Monday, June 6, 2011

Manga Monday: Will Tanaka-san ever get a decent lunch?

Neko Ramen Volume 3: A Cat After All is, of course, the sequel to Neko Ramen Volume 2: Curry is Also Delicious.  Check out the review for Volume 1 here, and Volume 2 here.  Otherwise, read on!

Really, what else can be said about Taisho and his various food shops? New situations seem to arise there every day, but there isn’t as much newness to be had anymore.  And that’s the downfall of Neko Ramen Volume 3.

That’s not to say that life at Neko Ramen is ever monotonous. In this volume, we meet new recurring characters, such as Mariko’s new boyfriend and Taisho’s old buddy from the construction site. We also get to renew old friendships with Mii-chan and Shige-san, who are both nice to see again.

The long –form stories are also a refreshing change of pace from the 4 panel format of the rest of the book. These stories are consistently my favorite parts of these books.

The daily four panel strips, however, begin to drag on the very quickly. Eventually, they become rambly, how-can-I-misinterpret-ramen/curry-this time sight gags. As a daily joke email sent to one’s inbox, it would work much better than a book read in one sitting.

If I were doing the editing, I would distribute the long-form stories more evenly throughout the volume, and perhaps do my best to insist on more long stories per book. It almost works well as a collection, but it needs just a little bit of a tweak to really hold its own.

Highs: So what is really up with Shige-san?

Lows: Too … Much… Ramen…

Verdict: A diversion, but nothing to get excited about, unfortunately

Further Reading: Shin Chan, Azumanga Daioh

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