Oishii Kankei

Oishii Kankei by Makimura Satouru

Oishii Kankei by Makimura Satouru

Fujiwara Momoe, a girl who loves to eat, was raised by her rich parents eating only the best. When her father dies from heart disease and Momoe has to support her and her mother, she can’t stand the food that she makes (she never cooked before).

One day, she walks into a little French restaurant and recognizes the food from its taste. She had eaten it several years earlier when celebrating her birthday at a 5-star restaurant with her parents. She asks to work there as a cook under the head chef, Oda-san. She falls in love with Oda, but he doesn’t notice her feelings and only considers her an annoying apprentice. This series goes through joy and heartbreak, as experienced by Momoe. How does the situation end? -Baka Updates

I reread this manga specifically so I could review it fresh in memory. Although 10 volumes may not sound like a lot, the amount of plot and development in it makes it feel like a lifetime. I really enjoy this manga each time I read it, and its a manga with a truly unique plot – there aren’t many cliches here.

The plot is a good one. About a girls career and the restaurant business. I tell you, it’s a refreshing difference. The romance is respectably paced and not one part of the whole thing made me go “WTF?” seriously, there was some common sense here. The plot arcs each add something to the whole picture, and presents an accurate representation of the course of life. I don’t usually like “slice of life” mangas, but this one was done so well I can’t not like it.

More common to shoujo than josei, the main protagonist (Momoe) is a bubbly smiley can-do girl, full of determination and all that jazz. But Momoe’s character fits nicely within the tale, the plot isn’t all miracles and fairytale, its pretty gritty (though nothing drastic) at times, and she makes it grow. She is the catalyst for all the other (equally well developed) characters stories, while maintaining her own career driven mindset with a touch of romance on the side. I always expect to find her annoying, but she adds a comic relief that makes the whole thing lighter.

The art is different from what I usually read as an early 1990’s josei, but enjoyable nonetheless. The characters are clearly well developed and thought out, and dont look like one another, which is always lovely. I do hate a manga where everyone looks like they’re all from the same family. The mangaka well presented the main topic- food, and her art presented the emotions and tastes that go with it very well, essential as this is a big part of the story.

Hence, all in all, a nice, feel good, engaging, proper slice of life, interesting, unique and other adjectives, josei manga, how delightful.
4.5/5 (-0.5 because i still have a bit of an odd feeling when finishing slice of life i dont like. shut up. I’m a fantasist.)


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