Yukiko Gosho has been trying to move on with her life and in the years since her injury from Makoto, she has grown up, gotten a decent job, and even a possible romance with a coworker. But the ghosts of her past resurface and she risks losing her stability to find answers.
While I enjoyed this volume, the ending makes it feel like filler. Fun filler, but filler. The abrupt ending felt less like a cliffhanger and more of a puttering out since once Gosho makes up her mind, all you can think about is what the fallout will be once it’s revealed what has been happening to the vampires in captivity all these years; if they are even still in captivity. Either way, I’m betting Makoto hasn’t been chillin at a hot spring in the years that have passed. 3.7 out of 5 for this one.
Yuuki has left a trail of bodies in his wake and despite Nora’s best efforts, both she and Makoto are captured. Yukiko is still desperately searching for answers with Sakurane.
By the end of this volume, ten years have gone by and the only character we are certain is still alive is Yukiko; which is fine by me since she is my favorite.
I do have to take a moment to talk about the art in this volume. I’m also in the midst of reading Ajin and Tokyo Ghoul so when we get to the obligatory ‘experiment on the creature’ scene in Happiness, I love the different route of making the images trippy, twisted, and distorted. It’s exactly the sort of art I’ve come to adore from Oshimi. It’s very creative and creepy because we know that distortion is Makoto’s pain. Excellent. 4.7 out of 5.
Makoto and Yuuki meet up with Nora but Nora is only interested in helping Makoto. Newly turned and unstable, Yuuki hides with his girlfriend, Nao. Yukiko is determined to find and help them but Makoto remains with Nora to try and help her regain her humanity.
Nora and Yukiko are my favorites so far. Nora isn’t totally brooding as there is this innocence about her that’s really genuine. At the same time, she’s tough and brutally decisive. Yukiko just wants to do the right thing and cure Makoto so she can get her friend back. I’m concerned about her fate as Yuuki is destroying everything around him so it’s only a matter of time before he gets to her.
I am glad I picked up this series. Oshimi is the main reason I bought this because I loved the Flowers of Evil series and this series keeps to that trippy, otherworldliness from its predecessor. I am really enjoying this. 4 out of 5.
After being saved from death by Nora, Makoto grapples with his blood-lust. Nora insists staying with humans will give him nothing but pain but Makoto clings to his friends and family. However, Yuuki was bitten when Makoto tried to save him so when he turns, it brings some strange men to Makoto’s door, who attempt to kidnap him. And these men know about and are prepared for vampirism.
In comparison to a lot of vampire stories these days, this one is fairly subdued. I’ve seen it compared to Let the Right One In and I have to agree. Instead of being loud, flashy, or overly gory; Happiness is taking it’s time to build a moody atmosphere. And again, the art reflects the desperate nature of Makoto’s thirst and ow his perceptions have changed since being turned. Very smartly executed. 4.5 out of 5.
Makoto ends up befriending his former bully, Yuuki, after intervening when Yuuki was going to get beat up by more dangerous bullies. But they go after Makoto for revenge; inciting his new bloodlust and attracting another vampire to the carnage.
In this volume, we also get to learn the name of the girl who turned Makoto; Nora. The volume ends before she does anything to tell us more about her so I am anxious to learn her deal and why she’s interested in Makoto at all. With all the intriguing atmosphere, I guess I expected a little more back story this time but I’ll have to wait for the next volume to find out more. 3 out of 5 for that tease at the end.
Makoto Okazaki is a typical unimpressive high school freshman with more bullies than friends and no girlfriend. One night, a girl attacks him, sucks his blood, and offers to make him like her rather than die there in the street. Makoto wakes up in the hospital with bite marks on his neck and a powerful thirst he can barely control. Normal food is revolting and sunlight hurts him. While he may be strong enough to defend against his attackers, he fears he is becoming something monstrous.
So far, this manga is pretty standard with that setup. Underdog gets supernatural upgrade and now has to navigate life with his new abilities. The art is also fairly standard but the scenes where Makoto zones out under the weight of his cravings are creatively done. Everything warps and bends in addition to panels showing him dizzy and scared. There’s enough in this volume for me to want to read more but I’ll be honest, I don’t think enough has happened yet for me to really rate it on a scale. I guess a 3 but I need more to say for certain.