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Book Cover for Happy-Go-Lucky Days Vol. 2
Happy-Go-Lucky Days Vol. 2
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Publisher: DMG
eISBN: 9781613134696
Language: English
Release: 05/02/2013
Age Rating: Mature (18+)

A woman finds herself crying in a bathroom as she watches her high school girlfriend exchange vows with a man—but a chance encounter may help things turn out better than she thinks. Meanwhile, a boy teeters on the brink of puppy love, no thanks to his meddling, A.V. actress of a cousin, and two wayward spirits, unable to touch the world around them, try to forge bonds with the people who can see them. The world may seem a little melancholy, but things just might come up roses in these eight sweet, sexy, and subtle vignettes by Takako Shimura.

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  Slice of life (and afterlife)
by elae  06/28/2013
Short story collections always have some highlights and some let downs-- but I'm a big fan of Shimura's style and pacing, so even her less successful stories are better than average.

Story 1: Two women meet at the wedding of a woman they both went out with, and share their complaints about the woman who broke their hearts. I really like this one; the body language in particular feels very natural. They lounge around in their underwear, watching TV. It feels very real.

Story 2: This one is a little hard to follow. Shimura likes to start in the middle of a story and slowly fill in the background of the plot and characters. I'm not sure it was successful here. I think it's about a young woman who has missed her chance at being a singer, hooking up with her now ex-manager.

Story 3: A woman lives in an apartment that she shares with the ghost of a man. This one jumps around a lot too, with flashbacks that only last a few panels, but it's more understandable. Conversation in this one was a little stilted, so it was hard to connect to the characters.
EDIT: Just realized this one was a sequel to a one-shot from Happy Go Lucky Days volume 1. That's probably why it didn't work well on its own.

Story 4: A fifth grader has to deal with sharing his room with a cousin who was kicked out of her home for being in a porn video. This one is much easier to follow, and the dialogue worked really well. The fact that a 20-year-old woman sexually harasses a 5th grade boy may turn off some readers.

Story 5: Another lesbian story, about a woman in love with her roommate, who is straight. The pacing of this one works really well. Shimura loves to draw deadpan expressions.

Story 6: A follow-up to story 4, set a few years later, from the point of view of the boy's female friend-- who took the video off his hands. Having watched the porn video still impacts how they interact with each other, and their budding relationship.

Story 7: You can tell this one is a bit earlier in Shimura's career-- her style isn't quite as confident, and face shapes aren't as consistent. The ghost of a girl acts as a bumbling cupid in the life of an elementary school teacher. The story is a little weak as well.

Story 8: Not a fan of the editing job in this chapter, in particular how the various city and shop signs weren't edited out-- they just added another equally large box with the text somewhere else in the frame. It makes the images very crowded. Storywise, this one is about a divorced woman (and mother) attempting to start her life again, working at a deli. It rounds out the story well, with the final line of "It's going to be okay."
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