Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Welcome to Shibuya-cho

All around and back, people. Here we are again. When last we met it was all about blood, sex, and demon-slaying in the Witchblade: Takeru manga, so I figured we'll take a different path this time around and talk about Natsumi Ando's latest creation, Kitchen Princess.

Now some of you might remember her first series Zodiac P.I. which was pretty popular for a while, but it's been just that. A while. Finally she's put out a new series, and I like it. The art is super shojo style with the sharp-jointed stick people much like the Sailor Moon manga or the Utena manga. So as long as you don't have anything against shojo, I'm sure you'll dig it too.
So here's the skinny. This girl named Najika was raised in an orphanage on one of those tiny random Japanese islands after her parents died in an accident when she was little. With both of her parents also being world-class chefs, Najika was born with the sense of perfect taste. Basically if she tastes anything once, she can recreate it perfectly; even accounting for the love, thought, and soul put into the food.

The real story begins when Najika enters one of Japan's most prestigious private schools in search of a mysterious boy. He gave her a cup of flan and a silver spoon back when she was new to the orphanage and feeling super-depressed. Her only clue? The spoon he gave her is made by this school and given only to its students.

Many of the other students can't stand her and don't even know how she managed to get into their school at all, let alone on full scholarship. But Najika does her best to prove herself and help everyone with her awesome cooking abilities. It all might sound a little corny -- these things often do when you're sitting there trying to summarize them -- but what makes this series really awesome is that everything Najika cooks, from dinner to dessert to drinks, the recipes can be found at the end of the book so you can make it yourself (complete with handy doodles). So pick it up, enjoy, and vicariously make yourself hungry. Then eat. See ya next time.

Ja Ne!
Mat K.



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