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REVIEW: Antique Bakery Sub.DVD

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Joined: 01 Jan 2006
Posts: 110
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:37 am Reply with quote
I thought I'd disagree with a review that sort of trashed what I thought was a pretty good adaptation of one of my favourite manga, but it seemed really fair and balanced until ooooh. This:
The intriguingly ambiguous ending sits cheek-to-cheek with patly resolved relationships, and the earnest championing of homosexuality is nestled next to casually exploited homosexual domestic abuse. It is, as you may have gathered, an often frustratingly uneven experience.
feels wrong.

I don't know how much Fumi Yoshinaga you've read, but her characters are always Just People. As in, if they're a dickhead who abuses their boyfriend, it's because they're a dickhead - not because they're gay. And if they're sweet and gentle when it comes to rebuffing or accepting the advances of their somewhat simple colleague, it's not because they're gay, it's because they're self-aware and quite a nice person.

Ono has probably my favourite portrayals of any gay character in anything, ever. He thinks he should act in a certain way because of his sexuality, and immediately makes assumptions about how other people will treat him - but he actually tries not to let his personal life enter the workplace, and is surprisingly open to suggestion and personal growth.

(Also, er, in the semi-canon doujin side-series, he, um, does some pretty unspeakable stuff to Tachibana. It's dealt with in an absolutely fascinating way.)

He's neither a good guy nor a bad guy. He's just complicated, like people in real life. He doesn't represent anything - most of the other gay dudes at his favourite bar, it's pointed out carefully, are a good deal better-adjusted than him.

I wish people wouldn't assume that every minority character is supposed to be representative of all. I think that the reviewer would probably have enjoyed the show quite a lot more if they hadn't simplified the things in that way.

- Pips
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Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 495
Location: PA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:56 am Reply with quote
I truly wished that Antique Bakery didn't have to use melodramatic moments to show the characters' relationships, backstories, and problems. I really liked the show and its characters, but the heavy moments pulled it down from being superb. It's great to see another review that explains my irritations so well! Laughing
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Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 188
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:25 pm Reply with quote
While I can't quibble with the substance of the review's criticisms, I thought the anime was a largely faithful adaptation of Yoshinaga Fumi's manga. There were a couple of story changes made for the series that I even thought improved the flow from what was on the page. However, although deleting the "overblown romantic drama and a ragged subplot about childhood trauma" may well have resulted in a better series, that series would not have been Antique Bakery. The reviewer seems to evaluate the anime as an original work rather than an adaptation (see below), so I felt it was worth pointing out its fidelity to the source material.

ex: "The show clearly believes that that isn't enough to carry it through twelve episodes."
ex: "The series clearly loves its four leads"
ex: [The series] "top-loads its plot with preposterous romantic entanglements and forces unnecessary structure onto it with Tachibana's kidnapping."
ex: "The best parts of Antique Bakery recall the plotless, poetic sensibilities of Aria, but it lacks the strength of Aria's convictions. Instead of trusting in the ordinary growth of its less-than-ordinary bakery and the ordinary lives of its less-than-ordinary bakers, it tries to goose itself with big emotions and ends up laying an egg."
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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 1305
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:26 am Reply with quote
this mangaka produces cliche work: starting from character designs and ending with ever overblown romanticism/"melodramaticism"... however, this is exactly that some may like...
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