When it comes to mobile phone operating systems, Android certainly gets around. A whole host of suitors are involved with Google’s OS, making for an interconnected web of competition, sly hookups, and showy one-upmanship. If you’re thinking the melodrama all sounds a bit high school you can be forgiven: A new manga comic so totally went there by personifying the various Android-supporting handsets as super-sexy schoolgirls in Sweet Android High School.
Featuring a cast of big-eyed, short-skirted manga teens with personalities that match each handset’s qualities and cutesy names bearing -chan and -kun suffixes (a Japanese descriptor for a young girl or boy, respectively), the comic series attempts to explain the complex relationship Google’s Android has with its many handset manufacturers.
Non-Japanese manufacturers are depicted as international students: H-T-Syee-chan (HTC) is the fun girl; Sam-Sung-chan (Samsung) is the adventurous one; Soni-Eri-cha (Sony Ericsson) is the prude; Elle-G-chan (LG) is the Prada-loving stylish one; and Moto-Laura-chan (Motorola) is the bubblegum sweetheart. Meanwhile, Sharp-chan (Sharp, a nice girl), Fuji-Toru-chan (Fujitsu-Toshiba, the pretty nerd), and Kashio-Nko-chan (Casio-NEC, the cute one) are local Japanese students who are a bit anxious since they’re not quite as “in” with their teacher, an unnecessarily dorky Mr. Google. Even Apple, who (as in real life) is constantly fighting with Samg-Sung-chan, gets a supporting role as a black turtlenecked dude named Apple-kun who is frequently seen hanging out under apple trees.
Current Android developments are worked into the story, such as Google’s acquisition of Motorola, which in Sweet Android High School world is represented by a clandestine marriage of Mr. Google with his most outstandingly buxom student Moto-Laura-chan (though as translated accounts of the script suggest, the teacher has a policy “not to give precedence to her” and the relationship is oft-forgotten). The launch of the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus is reflected in another character with similarly impressive, erm, features (this is manga after all), and allusions to Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, are depicted in a scene with one of the students unwrapping a … wait for it … ice cream sandwich.
Thus far, any excerpts of the comic are only available in Japanese, and the full series will only be released in extra editions of the Japanese PC magazine Weekly ASCII. Still, scrolling through the character stories with the aid of Google Translate–complete with charm points, extracurricular activities, real-world details of the real corporations, and super-bad translation–is amusing in itself.