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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Neko Ramen Vol. 3 Review


Of course being the poor sucker that I am, I just got around picking up Neko Ramen vol. 3 yesterday. And lo and behold, as I was checking out the cover for cool stuff to read, I discovered that I've just been quoted by Tokyopop in the back cover! Wow! This marks the very first time that this humble blog has been quoted, even mentioned, in an international publication! I'm still freaking out as I write this! Man, I gotta find time to laminate my copy. Of course, now that I'm pretty sure people are gonna start poking around now that they know this blog exists, I gotta pick up some slack around here...starting with a review of Neko Ramen vol. 3: A Cat After All!

Neko Ramen's third volume continues the hijinks ensued by Taisho, the feline owner of a ramen shop.This time, he's upping the ante with tons of new ideas and innovative recipes...if only being a cat with cat sensibilities didn't get in the way!

Kenji Sonishi focuses on Taisho being the white kitty cat that he is in this volume, which means we get to see a lot of gags based on the big question of 'what if a cat made ramen?', probably more so that previous volumes. That lends itself to plenty of laughs, as Taisho tries out 'Labyrinth Ramen' (better find your way out fast!), 'Rice on the Side' (in the most literal sense possible) and more. I got smart after the last two volumes...I found a nice, quiet and isolated spot in the mall so I can laugh my guts out. It didn't help that Sonishi's drawings and expressions really bring the point home.

Tons of characters from the previous volumes make some appearances, as well as some new and interesting ones. I was actually surprised that there are developments in the story so far, as well as nods to, gasp!, continuity! This book is actually growing, and for me it's all the better for it!

To be honest, I found the first few pages of the volume a bit slow moving. I guess you could only make so much jokes about cats and ramen. Fortunately, the farther into the book I got, the more intense the laughs became. And with Taisho and the world around him constantly evolving, Neko Ramen becomes your not-so-ordinary comedy manga. It's like I'm having the proverbial cake and eating it too! Neko Ramen vol. 3: A Cat After All! gets a 4 out of 5. Pick this up on sight, you won't regret it one bit.

Thanks, Tokyopop! And thank you for reading!

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