Friday, 28 January 2011

Neko Ramen

I've kinda written about this one before elsewhere - guess it can't hurt to rip/paraphrase it to here...

Neko Ramen: The title describes pretty much everything: It’s a cat. He makes noodles. That's it.

For my money it’s the best new title Tokyopop's put out in years.

Laid out predominantly in the 4koma style, Neko Ramen follows Taisho’s day to day life as he runs his noodle bar, experimenting with new recipes (which are consistently awful) and going through an unusual array of part-timers of varying reliability and species type. He has one regular customer, which in one way makes you wonder why Taisho bothers, but that's part of his tenacity and charmingly oblivious regard to his unique position.

With every other series out there striving to be ultra-cool and slick, Neko Ramen’s style is loose, low in detail and generally not trying to impress anyone. It’s hidden strength is in its writing in portraying the relationship between strong/deluded Taisho and long-suffering but continually intrigued Tanaka. It’s is funny, but your mileage may vary. Some might find the joke starting to wear a little thin as the volumes pass, but the steady release schedule helps avoid this issue. Undemanding fun.

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