Manga Review: Train Train vol. 2

Train Train vol. 2
Story and Art: Eiki Eiki
Published by the Doki Doki Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN13: 9781569700976
ISBN10: 1569700974

Review by I-hsiu Lin

Pursuing his dream of becoming train operator, Asahi Saruta had joined the staff with four hot ‘guys’ at Minami Kitazawa Station. But things aren’t as simple as taking tickets, making announcements and reciting timetables. The cute but financially broke Asahi has to deal with the bills, his pet prairie dog (who is possibly going through mating season) and sexual harassment attention from his over affectionate senpais.

A life as a station staff at MK definitely isn’t easy at all. Deputy Akita can tell you that! Open volume two and perhaps you’ll discover the answer to the main question…just who is the station master?

Asahi gets into a whole other set of antics in this volume of Train Train which starts with him trying to live without utilities. His senpais at the station try to help…by having him change apartments with the fabulously rich Hokuto Matsumaru. Works in theory but might not work in this world…and especially not with Hokuto. I did mention he was fabulously rich? Sounds like a predictable start, but there is nothing predictable or mundane about what happens next. Asahi crawls out of this mostly unscathed only to deal with meeting the station master for the first time, stamp rallies and more. Of course, his senpais want to help as well. *grins*

While dealing with all of these issues, one wonders when they would actually get to do their work. (Actually, the deputy is wondering the same thing.)

Eiki Eiki pulls together another amazing volume of Train Train filled with comedic action and humorous characters. Actually, two new characters grace the pages with their own splash of personality and add even more color to the already diverse population at the station. (More color meaning more problems for Asahi.) The story doesn’t just surround the work at MK station (which probably makes Akita sad,) but centers around the characters themselves. We learn more about Hokuto’s lifestyle along with Hikari and Kaiji’s ‘relationship’. And being that this is Eiki Eiki-sensei’s work, we have several boy love hints to content with even if this isn’t a BL title. Should I even bother mentioning all the ‘attention’ that Asahi gets from everyone? That remains unchanged and even seems to escalate. He truly is like a little pet that you would want to take home and cuddle. However, I’m sure Hokuto wants to do more then that. *evil grin* It’s alot to put into one volume, but it definitely isn’t boring. Definitely an easy and enjoyable read.

One thing I always enjoy is the amount of personality that Eiki Eiki puts into her stories and artwork. Between the chapters, we find little notes and pictures that she adds about the characters. Also, if you look carefully, you can spot Eiki Eiki-bunny and her best friend, Tsuda Mikiyo-teddy in the chapters as well. Volume two has been one of the most anticipated volumes of Train Train for me since I read Princess Princess. As this manga explained, there was a collaboration between Tsuda and Eiki Eiki creating a crossover extra story with Asahi meeting two of the princesses. This volume finally completes that story. (To get the full of the humor, you probably need to read Princess Princess as well…as Eiki Eiki suggests.) Also, in the extras at the end, we learn a bit more of the creative process behind-the-scenes including Eiki Eiki’s conversation with her younger brother, singer and celebrity, Daigo Stardust. (She really likes to include him in alot of her works.)

As usual, Doki Doki has added the ‘Under-cover Masterpiece Theater’ to the end of the manga which are the short comics that are behind the dustjackets in the original Japanese versions. Those humorous shorts along with clear translations and unobtrusive notes made for a very satisfactory transition into English. Since these titles are the initial ones in DMP’s new style (no dustjackets, smaller sizes,) there is still some getting used to. As a whole though, another brilliant choice of license by Doki Doki and I’m definitely looking forward to volume 3 which should be out soon.