Neko Ramen (Manga)
Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Food, Cooking, Ramen Cat
First Published: 2006 – 2012, 5 manga volumes
Summary: Neko Ramen is a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga. The focus of the comic strip is a cat named Taisho, the owner/chef of the Neko Ramen shop in Japan. Taisho leads an interesting life at the ramen shop, whether he is competing with a new shop across the street or introducing new ramen varieties.
Tanaka, a business man, is the only regular customer at Neko Ramen, even though he does not care for the food. He plays an important role by listening to Taisho and giving suggestions on who to hire on as part-time help at the shop.
Neko Ramen is a wonderful light read. The four-panel strips provide a quick and easy read, even if you only have a minute. There is some variance in the volumes however, with longer stories that provide background and depth to Taisho’s character. The animation is simple, but fitting for the nature of the series. The characters are a fun part of the manga. Taisho and Tanaka are lovable main characters, while several others show up every so often.
You might enjoy this if: You have always wondered how a cat would run a ramen shop. Taisho is great because he will be showcasing his human-like traits, but the cat-side of him almost always comes out in the end. If you want more Neko Ramen, check out the 2007 short-form anime.
You might not like it if: You want a manga with complex and overarching story lines.
Note to the Reader: Neko Ramen makes me think of a Japanese version of Garfield.