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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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07/21/2005 Archived Entry: "Manga review: Antique Bakery"

Antique Bakery, Volume 1
Story and art by Fumi Yoshinaga
Published by Digital Manga Publishing (better view of the artwork on this link)

Review by Ginger Mayerson

"Ohhh No No No. He's no ordinary gay. He's a demonically charmed gay, unspeakably gay, a legendary gay! He's scored with every man he's ever found pleasing, and his mere presence transforms the kitchen into a stage for TORRID romance... !!"

Oh my God. First I'm attracted to Alex Row, and now I'm in love with a manga.

Mmmm, "Antique Bakery." This manga makes me want cake!

From the DMP website: "Ono has come a long way since the agonizing day in high school when he confessed his love to handsome Tachibana. Now, some 14 years later Ono, a world-class pastry chef and gay playboy has it all. No man can resist Ono's charms (or his cooking skills!) but he has just found a new position under a man named Tachibana. Can this be the only man who resisted his charms, and if so, will the man who once snubbed the 'magically gay' Ono get his just desserts? And how in the heck did a former middleweight boxing champion wind up as Ono's cake boy?"

Well, I can't even begin to describe the plot of this story better than the above. Suffice to say that a lot happens and very little happens. I can tell you that the boxer, Kanda, has detached retinas, so that's why he's out of boxing and in the pastry kitchen. There are lots of subplots, so lots of characters. I suspect most of these minor characters will be back in later volumes because none of their stories really seemed finished to me. The three main characters: Ono, Kanda, and Tachibana are utterly adorable, ornery and wry. There's one smooch and some very in/discreet sex in this manga. It's all so subtle that I nearly missed them both on the first read through.

There isn't any "free talk" "side" or whatever it is at the end of this manga. This is a shame because I wanted to know more about Fumi Yoshinaga, but I was thwarted. I was further thwarted when I searched online for information and, although many hits for her work came up, I found nothing about her background. Of course I'm not the most patient person in the world, so I might have missed it. Links in the comments would be much much appreciated.

As usual, the production values on this DMP title are outstanding. DMP manga are slightly larger than the usual format, beautifully bound, crystal clear reproduction, and a lovely dust jacket on each and every book. There's an added bonus on the cover of this book: one of the strawberries on the tart on the cover is a scratch and sniff thingy. Adorable! Brilliant! Astonishing! Digital Manga Publishing - it's wonderful!

I don't know if this is interesting or not, it's interesting to me, this book, "Yellow," and several other upcoming titles are all by one author/artist. DMP's first releases -- "Only the Ring Finger Knows," "Desire," and "Passion 1 and 2" -- were all adaptations of novels, so the artist was not the writer. I don't think it matters, I just think it's interesting. And speaking of novels... lucky us! Thanks to DMP's superior licensing department, we all get to read the "Only the Ring Finger Knows" novels in May of 2006. Hopefully, we'll get to read about Kazuki nailing Wataru or vice versa (yeah, in my dreams). So there IS something to look forward to!

Note 1: I also review this title and "Yellow" in podcast number 5 at I read comics. It was recorded with the fabulous Lene Taylor while at the San Diego Comic Con on July 16, 2005.

Note 2: I don't know when Amazon will update their information, but this book is available now, not in 1-3 months.

Note 3: No, that isn't my Alex Row site, and, no, I can't explain this thing I have for a cartoon character, however sexy I find him. I mean, everyone's attracted to Bugs Bunny; that's normal. But this thing I have for Alex Row, it's a mystery even to me. I guess I still just like those bad boys in black. And in a uniform, too! [shiver]

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