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Manga Review: Mixed Vegetables, Vol 1

January 12, 2010 1 comment

Mixed Vegetables CoverMixed Vegetables: Volume 1 of 8, by Ayumi Komura

Hanayu Ashitaba is the daughter of a famed pastry chef, but her dream is to become a sushi chef. Knowing that she will break her parents’ hearts if she doesn’t continue their work, she plots to marry Hayato Hyuga, the son of a sushi chef, in hopes of achieving her goal.

(No Spoilers)

It’s been a while since I’ve even stepped into the manga section of the bookstore, but I’m really glad I did this past week. The great thing about manga is that they’re just so relaxing (or at least the series I read are) to read, and it’s nice to have a break from the heavier reading that I’ve done lately.

Mixed Vegetables has apparently been out for about a year or so, but it was new to me. As a fan of practically every food show on tv, I really liked how food-centric it is. Since Ashitaba is a student at a culinary school, a lot of the storylines in this first volume revolved around preparing for cooking exams, designing cakes, chopping vegetables, etc. The food was drawn beautifully, as were the characters. Artwork is really this manga’s strongpoint.

What I did find lacking was the story in general. For a first volume, I thought there was a real lack of conflict, especially in comparison to other first volumes I have read. Issues and storylines were too quickly resolved. Also, sometimes I had trouble following exactly what was happening in the scene. I’m not sure if this was just a bad translation, or if this is just how it is. But overall, the story lacked depth, and I finished the manga feeling a little unsatisfied.

I am unsure if I will pick up the next volume of this one. I definitely want to find out what happens, but with eight volumes total, the storyline will really have to get better before I invest in more of the series.

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On a side note, I’ve been thinking about how mysterious the manga section of the bookstore used to look to me before I started reading them myself. There were so many different series and I really had no idea where to start. I’m in no way an expert on the subject, but I’m hoping to do a post on “How to Start Reading Manga.” So stay tuned!