Yakitate!! Japan 14
April 27, 2009
I didn’t realize I had an older volume of this, so I thought I’d try it out. Now, I like this series, but sometimes it’s a little more weird than I know what to do with. The first chapter here is a good example. We get the life story of a boy who is naturally gifted at mimicking people. He tries to become a baseball superstar, but finds that, while he looks awesome, he can’t hit the ball. So then he decides to become a mime, and dedicates his life to imitating Marcel Marceau. After years of practice, he is hailed as the greatest miming sensation since Marceau, but his contract isn’t renewed because… his performance lacks soul, being an imitation and all (bonus: he performs on a vaudeville circuit).
Also, he has to roll his eyes back in his head after this, because looking at someone means he will unconsciously mime everything they do.
So some famous bread chef hires him to learn to mimic his style in order to beat Azuma.
That’s just the first chapter. This is a lot of work to put into someone that will probably be beaten down by the main character in less than a volume. A lot of… bizarre work.
That’s not even the weirdest thing that happens in this volume. There’s a chapter called “Galaxy Express.” I was expecting a reference, of course, and figured it was just the fact that Pierrot’s mother looked like Maetel. This series takes it several steps farther, though. Pierrot bites into some bread, and then is transformed into Tetsuro and rides the train out to a planet made out of Maetel’s face. The homage is… rather long, and drawn to look something like Matsumoto’s loopy style. Not even Bobobo could have pulled something from as far from left field as this chapter.
Keep in mind, this is in the middle of a competition about baking bread.
Anyway. It does make the best use of puns of any series I’ve ever seen, and I love puns. I also liked seeing a little bit more of Kuroyanagi in a non-Judge context. Of all the characters, I like him the best, but that’s probably only because I’ve seen his puns in the volumes after this one.
It’s a really, really good series, but it is also one of the weirdest series I think I’ve read. That’s probably some sort of high compliment. Take it as you will.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.