Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Manga Review: Happy Cafe, Volume 7, by Kou Matsuzuki

Publisher: Tokyopop
Goodreads Synopsis:

Shindo meets an old acquaintance of his mother's and memories come to the forefront. Uru tries to cheer him up and they end up hugging, causing them to act awkward afterward. Meanwhile, Mitsuka and Ichiro form an unholy alliance to prevent Uru and Shindo from realizing that they might be in love with each other - but it may be too late!


This series is so cute. It's definitely shojo, and is also very funny. I will be missing this series a lot, like the others.
It's about Uru, who's a high school student but looks like an elementary/junior high student. She lives on her own, giving her mother and step-father time to themselves, and she starts working at Cafe Bonheur. She works with Shindo and Ichiro, and later Shindo's (adoptive) father. We also meet Ichiro's family, more often his little brother than the others. And there's another cafe, which we see quite a bit. There parents are fun, but we see Sou Abekawa and his older brother, and their little sister Sakura most.
Uru is super strong and sweet, and always tries to help anyone whenever she can, and very funny, and oblivious. (It seems like most main characters are sweet and trying to help, but she's has her own character to it. Like she'll do poses somewhat randomly, and she makes lots of jokes.) Shindo runs the cafe, and he makes most of the food. He's the tall, stoic character, tries to stay away from people, but he's very nice, and it's obvious how he feels about Uru. And then Ichiro is very quiet, and he falls asleep a lot and can only wake up by eating food. He almost always has a straight face, but he can be very protective and possessive of Uru. And his little brother is very much like him, only a bit more stand offish.
The Abekawa's are fun. Sou likes Uru, and since he's closer to her in age, (as they are both still in high school, while Ichiro and Shindo are out of it,) they get pushed together a lot. But Uru is very oblivious, and good at ruining the mood. His older brother teases him a lot about it. Sou is just alright to me, and I mostly want more attention to fall of Shindo and Uru. But I still like him, and he has a southern type of accent, which is fun.
All of the familes, Uru's and the Abekawa's and Ichiro's and Shindo's, are very close. They care about their kids a lot, and they fawn over them. It's very cute, even if there isn't a lot of variety, and all families aren't realistically like that. And the little kids are adorable. There's Ichiro's little brother, Sou's little sister Sakura, and Tsucchi's little twin brother and sister, who are all in the same class in elementary school.
Anyway, in this volume... the first chapter focuses on Tsucchi and Sayaka, friends of Uru's from school. We don't see a lot of her school time, so I have a hard time remembering her other friends sometimes, but they do have character. Uru is trying to get them to make up, since they broke up, and she does get them to make up. And then she gets pushed into a room with Sou. And Shindo is walking around and bumps into Sou's father, who knows Shindo's mother.
Oh, the school is having a festival, and Uru's class is doing a cafe, (thought I should mention this). The next chapter: Shindo's father is lost. Then we see Uru's class, where Ichiro and the kids are all asleep, and they've just gotten a letter telling them to close the cafe. They supposedly know who it's from, but then it goes to Uru and Sou still locked in the classroom. He confesses to her to find that she's asleep, and then Shindo finds them. The next chapter focuses on them being free and punishing who did it to them, and they're all talking and thanking and all that in the classroom. The chapter ends with Shindo thinking about his mother, who abandoned him.
They're back at the cafe now, where Shindo's father thinks something is wrong with him, which there is, because he keeps thinking about his mother. There's a fun moment when some of the Abekawa's drop by. Then Shindo's father, Ichiro, and Uru decide that they have to cheer him up and Uru gets to do it. (Shindo's father and Ichiro talk a lot about Uru and Shindo, conversing over it and deciding things. And while Shindo's father is Team Shindo, Ichiro is Team Ichiro. It's odd how it works out, but it does.) And then she talks to him, and he talks to her, and she cries, and he holds her, and then they freak out. There aren't a lot of cute, lovey dovey moments in this series, as it focuses more on the comedy, but it's very nice when they happen.
But then Mitsuka, a friend of Uru's, comes over. She and Ichiro work together to make Uru and Shindo think differently, so that Shindo thinks of Uru like an fluffy animal, and Uru thinks of him as a big brother. This is very bad of them, as I want them to think of each other as much more than that, and they were so close!
And then there's an extra chapter about Arimoto and Aizawa, friends of Uru. Aizawa like Arimoto, but she only thinks of him as a rival. He wants to win her over, but she's very adamant that he is against her. They're cute, and we don't see a lot of them, but I hope that things work out.
As with the others, I hope that someone picks it up. It was so cute and funny, and I loved every volume as I read them and was following it as it was released. This isn't a terrible cliffhanger ending, but there's obviously more stuff going on with Shindo to be explored, and that isn't, can't be, the end for Uru and Shindo. I just want more.

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