Pop Culture Gadabout
Thursday, November 18, 2010
      ( 11/18/2010 07:17:00 AM ) Bill S.  

“IT FELT LIKE WE WERE INVINCIBLE.” Though the title sounds like it’s to a superhero sci-fi series, the goofy childlike image of a grinning star on the logo of Yuuki Fujimoto’s Stellar Six of Gingacho (Tokyopop) cues as to what’s really going on in this teen-rated manga. Gingacho (Galaxy) is a street market, and the Six are all 13/14-year-old kids of market shopkeeps. As youngsters, they were inseparable, but once they moved into middle school, the group drifted apart. The focus of Stellar Six, then, is on how this crew reconnect and rediscover each other as slightly more mature beings.

The sextet is equally divided between boys and girls, but in the first volume, at least, the central couple is comprised of tomboyish green grocer’s daughter Mike and fishmonger’s son Kuro. Born in the same city hospital at around the same time, the two share a bond that we know will turn into something deeper once those hormones start kicking in. “That weird feeling fluttered up and my head got all muzzy,” Mike tells her Stellar Six gal pals after one highly fraught interaction, though she remains oblivious as to its full ramifications.

The remaining foursome receive only sketchy attention in the first book: one girl, bespectacled Sato, is an avid Otaku (obsessive fangirl), while the third distaff member, jovial plus-size Iba, is the strongest member of the group. Among the guys, pretty boy Q turns out to be the egotistical one, while the last group member Mamoru is -- well, I’m not entirely sure what Mamoru is since he’s not given all that much to do in volume one. Guess that makes him the Quiet Beatle.

The three longish stories in the first book are by no means earth-shaking: in the opener, for instance, the group bands together to enter a dance contest so they can win the money to help a bartender whose establishment keeps getting wrecked by a former boyhood friend. In another, the promise of a group excursion brings up memories of a time when Mike and Yuro got locked in a shed together. The impact of our childhood past on our present day life is obviously a running theme in this book, and if Fujimoto occasionally over-hammers this idea, it’s consistent with the age of characters who treat every minor insight like it is a major cosmic revelation. The accompanying art has an appealing looseness that also works with these gawky 'tween-aged protagonists.

A sweet series, in other words, that may not break any new ground but should be enjoyed by a middle school readership discovering this kind of low-key comic book material for the first time.

(First published on Blogcritics.)


# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

On Sale Now!
Measure by Measure:

A Romantic Romp with the Fat and Fabulous
By Rebecca Fox & William Sherman

(Available through Amazon)

Measure by Measure Web Page

Ask for These Fine Cultural Blogs & Journals by Name!

aaronneathery.com News
Aaron Neathery

American Sideshow Blow-Off
Marc Hartzman

Arf Lovers
Craig Yoe

Sean T. Collins

Barbers Blog
Wilson Barbers

The Bastard Machine
Tim Goodman

The Beat
Heidi MacDonald

Kevin Church

Big Fat Blog
Paul McAleer

Big Mouth Types Again
Evan Dorkin

Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Blog This, Pal!
Gordon Dymowski

Rod Lott

Cartoon Brew
Amid Amidi & Jerry Beck

Cartoon Web Log!
Daryl Cagle

Clea's Cave
Juana Moore-Overmyer

Collected Editions

The Comics Curmudgeon
Josh Fruhlinger

The Comics Reporter
Tom Spurgeon

Christopher Butcher

Comics Waiting Room
Marc Mason

Comics Worth Reading
Johanna Draper Carlson

a dragon dancing with the Buddha
Ben Varkentine


Electromatic Radio
Matt Appleyard Aaron Neathery


Eye of the Goof
Mr. Bali Hai

Fred Sez
Fred Hembeck

Greenbriar Picture Shows
John McElwee

The Groovy Age of Horror
Curt Purcell

The Hooded Utilitarian
Noah Berlatsky

Hooray for Captain Spaulding
Daniel Frank

The Horn Section

The House Next Door
Matt Zoller Seitz

Howling Curmudgeons
Greg Morrow & Friends

The Hurting
Tim O'Neil

I Am A Child of Television
Brent McKee

I Am NOT the Beastmaster
Marc Singer

In Sequence
Teresa Ortega

Innocent Bystander
Gary Sassaman

Irresponsible Pictures

Jog - The Blog
Joe McCulloch

The Johnny Bacardi Show
David Allen Jones

Dirk Deppey

King's Chronicles
Paul Dini

Let's You And Him Fight
One of the Jones Boys

Mah Two Cents
Tony Collett


Michael's Movie Palace

Nat's TV
Nat Gertler

Ned Sonntag


News from ME
Mark Evanier

No Rock&Roll Fun
Simon B

Omega Channel
Matt Bradshaw

Pen-Elayne on the Web
Elayne Riggs

Peter David

Dorian White

Progressive Ruin
Mike Sterling

Punk Rock Graffiti
Cindy Johnson & Autumn Meredith

Revoltin' Developments
Ken Cuperus

Marc Bernardin

Matt Hinrichs

Self-Styled Siren

Spatula Forum
Nik Dirga

Tales from the Longbox
Chris Mosby


The Third Banana
Aaron Neathery & Friends

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.

Toner Mishap
B2 et al

Trusty Plinko Stick
Bill Doughty

TV Barn
Aaron Barnhart et al

Unqualified Offerings
Jim Henley

Various And Sundry
Augie De Blieck

Video WatchBlog
Tim Lucas

When Fangirls Attack
Kalinara & Ragnell

X-Ray Spex
Will Pfeifer

Yet Another Comics Blog
Dave Carter

A Brief Political Disclaimer:

If this blog does not discuss a specific political issue or event, it is not because this writer finds said event politically inconvenient to acknowledge - it's simply because he's scatterbrained and irresponsible.

My Token List of Poli-Blogs:

Roy Edroso


Jane Hamsher

James Wolcott

Lance Mannion

The Moderate Voice
Joe Gandelman


Amanda Marcotte & Friends

The Sideshow
Avedon Carol

Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo

Talking Points Memo
Joshua Micah Marshall

This Modern World
Tom Tomorrow

Welcome to Shakesville
Melissa McEwan & Friends

Blogcritics: news and reviews
Site Feed

Powered by Blogger

    follow me on Twitter