Shoujo – Romance, comedy
5 Volumes (complete)
Out of print
Mikako is a girl with a sister complex. So when her sister is to have an omiai, Mikako takes it upon herself to investigate the guy by living with him. But can they keep their living arrangement a secret, especially when they develop feelings for each other?
I picked up this series for cheap during Right Stuf’s holiday sale ($17 for all 5 volumes). Out of print titles often go sky high once they are no longer available, so I took a chance. But even at $3.40 a volume, was it worth the money? Not really.
Everything in Missile Happy! has been done before. Mikako is your typical overly optimistic, naive, crybaby protagonist. Her love interest is the smart, capable male lead with an ecchi streak. Mikako’s sister plays the comedic overprotective parent dead set on defending Mikako’s innocence. Then there is Rou’s younger brother with a brother complex and the brothers’ father who wants a successor for his business. None of these characters really change during the series outside of slowly accepting the relationship between Mikako and Rou. Even the two leads do not develop; Mikako is still easily embarrassed whenever Rou makes a suggestive comment. I will give credit to Rou sticking to his guns in regards to his dreams and controlling his hormones, especially since they live together for three years.
Happy Missile! is a romantic comedy with the strength of neither. Because they get together in the very first chapter (which is essentially a one-shot), the story deals with the couple staying together while tackling usual shoujo manga problems (jealousy, expressing affection, etc.). Romantic moments are usually as a result of Mikako bursting into tears over her latest worry with Rou having to reassure her. They are short, however, as the next punch line and/or romance lesson monologue has to be close behind. If this series catered more to the comedic angle, the fast pace would better suit the plot. It takes itself a little too seriously, wasting chapters on a friend’s love life and a little boy finding his family. The series was good for a few chuckles mostly to Rou’s forced abstinence. (I did get a good laugh at the father’s secret room.) All except the final volume contain an unrelated one-shot.
The art is rather typical of the 90s shoujo style despite debuting in 2001. This was Kiritani’s debut series, and it actually isn’t too bad. Her art style does change a bit over the course of five volumes but nothing extreme. Mikako and the others all have big, rather intricate eyes, and Kiritani often uses the sd face with oversized closed eyes. Most chapters are pretty fast paced with lots of paneling and thick lines. I don’t think there is a single instance of a two page spread or even a full page spread. This helps keep the plot moving but loses some of the artistic beauty that shoujo manga is known for.
Honorifics are used but not a guide is present. Mikako always refers to Megumi as onee-chan in the original version but by her first name here. There are mistakes (such as mixing up speech bubbles, a common problem in Tokyopop manga) and things missing (the calligraphy banner was done by Rou but is that information is left off the sign). Regular sound effects are left untouched and are not romanized or translated. The text is mostly American-style casual. This is basically classic Tokyopop.
Move on, nothing special here. The only upside is that the series focused on the relationship rather than if Mikako and Rou will get together. Not a terrible series, but I would rather invest my money in a title that leaves more of an impact.