Kenji Sonishi's Neko Ramen is definitely one of the best book series I read. I enjoy it on a daily basis. It’s about a cat named Taisho who owns a ramen shop. He has one frequent customer named Tanaka. Taisho is constantly creating different sorts of unusual ramen and having Tanaka test them. On top of that, Taisho hires more part timers than he can count, and most of them don’t do much. There’s Mi Chan who sleeps all day. There’s Shige who steals from the cash register. There’s an elder named Toku who is paid with glasses of milk. There’s the second location guy who runs the second location. There’s Maru who’s a chicken. Finally, there’s a bunch of prairie dogs.
Taisho’s father is the complete opposite of Taisho. While Taisho is a middle class ramen shop owner, his father is a rich and famous cat model who makes $1,000 a day. Taisho ran away from home when he was a kitten and tried many occupations until he settled down with ramen.
A scene I liked was when there was a sign for a new ramen dish called “All Fried Chicken Ramen". Tanaka thought Taisho had fried Maru, but it turned out that Maru cooked the ramen.
The artwork in Neko Ramen is very simple. It appears to be drawn with a pen alone. It has a large charm to it. If you like complex art, this is not for you.