In 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.
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.
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!