By Leroy Douresseaux
April 25, 2010 - 15:12
|Happy Cafe Volume 2 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Comedy/Romance; Rated “T” for “Teen-Age 13+”
The clumsy, 16-year-old Uru Takamura chose to live on her own. She is clumsy and prone to misunderstanding. Uru moved out of her parents’ home because she didn’t want to be in the way of her mother, Yukie, and her 29-year-old stepfather, Naoki. Uru finds comfort in the Happiness Town district, working as a waitress at Café Bonheur with her unsociable colleagues Satsuki Shindo and Ichiro Nishikawa. This is Happy Café.
In Happy Café, Vol. 2, the employees of Café Bonheur meet their rivals, the Abekawa Bros. Dark-haired Sou and blond Kashiwa run the family business, Abekawa-ya, a successful sweet shop and confectionary located in a local mall. Abekawa-ya turns out to be just as popular as Café Bonheur, if not more. When Café Bonheur starts to lose customers, however, it may have something to do with the prankster Abekawa Bros, so when they throw down the gauntlet, Uru is only to happy to pick it up – much to Shino and Ichiro’s chagrin.
Then, Uru’s mother, Yukie, decides that she wants her daughter home, again. And how Uru performs at work will decide her fate.
THE LOWDOWN: Some sweets and desserts are such delights that you can’t wait to eat and/or drink, but they’re empty calories. Happy Café is that perfect confection that is also a filling meal. This is simply because the readers get to watch the characters grow before their eyes. In many ways, the denizens of this narrative are familiar shojo character types: the sullen boys, the plucky heroine, the mega-cutesy and saucer-eyed children, and the clueless but tolerant parents. The more creator Kou Matsuzuki reveals about them, however, the more interesting they become.
I’ll be honest. I’m biased for books like this. They don’t have to be superior comics; they just have to make me wish that a particular volume was at least another 100 pages longer.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers who enjoy books like Love*Com may like Happy Café.