Manga Review: Train Train

Train Train
Story and Art: Eiki Eiki
Published by the Doki Doki Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN13: 9781569700969
ISBN10: 1569700966

Review by I-hsiu Lin

A young man’s dream of becoming a train operator…is not as easy as it seems. Especially since he has been assigned to Minami Kitazawa station. With a premise like that, the story doesn’t seem to be very interesting. However, once you step through the doors of the station master’s office, you’re surrounded by four hot guys…along with a mob of fangirls. Dealing with the attention from his weird senpais, mobs of female fans and learning about his job all at once…for one young man with aspiring dreams, it may just be too much for him. But Asahi Saruta will never give up!

Eiki Eiki’s Train Train series is one with many surprises. I love her characters since they always have unique personalities and something distinctive to set them apart. The stories themselves are about the daily issues and details with working at a busy train station. Of course, with a cast as varied as this one, new problems always occur (some caused by the staff themselves) and Asahi is roped into something new. Asahi is kind of klutzy, but cute and resourceful at times. His charm is in his persistence to deal with the antics of his colleagues and his perseverance despite his short comings on the job. (Like getting squashed during rush hour.) To go into the personalities and backgrounds of Asahi and the rest of the staff at the station would be giving away too much. The hilarity comes from finding out about the characters themselves. The chapters are episodic with each one concentrating on something new at the station. Of course, through these issues, the other staff at the station draws closer to Asahi and a stronger bond is formed. What kind of bond exactly is left to our imaginations.

This particular title by Eiki Eiki is not a boys love manga but there is a bisexual character in it. However, that doesn’t mean that Eiki Eiki doesn’t step over the invisible line. In truth, there are many BL hints for those that want to look for it. Indeed, with someone as cute as Asahi, who wouldn’t want to hug him? For those that have no wish to read into this as a BL story can definitely enjoy this book as a simple comedy. It’s a light read with a steady plot and hilarious developments. The artwork is clean and the characters are quite distinguishable.

I’m especially happy that DMP licensed this since in the Princess Princess series by Mikiyo Tsuda, there was a special crossover story between the characters by Mikiyo Tsuda and Eiki Eiki. The two princesses of Princess Princess visit Minami Kitazawa station. The story continues in Train Train which at that time has not been published in English yet.

If you read my Princess Princess review, you’ll recall that I mentioned about DMP’s new covers which are basically the same as their novel covers with no dustjackets. Eiki Eiki is also known for ‘under-the-cover’ omake/extras so they have been reproduced at the end of the manga after the author’s notes. Again, since Eiki Eiki and Mikiyo Tsuda works so closely together, you’ll see references about Princess Princess which was published in Japan at the same time as Train Train.

Definitely looking forward to future volumes of this series!