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File:Penguin revolution sm.jpg

  That one time when they took me to the theater as a child, I saw, of all things, a beautiful pair of wings on the leading actress. ... It seems that nobody else could see the wings. But if I'm not careful, I get drawn in by the wings, entranced to the point where I don't do anything else. Actually, from the first time I saw them, I had this idea that they were... the mark of a star!

Yes, Everything's Better with Penguins. But this isn't about that.

Yukari Fujimaru's dream is to have a steady job as a civil servant. At sixteen, she's been though the rags to riches cycle more times than she can count thanks to her father's unreliable business sense, and all she wants for herself is the stability of a regular paycheck. However, Yukari has the ability to recognize a potential star talent by the beautiful, shining wings she can see on their backs.

When she sees a small pair of such wings on her classmate Ryoko Katsuragi, Yukari considers suggesting to her that she might be cut out to be a star. Then, by accident, she discovers that "Ryoko" is actually a boy, Ryo, in disguise. Soon Yukari finds herself caught up in show business and the eccentric Peacock talent agency, acting as Ryo's manager in an effort to make both of their dreams come true.

It's not going to be easy, because not only does Yukari have to juggle schoolwork and finding jobs for Ryo, she has to pretend to be a man. And live with Ryo and his odd but extraordinarily talented roommate. And if her secret gets out, she and Ryo both get fired.

Show business is weird.

Penguin Revolution is a manga by Tsukuba Sakura, who also wrote Yoroshiku Master, Land of the Blindfolded, and several one-shot mangas.

Tropes used in Penguin Revolution include:

  • Accidental Kiss -- Yukari and Ryo.
  • Accidental Pervert -- Ryo.
  • Always Someone Better -- Ayaori serves as Ryo's standard of success, and Ryo's goal to become Peacock's #1 talent means surpassing Ayaori, the current #1. However, they're both very fond of each other and Ryo doesn't bear any resentment toward Ayaori.
  • Are We Getting This? -- A variation occurs when a fight breaks out between Ryo and Narazaki on the set of Animal Spirit Heroes: since their characters have a fight scene, the director promptly orders the cameras to start rolling.
  • Attack Hello -- Yuzuru Narazaki to Yukari. All. The. Time.
  • Attractive Bent Gender -- Ryo as "Ryoko". By volume seven, so much has been made of what a pretty girl Ryo makes that he frets he will end up making his living as an actress instead of an actor. Also, Yuzuru Narazaki, who makes an unusually tall but attractive traditional Japanese woman when dressed in a kimono.
    • Soundly averted once as well; when Peacock puts on an event promoting their new movie and requires all the talents and their managers to dress as women, Kaneda just looks like a man in a dress.
  • Bishonen -- Everywhere.
  • Blind Without'Em -- Ayaori, which is fortunate for Yukari as he is prone to walking in on her while she's in the bath.
  • Bonus Material -- In the form of humorous "interview" spots with the characters followed by panel-drawn author's notes as well. Particularly worth mention is the author's note dealing with the recent death of Tsukuba's dog.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer -- The president of Peacock has a pretty offbeat method of running a talent agency, but it seems to work out well for him. Also Ayaori and Narazaki, who are both extremely successful actors even though Narazaki tends to live like he's in a samurai drama all the time and Ayaori is so laid-back as to be nearly comatose.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys -- Peacock specializes in these.
  • Clark Kenting -- Ayaori conceals his day-to-day identity from the public by means of Wild Hair and Nerd Glasses, even using his unusual given name as the family name of his stage persona ("Makoto Ayaori" instead of Ayaori Mashiba). Justified Trope in that he's an actor, and a phenomenally talented one at that, but you'd think someone would at least notice the name.
  • Companion Cube -- Yukari's alarm clock.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" -- The president of Peacock's name is Hidemitsu Torii, but everyone - even his son and adopted son - calls him "President."
  • Eyes Always Shut -- Saburo Watanuki, acknowledged in his mini-profile at the end of volume 3.
  • Fan Girl -- Keiko Ochiai. Yukari listens in on her discussions about Peacock with classmates as a gauge of Ryo's popularity.
  • Five-Man Band -- Visibly employed by Show Within a Show Animal Spirit Heroes; Narazaki plays The Lancer.
  • Hands-Off Parenting -- Yukari's father, prior to his full-fledged Parental Abandonment. Ryo's father is better, but still pretty hands-off.
  • If It's You It's Okay -- Narazaki to "Yutaka," considering that there's a period of about three volumes between his Love Epiphany and his discovery that Yukari is actually a girl.
  • Incredibly Conspicuous Drag: The talents and managers of Peacock are required to dress in drag for a publicity event. Most of the actors pull it off remarkably well, but Kaneda, one of the managers, just looks like a man in a dress.
  • Jerkass -- Shogo Fukatsu.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold -- The president of Peacock. Also Yuzuru Narazaki, though he's not quite as much a jerk.
  • Keet -- Kaname Kohinata.
  • Love Epiphany -- The president of Peacock prods Narazaki into his; Ayaori helps nudge Ryo into his. Both regarding Yukari, of course.
  • Love Triangle -- Narazaki, Yukari, and Ryo. Also Ryo, Yukari, and Ayaori, to a lesser extent.
  • Missing Mom -- Ryo's.
  • Nerd Glasses -- Ayaori.
  • The Ojou -- "Ryoko."
  • Parental Abandonment -- Both of Yukari's parents.
  • Perpetual Molt
  • Pose of Supplication -- Yukari and Ryo spend nearly two hours this way to save their jobs.
  • The Quiet One -- Ayaori.
  • Recursive Crossdressing -- Yukari.
  • Replacement Scrappy -- In-universe example: Kaneda, Kaname's manager, very much wanted to manage Narazaki, but couldn't keep up with Narazaki's samurai-wannabe lifestyle. He's shown to, at times, resent Kaname for being Peacock's resident Keet instead of a second Narazaki.
  • Samurai -- Narazaki plays a lot of these and tends to emulate their style.
  • Secret Identity -- Ayaori and Yukari
  • Selective Obliviousness -- Ayaori, regarding Yukari's cross-dressing, at least until volume 6.
  • Sentai -- Show Within a Show Animal Spirit Heroes: Animal Alliance.
  • Show Within a Show -- Several, given that it's a series about the entertainment business.
  • Spirit Advisor -- Appears sometimes in Ryo's subconcious to help his acting, in the form of a little girl. Towards the end she describes herself as a gift from his mother.
  • Student Council President -- Ayaori, although "Ryoko," as vice president, does most of the job for him.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver -- Narazaki.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver -- Yukari as "Yutaka". The majority of the Peacock actors also had to crossdress as part of a press event. Even Kaneda.
  • Teen Idol -- The whole premise of the story.
    • The idol entertainment industry featured in this manga is somewhat similar to talent agencies in real life Japan, such as Johnny Entertainment.
  • Training From Hell -- Narazaki puts himself through it voluntarily... and expects his manager to accompany him. The president of Peacock puts everyone through it in the last volume.
  • Triang Relations #4 -- Narazaki, Yukari, and Ryo - first professionally, then romantically. Also some form of either #3 or #7, depending on your interpretation, develops between Yukari, Ryo, and Ayaori by the last two volumes.
  • Trickster Mentor -- The president of Peacock.
  • Workaholic -- Yukari is one. A chapter published in the third book of Yoroshiku Master shows Yukari spending a rare 4 day holiday first doing house chores. After that was done, she realised there was nothing much to do, so she went back to the office to do more work.
  • Waif Fu -- Yukari has a black belt in aikido.
  • Warrior Poet -- Yuzuru Narazaki.
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue -- Ten years later.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser -- Both Yukari and Ryo.
  • Yaoi Fangirl -- More like "talent" fangirl. She literally drools over people that she can see talent in, especially when there's more than one in the vicinity, and since Peacock only hires male prospective actors... well.... let's just say that the moment Yukari finds Ryo and Ayaori in the same bed she immediately pulls out a camera.
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