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Neko Ramen, Vol. 2: Curry Is Also Delicious


Neko Ramen, Vol. 2: Curry Is Also Delicious

Taisho is a special kind of cat. Not only can be talk, but he runs a ramen restaurant.

Wearing an apron and headband, Taisho serves up ramen to Tanaka, a young man who repeatedly returns to the restaurant and has conversations with the talkative feline. Neko Ramen is usually written in the form of four-panel strips, though sometimes there are exceptions to the rule. It’s a comedy that goes for the absurd and the random.
Taisho, you see, isn’t content just running his ramen restaurant. He schemes to make it better and more popular. This includes everything from serving different types of food to getting robots to work there. At first, Neko Ramen is just an oddball read of weirdness, but if you keep going and get used to its style, then you can appreciate its humor. Some parts of it are quite funny, especially toward the end, and the rest of it goes for the cute and/or zany. There’s not really a plot, as this reads like a bunch of short comic strips. Taisho’s schemes for a better business run throughout, and curry keeps coming up in storylines. Besides that, it’s kind of all over the place. It’s not as if this has a clear beginning, middle, and end.
The talking cat is pretty wild (and not just the idea—I mean the cat’s personality as well). Tanaka is there as the cool, collected voice of reason. Many panels star only the two of them. However, a few other characters pop in, like Tanaka’s father, who wants to learn how to make ramen. The way Taisho teaches him, you’d think they were doing something heroic. But the entertainment value of Tanaka’s father pales in comparison to Taisho’s father. Taisho’s father (named William Thomas Jefferson II) is a cat model. You heard that right. (Is it a bad pun to say he’s good at cat walks?) He’s a beautiful cat with a bow on his head, and, despite how great stories around him would be, he’s barely in this book. Taisho’s mother also only pops in briefly, trying to get Taisho to marry a nice cat and stop running a ramen shop.
Yes, Neko Ramen is really out there. Its absurdity isn’t for everyone, but it definitely has a unique appeal to it.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on July 10, 2012

Neko Ramen, Vol. 2: Curry Is Also Delicious
by Kenji Sonishi

  • Publication Date: September 28, 2010
  • Genres: Graphic Novel
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: TokyoPop
  • ISBN-10: 1427817804
  • ISBN-13: 9781427817808