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OISHINBO: JAPANESE CUISINE: A la Carte Paperback – January 20, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—This is the first title in a manga series that will highlight thematic selections from the more than 100 Oishinbo volumes published since the 1980s in Japan. The premise is that rival newspapers (an almost charmingly outdated notion these days) are competing to create "The Ultimate Menu," a meal that will embody "the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine." Tension sizzles as the volatile and oft-misunderstood Yamaoka is pitted against his famous bulldozer of a father, Kaibara. Each "course" in this menu features an in-depth exploration of an aspect of Japanese culture and cuisine, from the intricacies of chopstick making and use to the importance of holistic cooking to the integrity of a dish. The artwork is static, with simplistic characterization and expression that does little to add depth to the story. Fluidity between panels is slightly lacking, too. Color recipes and detailed notes on the text are included. All said, clearly the author has a passion for Japanese cooking, and his enthusiasm is contagious. A pinch of Rebel Without a Cause served with a generous spoonful of Iron Chef, this book will be snapped up by the ever-growing ranks of Japanophiles, as well as foodies.—Shannon Peterson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Manga writer and essayist extraordinaire Tetsu Kariya graduated from prestigious Tokyo University. Kariya was employed with a major advertising agency before making his debut as a manga writer in 1974 when he teamed up with legendary manga artist Ryoichi Ikegami to create Otoko Gumi (Male Gang). The worlds of food and manga were forever changed in 1983 when Kariya, together with artist Akira Hanasaki, created the immensely popular and critically acclaimed Oishinbo.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (January 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421521393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421521398
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.9 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I discovered Oishinbo over 20 years ago and I even owned the first three volumes of the original Japanese version. I long hoped to see this manga
series or the TV anime version in English, and now we finally have this excellent manga in English.

Everything about this series, from the careful attention to high quality Japanese 'washoku' cooking to the contentious enmity between Yamaoka and his father Kaibara, make this one of the most enjoyable manga series aimed at adults out there.

That said, I do have just one complaint. Each English language volume is a "best-of" series.
With dozens of volumes published in Japan,
and the unwillingness of most Americans to invest in any series consisting of such a large collection, I can understand Viz's choice of going "a la carte," though the first volume should have reproduced the
original Japanese first volume of Oishinbo since it introduced the cast, prepared readers for the quest to find the ultimate menu, and introduced
readers to the father/son conflict between Yamaoka and Kaibara.

Despie my complaint, I'm happy to see even parts of this series finally in English and hope you all find each volume as rewarding a read as I do.
Let's hope Cartoon Network's Adult Swim takes notice and brings over the anime series :-)

Now, go order this book!
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Format: Paperback
"It's not very common in other countries to eat fish raw. And since it's raw, people might think it doesn't take a lot of skill. But for fish or meat to be eaten raw, a great deal of technique is required. We should be proud that Japanese cuisine has developed such delicious ways to prepare sashimi."

This is a very "meaty" manga. All puns aside, it has a definite message and carries a fascinating look at the Japanese culture and cuisine - which are very closely intertwined.

We follow the story of a father and son who have had a feud with one another. Both are Japanese chefs in their own right, the son being more of an amateur learning and the father one of the finest in the country. They repeatedly run into one another causing much drama, which is hilarious and perfect and really gives the story a lot more character.

The artwork for the characters is fairly typical, from my limited experience in manga. It's not quite as beautiful as some others that I've seen but the drawing of the food is so precise and delicate, I could almost taste it.

If this is your first Manga, be prepared to read it a little differently. You being at the end of the book and read from right to left, rather from left to right. It took me a few pages of getting used to, but I adapted well and enjoyed reading the story so much I forgot how I was reading it.

Through this first volume I've learned the correct method of cutting fish to several ways of serving seabream, learned how the food should be enjoyed, how chopsticks are made and why they are such a valued cultured item. I've learned how rice should be made and that it is a delicate, difficult task to make it well.

There were a few moments in this volume that really spoke to me.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Oishinbo 'a la carte' collections are an excellent way to get your Japanese food fix while reading manga. All the major elements of Japanese cuisine are represented along with some classic stylistic devices - the feud between the older traditional father and rebellious son, love interests, and plenty of showdown battles.

There reaches a point in your development when you're no longer just an otaku young adult, and you can get sick of continuous fantasy battles and power beams and magic etc etc... Oishinbo manages to retain the exciting elements of Manga with more real world content - food, drink, opinion and criticism. It's like a lively debate with your friends over the dinner table on the best food and restaurants

This collection covers the 'basics' of Japanese cuisine, including sashimi, tea and table manners as well as giving some background as to the feud between the protagonist and his father.

Each book also contains a recipe or menu item that is featured in one of the stories, and a personal article from the writer, both of which add to the context of the stories and add to your enjoyment. This edition contains two intriguing sashimi styles I can't wait to try.

Each story informs and entertains. I'm a devoted collector.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even the most die-hard of literary 'foodies' will find much delight in this first volume of Tetsu Kariya's comic-book "Oishinbo" series. Forget about the characters and meager, unifying storyline for the time being. The beauty of this series is the sheer amount of detail conveyed in its bite-sized, easily digestible, graphic novel format. Concepts such as what comprises the 'essence' of Japanese cuisine oftentimes gets muddled in erudite and pretentious articulations when presented in text-essay format but here, with simplistic illustration and breezy flow from one panel to another the reader quickly absorbs complex and detailed concepts with very little effort.

This book will certainly appeal to foodies first and foremost. Whether you have a detailed understanding of Japanese cuisine or are a neophyte curious to learn more there is much to be gleaned within for both parties. Do not be turned off just because of its comic format, at 276 pages this book is information dense and you may be surprised to discover the efficiency of the medium in presenting its subject matter.
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