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Happy Cafe Volume 1

February 14, 2010

Happy Cafe volume 1
by: Kou Matsuzuki
published by: Tokyopop
from the back cover: Welcome to the Happy Café, where romance and happiness are the specials of the day! Meet Uru! She’s a little short, a bit disorganized, often mistaken for an elementary school kid, and lives by herself after her mother gets remarried. When she decides to pay the bills by working part time at the Happy Café, she meets Ichiro and Shindo, two of the most unsociable guys she’s ever had to contend with! And to make matters worse, it turns out that Uru is not exactly meant for the waitress world, as she’s a HUGE klutz. But as this hilarious shojo tale unfolds, true happiness–and even true love–might be lurking around the corner…
my ramblings: First thing, I don’t normally like manga trailers (I think they’re a little silly), but I absolutely loved the one that Tokyopop put up on YouTube for Happy Cafe, it’s one of the main reasons I actually did buy this and not just put it on my to-read list. Check it out here. Or not…apparently Tokyopop made it private for some reason. :[ Tokyopop responded to my question about it and showed me where to view it on their site~ Check it out here! :D

I expected to find this volume to be a cute, fun bit of shojo, and I sure wasn’t disappointed.  The first thing I noticed about this when I finally got it was just how much I loved the cover design! I saw the front online, obviously and think it’s adorable, but the back cover shows just as much consideration (check it out at this Tokyopop blog on the design process of the first two volumes’ covers, which is fun and informative). Seriously, this is close to the original, while being specific to the English release too (with the old school cafe sign title art and the coffee stain smiley). It’s a lot better than almost all of the cover designs I can think of from Tokyopop (except maybe the upcoming Haru Hana, because that cover is adorable and perfect~). The only thing I didn’t like about the cover was the spine; it’s basically completely a strange shade of lime green, and while that may be my favorite color, it’s a bit headache inducing and doesn’t match the orange on the sides of the front and back covers.

On the editing side of things, I don’t think I remember anything at all, except a few instances where text wasn’t centered in the speech bubbles, which isn’t wrong necessarily, just kind of funny looking. I also love the English name for the series! Shiawasse Kissa 3Chome is kind of a mouthful, but Happy Cafe is cute, short, and matches the series just as well.

As for the story itself, I don’t really want to ruin anything with too many specifics, but it’s cute and entertaining. Uru’s super strength is a fun little quirk, and while Shindo may be your typical grouchy main male lead, he’s not boring and Ichiro’s narcolepsy is amusing as well. It may be rife with cliches, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Happy Cafe isn’t really anything new or special, but it is absolutely adorable, and it’s perfect for a light, enjoyable read.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2010 7:33 am

    This sounds ADORABLE! I totally want to check this out! :-)

  2. February 15, 2010 3:17 pm

    I love manga about cafes and quirky co-workers :3 (like Petit Four and Café Kichijoji de)
    Definitely a title I plan to check out in the future ^_^

  3. Rebecca permalink
    February 16, 2010 9:43 am

    It does look and sound really cute :) I’ll probably pick this one up at some point.

  4. February 17, 2010 9:05 pm

    Hey there,

    This popped up in my Google alerts! So glad you got the trailer–and that you like it and the manga! I think it’s adorable.

    -Kasia at TOKYOPOP

  5. February 18, 2010 12:49 pm

    @sylphalchemist: yay! You should like it. :D

    @Rebecca: It was really cute. One Tokyopop title I will definitely continue to buy~

    @flickreader/ Kasia: Thanks for commenting~ I really do love the trailer, it’s just so cute and it fits perfectly. And the manga is just as adorable as it promised, so I was delighted. :D

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