So, apparently Nintendo has a Manga Kingdom lineup (Or had) where various Nintendo games would get some little 4 koma anthologies. It’s a neat concept. I don’t care for 4-Koma all that much and it’s basically the equivalent of stop motion for TV shows, but it can be entertaining if handled right. Considering that the whole “series” for Mario Sunshine is only about 20 comics long (20 pages) it goes by quickly and I didn’t grow tired of the jokes. Mario could be a little out of character at times, but that’s simply how things are supposed to work here.
Mario actually talks in one or two of the comics, which is intriguing. It turns out that Mario isn’t actually very smart as seen in many of the comics. He takes everything literally and gets himself into a whole lot of trouble this way. You will also feel bad for Fludd since Mario really puts the squeeze on the poor guy. Fludd wasn’t ready for this and now he won’t get to really enjoy his vacation time. It was probably the most emotional part of the series.
Back to serious matters for a second, this manga still illustrates the problem with 4 koma. As mentioned earlier, this is about as short a 4 Koma “series” as you can expect to find. And yet…..they already reuse some jokes. Mario spraying people who don’t want to be sprayed because he misinterpreted what they said happens a few times and likewise with the Fludd squeezing jokes. I mean..if you’re already reusing jokes during a 2 chapter title, just imagine what would happen if this was a whole volume long like Shugo Chara Chan. You can end up reusing the same joke dozens of times over and over again. You don’t want that and you know what…the fans don’t want it!
Luckily the jokes were good though. This wasn’t another Rock Lee or the disgraceful Sasuke series. Another factor to consider is that Mario Sunshine is still one of the greatest Mario games of all time. It’s very nostalgic to see all of the old elements and I’m definitely ready for the rumored Sunshine 2. If it ended up coming out the same day as Galaxy 3, I’m not sure which one I’d pick up. It would be a very tough choice, but Sunshine 2 would have to win out on principle.
The art is nice and clear. It’s not world shattering of course, but I like the art and it holds up well. Mario is typically drawn accurately unless the gag is for him to look tall. The artist got to draw a lot of various Mario elements and while they were not all that detailed at times, clarity of art is always important and definitely what I am looking for in a title like this one.
Overall, Good Job Nintendo. I’m satisfied with this 4 Koma Adventure and would definitely recommend it. After all, you can read the whole thing in about 8 minutes so if you can’t spare that much time for a Mario manga, you need to reevaluate your lunch break. Hopefully we’ll get some more Mario 4 Koma adventures since I believe most of the other games got some. Who knows, they may already be online somewhere. It’ll be tough to beat Mario Sunshine though since that game had it made. Too bad Bowser didn’t appear in any of the comics, but maybe next time!