With manga, that go-to-place is Yugi Yamada's oeuvre.
It isn't so much that these works are Pollyanna "pick me ups" (All is Right with the World!). Rather, they come from a place of hearty realism (even The Princess Bride). Without being maudlin or even overly optimistic, they carry within them a joie de vivre that results, by its nature, in happy endings.
|Yugi Yamada's works often include a full cast of|
|lovers, friends, cousins, friends of friends--|
|who fight, play jokes, lend support, and share taxis.|
They also show up in more than one manga. One of the delightful aspects of Yugi Yamada's work is not only the illustrations, in which people actually look like they have flesh and bones, but the "guest" appearances of characters from other manga. The world feels real, full of people going about their everyday lives, falling in and out of friendships, maintaining relationships, and so on. Naoki, for instance, shows up in a number of manga and Yugi Yamada short stories, both as a main character and as a minor character.
Yugi Yamada's manga short stories were the first I encountered that struck me as fully developed (more than mere premises). Her stories are also the first I encountered which even when unhappy, avoided the sinkhole of despair. Because short stories have to resolve quickly, short story writers too often capitulate (in manga and other mediums) to death, despair, and a lack of resolution.
Yugi Yamada, however, manages to end stories, even if sadly, without implying that the world has also ended. Because often, the world doesn't end. Icarus falls from the sky, and the shepherd keeps plowing his field.
|Life goes on for the troubled antagonist in Dry Heat as well.|