7 Dessert-Obsessed Manga
by Lynzee Loveridge,
Elegant tea houses, delicately decorated cakes, and equally gorgeous chefs populate this week's sister list to "7 Manga To Improve Your Cooking." These manga focus on finding sweet love or using a little magic to become the next great patissier. Life is short, eat dessert first.
7. Yumeiro Pâtissière A children's manga, Yumeiro Pâtissière forgoes heavy drama in favor of lighter fare. The story stars Ichigo Amano, an average shōjo protagonist with no real talent to her credit other than eating sweets. Her honed palate brings her to a special school specifically for baking. Clumsy and unsure of herself, Ichigo finds magical help from "sweet spirits" named things like Honey, Chocolat, and Vanilla. Three "princes," (see: romantic interests), also take a shine to Ichigo. Together, the group attempts to win a Grand Prix to go to France.
6. Chocolat Bakeries and cafes are usually staffed by elegant chefs and waiters, but Eisaku Kubonouchi's manga Chocolat sends its protagonist to a shop headed by a former crime lord. Ichigo (a guy this time) is just released from jail only to find the head of his mafia family has forsaken the underworld in favor of living his deceased wife's dream: running a bakery. The few members who stuck by during his sudden change of heart help out, but the cakes aren't particularly good. A teenage girl named Chiyoko, the daughter of the crime lord's wife, moves in too after her father runs into financial trouble. The oddball cast makes for comedic take on a usually romantic setting.
5. Bread & Butter Yuzuki is a 34-year-old woman who doesn't know what she wants in life. She's resigned from her position as a school teacher and she's unwed but can't describe what she likes in a partner. The only thing she really enjoys is eating. She happens upon a single baker and after visiting him twice, she blurts out a marriage proposal. He accepts, but the new couple hardly know one another. Yuzuki is impulsive yet aimless and Yoichi's agreement to her proposal may be nothing more than a grab at her savings. The jōsei manga is light on desserts, as it also focuses regular breads too, but otherwise serves up some tasty, mature romance.
4. Happy Cafe Uru's mother recently remarried, so the 16-year-old moves out in order to give the couple space. She takes a job at Cafe Bonheur to make ends meet, unaware that she's entering a shōjo love triangle™ with the seemingly stoic patissier Satsuki Shindō and the quirky waiter Ichirō Nishikawa. All three characters grapple with residual family issues like death and abandonment, with Uru in particular longing for her deceased father. She remains unaware of her own romantic feelings and those of her male peers for most of the series.
3. Komomo Confiserie Unlike the story's setting, the protagonists of Maki Minami's latest manga are far from charming. Former heiress Komomo was raised in a world that bent to her every whim, leaving her an utterly helpless 15-year-old with little understanding of responsibility or proper social cues. She can be petulant, childish, and lacks any humility. Her former servant-turned-star-baker Natsu has a sadistic streak and gets no greater pleasure than seeing Komomo cry. Which is exactly what he intends to do when he takes her under his wing as a bakery employee. This arrangement works so long as Komomo (and the readers) get eyeful after eyeful of the manga's desserts. Minami did her research and visited several bakeries in Japan to take extensive notes on the delicious confections.
2. Antique Bakery Yaoi-tinged bakeries are pretty popular, and Antique Bakery is likely the most well-known in this particular setting. The story stars four men managing, serving, and baking in an elegant cafe. The manager is the French-fluent Keisuke Tachibana who attracted the eye of "man-killer" and pastry chef Yusuke Ono. Tachibana rejected Ono in the past but the chef still carries a flame for him. The bakery's waiter Chikage Kobayakawa, in turn has a crush on Ono. The manga's premise sounds rife with drama but the story is actually quite easy-going and comedic.
1. Shitsuren Chocolatier Setona Mizushiro's takes the cliche of turning to a half gallon of ice cream when you're heartbroken and created a nine-volume manga series. Sōta Koyurugi is obsessively in love with Saeko Takahashi. Saeko is beautiful but is business-minded in that she only dates elite men. Sōta isn't elite, but he can satisfy her craving for chocolate. Thus begins his cat-and-mouse game for Saeko's affections despite her marrying another man. Sōta works his way up the chocolatier ladder, too, establishing himself as the "Chocolate Prince" and fending off his own suitors.
The new poll: Which Fall 2015 anime series are you most looking forward to? You can pick your top three in the poll.
The old poll: Which anime film series (i.e. a series of movies with a continuing plot) is your favorite? We got a lot of odd-ball answers and duplicates this time around.
- The Garden of Sinners 13.2%
- Evangelion film series 12.8%
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica 9.2%
- Ghost in the Shell/Innocence/Solid State Society 7.3%
- Persona 3 films 3.1%
- Berserk: The Golden Age 2.8%
- Patlabor 2.6%
- Tenchi in Love films 2.0%
- Broken Blade 2.0%
- Mardock Scramble trilogy 1.2%
- Space Battleship Yamato 2199 1.2%
- Appleseed films 1.0%
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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