When Tanaka-san wanders into a new ramen restaurant in town, he’s stunned to see that the restaurant is owned and operated by a talking cat. But Taisho’s ramen skills leave something to be desired–namely taste and texture! He’s determined to succeed, though, and Tanaka-san can’t help coming back to the restaurant, just to see what will happen next.
Neko Ramen is a yonkoma or “four cell manga,” like a comic strip in the United States, but told vertically rather than horizontally. As in comic strips, there is a set-up and a humorous ending. Unfortunately, that means that there isn’t much in the way of deep plotting. That’s not a bad thing–after all, Garfield isn’t the most introspective of works, either–but it can make for slightly tedious reading when you’re reading it all at once, rather day-by-day in the newspaper or online. The jokes are often of the “Oh my, Taisho’s a cat, but he doesn’t act like one!” variety and those can quickly get stale. Luckily, there’s enough of a storyline to keep things moving along and, much like Tanaka-san, you find that you want to see what crazy thing will happen next….
Neko Ramen, vol. 1: Hey! Order Up!
TOKYOPOP, June 2010
Publisher Age Rating: T/Teen