Yakitate!! Japan 22
February 26, 2010
Takashi Hashiguchi – Viz – 2010 – 26 volumes
In case I had forgotten, this volume opens with Kuroyanagi’s bad pun judging. Had I jumped into the series here, I would have been very puzzled as to why he was first a little chick, then a bird. Since I have read a few other volumes, I was merely pleased. I must say, though, I was pretty bummed by the tease of him turning into an… Inca or something. I was very curious about that.
Since I missed a couple volumes, I couldn’t tell you what happened immediately before this, but it looks like Pantasia had a couple losses. That’s a shame, and I’ll have to go back and read those volumes. I’m always borderline disturbed by the weirdness of this series, but I really do love it. It’s a unique kind of disturbed, I suppose, and it is pretty funny in addition to being educational, what with all the commentary about bread and baking. And it would be unfair to say that I couldn’t deal with the weirdness in this when I loved the absolute over-the-top absurdity of Iron Wok Jan. I probably will have to go back to the beginning and start this series for real. It’s something special.
I also still love the puns. I’m sad I missed out on whatever turned the lame kid into a knee, but I enjoyed Kuro-yan’s later reactions to the leg of the race held during this volume. They weren’t puns, as far as I could tell, they were just downright disturbing. I did think it was a shame what happened with the score, though. That was a pretty cruel way to extend the length of the manga. I assume this contest will run for the four volumes until the end.
The author actually mentions in the back that he’s had some thoughts about his next series, and this comment is followed with about four pages of really funny ideas for terrible manga, including a series for people who love rice and one about the most common name in Japan.
The contest itself in this volume was about the same as always, a tart contest with the head of St. Pierre herself. She is, of course, a master tart maker, and Azuma has to overcome the severe handicap of her “blizzard hands.” The ingredient of choice this time around is loquat, a fruit I haven’t tried or given much thought to before reading this volume.
On one hand, it is a bit disappointing that the bulk of such a great series is the same tournament. On the other hand, this series is so funny that I don’t really care that all they are doing is repeating the same process over and over again. Plus, the format for the tournament is such that they are making a completely different kind of dish every time, so it’s not really that boring. Honestly, there’s probably not that many forms a series about baking bread can take that shows off all the aspects of baking, so I can’t say I mind the tournament too much. I’m well and truly convinced of the awesomeness of this series now. There’s a Viz sale this week at the Right Stuf, so I think I’m going to pick up the volumes I missed along with a couple that move backwards from where I started. That’ll be nice.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.