Thank you to the Publishers, Netgalley and Edelweiss for the review copies.
Kitchen Princess Omnibus by Natsumi Andō
Najika is a great cook and she likes to make meals for the people she loves. But something is missing from her life. When she was a child, she met a boy who touched her heart – and now she’s determined to find him. The only clue Najika has is a silver spoon that leads her to the prestigious Seika Academy.
Attending Seika will be a challenge. Every kid at the school has a special talent, and the girls in Najika’s class think she doesn’t deserve to be there. But Sora and Daichi, two popular brothers who barely speak to each other, recognize Najika’s cooking talent for what it is – magical. Is either boy Najika’s mysterious prince?
Adorable cuteness – Review of whole series. No spoilers.
Kitchen Princess is a sweet story to read when you just want something nice. I was surprised by the story turn after the halfway point of the series, as it was darker than I would have anticipated for this type of story, but the ending was a nice reliable “cute” end.
I enjoyed this series from start to finish.
Ima Koi: Now I’m in Love, Vol. 1 by Ayuko Hatta
Sometimes the greatest romantic adventure isn’t falling in love—it’s what happens after you fall in love!
After missing out on love and dating because she was too shy to confess her feelings, high school student Satomi blurts out how she feels the next time she gets a crush—and it’s to her impossibly handsome schoolmate Yagyu! To her surprise, he agrees to date her. Now that Satomi’s suddenly in a relationship, what next?
Even though she can hardly believe it, Satomi is dating Yagyu. Being in love as part of a couple is now Satomi’s everyday reality. With how fast everything has gone and with Satomi still clueless about how dating is supposed to work, can she actually enjoy being in love?
Review: Based on the first book I think Ima Koi: Now I’m in Love is a comfort read. It’s a sweet story with likable characters but no big underlying trauma waiting to disrupt the cute love story. At least that’s the impression I got, and I do hope I’m right.
After being rescued from a pervert feeling her up on the train Satomi searches the school to thank the guy who helped her. From there she confesses and the two begin to date. Admittedly, the plot is predictable but that is also reassuring. I liked all the characters; I especially like that Yagyu (her rescuer) doesn’t manipulate Satomi’s feelings or inexperience. He is upfront and talks to her.
Cheeky Brat Vol.1 by Mitsubachi Miyuki
Basketball club manager Yuki has a secret-she’s in love with the team captain! But when Naruse, her cheeky kouhai, discovers her big secret, she’s in a tight spot! Just how long is he going to keep teasing her about it!? Stupid pretty playboy…
Review: Firstly, there are two scenes within this story that I have issues with. Both involve an interaction between the main characters and a lack of respect for personal boundaries. The first is right at the beginning and the second is about halfway through. The second really irked me because “no” is no, not “didn’t look like you meant it”.
I know that especially in this genre the pushing boundaries or being “assertive” from the male characters is common. Sometimes it annoys me more than others and in this case that second scene really did.
I think the reason this annoyed me more in Cheeky Brat is because I want to like this story. Overall, I do because it’s interesting, but I was disappointed by those actions. I’d probably say give this a go and if those interaction don’t get to you the way they did me then continue?
What Did You Eat Yesterday? by Fumi Yoshinaga
From award-winning author Fumi Yoshinaga comes a casual romance between two middle-aged men and the many meals they share together.
A hard-working middle-aged gay couple in Tokyo come to enjoy the finer moments of life through food. After long days at work, either in the law firm or the hair salon, Shiro and Kenji will always have down time together by the dinner table, where they can discuss their troubles, hash out their feelings and enjoy delicately prepared home cooked meals!
Review: With a title like What Did You Eat Yesterday? I was expecting a food to be part of this story, though not quite to the extent that it is. Every chapter has a new recipe, which is chronicled with Shiro thinking each step through. At first, I thought this was really fun, by the third time I found myself skim-reading those pages.
This manga is a slice of life story that has a middle-aged characters instead of the early twenties I’m familiar with in this genre. I liked different Shiro and Kenji are but how well they still worked as a couple.