Seeing that this has no reviews yet, I'll try to make one even though I'm not much of a writer.
Story: Firstly, Sensei no Kaban is a manga based on the novel "The Briefcase" by Hiromi Kawakami.
The synopsis might turn off a few people.
"A thirty year old woman and her former Japanese professor fall in love?!"
Yes, that's pretty much it. The beauty of this manga is that it's real life.
Sensei no Kaban is slow paced, tender story and it almost becomes a routine. Tsukiko and her former professor often meet, drink sake, eat delicious food, go on trips, visit exhibitions. Throughout their
meetings the story unfolds and we get to see how their connection gets stronger and stronger.
Art: I'd like to start off by saying that Jiro Taniguchi is a master of his craft. His art doesn't have crazy action scenes, his manga art is calm, detailed and relaxes you as you progress through it. His beautiful scenery is almost breathtaking and he draws emotions so well and so real, that it makes you flip the pages and read it in one go. If this connects with you, I recommend you check out more of Taniguchi's amazing work.
Characters: While reading this manga I often found Tsukiko unlikable and annoying. She doesn't have much going on in her life and she knows that. Which makes her somewhat dull and boring. Her opposite, the professor is a likable character, he is calm, collected, traditional and wise. He is almost as a light in her boring life. In the story we do see their best and worst, and their vulnerability which despite all the flaws, makes them feel very real and human.
Enjoyment: The slow pacing, the beautiful artwork, the real-life feeling made me enjoy this manga. As the two characters meet, we learn about Japan, their tradition, food especially, which often I found a bit too much. There were parts of the story that could be skipped and I also didn't really enjoy the ending chapters.
Overall: It was a nice, easy read, despite it being slow, but I can't say I loved it. The story of two people falling in love as they do normal activities seems boring, but it was done well. I don't think I'll ever read the original novel though. Taniguchi did an amazing job with this and I think if it were someone else who did the art, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much.
If you enjoy manga with any of these: pretty artwork, calm setting, slice of life, romantic mature stories, give Sensei no Kaban a try!