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Goin’ Japanesque!

Seigi Keikan Monju: Manga Featuring a Robot Policeman More Human than Humans

There are mainly two types of robots that are featured in Japanese manga.

One of them is a super hero type with incredible intelligence and physical power that far exceeds that of humans and the other is a type that always fails to meet expectations of humans for their goofy behaviors.

The manga we are introducing to you here features a robot of the latter type. It is Seigi Keikan Monju (Monju, the Police Officer in the Service of Justice).

 

Synopsys

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The manga is set in the near future in Japan.

Monju is a robot police officer, which was created as a prototype for the purpose of patrolling and protecting the capital city Tokyo from the threat of terror attacks and other criminal activities.

But the robot development project was aborted for a reason and Monju was shunted off to a police box in a provincial city away from Tokyo.

When Monju arrives at the police box located in the middle of a peaceful and eventless country side, he met his soon to be colleague, Junpei Yamagishi, who never shows any sign of morale.

Developed for anti-terrorist policing and blessed with powerful weapons and great physical ability, Monju took such relocation to be nothing less than a demotion and was completely let down.

But as Monju cultivates friendship with the local people, he is given an opportunity to reconsider and recognize what the important task and the raison d’etre of the police is.

Shino Kamiya, the female officer of the Metropolitan Police Department who is in charge of the development of “Shinsho,” the subsequent model of Monju, also came to the countryside to impose herself on the matters around Monju. Monju is now surrounded by those in favor of him.

 

Characters

1. Monju

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Monju, the protagonist, is a prototype police robot developed in the “Ginsei” project which purpose is to form a robot troop installed with multi-purpose weapons.

Monju and other robots developed by the project are powered by nuclear power. The development project itself was halted after a radioactive leak caused by the reactor core disruption in one of the robots.

Not knowing about the abortion of the project, Monju wishes to return to Tokyo.

He has emotions like humans, servile and pessimistic in personality. He has the habit of biting at his fingers when in trouble. He can also be short-tempered and violent at times.

He has many powerful weapons installed inside his arms.

2. Junpei Yamagishi

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He is a police officer working with Monju stationed at the same police box.

He was a talented pitcher on the baseball team back in high school but decided to get a job as a police officer when his arm was destroyed from overuse.

He is a lewd smooth-talker type and perverted. His attitude toward work is laid back, shown in how he reads pornographic magazines even during work hours, but he is  good-natured in his true personality as to always side with the weak.

3. Shino Kamiya

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Shino is a female police officer who had worked for the Metropolitan Police Department and is currently in charge of the Ginsei development team, where Monju was developed.

She is a robot geek with a fetish for machines. She would even sacrifice her life for the sake of robot making.

In order to find out which of “Shinyou” and “Monju,” both of which are her products, is stronger, she ordered “Shinyou” to attack “Monju.”

Then she decided to move to the police box where Monju is assigned for the purpose of observing the power and ability of Monju.

Probably because she has devoted all her life to robots, she is rather naïve and unsophisticated about relationships with others including that of romantic nature. Whether that be the cause or not, she always gets into a fight with Junpei.

 

Analysis

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The way Monju weeps over his unlucky circumstances is not what we usually expect of a robot.

While Monju is very strong in battles, the manga also depicts his weakness rather comically, where he doesn’t like nor can handle paperwork and other administrative works well and often doesn’t know how to deal with people around him.

The manga in large part is a great comedy in which the pair of two police officers, Junpei Yamagishi and Monju, leads minor incidents into bigger bustle and troubles.

But the comical personality of Monju is not only a tint of flavor but has a deep and rather serious implication for the whole setting of the manga. The secret will gradually be unveiled as the story unfolds.

The author Yuki Miyashita is good at raising a question of irrationality of humans and the world into the overall comical story setting.

In this manga too, amidst the comical fuss created by Monju and other characters, the story evolves around the core themes of “justice” and “police” and the drama sees a drastic turn towards the end.

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The manga was first published in 2004 and came to an ending in 2011.

While it is not obviously the first among many films and manga titles that feature comical police officers, “Seigi Keikan Monju” is given yet another theme of “robot” and created as a drama with an original approach.

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon
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