This past Friday I made a stop at Kino to pick up some mags and buy a friend’s b-day present. Because it’s Kino, you have to go and look at the manga. I mean, come on. Not doing so is like going into Barnes and Nobles just for coffee. Who does that???
I saw several new volumes of series I’m following but unfortunately, now wasn’t the time to be shelling money out on several tanks of manga T—T (I had spent $$ on a new suit and warm as a baby pig’s ass socks from Uniqlo). My goal was simple – find a single volume shojo series to read. Nothing fantasy or sci-fi crazy. Straight forward, shojo business. That ends with the volume it starts in.
So why Bon Appetit? I won’t lie, the cover was nice but it didn’t sell me. I wasn’t really looking for a cooking shojo. But as I was reading the back, a picture on the obi/wrap around caught my attention, hard. It was crazy enough that I paid 7 dollars to figure out wtf was going on:
JUST WHAT KIND OF COOKING SHOJO IS THIS!?
The manga is about a dude who is in love with his childhood friend. But his love is killed like the atmosphere in a crowded room after a large fart is ripped when he learns she is dating an older man. Thinking the guy is some kind of Mr. Tanaka from Black Butler, he goes to meet her new man and is blinded by his bishi. The man may be older but he’s got dem looks. He’s also a chef. Upon eating bishi chef’s food and seeing his love interest and her cooking monster love being all raburabu, main dude Osamu leaves to become an awesome tastebud kicking chef because this is shojo and that’s what you do when your heart is broken…
10 years later, Osamu is a bishi chef, famous and well known. He’s like Chef Ramsey, except 1.) pretty and 2.) not throwing the f bomb all over the place. He returns home because a restaurant he’s to work at opened in his home town. His first stop is to see his childhood friend (you’d think his first stop would be his parents but whatever) . Through the grapevine, he’s learned that her husband recently passed away due to shojo. Curious to know how she’s holding up, he visits the restaurant she owned with her husband. There he finds her trying to keep the business afloat by herself. Long story short, he ends up working there to save the restaurant.
Art is where Bon Appetit shines. The males are well proportioned and nicely toned. I had a feeling the manga-ka dabbled in yaoi (because sad to say but usually the more proportioned shojo dudes are, the higher the chance the manga-ka double dips into yaoi) but a quick look on MU showed she didn’t dabble…she was six feet deep in the BL pool!
The story is told from Osamu’s POV. Though he’s a bit of a grumpy pants, he was a sweetie. . Now, the female love interest? I’m sorry but she was dumb as fuck. I couldn’t figure out what made Osamu get hard for her. She barely did anything, always either gave up or took the path of least resistance, and was just…dumb. But I felt like she was dumbed down on purpose. As mentioned, the manga-ka has authored many BL manga. Towards the end of the story, it felt like Osamu was being pushed toward a male coworker. I had the feeling the manga-ka wanted him to get with the male coworker and made the female lead unappealing on purpose (to explain why Osamu would turn to the male coworker). Of course, since this is shojo, it didn’t happen, but there were enough scenes for even the slowest of readers to put things together. But, that was just the impression I got.
Besides Osamu, the side characters are what made Bon Appetit fun ~ From the beautiful possible gay garrison to the dominatrix chef trainer, they brought life into the otherwise kinda dull story of Bon Appetit ^^; (since the female lead was too busy licking walls…)
The flow of the story was weird. If this were a novel, it felt like I read the first three pages of the prologue before jumping to chapter 8. After reading to chapter 15, I just closed the book, never to know the conclusion…
Needed a microscope to see.
While Bon Appetit was nice on the eyes, I can’t recommend it. That female lead…Also, the story doesn’t go anywhere. SPOILER NOT REALLY – Osamu never does tell his love interest of over twenty years that he’s in love with her which was kind of the whole point of this story (not that I’m complaining…). Also, said love interest might be falling for someone else instead (which I’m also kind of happy for). Not sure who the manga is appealing to. BL fans won’t touch this because they can get full BL love in other books. Shojo fans won’t really enjoy since…not much shojo love going on.