Hanayu's parents own a patisserie, but her true dream is to become a sushi chef. Meanwhile, Hayato's parents own a prestigious sushi restaurant, but he wants nothing more than to create delectable sweets. Will these star-crossed (and hot-tempered) chefs find the right recipe for success in their careers and with each other?
Mixed Vegetables is a story that has NOTHING to do with "Vegetables". However it is about cooking but it really more of a love story and some personal story about achieving dreams.
The story concern's two main characters namely Hanayu (the girl) and Hayato (the boy). One wants to be Sushi Chef and the other a Patisserie (cake chef). However they are parent’s restaurant are the exact opposite to their interests. Therefore each one wants to marry the other so that they can achieve their individual dreams.
This is a very simple Shoujo Manga. It is definitely funny and the story is VERY cliché. There really
is nothing unique about it. Having said that, thing are usually cliché because they are popular and tend to evoke a sense of satisfaction in the reader/viewer etc. The story has some good comedic values and should be read as such. There is no great over arching plot other than the focus on their dreams. In the end it is a High school love story.
The art while very beautiful is nothing special. None of the characters are drawn particularly interesting. They are all cute/good looking characters and in that sense there is no contrast. Also since most of the stories setting is indoor’s there is not much in the way of amazing backgrounds. None of the characters are overly cute but they are appropriately pleasant and generally give the feeling of a comfortable environment. The art DOES however suit the story telling.
Overall, it is a decent manga and one that I would recommend a read if you are bored and want something pleasant and funny. Just don’t expect anything deep.
Okay, so I like food. A lot. I'm not even going to pretend I didn't pick this manga up because I really like sushi and I really like cake. But that's definitely not the only reason why I enjoyed this manga.
The main aspect of the story that made Mixed Vegetables stand out from your typical shoujo fare was its messages about working towards your dreams and fulfilling your goals, while also balancing family life and romance. I started reading this towards the end of my senior year when I was deciding between colleges, and even though the main characters' career paths are vastly different from
mine, I could sort of understand their frustrations and confusions during that period in their lives. Although it read like a typical shoujo manga in some ways, Mixed Vegetables did a great job of incorporating the idea of choosing a career and following one's dreams vs. doing what your family wants. It also stayed away from too much of the usual romantic drama between the main couple, by keeping the story to relatively few characters and focusing on them achieving their goals rather than creating various misunderstandings.
The characters were definitely the most interesting part of Mixed Vegetables. The lead female, Hanayu, acts nothing like a stereotypical damsel-in-distress seen in many shoujo stories. She's physically as well as mentally strong, and has her eyes set on becoming a sushi chef even if it means sacrificing other things in her life. Hanayu was just so focused and driven, even while juggling family conflicts, relationship issues, and her own lack of experience and skill. Although she made stupid decisions sometimes, it was still easy to relate to her throughout the course of the manga. Hayato, on the other hand, was more of a typical bishounen towards the beginning of the manga. But gradually, we see different sides of him that really go against the norm. He's selfish and headstrong, but like Hanayu, he's focused on his goals and is willing to make sacrifices for them. Hayato is also a bit angsty towards the end, but overall he was a likable character and had great chemistry with the lead female. I also liked the involvement of adult characters in Mixed Vegetables, since so often in manga you just have teenagers running around with no parents to be seen anywhere. The amount of parental involvement in this manga was quite realistic, and fit the context of the story nicely. Plus, the parents were all really likable so that was nice too.
Mixed Vegetables had decent art for the most part. It was nothing incredible, but I did enjoy the detailed illustrations of food and the little tidbits and recipes before and after the chapters. There were a few scenes in which Hayato and Maezawa, another male character, looked very similar, and this could also be seen with Hayato and his father. This was a little confusing, but it's a small detail that can be overlooked.
Overall, I did enjoy Mixed Vegetables quite a bit, despite the long time it took for me to finish it. I found it to be funny when it needed to be, while still offering enough drama to keep things interesting. People who aren't usually fans of shoujo manga may not necessarily find this manga as entertaining, but if you at least tolerate the genre then you should definitely give this a try. Mixed Vegetables uses some cliches and tropes, but also gets rid of a lot of them. It's not perfect, but it's a fun read with relatable characters and an inspiring message.
STORY - 7
The storyline is simple and easy to follow. A girl whose family owns a pastry shop wants to be a sushi chef and a boy whose family owns a sushi restaurant wants to be a pastry chef.. Can you honestly say you have heard of many stories like this? Mixed Vegetables manages to not only tell a love story but also a story about two young students who are passionate about their dreams. As a hardcore fan of shoujo manga, I do have to admit that I am mainly here for the romance aspect. However, Mixed Vegetables focuses on the main characters' striving
to reach their goals, which I find refreshing.
ART - 9
The art is typical shoujo manga style.. Therefore, it is very girly and all the characters are "cute." I am honestly amazed at some of the colored cover illustrations. The mangaka did a pretty good job at drawing real life objects, such as the cakes and sushi that you will be seeing in every single chapter.
CHARACTER - 7
The two main characters, Hanayu and Hayato, are simple-minded characters (like the rest). As the story progresses, the two characters do develop and somewhat matures as they reach for their goals. All of the characters are likable in their own way. I adore how each family contributes to the growth of the main characters and how each character has an opinion on the subject of pursuing one's dream.
ENJOYMENT - 8
Before I started reading Mixed Vegetables, I was just looking for a cute and sweet romance to read. I was tired of reading stories about love triangles and love-crazy girls, so Mixed Vegetables definitely did the trick for me.
It was a light read although it did lack complexity and was not the least bit realistic. I enjoyed reading this manga. I was able to finish this in less than a day actually. Another thing to appreciate is that the problems that came up were usually resolved quickly. NOTE: This manga will not result in any wrinkles or lack of sleep.
OVERALL - 7
Mixed Vegetables has brought up an interesting question: What is more important.. your love (for family and for a significant other) or your dreams? As the main characters struggle through this question, I find myself cheering for them on. Mixed Vegetables is certainly not the best manga out there, but it can teach you a little something about achieving one's dream.
Basically, if you get annoyed of cheezy stories, stay away.. BUT if you want to take a break from all those drama-filled, tear-jerker stories, you should try reading Mixed Vegetables.