My sister found the last volume in the $1 section at Book Off, so we immediately bought it. Along with few more volumes of Oishinbo.
Happy! by Monsters author Naoki Urasawa is a tennis manga.
My sister plays tennis, so she likes to pick up any tennis manga. Although we recently haven't read Prince of Tennis. But we do like to read it every so often for laughs.
Anyway, Happy! is about a young female tennis player named Miyuki. Her father taught her tennis & sent her to an expensive private school that had a good tennis program. But her father passed away & she has to take care of her younger siblings... until her older brother gets in trouble with loan sharks & Miyuki is responsible for paying all the money. Or the yakuza loan-sharks will sell her brother's organs, then put life insurance on him and kill him.
Miyuki's only hope of paying back the large sum of debt is to win tennis tournaments & get the prize money.
One thing about Happy! is that it starts out pretty sad & gloomy. And the sadness & gloominess continues throughout the series. It's one of those "oh, she's finally found happiness... oh, but someone gets in the way & she's a little deeper in the hole again" type of story.
And Miyuki is a nice, sweet girl so you want to cheer her on. But the girl's got lots of bad luck. She should have gone to an oharaishi to have all her bad luck washed away first.
And there's an evil girl named Chouko (蝶子) who tries to take down Miyuki in every way possible. I wonder if her name was supposed to be a play on O-chou Fujin (お蝶夫人）from Ace wo Nerae, which is a classic tennis manga. I haven't read Ace wo Nerae, but O-chou Fujin appears in lots of pop culture references.
But in the end, I'm happy with how Happy! ended.
I did read everything out of order, so I should re-read from the beginning. But we're still missing some volumes. We still need to dig through the $1 shelves at Book Off to get the rest of them.
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Likelihood of Company B to license: 0
Even though there are no cultural barriers for sports, sports manga just doesn't do well in the US. Is it because otaku are indoor people? Sports manga always has kandou (感動), the touching moment, where you can cry your eyes out... aah, mottainai. Let's sweat together & cry together with sports manga!