wow did not expact to get any moral this deep in Pen-chan. It was handled pretty silly but this chapter defently had a diffrent feel to it. Thanks for you hard work and I wish you all a happy new year.

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  4. Stop with this Penchan crap already. That's not what people come here for.

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    1. HEY! I had to put up with 10 Volumes of that nonsense Salvation Game. Dorks playing Mahjong is exactly what I came here for. Come off anon and fight me or back down!

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    2. You are simply too unclever to comprehend the artistic beauty of the Salvation Game, let alone appreciate its genius. Penchan is just lame though, you can tell just by looking at his annoying, smackable face. If I saw him in real life, I would punch him!

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    3. oh god I keked

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    4. lol, you should give penchan a try before dogging on it, it's a mixture of goofball comedy and thought-provoking morals that I don't think I've seen in many other series.

      Even still, this isn't gonna be like a regular series or anything, we just did it for christmas/new year's. Next week will be back to Kurosawa. Penchan takes way too much time to do to make it a weekly series or anything.

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    5. Don't waste your time on this guy, sonic

      http://static2.fjcdn.com/comments/5284631+_d0427bac0d1e3715c841a42722047d73.png

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    6. Stop being rude, Anonymous senpai.

      I, of course, am very happy with new Pen-chan releases.

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    7. To be rude, or not to be rude. That is the question. The answer is that Penchan sucks.

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    8. I'm sure the translator knows this already, but chapter 10 is probably the local peak of Pen-chan, and the end of the volume. There should be some interest for getting that done. After that you can shelve it again.

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  5. I am surprised you guys haven't figured it out yet. I mean 100% of the history of this shit shows us exactly what the future will hold. . . Sonickrazy will do exactly as he pleases, when he pleases, regardless of who or how many bitch in one direction or the other. THE END.

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    1. Please, peoples' requests have affected what I do many times. I wouldn't be doing Kaiji weekly right now if people didn't keep begging for it, and when I saw the massive backlash against HERO in 2013 I stopped doing it until people started asking for it in 2015. I did Rude 39 because it won the poll for a new side project that I put up, and incidentally Pen-chan also won a similar poll a while back. Hell, the only reason I'm doing Akagi into the magazine releases is because people want it so much they're willing to donate for it. And we're putting Hero on hold to catch up with New Kurosawa! What the hell's wrong with doing two chapters of a series people have been asking for for christmas and new year's?!

      If I was doing exactly what I wanted to do, you would be seeing new releases of Mukoubuchi 3 times a week with maybe a few chapters of other manga in between. I'm sure you were trying to defend me here but I just wanted to set the record straight that I DO listen to what people say.

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    2. I know this is not the kind of reply I should be giving to such a serious comment from you, but mukoubuchi three times a week sounds like bliss
      either way, I am sure most people really appretiate what you're doing!

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  6. Just wanna say, I really appreciate the work you put into translating this series. It really is an interesting and different series, and one that really speaks to me - I haven't really delved into Fukumoto's works past the Kaiji anime, but this manga is convincing me to give his other works a shot! Thank you for bringing this wonderful series!

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    1. Why in GOD'S name was this comment marked as spam?! Thank you very much, I'm so happy you were able to look past the fact that it's about mahjong to get to the core of what makes pen-chan what it is! Fukumoto's works always seem to touch on some subject regarding freedom or life choices or some such, I'd recommend reading Kurosawa next if you want a manga that really hits hard on things like that!

      No idea if you'll ever see this comment, I hate that it got marked as spam so I didn't see it until a week later. But thanks a lot for the kind comment, it absolutely changes my perspective on how people are viewing this series!

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