TheFor any otaku reading manga can be a chance to escape when when you feel a little down, or had a bad day. And as fun as it is to go on grand adventures with the ‘One Piece’ crew or follow Guts on his quest for revenge in ‘Berserk’, sometimes you just want something simple that can put a smile on your face. Over the last few months I’ve really kickstarted my manga reading habit and have come across quite the number of such relaxing series. I thought that it’d be fun to share them, so they can bring a little bit of joy to you, as they do for me.
Oji-Sama to Neko
This blog wouldn’t be called ‘Two Happy Cats’, without mentioning at least one series with a cat in it! ‘Ojisama to Neko’ by Sakurai Umi, follows an old man who adopts a rather…unique looking cat. The story is told through both the man and the cat’s perspective. While the cat has been rejected most of his life for how he looks, the man has been feeling lonely since the death of his wife, in each other they find companionship. Ultimately forming a wonderful bond. Every time I read this series I’m a mix of emotions from laughing to crying. I always have to run and give one of my cats a big hug and tell them how much I love them, not sure how much they reciprocate though!
Hime no Dameshi
You know what makes everyone happy? Good food. This manga by Nikaido Kou follows the everyday life of a rather gluttonous office worker. It’s really enjoyable seeing this character be so happy over something as simple as 2 minute ramen. Reading the series always puts a smile on my face. There’s something so relatable about watching a grown who just wants to eat junk food all day and can’t understand trendy youth culture. Maybe a bit too relatable…
Dad, The Beard Gorilla and I
Another slice of life series, ‘Dad, the beard gorilla and I’ starts of one a sombre note. Michiru is five years old, her uncle has moved in with her and her father following her mother’s death in a car accident. Michiru is not particularly fond of her uncle, and the series has short funny strips of Michiru teasing her uncle, and the silly adventures Michiru has with her pre-school friends. We also get a look into the uncle (beard gorilla) trying to woo a teacher who happens to be scared of gorillas – to the point the uncle had to wear a mask around her! It’s just a really silly series, that makes you appreciate the people you have around you.
I’m sure a few of you are groaning inwardly about this being on the list. But for those of you ‘Densha Otoko’ is a story that has been done a thousand and one times. It’s based on a true story that was shared on a Japanese message board (kinda like Reddit), a young man saved a woman from a drunk guy on the train. The guy pretty much fell in love at first sight and with the help of all the people on the messenger board managed to give himself a makeover and develop the confidence to ask her out. The version that I read was called ‘Densha Otoko: Net Hatsu, Kakueki Teisha no Love Story’, story by Nakano Hitori and art by Hara Hidenori. What I enjoyed about this version was it really focused on the reactions of the other participants on the messenger board. In a way, with so many awful news stories going on, it reminded me how nice and genuine people can be to strangers.
Another series based on true stories posted on social media, T-sensei is about the everyday life of a pre-school teacher in Tokyo. Each page features a simple but adorable interaction that T-sensei had with one of his students. It just reminds me of how wonderful kids can be, they always think the best of the people around them and just want to make others happy. The art by Yukue Takana suits the stories perfectly, and I always have a smile on my face flicking through each page.
Thank you for checking out this post, I hope you enjoyed reading. What manga puts a smile on your face? Let me know in the comments!