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OISHINBO: JAPANESE CUISINE: A la Carte Paperback – January 20, 2009
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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 The premise is that rival newspapers (an almost charmingly outdated notion these days) are competing to create "The Ultimate Menu," a meal that will embody "the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine."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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Top customer reviews
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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.
The only detractor I have for this comic is about how it's published. It's not presented in chronological order, so your not reading from the first chapter; instead your reading chapters picked to fit the theme of the published volume. So you end up with chapters where the art style has improved since its from a later edition.
This also makes it hard to follow the character's personal story arcs. One character for instance is dating a rice cracker maker and then later in the book she's pregnant. The second volume shows the wedding planning for this character, but since that one focuses on saki it's not included in this volume. Its not hard to follow but it is slightly irksome.
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.