Saturday, September 5, 2015

Manga Review: Komomo Confiserie, Volume 1, by Maki Minami

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Volumes:  5
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

As a little girl, Komomo Ninomiya delighted in picking on Natsu Azumi, the son of her family’s pastry chef. Ten years later, when the family fortune is lost and she has no place to live, Komomo encounters Natsu again in her hour of need. Now that Natsu is a master pastry chef in his own right, he’ll help Komomo—but only if she works for him at his new confiserie!

Honestly, there was no way I wasn’t going to fall in love with this series. Being Maki Minami—with her characters and humor—and set in a confections shop. That sounds like a perfect combination to me.
Firstly, the confiserie. Oh god, the food. There’s so much sweets in this volume already. Komomo loves sweets, and she ends up working for a childhood kind-of-friend Natsu, who makes sweets. They’re gorgeous and look delicious, and it just makes me want to try everything. It’s like watching the Food Network channel. I’m jealous of all the food the mangaka got to eat as “research”.
I was impressed that this series is set up so differently from her previous two. Komomo, to start with, is a spoiled, egotistic brat. She’s used to being rich, getting everything handed to her, and it’s hard when she loses everything. She has to get a job, and she’s terrible at working, practically refuses to.
I was also not expecting Natsu. When we first meet him, he’s a crybaby little kid who Komomo picks on. And then he turns into a sadistic, confident chef. The way he pushes Komomo is sadistic and mean, but I think it’s also the only way to handle her. He’s the only one who really gets her to buck up and do what she needs to. She learns because of him.
We meet a friend of Natsu’s, who is quirky like Minami makes them. And then Natsu and Komomo start at public school (a first for Komomo). Komomo’s bullied by the popular girl, but she barely even notices. She’s been raised to take everything with her head held high, never show weakness. The popular girl acts catty and cries for sympathy, and Komomo teaches her. I was impressed with how well Komomo took the bullying and turned it right around on all the bullies without an ounce of anger or revenge in her attitude.
This was a fantastic first volume. It was so different from her previous books, and it was a lot of fun. The sweets had me drooling, and some of the characters had me impressed. I’m excited for the next one.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

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