21 year-old Nicoletta leaves her grandparents' home in the countryside to work in Rome at a restaurant owned by her estranged mother's lover. But something sets the popular and elegant Casetta Dell'orso apart from its rivals: the entire restaurant is staffed by older gentlemen wearing glasses (as per her mother's preference). Thrown into this adult world, Nicoletta must try to find personal and professional stability - things that become increasingly difficult to achieve as she falls under the spell of Casetta Dell'orso.
Goodness, it's such a beautiful story and yet there are no reviews on this page? My, my, this must be fixed right away, don't you think?
A young 21-year-old heroine named Nicoletta is moving to Rome in order to start her apprenticeship at a restaurant owned by her estranged mother's husband. This mother of the year abandoned her daughter because the man she fell in love with did not want to marry a woman with a child, not to mention that she has a rather interesting fetish: she likes it when men wear glasses, so it's a rule for all waiter regardless of their vision.
that sound interesting? But what if I tell you that Nicoletta's mother turns out to be a better person than you thought at first? What if I tell you that, despite being very romantic, this manga does not end in a predictable way? What if I tell you that this manga has no typical villains or rivals, just normal, realistic characters with their good qualities and flaws? First and foremost, they're people. There's no such thing as good and evil sides. Just people and their lives.
I'd give it a higher mark if I didn't take into account that it's quite peculiar and not all people may find it appealing. The art style is quite unusual and interesting, if you ask me, but you either like it or not. However, even if you feel like it's not your cup of tea, don't let it discourage you. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
It's very easy to hate Olga, Nicoletta's mother, because she abandoned her daughter for the sake of her love life. And I do not mean to spoil this story, but let me tell you something: it's easy to judge her. And you are supposed to judge her because her actions are not justified. But there's more to her, so don't be quick to hate her. Did I approve of her actions? No, I did not. But I am glad to see an interesting character that does evolve as the story goes on. She is not the main character, but I felt like paying attention to her because I like well-written characters that mess up on an epic scale but cannot be considered villains.
As for Nicoletta herself, she is as old as I am now, and I have to admit, I should learn something from this character. She is hard-working, she is kind, she is assertive when she has to be and she refuses to give up easily. Sounds like a typical protagonist except she is more believable and interesting.
Another main character is Claudio, the man Nicoletta falls for. Calm, soft-spoken, polite - I can go on and on describing his qualities, so let me sum it up real quick: he is a gentleman with this attractive hint of mystery as he still seems to harbor some feelings for his soon-to-be-ex wife. And these remains of his love for that woman clearly get in the way of his relationship with Nicoletta. As a result, their relationship is complicated and less predictable as they have a long way to go.
The story is less focused on the rest of the cast, although they are always here, actively taking part in the story's events. And you know? Despite this lack of focus, all supporting characters are stiill interesting because they help you understand what is going on by explaining this to Nicoletta or somebody else, as well as interacting with each other.
I did not get enough of this manga. I need more of it. But at the same time, it's the kind of story that does not need to go on and on, dragged by unnecessary plot twists and forced drama that would keep it going. It ended the way it was supposed to and its ending allows you to interpret it however you want, imagining what is going to happen next.
So what can I say in conclusion? It's beautiful. It's beautiful because it's realistic and lacks this cheesy atmosphere most romance stories have (maybe that's the reason why I normally avoid this genre with just a few exceptions). And if you haven't read it yet, please, do it.
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