Pets bring such joy to our lives. But you know what may be even better than a pet who can put a smile on your face? One that can do your chores…and throw a mean fastball to boot.
Penguin & House stars an adorable, smart, and silent penguin called Pen. Cute, smart, and talented, Pen can cook, clean, read, and more, and what he doesn’t know, he consults books or shows up at trial classes. Most of the time, it’s because Pen wants to do something to make his owner, Hayakawa, happy.
Unfortunately, Hayakawa doesn’t deserve such a gem. Hayakawa is rather whimsical, lazy, and selfish. When he remarks he’d like to eat some good meat, Pen braves the bargain sales and makes a wonderful mean…only for Hayakawa to return, say he’s not hungry and will eat it tomorrow, and jump into bed. He also oversleeps after making plans with his friend Seto, but instead of apologizing, Hayakawa wants to skip the movie all together so he can continue to laze about.
Okay, Hayakawa isn’t an absolute tool, but he’s definitely one of those characters who are irritating just for the sake of comedy. He’s not stupid like, say, Yoshiko of Aho-Girl, but he’ll tramp all over his apartment (and clean clothes) in a muddy uniform or will accidentally find a way to ruin Pen’s latest gift, much to the little bird’s horror.
Which is why Seto is my spirit animal. He had no idea of Pen’s existence, but now that they’ve met, he’s enamored. And it’s so easy to be taken in by Pen’s cuteness!!
Penguin & House is a series of short tales, most unrelated. Most of the time, the manga follows Pen’s day, but sometimes, the story is from the perspective of another character, like Seto or another college friend, Ota. The guys appear regularly, but there are also characters who appear once, and whether they will return is up in the air.
As a comedy series, not all chapters will hit the mark. Plus, in some cases, wanting to punch Hayakawa or give Pen a comforting hug overrides much of the laughs. Penguin & House is at its best when Seto or others are in awe of Pen or Pen tries to tackle everyday challenges like delivering Hayakawa’s lunch, and fortunately, these are the most common plots. Each chapter is about 10 pages long, and so the book can fly by since it isn’t dialogue-heavy and features large panels. It’s a little short since the manga includes some extra 4-koma, translation notes, and the like, but the main story still reaches the 150 page mark. And in those pages, while Pen may not have Anya of Spy x Family levels of facial epicness, he comes close.
And that’s basically what it comes down to: do you want to see an oversized Squishmallow do double duty as a housekeeper and loyal BFF despite his annoying owner? If the answer is yes, Pen is waiting to meet you in Penguin & House volume 1.