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. read more
I haven't written a review before so I will ask readers to bear with me. This manga was recommended by someone I consider elite when it come to mangas and animes. I was hooked from the on-set. It is not one of those animes that wastes too much time delving into the main story. Despite the somewhat unrealistic circumstance that surrounds the two main characters, Chiwa and Hokuto, I enjoyed how the author made the development of their relationship very realistic.
For me, both characters strengths lie in the simplicity of their personalities with Chiwa being your average working girl and Hokuto being the serious, rich businessman (with various unusual but pleasant behaviours). I particularly enjoyed the maturity of the characters as adults and not as a highschooler and an adult or both highschoolers.
The sexiness in the story also made it a worthwhile read. At the moment, the smut is not too heavy but there are signs that this coulld possibly change in upcoming chapters. This is currently one of my favourite mangas as it is one of my personal fantasies come to life or in this case, manga.read more
Basically, these two people who do not know each other get married. One is the powerful boss of the company, the other is a little minion who works there. The story follows their relationship, and I guess the basic question of- can you fall in love with someone who doesn't love you? With someone who you did not love before?
I gotta say. I like this this story. The art was fine - it is clean, the expressions are great, and I can follow who is saying what! More importantly though, I like the two main characters. I really enjoy them! Haruto and Chiwa. Chiwa is ditzy and kind, and has the emotional control of a two year old. Haruto is all dark and brooding. And their developing relationship is really sweet!
It isn't particularly deep, and so far, I really like where it is going. It is a little bit smutty, and I suspect that it may get a bit smuttier in the future, but in way that is part of its charm. Ultimately, this is a romantic comedy. I have only read the first three volumes (as it is all I could find. Woe!), but it has been humerous and well paced. Speaking of pace - it is fast paced! gets to the point quickly (they are married in the first chapter!). Despite the lightness of it all, it is quite moving in parts (Chiwa wears her heart on her sleeve) and it is quite sexy in places too!
It is light, and sweet, and I can't wait for it to continue!read more
After hours of searching for a good anime that was not about high school drama, I came across this one manga! This manga is definitely is for a mature audience, if you know what I mean! This made it important for me because I had just finished high school so I wanted to read something a bit more mature.
What I liked about this manga the most was the art. All the characters were drawn beautifully so this made the manga bearable in my part. There is good character development and life lessons that you can apply in your life with your significant other (trust me this manga helped me with my relationship!). The manga also did a great job of showing aspects of a marriage: the struggles, the overcoming of struggles, role as a wife, and role as a husband. Although the story ran a bit slow sometimes, as long as you stick with it you won't be disappointed! In terms of smut, I think there was a perfect amount of it. I didn't come to this manga for smut, but it does add an exciting factor to story. I did not feel nasty seeing it unlike other mangas I have read so that's a plus!
What I did not like about the manga was the cliche poor/hardworking girl marries rich man story line, but it does deviate from that as the story progresses. I did not like how women were portrayed as clumsy, emotional, and just a pretty face. But, then again that's just the typical young female character.