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House of 1000 Manga - Ristorante Paradiso and Gente




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Setsurai



Joined: 17 Apr 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 3:29 pm Reply with quote
I was in Japan I remember seeing he had done some one piece yaoi which I found interesting just how many fantastic mangaka's got started doing those.
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corinthian



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 4:43 pm Reply with quote
I'm surprised it escaped mention, but an anime was made of Ristorante Paradiso which encompasses all of that eponymous volume as well as some of the side stories from Gente. It was my first exposure to the series and to Natsume Ono, whose distinctive style I had seen on shelves but not yet purchased. I feel like Ono's style is better suited to manga, perhaps because a stationary physical medium is a bit more forgiving of rougher atypical art styles compared to television.

That aside, Ristorante Paradiso is a charming little series, and Ono does a good job of creating a world that feels peaceful and intimate. Like Shaenon says, you'll know if you'd like it. And with a one volume main story, it's not a big investment if you just want to make a small visit.
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albanian



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 69
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 4:52 pm Reply with quote
Having come to Natsume Ono through the Ristorante Paradiso anime (and then the equally captivating House of Five Leaves) I have managed to snap up all of her manga in English. I have found them all quite fascinating - even if the appearance of her characters does take some getting used to.

It is true that Gente is more diffuse and less consistent than Ristorante Paradiso but, taken as a whole, the works form an utterly charming fantasy on the idiosyncrasies of the Italian citizenry and their obsession for food and wine (not to mention old guys with glasses - speaking as an old guy with glasses who also has an obsession with food and wine!)
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Roxas4ever



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 6:22 pm Reply with quote
I picked Ristorante Paradiso up two years ago with a few reservations. I'm not into bespectacled elders, and Ono's art style does not appeal to my general aesthetics, but I found this manga charming and a nice break from my usual reads. I actually enjoyed Gente more than Ristorante Paradiso, even if it's less structured than its predecessor.
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 536
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 8:20 pm Reply with quote
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Ristorante Paradiso. When I first saw Ono's art years ago, I thought it was ugly. That prevented me from trying out any of her works. However, my view changed over time, though I still don't like how she draws eyes. They just look dull to me.
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melmouth



Joined: 19 May 2012
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 8:01 am Reply with quote
I have no interest in fancy food at all, so I generally automatically skip all manga and anime that revolve around it.

But I do happen to be a middle-aged...er, OLD...man with glasses! And since I was 20 I've always revered Europe, and particularly Italy, as the western world's home of civilized living and refinement.

I will definitely now be checking out this manga. Your review opened my mind to a possibly excellent experience I would otherwise have missed.
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rizuchan



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 294
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 8:30 am Reply with quote
Quote:
t can be jarring for aging otaku like Jason and myself to read BL manga where the “experienced older man” character is well under 30 (but has had time to establish a career as a politician/hotel-chain owner/police detective/blind psychic chiropractor)


This is so frustrating to me, but I find it not too difficult to simply ignore the cannon age of these characters, especially since they never act that young. Kind of like how the Sailor Scouts are technically in middle school, but with those bodies? Riiiiiiight. I just put my fingers in my ears and pretend the young CEO is in his mid-30s like he more realistically should be.

But speaking of this frustration, this is part of the reason I've been wanting to check out Ristorante Paradiso, but I haven't decided if I really want to buy the anime. Maybe checking out the manga would be a good compromise. Still, I'm frustrated that the Ristorante Paradiso guys are just a little too old. I like older men but not quite to the oyaji level. Where can I get a manga about guys in their 30s and 40s?
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lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 5:29 pm Reply with quote
On the one hand, I really want to like Ristorante Paradiso / Gente. I like Ono's work, I like atmospheric slice of life, I'm not crazy about wine but I can cope. Old men in glasses are fine, in and of themselves, and stories about sexy older people are nice, in and of themselves.

But. The audience for Manga Erotics F is not middle-aged; I believe they're mostly in their 20's and early-to-mid 30's. Ono herself is not middle-aged; she's in her late 30's. Nicoletta is around 21. So this is manga catering to a "sexy older man" fetish for women, both readers and characters, who are mostly young enough to be these guys' daughters.

Which is a) the same old BS that women have been force-fed for millennia, and b) where are the sexy older women? Olga's there, but she's not the protagonist (and plus she's a mess, like Shaenon says). There's a few in the Gente books, here and there, but they're mostly not as prominent or as appealing as the men.

I'd be much happier about these stories if they were about sexy older men for an audience of similarly-aged women. Or if Nicoletta was also in her 50's like Claudio, the guy she has a crush on, rather than a barely-adult woman with an icky post-Freudian father complex. As it is, they're adding their little mite to the stack of bullsh*t that says women should be attracted to men because they're mature and sophisticated and experienced, rather than themselves getting to be mature, sophisticated, and experienced (and nail nubile young men who are all impressed and turned on by their sexy old woman-ness).*

So yeah, great manga, reprehensible message.

[* And don't talk to be about how "love is blind" or how "you're being ageist". You get to make those arguments when there are as many real-life couples where the woman is twice her boyfriend's age as couples where the man is twice his girlfriend's age, as many "sexy middle-aged women" stories as "sexy middle-aged men" stories, and when men are expected to be attracted to mature experienced older women just as much as women are expected to be attracted to mature experienced older men.]


Last edited by lebrel on Fri May 23, 2014 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 5:38 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
I like older men but not quite to the oyaji level. Where can I get a manga about guys in their 30s and 40s?


There are a sprinkling of BL/josei stories about guys in their early-to-mid 30's, but that's about where it tops out before getting to the oyaji level. I think the main driver of this is that Japanese women generally stop reading "story" manga in their 20's or early 30's*, so even in josei-targeted works there's mainly characters the age of the men the readership might be dating (college to mid-30's), and characters for the oyaji fetishists, and nothing in between.

* True crime / true confessions / scandal-sheet-type-stuff manga for housewives skews a little older, and old-fart-targeted gag 4-koma is eternal (basically the equivalent of US newspaper strips), but I doubt any of that would do well on the US market. Maybe a compilation volume à la that Spiderman manga thing...
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poonk



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 1357
Location: Shelving with Dojo

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 6:40 pm Reply with quote
lebrel wrote:
[Women] getting to be mature, sophisticated, and experienced (and nail nubile young men who are all impressed and turned on by their sexy old woman-ness).
Sorry to go a bit off-topic but if this concept appeals to you, could I recommend the recent K-drama Secret Love Affair, about a 20 year-old piano student who falls in love with his 40 year-old instructor? It's quite good (this coming from someone who generally doesn't care for straight-up melodramas) and full of lovely classical music, not to mention some really, er, orgasmic piano-playing scenes (seriously, their duets made me blush). If you're interested, you can watch it free in its entirety on DramaFever.

Back on topic: While I really loved House of Five Leaves (the art didn't bother me a bit-- I actually think it's quite lovely, sort of like woodcuts almost with its thick lines), I was a bit "meh" about Ristorante Paradiso. While I can see the appeal of some much-older men (just as some much-younger men) as individuals, the fetish itself is lost on me; so without much else happening plot-wise I thought it was kind of a snooze and so did not bother picking up Gente.
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lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 9:30 am Reply with quote
poonk wrote:
Sorry to go a bit off-topic but if this concept appeals to you, could I recommend the recent K-drama Secret Love Affair, about a 20 year-old piano student who falls in love with his 40 year-old instructor?


Thanks for the rec; actually I prefer age-matched couples, it's just that if there's going to be an age difference it annoys me that it's almost always m>f.

I agree that the art on House of Five Leaves is lovely. I like Ono's art generally, and like you said it suits the era very well.
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