Despite the fact her mother's a model, (famous for being on the magazine Charisma Housewife), Sae's usually left home alone. And although she has what classmates call a 'sub-space stomach', Sae can't cook. In an attempt to help a friend with her love, Sae becomes closer with a classmate named Yuuki, who works at a cafe. Will Sae actually learn to cook? Will this closeness develop into a one or two-sided love?
I love this manga. For soooo many reasons. It's so cute, funny, and entertaining. It's a little romance with food, what could go wrong?
It's about a girl who loves to eat and loves to help people. One day she decided she can help people by helping them make bentos for the people they like. But she really isn't a cook. So she enlists in the help of her classmate that she's all tsundere for and romance ensues.
It's kinda obvious how the story moves along. There's no real surprises, nothing too new to the general "I help other people but I can't help myself"
kind of plot. It just does it so well that I can't hate it for it. But hey, it gives you the recipe of what they make in the manga at the end, so that's a plus!
There's something specific to this story that really, really got me. Something that lands it that nine. One of the chapters is about an over weight girl and her crush. Typically you don't see over weight girls in shows/manga like this really being anything other than comical relief. But in one chapter, one of the girls she helps is over weight and very insecure about what she eats in front of people. She loves food but refuses to show other people that she does due to her insecurity. I connected to that on soooo many levels and I kinda don't wanna spoil her story for you guys, you should totally go read it and see.
It's pretty fantastic, for a romantic/dramatic/comedy about food. I have no comments other than It's pretty great. There was effort put into it, and a lot of love too.
The characters are fantastic. Period. The main characters all have progression, they all learn something and overcome something that changes them as a person. As much as you've seen these characters before in many other manga alike, these are kinda special. You won't forget how happy you were for the main character when she was able to (Insert Spoiler Here). You actually care about what happens to them and it's pretty great. Also characters don't disappear into an abyss. Supporting characters do make other appearances whether to help out the main character or just to be around. That's pretty great.
I read this twice. Once like 3 years ago, and once a few months back. I think I loved it more than I did the first time I read it the second time around, maybe I appreciated it a little more. It's just a good, heart melting read. I recommend it to anyone that likes a good romantic comedy.
I enjoyed the hell out of this manga. That's pretty much it. it's cute, silly, and it's about making food! What more do you want from life?
There are two ways to see Hatsukoi Lunch Box. You can first see it as a sweet shoujo that tells the love story of two foodies. You may be disappointed, because it will certainly not bring you an hectic story. But you can see it for what it really is : an advertisement in a manga form.
The story is centered on Sae, a schoolgirl who loves to eat. In each chapter, she helps her friends to conquer the hearts of their loved ones by showing them how to cook bento for them. To help her, she is accompanied by Yuki, her childhood friend, and her
older sister Shiori who are both very good cooks. A rather classic story, then.
The art style is nevertheless very pretty. The very cute chara-design of the author is easily recognizable. And that's without counting on the many dishes that all look appetizing. Nao Kodaka, the mangaka, managed to make me hungry only with drawings. Props to her. The design of the dishes may not be at the same level of the extremely detailed dishes of Shokugeki no Souma, but the use of the frames makes them very beautiful to see.
As characters, it first have Sae, the main character. Nothing very interesting to say about her: she is the archetype of the girl with pigtails who loves to eat. It is mostly her absent mother and her assumed popularity with boys who make her original. But despite being rather basic, I personally managed to attach myself relatively quickly to her.
Then there is Yuki, the childhood friend of the main character who helps her to cook. He is as basic as Sae, as he represents all the cliché of the love interest who likes to tease the protagonist.
It's not better for the other secondary characters who all embody clichés : there is the nerd with glasses, the sportsman, the shy, and more. They are so basic that I think I will be unable to remember at least one of their names.
But if you have to focus on a character, this will be on Shiori, Yuki's big sister. And that's when I explain why I think Hatsukoi Lunch Box is just a big advertisement. Shiori is presented as a talented cook, and it's often her who offers recipes to the protagonists. But what you should know is that the manga has been co-written with a famous Japanese cook. And you know what her name is? Shiori. Yes, Shiori is basically a self insert character.
But that doesn't say why it make it an advertisement. In fact, when you buy a volume of Hatsukoi Lunch Box, you have, included in the price, a small cookbook with the recipes contained in the manga. You know what I mean? The creation of this manga is an excuse to sell Shiori's cookbooks. This explains why the history is so little detailed: it exists only to highlight the dishes of Shiori. To summarize, imagine Gordon Ramsey putting out a manga to promote his dishes. Yeah, money can push people to do weird things.
However, I don't think anyone should be scandalized by that. It's a marketing technique like any other. And these recipes have been very helpful to me personally. Thanks to them, I was able to eat delicious dishes for a moment!
However, it is difficult for me to recommend this manga. If you are looking for a shoujo with compelling and detailed history, Hatsukoi Lunch Box won't be for you. Actually, apart from recipes, there is not much to keep. I finally think that it would have been way better to buy the original cookbook of Shiori rather than a tome of this manga.