Shonen Ashibe GO! GO! Goma-chan Manga Review

Shonen Ashibe GO! GO! Goma-chan:

Chapters 1-17

Reviewed by: Linny

Someone wake up or feed this kid before it gets too gory.

Synopsis:  A new manga series based on the popular anime “Shounen Ashibe Go! Go! Goma-chan. Follow the cute and unusual daily life of energetic 1st grader, Ashibe and a baby harbor seal, Goma-chan!!! (Official Crunchyroll.com synopsis)

Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):

Let’s keep this short and sweet. Shonen Ashibe is clearly a kid’s manga, and an adaptation of the anime to top it all off.. so maybe I shouldn’t be writing this review at all but for those of you seeking something to read with/to young kids, Shonen Ashibe is one of the few (maybe only) manga in the Crunchyroll library that seems aimed at a very young audience with no worries of accidental inappropriate content.

Someone just had his first hug.

The story centres around the daily adventures of Ashibe and Goma-chan, sometimes focusing on the mischief or incidents that they get into together or individually. The comedy is simplistic, something that is clearly meant to work with a young audience though older audience should still find a panel or two that might elicit a grin.

The jokes in it occasionally employ items that may be a bit specific to Japanese culture/way of life such as when Ashibe and his father first try to disguise Goma-chan as a daikon radish or use seaweed to pass him off as a human kid, but not so much as to lose all meaning or context for a western audience. In fact. it might even be a subtle way to introduce kids to other cultures. However, at the end of the day, it is a gag manga for kids so do not expect too much or worry too much about the educational value of the series.

You can tell they’re father and son from the lack of good ideas form either.

The story starts with Ashibe having literally moved to a new town with his parents and the very first chapter reveals that he is very much missed by his friend, named Sugao from the old town. The series often shows us what is going on with Sugao, whose main jokes all revolve around how much he misses Ashibe, so much so that one could almost call him a main character as well.

Being a simple kid’s gag series, the art and character designs are rather simple, maybe even ugly to the eyes of older viewers. As the manga is a literal adaptation of the anime, it might be best to watch the anime instead as the anime looks more appealing thanks to the colours, movement and voice acting. The anime series is currently available for streaming on Crunchyroll.com as well, Also being the original source, there’s a lot more content/ episodes of the anime available (37 episodes at the time of this article’s publication) whereas at the time of my typing this article, there are only 17 chapters out for the manga. It doesn’t seem like the manga is adding any extra info to the series. In fact, in some cases, it even cuts out some of the redundant scenes and in other cases, the manga changes the execution of the joke. For example, in the image from the manga above, Ashibe and his father are trying different excuses in front of Ashibe’s mother but in the anime, it’s just the two of them spit balling excuses between them before she gets home and she only walks in for the last one.

That might be getting a bit too up close and personal with the sea life, sir.

If you’ve been already watching the Shonen Ashibe anime with your young siblings,kids or even by yourself, there’s no need to re-read the manga unless someone needs to practice their reading skills or just cannot get enough of the series. If you’ve never heard of this series before this article and are on the lookout for a kids series for yourself or someone young, Shonen Ashibe checks off all the major requirements one might have for such a show such as innocent and bright eyed protagonist and mascot/fluffy animal. There are even a few life lessons here and there but mostly just Asian humour aimed for a juvenile audience and ultimately Shonen Ashibe is a manga that is most likely left to be enjoyed by a young audience.

Shonen Ashibe GO! GO! Goma-chan is available digitally via Crunchyroll.com

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