Title: Ramen Ikaga!?
Author: HIGURI You
Asuka Comics, 1997
I decided to step back a few years with this older one-shot release by popular mangaka, HIGURI You. This has always been one of my favorite series by her. It is cute and silly, and compared to the rest of her more serious, historical or dramatic works, this one sticks out like a sore thumb 🙂 I was fortunate enough to get my copy of this book signed by her back in 2001, and at the time, we asked her about this series because it really is quite ridiculous. She said this is what happened when she was asked to do a comedy ^_^ I think she should do comedies more often, because her artwork is beautiful, and the story is a lot of fun.
What would you do if you discovered you had an instant fiance? And by “instant”, I don’t mean one that was foisted on you all of a sudden. I mean one that literally appears after you just add water? This is the crazy situation one cute boy finds himself in one day. Sumire, an average, rather hungry, guy, was minding his own business, getting ready to enjoy some instant ramen he bought at a local convenience store, when all of a sudden the strangest thing happens! After pouring the hot water on his noodles, a guy emerges out of the bowl!
As if having a guy magically appear out of your ramen bowl wasn’t bad enough, this guy happens to be Kanmen, PRINCE of the Cup Ramen world! (There’s a cup ramen world?!). Even better — in the Cup Ramen world, the act of pouring water onto the ramen is a proposal of marriage! Kanmen is tall, with long black hair and Chinese-style clothing. He seems to be confident and mischievous, and doesn’t mind at all that Sumire is a guy. He accepts the proposal!
Now wait a minute! Sumire certainly didn’t have any intention of proposing to the prince of Cup Ramen world, he was just trying to eat dinner! A little old man appears in another ramen bowl, chasing after Kanmen. He is some sort of servant from the Cup Ramen world, and he isn’t too happy at the idea of Kanmen latching onto Sumire. But Kanmen is stubborn. He has accepted Sumire!
Now, whether he likes it or not, Sumire has a male fiance. A magical instant-ramen male fiance! One that ends up shrinking back down to 3 inches tall when splashed with water. Sumire’s hectic days are about to begin! Kanmen likes Sumire a lot, and is very amorous. This makes things difficult for Sumire, who tries to live normally by going to school or going shopping, but has to deal with a clingy Kanmen always hanging around him. But normalcy is not going to happen when you have a magical fiance from a Cup Ramen world. Sumire and Kanmen end up attracting all kinds of bizarre people. From psycho S&M school nurses, to ramen rivals to idol singers and gondoliers, Sumire’s life will never be the same again!
It’s a shame that this series isn’t longer. While I do enjoy HIGURI You’s other works, this one always makes me chuckle. I hope she continues to do comedies along with her more dramatic works. I like the “instant fiance” scenario when it is done in a slapstick sort of way. The art style is older HIGURI You, but still very pretty. Kanmen is a fun character!