A high school crush, a world-class pastry chef, a former middle-weight boxing champion...and a whole lot of cake! Ono has come a long way since the agonizing day in high school when he confessed his love to handsome Tachibana. Now, some 14 years later Ono, a world-class pastry chef and gay playboy has it all. No man can resist Ono's charms (or his cooking skills!), but he has just found a new position under a man named Tachibana. Can this be the only man who resisted his charms, and if so, will the man who once snubbed the "magically gay" Ono get his just desserts? And how in the heck did a former middleweight boxing champion wind up as Ono's cake boy?
Seiyou Kottou Yougashiten was published in English as Antique Bakery by Digital Manga Publishing from July 12, 2005 to June 20, 2006. As an added gimmick, the covers had scratch n' sniff surfaces on the pastries.
I started reading this when I was younger expecting a bit more yaoi but what I ended up by reading was the story of a man being kidnapped as a child and being fed cakes by the kidnapper so he decided to open up a bakery and ended up working with a gay man, an ex-boxer and a good-at-nothing childhood friend.
I thought it was different from usual and was generally always going in the good direction. It was really interesting how the fact that there was a gay character didn't make rule the series, it was well incorporated. The end did bother me though,
it felt so incomplete. For a 4 volumes series it still did pretty well.
I was going to give it a 7 but I reconsidered because all the food looked so delicious and was really well drawn. The expressions too always changed you could feel what the character was feeling. All the main characters looked different too so that made me happy. The art was in general not that pleasing for the eye but it still had its moments, I give it that.
Okay, okay I just really liked the characters they all were very different and special in their own ways and they all had at least a little bit of character development. I did find the devil homosexual a bit silly but it was still endearing to see him change so suddenly and take control in serious situations. Chikage was a very comic relief type of character but was still very likeable in my opinion. I was really sad most of the time for Keiichiro because he never got over his kidnapping and even though he never showed it in front of anybody except Chikage it affected him through his whole life. I think Eiji was my favorite character he had to abandon something he loved and decided to make the best of what he had and just tried really hard in everything he did.
I really enjoyed the manga, it didn't bring out that many emotions but I still laughed and felt sad at some moments so I think in general it was very well done.
If you're searching for a hardcore yaoi with plenty of gay men and gay sex this is not the manga for you but if you're searching for a kind of..short break manga with plenty of food descriptions this is the one for you.
This is my first experience with josei manga (although, shoujo could also be referred to this manga) - and what a rare treat it is! Now being adapted into a 12 episode anime after previously been made into a J-drama, as well as a Korean live action movie, Antique Bakery is, itself, an award winning manga first published in 1999. The characters themselves are as mismatched a bunch that I have ever seen: A homosexual pastry chef, a former boxing champion turned apprentice, a "self-styled" ladies man, and Chikage. Watching how these characters interact with each other is really what makes this
manga so great and worth reading. And is definitely one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much. That, and that it's a refreshing change from the kind of manga that I usually read.
The only complaint that I have about Antique Bakery is the length of the manga, as it's only 4 volumes in length - it's have really liked if it had been a longer running manga. But at 23 chapters, it's not too bad. Artistically, the manga is, well, pretty nice to look at. Especially when considering that all the main characters are all men. That and all the cakes - even if they are illustrations. The art may be liner - but it's well detailed and very nicely composed. It's amazing to see how easily the character's expressions change from one panel to the next. It may be fair to say that the variation in styles between the characters is probably the manga's "saving grace". However, its also quite easy to see that this manga is especially aimed towards the female populous. You couldn't miss that fact, even if you tried. Despite all the humor that this manga contains, there are other, more serious issues at hand here too.
If josei (or shoujo) manga is something that you enjoy reading, then be sure to give Antique Bakery a try. Even if this is something new, I really think that other readers could actually enjoy it. It does, however, go into detail about homosexuality (nothing graphic) relates issues, as well as references to kidnapping. So, if you have something against homosexuality, then maybe Antique Bakery just isn't for you.
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