Happy Mania Vol. #03 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 147
  • ISBN: 1-591821711
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Happy Mania Vol. #03

By Eduardo M. Chavez     June 13, 2005
Release Date: August 01, 2003

Happy Mania Vol.#03

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

What They Say
Shigeta is unhappy with her long-distance relationship, and soon meets a handsome ceramics artist who takes her blues away. She ends up quitting her job and becoming an apprentice at his studio. Meanwhile, Fuku falls head over heals for a new boyfriend who’s perfect for her, renewing Shigeta’s faith in life. Life seems to be heading in the right direction for the first time in ages when Shigeta discovers that her new crush is not exactly on the level. Sometimes it’s not who you know, but what you know about them that matters. Then out of the blue Takahashi shows up at Shigeta’s door and complicates matters even further. Will the drama ever end.
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
Production by TOKYOPOP is okay. They use the original cover art from Sodensha. 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.
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.

This volume includes ads for Peach Girl, Battle Royale, Chobits and Love Hina

The art is still funky. Anno’s art is not as tight as it is in Flowers and Bees but its still a slight step up from the very start of this series. I have to repeat this, though, Anno’s perspective is what really makes her stuff unique. She can layout something completely average almost slice of life but make it look completely out of control. I believe this is caused by how she uses angles, close ups and her panels that really gives that chaotic sense and boy it’s it crazy in Happy Mania. It’s really a shame that the SFX are not translated because they really would have helped everything seem even crazier.

Character designs are okay but they are nothing special. Being accustomed to josei art I don’t mind it but I know from reading these forums that it’s not catching on with most readers.

The translation has improved quite a bit from the start. The main problem used to be how Shigeta’s unique personality came across, but the translation team has figured a way to maintain her spunk and still sound reasonable.

I still cannot support not translating SFX so things are not perfect here.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
At the end of the last chapter Shigeta appeared to finally find some type of romance; even if it was with Takahashi.

And then he had to go to the US to study abroad.

Love’s a crock!! You cannot trust it! One day its here and you’re on top of the world and the next its gone and its possibly hitting on some busty blonde Hollywood gal!!! What do you mean “you wanna make me happy”? So Shigeta is pretty much back to the drawing board again. Lonely and needing a real relationship she cannot deal with having to wait and worse be faithful for Takahashi. Moving on is the only answer.

Luckily this time a love interest came to her before she even started looking. Unluckily she has fallen for him bad. So bad she thinks she has actually fallen in love for the first time.

He is good-looking, quiet, talented and did I say good looking. He had her feeling things that she could not understand. He drove her crazy and she needed to be with him. She needed to know when he would be in her department store, she needed to know where his studio was, she needed to know how to do pottery, she needed to know if she could be an apprentice just like him. She was obsessed but she was going to get big surprise after she gave up a lot to try to get closer to him. Almost like a stalker she gives up her job, joins a pottery dojo and has to clean up and prepare tea until she is “ready” to move to clay. She hardly gets to talk to Kishiwada and worse she finds out he is involved with someone. So, once he leaves she was left with nothing. Well, there still is Takahashi, but really did you ever think she was going to stick with him??!!

Well right when you think Shigeta finally gets a heart it gets broken and then its back to old Shigeta. Man, when will it ever go right for her and will she ever get it? This series is a fun read but at the same time it’s a tough read. I cannot relate to these characters but at the same time I find them highly entertaining. It is almost like the “Jan factor” but this messed up on a more personal level - love and romance.

I have always loved this series. It’s a little tough being critical about it at times but I can easily say its not perfect. Its protagonist is not very likeable and the art can be pretty rough at times so and with some of the subject matter being rather cruel I sometimes wonder just how messed up Shigeta can get. Maybe that’s some of the allure of this series?

Good but not for everyone.


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