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Happiness 1 Paperback – September 27, 2016
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“A stunning new horror manga. A supernatural story that blends coming-of-age suburban humor and life (ala STRANGER THINGS and PAPER GIRLS) with the horrific, and it’s fantastic!” -Third Eye Comics
“Shuzo Oshimi is a manga artist who is not afraid to play with your feelings. Refreshing…in a well explored genre.” -Turnaround Blog
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyhoo... If you are not familiar with the amazing Shuzo Oshimi, then you should be! Flowers of Evil is one of my favorite mangas of all time! Don't judge it by the anime, which sports the most terrible art style ever...
The first volume is a lot of setup. I won't get into details, but there is definitely a lot going on. The manga balances characterization and action quite well so that the reader doesn't feel like they are being dragged along through non-stop shonen action, and neither are the trudging along through hundreds of pages of tedious back story.
Oshimi already showed us he can craft an amazing story even with a seemingly mundane premise (like Flowers of Evil - it's basically a psychopathic teen coercing a classmate to perform terrible deeds - and you should read it!). This is an amazing start to what should be a terrific and terrifying series!
Please, give it a read!
The rest of Happiness 1 is a continuation of the day to day life of Okazaki as he comes to terms with his new form and urges and navigates life in a Japanese school.
The story is pretty short, I went through this manga in a single sitting, and not overly engaging. By the end of Happiness 1, not much has happened and it sets up Happiness 2. Personally, I'm not super into this story. If you're a huge fan of Japanese culture and have wanted to read about the life of a Japanese teenage boy who turns into a vampire this might be the book for you. For me, the jumping off point is here with the first book. It's not that I dislike it, just not something that I'm willing to follow further.
Also, I should note that the Kindle/book preview pages are only the first few pages of the book. These are glossy, color pages. The rest of the book is in standard black and white, non-glossy format.
Decent manga but not for me.
This is the apparent start of a series so it ends leaving the reader wanting to know more. This is fine for this type of book, though frustrating if you do not read many graphic novels. The story does not finish at the end of the book so it is not a stand-alone novel - not at all unexpected.
I have seen novels with better artwork, but I have seen worse too. This one is not bad at all for the artwork. I would say this one is very middle-of-the-pack in terms of the quality and detail of the drawings. It’s slightly different than most manga I have seen, but this is neither good nor bad unless you are a purist.
Where this novel fails is the storyline. It is a fairly predictable vampire story and I found myself knowing what was coming as I worked through, even on very minor details. It also feels very rushed and tries to cover too much ground too quickly. It would have been much better if the author had slowed down, planned for a longer series and stretched it out a little. When I finished it, it did not leave me with a burning desire for the next book.
This is not a bad graphic novel, but it is not a particularly good one either. If you are very serious about graphic novels then this one is likely to be somewhat disappointing; if you are new to the genre, it’s not unacceptable.
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