Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Manga Review: Love for Dessert by Hana Aoi

Rating (Out of 5): 2.5
Publisher: Aurora Publishing (Luv Luv)

Amazon Synopsis:

Rei is a cheerful, happy-go-lucky worker at an ad agency who loves sweets so much that she has whipped cream for dinner! Conversely, her coworker Kuze is grumpy, temperamental and not the sweets kind of guy. That is, until one night when a kiss mixed with cream forces them both to reconsider their taste for sweets and their taste for each other. It seems that the only kind of dessert with whipped cream on top that Kuze likes... is Rei! 
Five additional stories, filled with sweet and spicy love and sex, feature a woman with a craving for guys in suits, a love-starved lolita, a hostess with bad taste in men, a woman who consults a fortune-teller about her hunger for love, and a college student with a strange, but sweet, boyfriend.

I've been wanting to read the manga from Aurora/Luv Luv for a while, or, really, ever since I'd heard of the company. I wasn't very into this type of manga when they were being published, and I only started paying attention to the companies the last couple years, so I didn't know about it at the time. I found this volume by itself at a used book store, and was very excited about it.
It wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be, though, which I'm a bit disappointed by. I hope that some of the others released by Luv Luv/Aurora are better.
The manga is a one shot full of short stories. I didn't know this, but I didn't mind it. It's also full of smut, which I did know, but could have been better.
The first story, 'Love for Dessert', is about a girl working in an office who likes one of her co-workers, but is always staying late to work with a different one who is very stand-off-ish. The guy she likes turns out to be a jerk and she ends up falling for the one she's always working for. The title comes from the fact that the girl like whipped cream, he doesn't, and they play with it a little.
The second one, 'Icing on the Cake', is about a high maintenance girl who is thinking of dumping her boyfriend until she sees him in a suit. He had a not very good job before, and when she sees him in a suit for his new job, she assumes that it's a higher paying job. Anyway, they get into a fight about the suit, she goes on a group date and finds out that she 'only likes him in a suit', and they make up. I understand, kind of, having a suit fetish, but the part about only liking him in one wasn't done very well. I didn't believe it, and she was a high maintenance girl, which is never really brought up or done anything about.
The third story, 'Bubblegum Princess', is about a stuck up girl who's mom dresses her up in lolita clothing. She ends up falling for a boy who she knew as a little girl that stays with them so he can work as a hairdresser. They fight at first, and then she finds herself falling for him and apparently he's already fallen for her. And there's a subplot about how she believes that her mom only sees her as a dress up doll, which is solved in, like, a page. And also, she wears glasses, and on the last page, something is thrown in about them not helping her see. But nothing about her glasses was mentioned before that, and it bothered me. I just didn't like her very much.
The fourth story, 'Red Bean', I actually did kind of like. It's about a girl who works at a host club, but everyone at school thinks that she's a prostitute, but this mostly bothers her, and she feels no shame about it. She starts getting close to a guy, who everyone calls Bean because of his hair, and who gets embarrassed very easily. She finds it cute, and is usually the cause of it. She doesn't tell him about her job until he saves her from a stalker customer, and he's embarrassed but happy about it. But then she decides to quit her job, and even though she says it's because of the customer being pushy, it seems a bit more because he doesn't really like it.
'Sweet Future', the fifth story, is about a girl who is having problems finding a job and that sees a fortune teller often. Her boyfriend doesn't understand it, openly disapproves of it, and then gets her a small, temporary job tutoring a boy. She isn't getting along with her boyfriend, which I understand, because she's sensitive and he is all business. Anyway, the fortune teller, Joseph, is stalking her, and her student saves her from it. She falls for the student, who is adorable, and he likes her back. It still feels a little weird, though, because she's his teacher. I'm not really sure what the age difference is, though, and that might make is better.
The last story, 'Puppy Chow', is about a girl who is going out with an outgoing boy that likes giving her choices. She thinks, though, that he just can't make decisions, and starts going back out with her last boyfriend who chose everything for her and that cheats on her again. There's a big thing about her not being who she really is, which is true, but I don't think that just going back to the boy from the beginning helps her solve it. She does end up going back to the boy from the beginning, who happily takes her back, and he find some puppies, which is kind of where the title comes from.
This whole thing wasn't all that good. I liked 'Red Bean' most, as I said earlier. And I guess I liked the couple from 'Puppy Chow', and despite me, I did kind of like the couple from 'Sweet Future'. I liked the boy from 'Bubblegum Princess'. That's mostly it, I think. The stories were a bit flat, which might be because of the short length of each story, but it also might not be. The art is what bothered me most, probably. It was a little flat, didn't really show their expressions very well, and just wasn't very good. And I'm a little picky with art. Also, though, the romance and smut weren't very good. I was hoping it would be really good. It didn't get me all hot 'n bothered. Not at all. And it wasn't even all that romantic, really. It was disappointing.
Also, the picture on the back cover is bothering me. It's kind of pretty, but it has nothing to do with any of the stories in the book. Does it? 'cause if it does, I missed it. I like it, though.
So, this wasn't a very good volume to start with from Aurora. I hope that I can find more, though, because I want the other ones, still.
Sidenotes: Why does Amazon still have some in stock, with 'more on the way'? Aurora is closed, isn't it? Didn't it close, like, two years ago or something? Shouldn't the books be out of print? I thought they were... Whatever, I guess.

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