by ヒガ アロハ (Higa Aloha)
A slice-of-life story about a bunch of anthropomorphic animals who regularly meet in a cafe run by a polar bear. The series focuses on the interactions between these regulars, but frequently follows them to their respective jobs, which includes things like taking up part-time work at the local zoo.
Appears to have been reissued following its anime adaptation, but someone should independently verify this:
The original release (larger than a typical manga), which I have, appears to be out of print. It’s linked below anyway for reference.
The new edition is available digitally:
The setting and characters didn’t have the comedic feel or depth I was hoping for, so I haven’t read past the end of the first volume. That being said, it exudes Japaneseness and catching a pun to understand a joke is satisfying.
If the premise sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll probably like it a lot; if it sounds too surreal for you, as it did to me, at the very least, it’s excellent beginner reading practice.
Pros and Cons for the Book Club
- In many ways, this is an easier read than Yotsuba, provided the reader’s vocab isn’t much broader than what WaniKani teaches
- Stories are generally predictable, assuming familiarity with the animals involved, so the writing isn’t regularly throwing non sequiturs at readers
- Visuals and dialogue tend to be in very strong agreement
- Chapters are short
- Full furigana, except for asides and recipe pages (see first additional image)
- Most of the difficulty comes from the wordplay; every chapter includes a scene where a word or phrase is misinterpreted (with a visual aide) four times, and a lot of the jokes may fall flat if you don’t catch the puns
- The humour is very hit-or-miss, depending on the reader
The size of the manga made a few corners a bit fuzzy. You may need to download the files and zoom in.
The first one is too big for Discourse, hence the link.
How much effort would you need to read this book?
- No effort at all
- Minimal effort
- Just right
- Impossible, even with everyone’s help
- I don’t know (please choose this if you’re not voting seriously)