Gakuen Polizi Manga, Volume 1 (English)

September 18th, 2014

GP1In April 2013, I was pleased as punch to be able to review Morinaga Milk-sensei’s most recent series, Gakuen Polizi. At the time, I pronounced it “good” and commented that I chose “Polizi” as a transliteration for ポリーチェ because it looked stylish. I’ll take it as a compliment that Seven Seas went with my transliteration. ^_^

Gakuen Polizi, Volume 1 (Amazon/RightStuf) is, as Morinaga-sensei mentions in the author’s note, a conflation of her two favorite things – high school girls and TV cop series. I’m down with that. The first few chapters are a little unsteady as we meet over-enthusiastic new undercover school cop, aka “Polizi”, Sasami Aoba and, eventually her truculent, cynical partner, Sakuraba Midori. They flail around the school a bit, which provides plenty of space for exposition and the setup for Midori’s backstory. Here’s hoping it will be heart-wrenching.

The story really begins to take off in the second half of the book, as Aoba deals with rather serious issues high school girls face. Here in Volume 1, Aoba’s determined to solve a series of gropings on the train and the final, rather poignant, arc deals with a stalker.

I originally described this volume as Morinaga-sensei using her powers for good, and reading this translation, I’m convinced that I was right. Yes, Aoba and Midori could have solved missing cat crimes (and may still) but what we spend time on was a girl traumatized by an ex-boyfriend stalker, a very real, very serious problem. While the end is a touch convenient, if she had taken the darker route, this would have been an entirely different series. Cops shows and high school girls, there’s definitely potential here.

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If there is one thing you can absolutely count on from Seven Seas, it’s good technical work. The translation is solid; it starts to get a bit harsh in the middle then is reined in, so there is a consistent feel of “yeah, it’s a girl’s school” and the reproduction looks good.

Volume 2 is up for pre-order on Amazon in English, and is available in Japanese. It’s definitely on my to-read list and I’m looking forward to seeing the story develop.

Ratings:

Art – 9 Morinaga’s style is fully developed and her lines are more confident now than they have ever been
Story – I’m giving it a solid 9. 8 for being a good story, +1 for not being a straightup romance
Characters – 7, but we’ve barely begun to get to know them
Service – 2 -Psychological only, with talk of gropers and stalkers
Yuri – 1 A teeny weeny bit of fakey-service, but possible implication of more to come

Overall – 8

It’s a solid beginning to something completely different from Morinaga Milk-sensei and I’m really interested to see where she goes with it!

This book came in as a sponsorship from some lovely, generous Okazu Hero, but with no name. Please email me at yuricon at gmail so I can thank you properly!

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6 Responses

  1. Grisznak says:

    That bad? I thought it will be full-Yuri manga.

  2. justme says:

    Me, I don’t like it when translators just transliterate stuff from Japanese that was transliterated from English in the first place.

    …Which is why spelling it “Polizi” instead of translating it back to “Police” is *excellent*. :)

    Aiming this at people like me would be preaching to the choir.

    Aiming this at the more-geeky-than-thou crowd, given all the “oh poor misunderstood guy! he’s just different! how else can he get girls? you don’t want to bully him for his differences, do you?” sympathy for stalkers in geek culture, now that’s the ticket. :D

    • It wasn’t a transliteration for the English word “police”, which would have been ポリース. The word used was ポリーチェ, which has no meaning. Morinaga made it up as a term for her undercover school police. It could be “polici” or “polichi” or even “poleechee”. I chose “polizi”, as I said, because it looked more stylish to me.

      Transliteration of made-up words is up for grabs. There is no strata of fandom being catered to. Seven Seas could have chosen any one of several ways of spelling a word that does not exist. They went with this one.

      • ItAintEazy says:

        I always thought ポリーチェ came from the French word “policier” which not only means “police officer” but also describes a genre of French police dramas. I thought Morinaga had a thing for the French language since there was that alternate title for her contemporaneous series “Himitsu no Recipe.”

        • Possibly, but the point is not that the word does not exist in the universe, it’s that there is no word for “undercover student police” and I randomly chose a transliteration that I liked and Seven Seas chose for reasons of their own to use it. Morinaga-sensei may well like French, but we don’t have any information to make the leap that she chose it in this case or not – in fact, we have absolutely no information about her or Seven Seas’ choices at all. Every single thing we presume is our presumption only. ^_^

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