Created by Yoshito Usui, Crayon Shinchan has been a best-selling series since it's debut over a decade ago. Not only has it been transformed into a TV anime series, but Shinchan can also be seen as the spokesperson for various products in Japanese commercials and print ads. Finally, Shinchan has been brought to the domestic manga market from Comics One. Although the drawings may look simplistic in comparison to other types of manga, the story is interesting enough to stand on its own. Many readers will be surprised with the content and will realize the reason why this book is recommended for ages 13 years old and up.
Although Shinchan may appear to be an adorable five-year old boy, he is anything but. Nicknamed the "Bart Simpson of Japan," this rascal takes pleasure in tormenting his mother and those around him with his mischievous antics and sassy mouth. Also, unlike his American counterpart, Shinchan has a somewhat perverted characteristic to him. Whether it's hitting on adult women or sneaking a peek at "Skank" magazine in the bookstore, his crass behavior may be ten times worse than Bart Simpson's.
The storyline and art of Crayon Shinchan is very simple and perhaps unique in that sense. There seems to be no other domestic manga on the market that is quite like it. Comics One also included a few pages in color, which was a nice added feature. The storyline of Crayon Shinchan is formatted similar to American comics; each storyline is about two or three pages long. The graphic novel is made up of a collection of these short stories and is classified under one particular title. Comics One did an adequate job at adapting the dialogue for a domestic audience. I'm sure there were many gags that western audiences unfamiliar with Japanese culture and language may not have understood. For example, Shinchan seems to be quite fond of "oreo cookies" and "Britney Spears."
Filled with dirty jokes and raunchy humor, it is hard to believe that the main character of the manga is only five-years old. I would not recommend this title to those who easily take offense to vulgar humor. However, the story, format, and art of Crayon Shinchan is a refreshing change to the usual manga titles introduced in the domestic market. Already a success in Japan, it wouldn't be surprising if Crayon Shinchan reached the same level of fandom among domestic manga fans as well.