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Manga / Happy Cafe

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If you're feeling sad or depressed, Bonheur Cafe is waiting for you!

Happy Cafe (JP: Shiawase Kissa Sanchoume) is a 15-volume manga series by Kou Matsuzuki.

Sixteen-year-old Uru Takamura is constantly mistaken for a child due to her short height and is uncannily strong. After her mother got remarried, Uru decides to live by herself so she won't burden them. Hearing how happy the customers of the Cafe Bonheur are, Uru resolves to get a job there. Among her co-workers are twenty-year-old Satsuki Shindou and eighteen-year-old Ichirou Nishikawa—the former a yakuza-looking guy on the surface who really has a kind heart and the latter a bishounen who ends up falling asleep whenever he's hungry and can only wake up when fed food.

The manga was serialized in Hana to Yume from 2005 to 2009. It was released in English by Tokyopop up to volume 8, when Tokyopop ceased all operations and the manga stopped publishing. No other licensing company picked it up, and the first eight volumes are incredibly rare as they soon went out of print.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Suzuki, Mitsuka's servant. His father beat him up horribly before he was taken in by her father. There are numerous, visible bandages and bruises during flashbacks.
  • A Day in the Limelight: One of the one-shots included in the volumes is about Arimoto and Aizawa's relationship in middle school. It was actually published before the original series and was meant to be a stand-alone oneshot, but after the series started its run the author decided to incorpore the characters to the story.
  • Alliterative Name: Satsuki Shindou.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: By the end of the series, only Uru and Shindou are in a relationship. Ichirou, Kenshi and Sou all still have unrequited crushes on Uru (the author even mentions in her last volume notes Ichirou will probably love Uru forever and Kashiwa jokes about Sou's three-year long crush on Uru) Chiyo's feelings for Kenshi also linger on.
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  • Arranged Marriage: Mitsuka's father set up an arranged marriage between her and the son of a patron company's president.
  • Berserk Button: Uru and Kenshi share one: Disrespect for a person's name, be it their own or someone else's. It is implied that Kenshi gets it from Uru. The button develops in Uru as a result of her father telling her that a name is the second most important thing given to a child from their parents, aside from their body.
  • Big Eater: Ichirou and Mitsuka.
  • Bodyguard Crush: One of the reasons Suzuki loves Mitsuka, along with Because You Were Nice to Me.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Chiyo, Kenshi's classmate, is half American and has blonde hair and blue eyes. She hates them because when she was younger she was bullied because of them.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Poor Sou...
    • Mitsuka and Suzuki's feelings are reciprocated by each other, but they can't bring themselves to confess.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Most chapters focus on Uru and the Bonheur gang's mishaps and heartwarming actions to give everyone who surrounds them, but the last volumes take a darker tone as the story focuses on Shindou's mother and the circumstances surrounding Uru's father's death.
  • Crushing Handshake: Uru's stepfather greets Shindou in this manner, all the while giving him a "Don't-Touch-My-Daughter" Death Glare.
  • Disappeared Dad: Uru's died when she was very young. She got to see and talk to him after she had an accident in the shop.
    • Shindou has no idea who his biological father is.
  • Doting Parent: Uru's mother and stepfather.
  • Dude Magnet: Uru. Either they have a crush on her or at least try to hit on her for laughs. Even the Girls Want Her, as Mitsuka is extremely devoted to her too and Arimoto noted how she made her smile since the moment she saw her.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Shindou reencounters his mother and discovers who his father is, and the latter offers him to pay for patissier studies in France. Shindou accepts and confesses his feelings to Uru before leaving. Uru accepts them and decides to wait for him to return. The last panels show them meeting again after three years, again at Bonheur Café.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Shindou treats his first name Satsuki in this manner because it's a girl's name.
  • Everyone Can See It: Suzuki's attraction to Mitsuki. Except perhaps the subject herself.
  • Face of a Thug: Shindou has a delinquent-looking appearance, but he loves his work and is very fair to his customers.
  • Friendly Rivalry: The Abekawa's confectionery shop with Bonheur Café.
  • Full-Name Basis: Uru always calls Sou "Abekawa Sou!"
  • Gender-Blender Name: This is why Shindou hates his first name 'Satsuki'.
  • Genki Girl: Uru.
  • Idiot Hair: Uru and Keishi.
  • Happily Adopted: Shindou by the Manager, even if he couldn't tell him initially.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Ichirou, who falls asleep whenever he gets hungry and only wakes up after being fed something.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood:
    • Uru's mother once tied her up and forced her to watch a scary horror movie. Her mother was entertained more by the sheer trauma Uru suffered than the movie itself. That being said, Uru's mother is otherwise an overprotective and Doting Parent so it is played for laughs.
    • Ichirou's narcolepsy and tendency of waking up after eating was developed after his mother found it amusing to make him eat while sleeping.
  • Hidden Depths: In one extra chapter we learn more about Kashiwa, who inside his The Casanova exterior suffered the most when his mother died and his dad remarried another woman.
  • Hot-Blooded: Shindou.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Shindou's classmates when he was young were rude and nasty brats when he revealed that he could bake his own cookies.
    • Chiyo was also bullied by her classmated because of her foreign looks.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Bonheur (of Bonheur Cafe) means "happiness".
    • Shindou's first name Satsuki means "blooming moon," and his mother named him this because he was born on a full moon.
    • Uru means "charm/charming" and her father tells her that he gave her the name because he wanted her to refill energy and positivity in those who needed it.
  • Missing Mom: Shindou's mother abandoned him as a child. Kashiwa and Sou's mother died when they were in elementary school, and his sister Sakura is the child of their father's second wife.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Uru, who has incredible strength in spite of her short stature. One early example is her ability to casually carry forty kilograms of rice in shopping bags, twenty per hand.
  • Oblivious to Love:
    • Uru has no problem sensing other people's relationship issues - typically, just not her own.
    • Shindou, for much of the story, has no idea of his feelings for Uru.
    • Arimoto also has no idea about Aikawa's feelings for her.
  • Official Couple: Uru and Shindou.
  • Older Than She Looks:
    • Uru, who is a second-year high school student at the start of the manga. She's around 150 centimetres tall and incredibly childish. Therefore, people assume she is an elementary school student. Contrast with Mitsuka ...
    • A short story has a male version of this in a newspaper delivery man who looks like a teenager but is in college. Not to mention his mother.
  • Only Sane Man: Uru initially treated herself as this when first getting used to the unsociable Shindou and the uninterested Ichirou. Shindou feels this way whenever Uru and Ichirou are doing their hilarity antics. Mitsuka takes Shindou's place when he is being getting sucked into Uru and Ichirou's chaos.
  • Papa Wolf: Uru's stepfather when he sees Shindou holding Uru's hand. Uru mistakes his protectiveness for friendliness.
    Uru's Stepfather: So, you live next door, huh? Please continue to take very good care of Uru. Don't you dare touch my daughter!
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Inverted with Uru, whose mother and stepfather eventually agreed to let her to live on her own.
    • Played straight with Sindou, whose mother neglected him at a young age.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Uru.
  • Plucky Girl: Uru.
  • Real Men Can Cook: Shindou.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Shindou and Ichirou.
  • The Rival: The Abekawa brothers.
  • The Runaway: Mitsuka in her introductory chapter. Not so much after that since her conflict was resolved.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • The Manager for Shindou/Uru.
    • 'Abekawa Dad' for Sou/Uru.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Hot-Blooded Sou and Perpetual Smiler Kashiwa Abekawa.
  • Spit Take: Shindou has one when Uru learns what his first name is.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Jirou looks a lot like his big brother Ichirou. Once he cuts his hair, Ichirou looks exactly likes his father. This is noted in-series and Played for Laughs.
    • Keishi looks a lot like Uru's late father. Considering the date of his death was the same as Keishi's birthday, he notes his grandfather told him he may be his reincarnation.
  • Teen Genius: Shindou had skipped a few grades and graduated from high school at fifteen years old. Subverted with Ichirou, who while studying at an advanced placement high school, is repeating his third year.
    • However it's shown that Ichirou has consistently placed first in his school, so his repeating a grade likely has to do with his narcolepsy.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Uru and Mitsuka.
    • Among Uru's school friends, Arimoto is the tomboy and the vice-president the girly girl.
  • Tsundere: Sou.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance:
    • Mitsuka and her mother. Aside from the expressions on their faces (Mitsuka's mother almost always has doe eyes), they are identical.
    • Ichirou and his father.
  • When He Smiles: Shindou usually has a grumpy expression on his face. When he smiles, however, it always surprises Uru at how warm his expression becomes.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: When Shindou lifts a sleeping Ichirou up, Uru tells Shindou to "please continue" while peeking. Shindou's reaction—"I don't know what you're expecting, but it's pissing me off."
  • Younger than She Looks:
    • Mitsuka, who is a middle schooler but looks like she should be taking Uru's place in high school.
    • A short story features a 14-year old girl who constantly gets confused for a housewife.

Alternative Title(s): Shiawase Kissa Sanchoume