Monday, February 7, 2011

Manga Monday: More Ramen? Really?

Neko Ramen Volume 2:  Curry Is Also Delicious is, of course, the sequel to Neko Ramen Volume 1: Hey! Order Up!.  Check out the review for Volume 1 here.  Otherwise, read on!

Taisho, Tanaka-san and all the sidekicks are back, with plenty of new visitors as well in Neko Ramen Volume 2: Curry is Also Delicious.

Of course an ambitious entrepreneur such as Taisho wouldn’t be satisfied with a simple ramen shop.  He’s even gone beyond wanting his own line of instant ramen.  No, Taisho has discovered how much curry the average Japanese eats, and has decided to open a curry shop as well.

And he’s not going to let the fact that he knows nothing about curry stop him, either.

The upside to this development is that we get all sorts of new characters and situations.  Besides everyone involved with the new curry experiment, we even get to meet Taisho’s parents.

Unfortunately, the series still revolves around the many ways in which Taisho can make ramen, and now curry as well, inedible.  There are new ways to have conflicts with the new employees, as well as the growing pains of opening a new shop, but the gags are still basically the same.

The highlights of the volume, again, are the long-form stories.  When the author breaks away from the four-panel gag strip, or even has a small storyline between strips, the quality of work improves greatly.

If the series of graphic novels continues to trend towards continuity between strips as well as an increase of longer stories, the series will certainly improve.  This volume, though, might be worth reading if the first one amused, but isn’t a reason to start the series itself.

Highs:  Taisho’s father, the cat model, and his disappointment with Taisho’s apparent lack of cuteness

Lows:  Too many ‘how is my food wrong THIS time’ jokes

Verdict:  Still lots of potential, with some amusing moments

Further Reading:  Cromartie High School, Crayon Shin-Chan

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