Hey! Order Up!: Neko Ramen
TOKYOPOP, 2010 (2010)
Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto
our-panel strips are the Japanese equivalent to our comic strips. They are short pieces meant to contain a joke, usually within a larger, ongoing story and drawn in a more casual style than a longer work. The problem is, this type of humor often does not translate well. Luckily, this is not the case for Kenji Sonishi's
he first volume,
Hey! Order Up!
, introduces the reader to Taisho, the cat owner of
, and Tanaka, a low-level businessman who is often the only customer. The humor of the piece lies in Taisho's desire to have a unique ramen shop. The irony, which Tanaka realizes but Taisho doesn't, is that
is already one-of-a-kind became no other ramen shop is owned by a cat, and in himself, Taisho has a built in gimmick. Unfortunately, the hapless Tanaka is subject to all of Taisho's plans to make
stand out, most of which backfire with humorous results.
hile the manga is rated T (ages 13+), adults will possibly enjoy the humor even more than teens as Tanaka is the type of character to whom many grown-ups can easily relate. But whatever your age, if you are looking for something to get you laughing,
is the manga for you.
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