Antique Bakery 4

March 7, 2007

Aah! It ended! There was no closure, and the end was a bit agonizing when the kid kidnappings started up again and you think that Tachibana is going to get revenge, but… he does get his moment, a couple times.

Lots happens with Eiji early on in the volume. He has to start taking French lessons against his will, and Ono has to put him back in line when he strays. He has a mini-confession about how much he likes the bakery, then things go back to normal.

There are lots of weird hints and reflections about Tachibana and Ono’s past. I kind of liked it.

Yeah. I liked this series. It was fantastic.  Scratch-n-sniff covers for life, baby.

Also, I feel the need to mention that I got all four volumes of this and Flower of Life together from Amazon, and the books arrived absolutely SOILED.  Like, caked in filth so bad that my hands were completely covered in dirt just from unpacking the box.  After wiping them all down copiously with paper towel, the books are still so dirty that I need to wash my hands after reading each one.  Buyer beware on that one, I’m cutting back on my stuff.

Antique Bakery 3

March 7, 2007

It’s a real shame this series is only 4 volumes long.  Then again, I can’t imagine where else it would go.

There was significantly less interesting backstory in this one, but plenty of character development all the same.  Our man Ono gets a ton of screen time, with both backstory and a scene where he overcomes his fear.  There is also lots more of slipping in and out of the past for all three of the old men this time around, and we even get an exciting relative showing up for Chikage near the end of the volume.

I wound up liking Chikage a lot more here.  I still think he’s kind of a silly character, but when they showed him holding Tachibana after he’d woken up from a nightmare and promising Tachibana he wouldn’t tell anyone, it’s hard not to just melt.

There’s also much time dedicated to two female reporters.  I kinda hope the one doesn’t come back as a love interest for Tachibana, because that would be too predictable.

Other than that?  Still an awesome character-based series that lives in the moment.  It’s not even right to call it episodic because so many small events happen in each chapter… the whole thing just blends together in this sort of wonderful Yoshinaga harmony.

Antique Bakery 2

March 7, 2007

There are many scenes where the characters are yelling where, for whatever reason, their teeth have been shaded in.  It makes it look as if all our young men need dentures or something.

I don’t approve of the addition of sunglasses man.  He doesn’t quite fit into the bakery, but I suppose they needed another person so that the main character could run out and do Christmas deliveries.  That chapter about sampling the Christmas food was pretty funny.  There were a bunch of good parts, like the chapter about Ono and sunglasses where the main character got a slap in over a slight to sunglasses, or where we learn young kid was  some sort of punk manwhore when he was younger.  They needed to balance the supergay chapter after it with a chapter that implied a lot of straight sex.  In fact, so much straight sex that the young boy didn’t want any anymore.

My favorite chapter this time around though was probably the one where we learn so much about the main character’s past.  He’s not just some scruffy old dude, he’s actually got a lot of family that care about him and a traumatic past that ties back to the bakery.  At this point, I’m beginning to like the little time slips the series does occasionally, because they always seem to tie back.

Not that I even want an overarching plot, but maybe we’ll get one yet.  We’ll see.

Antique Bakery 1

March 7, 2007

Here, Fumi Yoshinaga, take my money!  Please!  You can have it all if you keep producing manga as consistently good as every single page of all the volumes I’ve read from you so far!

I actually had my doubts at the beginning of this one.  I liked the focus on the bakery at first, but the story jumped around so much at the beginning it was hard for me to place the characters and link them to the brief glimses of the past I got.  It was a really unique technique though, and I admired it.  I got into the groove about halfway though, and I was sold on the full page that Ono got where he posed and said something about being a gay of demonic charm.  It was totally random and wound up being an awesome chapter.  He truly did get into every guy’s pants he sought, and it was also a testament to the strength of the story that the two guys who worked there were the only two guys on earth who could resist him and it was totally believable (or maybe just not something that you thought too hard about).

But it’s not a Boy’s Love series!  Fumi likes to tease cause she knows that’s what you think she does.  Mostly it’s a lot like Flower of Life where random events and conversations carry the series.  A lot of the stories deal with the customers at the bakery and random little events in their lives, some deal with the backstories and lives of the three that work at the bakery, and the conversations at the bakery itself are interspersed with copious descriptions of every kind of delicious cake imaginable. It’s hard not to run to the bakery down the street and scarf a bunch of cheap cookies to curb my appetite for delicious French confections.

Also: three pages detailing the morning routines of the three main characters.  They manage to be hilarious despite the slim amount of time you’ve spent with these three characters.

Also Also:  Why didn’t anyone tell me these had scratch-n-sniff covers!?  I would have bought them a long time ago had I known about that.