Happy Mania Vol. #04 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Release Date: Wednesday, October 01, 2003



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Anno Moyoco
Translated by:Shirley Kubo
Adapted by:

What They Say
Shigeta's crazy love life continues, and this time it involves Takahashi! After Takahashi pays her a surprise visit, Shigeta comes to realize that he might not be such a bad guy after all. Before long, she even agrees to marry him. Does this mean that the legendary playgirl is off the market for good? Of course not! Shgeta and Takahashi are only engaged for a few days before Shigeta meets a cute wine-loving guy who totally "pops her cork," so to speak. Will Shigeta give in to temptation or stay true to her hubby-to-be?

They say love happens when you least expect it - but if you expect it 24/7, then what? Join Shigeta and her gal pals in their hilarious hunt for love, romance and together-forever commitment.

The Review
Packaging:
Production by TOKYOPOP is okay. They use the original cover art from Shodensha. Add a funky lacey spine and a nice size (yeah I think an A5 is too big for this series) and TOKYOPOP has done a nice job. Actually I even think that using an orange cover instead of the magenta Shodensha used was a good call, so the cover is not bad.

Logo Check!! (2003 Megs) the original logo is interesting. While I love it I don’t think it would work in English, so while I am not a super-fan of the one used by TOKYOPOP its not bad.

Ads for Peach Girl, Battle Royale, FAKE, Shutter Box, Gravitation, Forbidden Dance, MARS, Confidential Confessions, KareKano and Chobits are also in this GN.

Artwork:
The art is still funky. And from the sounds of things are really turning off a few readers out there.

Her character designs are okay but they are nothing special. Lines are sloppy. Eyes and faces in general are a little weird but I believe its used to show off expressions better. I will say I feel they look better when the panel has a close up of them. Lines are not quite as wiggly and faces are more expressive.

Shigeta's personality is a little weird and with Anno's crazy layout, sometimes I wonder if Shigeta knows she is in a manga cause she always seems to be talking to someone off the page. Creepy!!

Text/SFX:
I still cannot support not translating SFX. I don't understand why not in some way or another but not doing it at all is unexceptable.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Well Takahashi is back in Japan and you would think that maybe Shigeta would just be happy jumping his bones for the time being.

Of course not!

Shigeta's down because the ceramics artist she had the hots for has gone off to Western China to study clay. And Takahashi doesn't make things better when she finds him getting a little action from Violet in her own apartment. You would think Takahashi would know better but there he was and there Violet was. So did he have a good excuse for what he did? No but he proposed to her.

Exactly the last thing Shigeta wanted to here and even worse right after he was getting a job from one of her hated rivals. But is it totally bad? Her apartment is a mess. She doesn't have money to pay the bills or the rent or buy new panties if she starts dating again. She could just live off of him and maybe be happy. And heck Fuku says it could work (even though she would rather Shigeta marry because of love and not money.)

So she does it. Shigeta accepts Takahashi's proposal and boy is he thrilled.

Shigeta on the other hand still needs to get some money or else she is on the street. Back in the work force and chances are good she falls for someone soon - a few days too soon. But unlike most of her other relationships this guy seems to be attracted to her. He treats her like a girlfriend and she feels she needs to be with him more and more. Even after she finds out that he is married.

Like her reactions to Kishiwada, Shigeta goes too far and almost is at the point of stalking her new love interest. It backfires and in the end she is left wondering if he still wants to see her.

Comments
It is really tough to get to feel sorry for Shigeta. Her personality is so extreme that while you see her struggle you may not want her to do well. Always taking the most selfish way out she never thinks about others and must satisfy her needs before anything else.

So when you think she might settle down, she immediately falls prey to her desires. I find it pretty humorous but I wonder if others will want to stick with her for 7 more volumes if she doesn't change a bit.

What I have found really interesting is that Shigeta's personality has changed from someone looking for a boyfriend that ends up just being used for sex to someone who is so desperate that she has gone to stalking. Could she go any lower? I want to know.

I'll have to say it again.... I love it. Shigeta is a bizarre case and as my roommate described her "is possibly the creation of a crazed mind." I like that type of quality now and then. With her and the rest of the sociopathic cast I almost find myself enjoying the boring life I live. (Not enough entertainment gives me that feeling anymore.)

Good but not for everyone.



Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 17 & Up
Released By: TOKYOPOP
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 190
ISBN: 1-59182172X
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left