Friday, August 31, 2012

Manga Review: Mixed Vegetables (volumes 1 and 2)

Due to an interesting sequence of events I actually got yet another library card this summer, this time for another town in my county which had some books mine didn't (and it seems like they can't simply ship books between the two systems, boo) and I was pleased to discover that they had an interesting and well-stocked manga section. So I grabbed what looked interesting (including one title that I can't remember sadly) and went to town on it.

Mixed Vegetables by Ayumi Komura

Summary: Hanayu has a problem, her family owns a bakery which she is expected to inherit but her real passion lies with making sushi, something that doesn't go well with sweets. So she hits upon a plan when she encounters her classmate Hayato, eventually become his wife so she'll now have the excuse that her husband is inheriting a sushi shop and they can't possibly do both at once. But it turns out that Hayato is interested in her for the exact same reason.....

The Good: I've seen some rather "mixed" (hey put down those pitchforks!) reviews of this series, some bad and some okay, and the series did turn out better than I expected. Hanayu has some spunk to her and a lot of drive, even if she's ultimately too fixated on just making sushi, and there was some amusing humor in there. It's not a ton but it is enough to keep someone entertained for an afternoon.

The Bad: So the plot point that Hayato also wants out of the family business was mentioned in all the advertising I've seen for the series over the years yet it takes a full manga volume to get to that reveal which honestly frustrated me a bit (partially because it was slow and then partially because it's then revealed that all of his act so far has been a lie and that means the series will be even longer since he then needs to be developed). Also, for a series that is so obvious a romance it certainly takes it's sweet time

The Art: The art here is very average looking shojo, which readers can probably tell from the cover where the characters look like they could be from any number of other series from over the years. It works but I don't remember very clearly any of the details from it (compare with House of Five Leaves which I read around the same time and remember fairly distinctly). I think the art sums up the series, it's not terrible, you won't feel worse off for having read it, but I can't recommend it knowing that there are better shojo series out there (one of which I will get to next week).

Doubt I'll be trying to find more volumes of this series in the future (the library did have more, I just already had so much manga that I decided to hold off checking out the entire series at once), next week's manga will be an interesting one to compare this to at least.

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