Men: they're the root of Takanashi Chiwa's problems, which is why she never had the time nor the opportunity to have a boyfriend in her entire life. A full-time office lady and a part-time hostess, she works night and day to pay off her dad's debt from his failed business. One night at her part-time job, a high-class customer has her fired. Then the next day, she's called in to see the president—whom she had never even seen before in the office—only to find out she's to marry him! But what kind of guy is Mamiya Hokuto anyway? Will he become one of Chiwa's problems, or will he save her from them? And will this marriage even last?!
The saying ‘never judge a book (manga) by its cover’ is like a spot-on adage when it comes to Hapi Mari.
The series starts off with an overused plot: poor-girl-marries-rich-stranger-to-pay-off-father’s-debts and whether there could be true love in a marriage that was built upon a monetary mutually beneficial arrangement.
Despite the cliched plot and smutty moments (which to my surprise wasn’t that overwhelming), the story itself actually has depth and I was somewhat amazed at how the concept of marriage is exemplified here.
The mangaka adopts a realistic approach towards illustrating the challenges young couples struggle with in today’s society. Chapters are often slapped
with small bickering, huge fights, jealousy over an ex-flame, making up and then fights and making up again. Yet it is though these bits and parcels of encounters that the main characters know each other better, establish and strengthen that romantic connection that was absent at the beginning.
Within the context of Hapi Mari, conflicts are often made intricate because of differences in values, priorities and statuses between the couple. What make it appealing is how the characters, from diverse upbringings and backgrounds search for ways to balance that chemical equation to keep the marriage going. As the story goes, what turns out to be a superficial marriage-on-paper pact evolves into something that ties the main characters together beyond ways they could ever imagine.
What I like about this series is the sensible practical approach the characters take when faced with issues and conflicts. It’s nothing you get from shoujo titles where the hero goes beyond being an impossible romantic and does things to protect the heroine that readers know will never happen in reality.
Here in Hapi Mari, the hero, Hokuto, is one ego-centric character who despite all the glamour and success, is a guy with many flaws and a dark past. As the story develops, his flaws amplified but yet at the same time, he builds up that warm compassionate side of him and breaks that cold exterior because of influences from the heroine.
The heroine, Chiwa, whisked in with that strong tough girl image who doesn’t tolerate nonsense from guys. But as the story progresses, she becomes more and more vulnerable and often relies on Hokuto to save her from distress. Despite that, I have no complaints with the shedding off of her tough girl image – I believe it is the mangaka’s way of sending the message that even the strongest woman becomes the most susceptible when it comes to love.
As well as the saying of opposite attracts goes, when these two people from different worlds meet, it creates a chemistry that bounds them together. The characters are by no means perfect and yet they still portray that level of maturity that is simply relatable.
Coupled with the issues they face in life (and when I mean issues, they are SERIOUS-PRACTICAL –I-MEAN-REAL-SH*T-ISSUES and not your high school child-like conflicts), these makes the series one that strike a balance between being entertaining and sensible at the same time.
The artwork is clean and crisp. The characters are decently drawn with a pleasing level of attractiveness. Although readers won’t be able to find gorgeous bishonens with dreamy eyes here, the artwork is fine enough to not deter readers from the series.
Like what previous reviewers have pointed out, the artwork on the manga cover definitely doesn’t do justice to the artwork and the appearances of the characters inside.
Within josei-romance genre, Hapi Mari has done a decently good job that satisfies readers into buying the story. Well at least for me, I was pretty entertained throughout the chapters and not once did I consider dropping the manga.
This is definitely not a manga with cheap smut (which was the initial impression I got judging the cover) and shallow story development. It stands on its own the pride and hard work of the mangaka. Overall a very entertaining and fulfilling read.
I have really enjoyed every bit of Hapi Mari. Hokuto... and Chiwa.. their love is absolutely the best kind. I was mesmerized by Hokuto's love and affection to his lover, Chiwa.
The characters are well put together, you can emotionally get attached to them and get lost in the great art. The story and overall was perfect.
I don't think I will read a better romance manga than this ever again.
(I intentionally listened to the song: Rude- Eternal Youth. Which made the atmosphere while reading way too intense).
I find it overrated. Josei plot with shoujo approach. The result is what happens when an ok chef try avant garde menu, still edible but obviously feels like a waste as a simpler menu will taste batter. If you're still puberty, this will be an awesome series. But if you past those hormones-filled phase, you won't find it as great as people claim.
But hey, the story is full of pleasure buttons of shoujo genre, so if you like it, it might help to dull the faults. I mean, being average and offering no benefit to the relationship, but receiving uncondional love from a cool handsome
rich guy who sometimes throw cheesy lines... that's one giant familiar pleasure button setting. If it's a thing for you, go ahead and read, but don't expect good characters or plot.
I gotta admit the first few chapters is so painful, so much that I wanna drop it right away. But it gets better fast, at least the painful parts, many major faults remains until the series ended. But I gotta admit it is not entirely average as the story can give some pleasure, which is why I give it 6/10
The last chapters exceptionally filled with "aww" scenes, so I understand people that evaluate the whole series with a big bias. But its core plots still riddled with faults, so I can't just give it a 7/10. It's like saying a restaurant with bad menu is good overall just because you enjoy the final dessert.
Shallow characters, not only the "perfect man" but even also the main protagonist.There is no good show of motivation behind the characters' action. All motivations or internal conflict are skin deep. This also includes *vague spoiler* the guy deliberately hurting the girl, physically by pressing on her wounds (don't worry, doesn't effect plot at all, which also makes it even worse).
Storytelling might be a little confusings. Sometimes the characters jumps across the setting in terms of time, place, or thoughts. Not to the extend that you can't get the idea, but seriously leave you hanging because no proper transition.
Many topics used within definitely need further research. Many are just big false assumptions that in a way neglectable for young audience in their puberty, but will be incoherent for mature individuals. Especially regarding work ethics and life, the office and family politic is also too shallow.
It's a real pity, if the mangaka mature further both as a person and a mangaka, this series actually has a potential to be a josei masterpiece.
tldr: read it if you are just looking for a smutty josei/shoujo manga with no real substance in terms of plot
story - 4, started off decent and went downhill
art - 8, falls into the “pretty” category
character - 4, some side characters are amusing but the lack of dimension really shows in the main characters
enjoyment - 4, poor plot and characters ruined my enjoyment despite the art
overall - 5, the art can’t cover the poor areas of the manga
This is far from the worst manga that I’ve ever read but it puzzles me how it managed to get such a high rating. I had enjoyed the
story initially but lost interest as the same pattern kept repeating in the plot.
A “forced marriage” plot is not that original but the beginning of the story was set up pretty well. It started going downhill when the two main characters repeatedly REFUSED to talk about their issues face to face and just kept avoiding each other, keeping secrets and throwing tantrums. The female lead basically lost all of her initially strong-willed personality as the story progressed, reduced to just a lovesick woman that has a great figure and is great at housework. It didn’t help that she was intentionally protrayed as an idiot that can’t understand a single word in the economics newspaper.
I don’t know if the original meaning was lost in translation but the male lead often threaten to RAPE the female lead which really disturbed me too.
The potential “rivals” introduced never seemed like they stood a chance and sometimes felt like just filler material for the story. The reveal(s)/plot twist(s) were unsurprising and there wasn’t any sense of fulfilment gained from them. The ending was abrupt and felt like the mangaka just wanted to finish up the story.
The art style is pretty but the poor plot and characters really ruined my overall enjoyment of the manga. Majority of the chapters are littered with some smut too so if you’re into that it’s there. The setting (office workplace) and the ages of the characters (mid to late 20s) suggest that it would be a Josei manga but the actual characters themselves and the plot makes it lean a lot more towards a Shoujo manga.