Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Manga Review: What Did You Eat Yesterday?, Volume 1, by Fumi Yoshinaga

Rating (Out of 5): 3.5
Publisher: Vertical
Release Date: March 25th, 2014
Volumes: 8+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Kakei Shirou, a straitlaced lawyer, cooks gourmet dinners for himself and his longtime gay lover, Yabuki Kenji, a carefree, hippie-ish hairdresser. The story is told through the lens of dinner preparation.

Nominated for the first annual Manga Taishou (2008).


I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I’ve never read anything else by Yoshinaga, but I was definitely intrigued. I think I wanted something slightly different from what I got, though, sadly.
This series is about Shiro Kakei, a frugal lawyer, and chef at home. He lives with his boyfriend, Kenji, a hairstylist. Shiro is rather obsessed with food, and very meticulous about his cooking.
The humor is subtle in this series, and I do like that. The way that Shiro meets a female friend of his, for example, as they’re both eying a watermelon on sale. There were also some very funny scenes, like a guy retelling how he left his friend alone with a gay man and felt terrible about it (as the guy was very much hitting on them, and he was under the impression his friend was straight), or how Shiro’s mother keeps pushing her friends who need legal help on him. There were quite a few funny moments like that, especially when I got the hang of the story, about halfway through.
The art isn’t too bad. It’s very pretty in some parts, but in a lot of panels, the characters are drawn with very long, rectangular faces. That’s not necessarily bad, but it took me a while to get used to—especially when some scenes had the characters drawn really nicely, and there didn’t seem to be a big reason for the back and forth in the drawing.
My only real problem with the series was that I didn’t feel a lot of connection with Shiro and Kenji, particularly as a couple. I wasn’t expecting smut or anything, as I knew this was slice-of-life, but the only real time I saw them being close was when Kenji acted jealous, as they talked while eating dinner. There wasn’t even any hand holding or them even sharing a loving look. I had a hard time really seeing them as a couple, or feeling connected to them as one, because of that.
There were a lot of funny, cute scenes, but there didn’t seem to be a huge amount of character development in general, either, with several random characters being introduced. I had a hard time growing fond of anyone because of this.
A problem for me might also have been that I don’t really care about food, or cooking, or all of the ingredients used as Shiro was cooking, and that took up quite a lot of time. 
I was disappointed because of the lack of character development, especially because that’s usually what makes a series for me. I still found it a bit charming, though, and funny. I’m not sure if I’m going to stick around for another volume, but I might, and I will probably pick up another of her series.

No comments:

Post a Comment