Friday, March 26, 2010

I Reads You Review: HAPPY CAFÉ, VOL. 1

Creators: Kou Matsuzuki with Lianne Sentar (English adaptation) and Lori Riser (translation)
Publishing Information: TOKYOPOP, B&W, paperback, 192 pages, $10.99 (US), $13.99 CAN
Ordering Numbers: ISBN: 978-1-4278-1730-3 (ISBN-13)

Happy Café stars 16-year-old Uru Takamura, a clumsy girl who chose to live on her own because she thought that she was in the way of her mother and 29-year-old stepfather. Not only is she clumsy, she’s also prone to misunderstanding.

In Happy Café, Vol. 1, Uru talks her way into a job as a waitress at Café Bonheur, located in Happiness Town. Her colleagues are Ichiro Nishikawa, an unsociable waiter who needs a snack shoved into his mouth every time he falls asleep, and Shino, the equally unsociable manager. Between dishing out sweets to customers and annoying each other, they just may find happiness and maybe… love.

With the pretty art one would expect of a shojo manga (comics for teen girls), Happy Café is a standard workplace romantic comedy. It even has a hook similar to the popular and acclaimed shojo manga, Love*Com, a relationship between a tall person and a short person. What makes this work? I have a hard time putting my finger on why I like this. Happy Café comes across as one of those “sparkling romances,” and maybe that is why it is a pleasant read. It is a familiar story that entertains, and like its title suggests, Happy Café is a place readers can go to feel happy.


Buy Happy Cafe Volume 1

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