One day the Yakuza comes knocking on the door of the orphaned Umino siblings. The oldest brother has gone into hiding after acquiring a huge debt. Afraid for her brother, Miyuki agrees to take responsibility for the loan. The yakuza wants her to become a ho, Miyuki wants to be a tennis pro. Turns out she used to be a very promising player before her parents died. However, becoming a pro is difficult when friends are few and everybody else conspires to make Miyuki's life hell.
Happy! is an ironic name for this manga as there isn't really anything happy about this manga at all. Happy! is story of beating the odds and taking it home through tennis. In this story, you will meet everyone trying to screw over Umino, but she always proves everyone wrong as she overcomes any impossible hurdle placed on her by her enemies. You will end up rooting for her because of her unhappy circumstances and how she overcomes these issues as well as how useless some of her companions are.
Naoki Urasawa is a pretty sneaky writer, the more you read Happy! the more you realize
tennis is just a tool for him to add in the psychological plots which he is most known for. If you are thinking Happy! would have a lot of technical shounen-esque tennis content, you are reading the wrong manga. A lot of Happy! is about dealing with human relationships. I would say this writing strategy becomes very repetitive as almost every arc is about Umino's enemy setting her up to get the reader's blood boiling because Umino seems to be always oblivious about it.
Now for the characters, besides Sakurada, it seems like all the antagonists in this manga are heartless and one-dimensional. They all have the same mindset that they think Umino is a fake, got lucky, and they all want to ruin her life. The same could also be said for Umino's rivals with a few exceptions. Oh and as far as the sport rivalry dynamic is concerned, there is very very very little if any. It is really about Umino overcoming life hurdles thrown at her, so there isn't gonna be any training camps or that rubbish you see in every shounen manga.
The art is pretty good, very easy to interpret the panels and very easy to tell which character is an antagonist and who isn't. The games are also drawn really well, no flashy crazy name techinques or exaggerated movements. Just simple run back and forth and different strikes.
I would have to say the only thing I did not like about Happy! is the ending, it felt like there should've been more to say and I didn't like the result of the last game, it felt very forced.
Yeah… this manga hasn’t actually reached America yet, but that doesn’t stop me from reading the series online and posting a review about it so far. Another fantastic story from the master of suspense and drama, Naoki Urasawa.
This story follows a teenage girl called Miyuki Umino. One day, her brother disappears, leaving her with a 250 million yen debt that needs to be paid off to the Japanese mafia. Her only chance they give her is to work in a soapland, but she jumps at a better chance, to become a professional tennis player.
As the story moves on, we meet plenty of
villains and very little heroes in this curel and dark world known as women’s tennis. This story, provided with great characters, the feeling of suspense, and not knowing what will happen to this heroine makes this a story you’ll want to read from beginning to end. The sad part of this story is that there seems to be too much villains which is kind of sad since things are always getting harder for her.
If you read any of Naoki Urasawa’s previous works, you already known that this guy does a great job of making the world come to life. The characters are nicely drawn, but the part I dislike is that almost all of the females are ugly with a capital U besides our main character. The world itself is nicely drawn, but a lot of the rooms seem sometimes bland in a few areas.
Even with my previous review of Negima, I have never met such a wonderful cast of amazing and such realistic characters! Our heroine we can easily feel sympathy for because the emotions are clearly given out well. Her friends we can relate to and sometimes find ourselves thinking that would we go so far to try to help our own friend. Even some of the villains in the end up turning around and turning out to be not such a bad person after all.
Now as for the villains, oh my God, I have never met such an evil cast of characters in my life. What makes them so bad is that what they do is something a person can do to you in real life. The main character’s villain is such a… b that I just want to strangle her little neck! The other villains really bring out the worst in humans that we just have to despite them.
I have never enjoyed such a thrilling manga like this before, though Monster and The Drifting Classroom in my mind still can’t compete. This is the best sports comic I have ever read in my life and probably will be forever. Once you start reading, you’ll never want to stop.
The greatest sports manga of all time, hands down is this. The best set of characters of all time can for sure be found here. This comic has its weaknesses, what manga doesn’t anyhow? Don’t skip this series if you enjoy sports, Naoki Urasawa, or just manga at all.
This series contains nudity, sexual scenes, and strong language. If that stuff isn’t your scene, it is best to avoid this series.
Happy! is an interesting sports manga that tells the story of a resourceful girl who tries to become a professional in tennis to pay off her brother's massive debts.
Before reading any further, I must warn readers that I am not particularly fond of sports manga, and given the choice, I will almost certainly choose just about any other genre. Thus, I don't have too much experience in grading such manga. As such, my grades are subjective to my current tastes.
I like the plot, but I have given it a score of 7. This is a very subjective grading system. To many other people, this
manga would probably score a lot higher in this section. But I was just completely frustrated with the plot. Don't even try to marathon this - you will just end up tearing your hair out while screaming at your computer screen. I like the twists, and to a certain extent, I like where the manga is headed. But it is simply a pain to see a good girl like Umino being plagued by endless torrents of misfortune. Hence, the lowered grade.
I liked the art and I have given it a 9. Most of the characters are very well drawn and they fit their personalities - sometimes too much so. The sickening smiles on most of Umino's enemies, in particular Ryugasaki, is certainly a giveaway of their true nature. In some respect, this actually enhances the aforementioned feeling of frustration I feel when reading this manga.
I have given a 6 for the characters. This is the lowest in any section I have graded for this manga. This is because with the sole exception of a handful of characters, the rest are a pile of cliche in bodies that only show these qualities. The most interesting character in my opinion, was Keiichiro. He would generally be considered a pathetic being or a man without a spine - indeed barely a man at all. However, we soon get flashbacks regarding his upbringing which can explain this character of his and the reader is invited to continue his character development in their minds as he inevitably develops some will of his own to stand for himself. Another interesting character is the MC among the Yakuza. He's just awesome. I think the two men complement each other very well by filling in the gaps in their judgement. The rest of the characters are extremely stereotypical and frankly, one begins to hate them for simply being in the way. Of course, Kaku is not included here, but I am yet to make up my mind about Kaku.
For enjoyment, I have rated this manga a 7. This is certainly not a manga that is hard to enjoy. Frankly, I felt absorbed and wanted to continue reading. At the end of each chapter, the next would beckon with great force, such that soon I was flying across chapters. However, at the end of a long period of reading, I have just become fed up with the endless amount of suffering one person has to go through. I just wish this were a romance manga instead and that Umino would just find a good man who could support her through her tribulations.
Overall, I have graded this manga an 7. It is certainly worth a read if you are interested in the sports manga gene and wish to have your heartstrings strummed by the misfortunes of a high school girl who has to live in a virtual hell. Otherwise, I would recommend giving the first few chapters a whirl anyway. It might stick on you. However, if you find it hard to read through the first major competition in the manga, consider dropping it, as the pacing and the plot structure remains quite similar for a while.
Tennis has been around in anime for some time now, but the number of series dedicated to it are surprisingly low. In the following list, we'll take a look at five popular tennis anime, including not only iconic classics, but also some newbie gems!