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.
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.
It's a mind blowing manga for a normal american girl like me.
It'll give you highs and lows and keep you interested. If you like romance mixed with a lot of drama this is probably the story for you.
I really enjoyed the story, and it kept me wanting more. I basically was real sad when it ended. But be warned, theres a lot of smut, and I mean ALOT! But if that's your thing (it is mine, smut makes for an interesting story most of the time) then this will be a great manga for you to read. If you don't like smut, don't read it.
The romance kept me on my toes, and I was jumping in my seat like a girl my age would do normally.
The art work is really cool. I mean it was fun to look at and the main characters are very handsome and beautiful. The bodies were drawn fabulously when they were naked (Don't worry manga doesn't fully portray genitals or breasts so you really won't see that, but there is a suggestion that they are there).
The characters were developed very nicely. You learn about both of their pasts, and why they are both so wounded in their hearts. Why they need someone to love and want to protect one another.
I enjoyed this manga full hardheartedly. It's in my favorite manga list. I only have 5 places for other manga and this made the top 5.
You should read this manga if your into smut, romance, and drama, and an interesting plot.
The manga starts off like a Mills and Boons romance. A super rich, handsome and young company president enters into a contract marriage with a cute,immature and poor girl. The characters are developed nicely. They slowly learn about life and each other and become irreplaceable to each other. As the story progresses it convincingly deals with the various facets of marriage. Though the background of the story is too outrageous, one feels that such problems can be faced by any normal couple. The manga shows how much hard work a marriage needs. The male lead Hokuto is excessively handsome and dresses fabulously. The other
male characters too are quite handsome and well drawn. The chibi panels are very cutely drawn. All the characters are strong. But the female lead Chiwa becomes weak and secondary in the end. The manga was unputdownable. I could not stop without finishing it.