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This was my first experience with Manga and in some respects it maybe an atypical one If I am going to get into a comic book series then one about food islikely than most to sway me I didn t fully appreciate how much I would learn from this book It is a deep dive into Japanese food culture presented in the Manga style The opening lesson story is about the correct way to make dashi and woe betide the cook that screws this up Bowls of dashi are hurled about and cooks fired for smoking This was my first experience with Manga and in some respects it maybe an atypical one If I am going to get into a comic book series then one about food islikely than most to sway me I didn t fully appreciate how much I would learn from this book It is a deep dive into Japanese food culture presented in the Manga style The opening lesson story is about the correct way to make dashi and woe betide the cook that screws this up Bowls of dashi are hurled about and cooks fired for smoking, least it infuse the ingredients Some of this is played for laughs but there is plenty of food philosophy here and I especially liked the not so subtle dig at flashy presentations overtraditional techniques where respect for the ingredient is paramount The only frustration for me in reading about cuisine in this format is that I missed the beautiful food photography you would expect to find in books on Japanese food A black and white sketch of a bowl of miso soup with clams in it is disturbingly unappealing My first manga I had to practice the whole backwards thing, I even walked backwards down the block while walking my dog Didn t help things.This book was given to me by USA Today s PopCandy blogger Whitney Matheson the coolest chick I know in media, serious I was like, wtf is this Graphic novel about food Oooh boy I love it It s so weird and wonderful, the drama over food is so hysterical, and yet seems to give me a glimpse into Japanese culture that I d never have any other way I love l My first manga I had to practice the whole backwards thing, I even walked backwards down the block while walking my dog Didn t help things.This book was given to me by USA Today s PopCandy blogger Whitney Matheson the coolest chick I know in media, serious I was like, wtf is this Graphic novel about food Oooh boy I love it It s so weird and wonderful, the drama over food is so hysterical, and yet seems to give me a glimpse into Japanese culture that I d never have any other way I love love it So strange and interesting at the same time makes me want to go over there for an eating tour Will read all of them D This might sum up the difference between mainstream Western comics and Japanese manga Oishinbo is a series about food, one that lastedthan twenty years and 100 volumes, regularly selling over one million copies per volume To put that into perspective, Saga, the best selling single trade paperback last year, sold less than a quarter that amount, in a country withthan twice the population It s kind of amazing, when you think about it.Due to the extremely long running nature of the This might sum up the difference between mainstream Western comics and Japanese manga Oishinbo is a series about food, one that lastedthan twenty years and 100 volumes, regularly selling over one million copies per volume To put that into perspective, Saga, the best selling single trade paperback last year, sold less than a quarter that amount, in a country withthan twice the population It s kind of amazing, when you think about it.Due to the extremely long running nature of the book, it would have been borderline crazy for VIZ to attempt a full translation So this series is basically going to be a greatest hits version, divided into collections based on theme It s an unusual tactic, but this series it actually works Sure, it leads to oddities, like having to be told in a translation note at the end of the book that two characters have married But since I m not paying much attention to the story, it didn t bother me.Because the thing is, I don t particularly care about the overarching story In a nutshell the main character, a journalist, was raised by an ultra gourmet, famous potter, and complete asshole And, as you might expect, he s an asshole, too They hate each other endlessly And that s about it I didn t like either of them in the least, and the book was improved anytime they either weren t on panel or kept their mouths shut But the food Now that s another story The food is beautifully, lovingly drawn, and described in wonderfully vivid and enthusiastic terms Better yet, there s a great deal of attention paid to technique, the exact way that you would prepare a dish, and why it should be prepared in that way Maybe you couldn t learn to cook from Oishinbo, but you could definitely expand your understanding of how to cook, and of food in general This is a book that makes a big deal when strawberries are served in cream Because that would cover the natural flavor of the strawberries Yes, this is a book that s passionate about food, and about Japanese food in particular And nothing to be read while hungry.If it were only about the food, I would have rated this four stars I loved those parts But the non food story was meh at best, and I was happier by far when it was absent or easily ignored Still, I want to seeof this delicious food 28 February 2013Dear Poor Library Patron who reads this after me,I profusely apologize for the drool stained condition in which you shall receive this book The gorgeously illustrated food had my salivary glands working overtime It could not be helped My advice to you is to wear a bib and hold the book a good two feet s distance away from mouth Keep yummy snack handy to distract your chops from chewing on delectable book Enjoy.This here is foodie nirvana Oishinbo, Volume 1 Japanese Cuisin 28 February 2013Dear Poor Library Patron who reads this after me,I profusely apologize for the drool stained condition in which you shall receive this book The gorgeously illustrated food had my salivary glands working overtime It could not be helped My advice to you is to wear a bib and hold the book a good two feet s distance away from mouth Keep yummy snack handy to distract your chops from chewing on delectable book Enjoy.This here is foodie nirvana Oishinbo, Volume 1 Japanese Cuisine combines two of my most favorite things food and manga There are even a couple of recipes included EEEEEEEEEE The opening pages display beautiful photographs detailing the steps in the recipes featured in the story Yum Journalists Shir Yamaoka and Y ko Kurita are tasked with the project to research and create the Ultimate Menu for T zai News Together they embark on a gastronomic adventure to discover the epitome of Japanese cuisine The intricate drawings and explanations of the food is absolutely mouthwatering The care and craftsmanship that goes into the seemingly simple looking dishes gave me a whole new appreciation for my favorite cuisine These volumes do not follow the chronological order of how Oishinbo was originally released in Japan The stories have been picked apart and then combined into similar categories such as sake, ramen, and izakaya to form the volumes I think this takes away from the story feeling cohesive, making the narrative feel flat at times.The star of the show is the food In truth, if you take the food away I probably would not have enjoyed this story as much Every course or chapter follows the exact same formula Someone fumbles their knowledge on food preparations, there s a lot of yelling, Shir gets lectured by Y zan Kaibara on how much he doesn t understand the true meaning of cooking, and some culinary hero saves the day by making a mind blowing dish with exquisite care and detail.Although the characters are one dimensional and the plot trudges forward, the educational value that is contained within this mangathan makes up for any flaw You getthan a lesson on Japanese culture and food You are getting the heart of Japan This is a wonderful book to relish and savor 3.5 starsI randomly picked this book while browsing through Kinokuniya bookstore just because it said Japanese cuisine It was a great introduction to Japanese cuisine and culture I am a vegetarian and I should have realized that their cuisine is basically raw seafood That decreased my enjoyment as I did not enjoy reading about how to cut meat or what type of fish tastes better etc I think a person who loves Japanese cuisine and seafood would love this book.This book is like a collection of s 3.5 starsI randomly picked this book while browsing through Kinokuniya bookstore just because it said Japanese cuisine It was a great introduction to Japanese cuisine and culture I am a vegetarian and I should have realized that their cuisine is basically raw seafood That decreased my enjoyment as I did not enjoy reading about how to cut meat or what type of fish tastes better etc I think a person who loves Japanese cuisine and seafood would love this book.This book is like a collection of short stories about a person who is obsessed with eating perfectly cooked food and his son who hates him because of this obsession The son says that his mother died because of this obsession of his father He made his wife cook dishes multiple times until he was satisfied with the taste First few stories are about this fight between father and son where the son is trying to prove that food prepared in a simple fashion could be great tasting too Last few stories were what I enjoyed the most as they talk about their cuisine and culture I am still not convinced how chopping meat and serving it raw could be considered cooking , even though the author gave many explanations for it Indian cooking is so complex and uses so many ingredients I liked the part about how the tea ceremony needs to get rid of vanity I had read about Japanese tea ceremony earlier too and I like the fact that these ceremonies are so minimalistic There is some discussion about chopsticks and how they are made I now want to try using a wooden chopstick sometime as the author made a point about how metal flavors everything it touches I am glad I read this book I will get hold of the sequels someday Please note This is my spoiler free review for the whole English release of the series Oishinbo, A La Carte is a seinen, comedy manga series, written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by Akira Hanasaki, that revolves around food culture in Japan, and specifically how some of the dishes came be a marker of Japanese identity through time There are seven English volumes in the series collectively, and in Japan there are one hundred eleven volumes and was the tenth longest running serial of all Please note This is my spoiler free review for the whole English release of the series Oishinbo, A La Carte is a seinen, comedy manga series, written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by Akira Hanasaki, that revolves around food culture in Japan, and specifically how some of the dishes came be a marker of Japanese identity through time There are seven English volumes in the series collectively, and in Japan there are one hundred eleven volumes and was the tenth longest running serial of all time There were tons of things that I enjoyed about this manga, with only a few things that I felt detracted from its quality overall.The narrative follows two food journalists Shir Yamaoka and Y ko Kurita at a local newspaper who ve been tasked with creating The Ultimate Menu of Japanese cuisine In addition, Yamaoka the male protagonist , is bitterly resentful of his father and the abuse his father gave Yamaoka s mother s cooking while he was growing up, and as such he has a personal agenda of surpassing his father with his knowledge and talent for creating spectacular gourmet dishes, without being a self entitled asshole about it.As I mentioned in my introduction, there are plenty of things to appreciate and relish about Oishinbo The first is the title itself The word oishinbo is a portmanteau blending of two words to make a new word of the Japanese words oishi, or delicious, and kuishinbo, or someone who loves to eat I felt that was an imaginative title as the series really is about the passion of yummy foods.Another aspect I loved, and one of the manga s greatest strengths, is that it offers tons of information on Japanese foods, such as preparation methods and techniques, different recipes for a specific ingredient e.g eggplant, seabream, etc , and why some methods of preparation are much better than others, specifically where sanitation and flavour are concerned There s also quite a bit of history that traces how the dish originated, whichoften than not led to it being brought over to the country via China, and how that particular dish has evolved over time to become an inherent part of Japanese identity and culture.The seven English volumes all focus on one particular dish For example, volume one is about Japanese cuisine in general and provides a brief introduction to how the Japanese people explicitly food enthusiasts approach trying out new meals and the etiquettes they follow Volume two is about sak , going into detail about its history, how it was diluted during the Second World War, and how to tell the difference between diluted sak and authentic, traditionally crafted sak The good thing about the acute focus given to these dishes is that I obtained plenty of knowledge surrounding them I honestly never realised how much of Japan s most popularised dishes originated in different countries It was also quite pleasant learning about how uniquely independent Japanese traits found their way into the meals to create a brand new sort of food culture and identity As a foodie myself, it s something I appreciate about multicultural cuisines.Other enjoyable characteristics are the author s own anecdotes detailing a personal experience that he had with the relevant dish More often than not, he talks about how he had to adapt Japanese foods and cooking for living in Australia where you may not find the same sort of ingredients or even certain utensils that are necessary to create a faithfully Japanese flavour Most of these anecdotes are rather hilarious, but once in a while, I came across one that I found may be construed as offensive to Westerners, as it does belittle their foods and ignorance towards Asian cuisine a bit.This leads me to the somewhat bad aspects of Oishinbo, A La Carte Each chapter is episodic, which in and of itself isn t a bad quality But while I was reading the English volumes back to back, it creates a lot of inconsistencies I did some research into the English translations and discovered that each volume is essentially a collection of the best of the best from the series over time, pulling chapters from all one hundred eleven Japanese volumes This explained all of the discrepancies that sprouted up while reading For example, in one of the volumes, a couple of the characters end up getting engaged, however, in a much later volume, they are being teased for being close yet single Clearly, it was pulled from a part of the original Japanese narrative that predated the engagement Of course, this is just one example of such an incongruity There are others, but I don t want to give any spoilers if I can help it.Another thing that I found mildly grating is the conflict that Yamaoka has with his father It can be entertaining at times and helps to create an element of tension to the overtly simple plotline, butoften than not, it was irritating and felt too prolonged His father is also a royally rude fellow, which makes it sensationally difficult to like him or enjoy his presence on the pages, no matter how short lived His arrogance and pompous nature are over the top ridiculous.The illustrations are also rather hit and miss Due to the comedic tone and atmosphere for the story, the drawings are all done in a cartoon like aesthetic, reminiscent of Barefoot Gen The facial expressions are silly and comical, the reactions positive or negative to the flavours of food, or interactions with people, are very exaggerated I didn t particularly mind these exaggerations, as I know it was done to rouse laughter Nonetheless, when it came to depictions of the most important thing food it failed spectacularly For some dishes, the details are marvellous, and I could almost imagine the dish in real life, or at the very least in an anime form But that was an uncommon occurrence Usually the shading on the dishes, or the use of black to help develop texture was too heavy, blurring all of the minute details together to make is extremely difficult to decipher what the dish entailed This made me sad One of my main reasons for wanting to read the All in all, I recommend Oishinbo, A La Carte for people interested in learning about Japanese cuisine and how it has shaped and contributed to Japanese culture and identity as we know it today Just go into it with the awareness that the English volumes have their shortcomings If you decide to read the Japanese editions, please note that the manga in Japan was put on an indefinite hiatus in 2014 after the author received much criticism for his treatment of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster.3.5 udon noodles outta 5 |READ EPUB ♑ Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 1 - Japanese Cuisine ☩ Follow journalist Yamaoka Shiro on a rich culinary adventure as he hunts for the ultimate menu To commemorate its th anniversary the heads of newspaper Tozai Shimbun come up with a plan to publish the Ultimate Menu The assignment is given to journalist Yamaoka Shiro, the protagonist of the series With the help of a female coworker, Kurita Yuko, Yamaoka starts off on what can only be termed an epic saga to find the dishes hat will go into the Ultimate Menu The subject of volumeis Nishon ryori, or Japanese cuisine, featuring stories on subjects like how to prepare a proper dashi broth that is one of the building blocks of Japanese cooking , or matcha the powdered green tea used in the tea ceremony , or red snapper sashimi The subjects of the later volumes aresake,fish,vegetables,rice dishes,udon, andizakaya or pub food Picked this up on a whim at Isotope and was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed it I don t know too much about Japanese cooking so the basic overviews were very helpful The Yamaoka Kaibara conflict was amusingly absurd, and the values articulated and implied were interesting, e.g a cosmopolitain appreciation for the qualities in cuisines from all places, but also a very specific and rigid definition of what is right and wrong in Japanese cuisine Female characters were almost exclusiv Picked this up on a whim at Isotope and was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed it I don t know too much about Japanese cooking so the basic overviews were very helpful The Yamaoka Kaibara conflict was amusingly absurd, and the values articulated and implied were interesting, e.g a cosmopolitain appreciation for the qualities in cuisines from all places, but also a very specific and rigid definition of what is right and wrong in Japanese cuisine Female characters were almost exclusively accessories, with the exception of Kurita s contributions in the last chapter, so take that for what you will It s also interesting that while they harped on the excellence of the simple basic elements, they never seemed address how the characters eat on a day to day basis Where do they go out for lunch What s a weeknight dinner look like They do go out to lunch at a cafeteria style place in once scene, but it s not clear if this is typical, and most of the scene is devoted to Yamaoka berating a co worker for eating nori incorrectly and not on the quality of the dishes or who prepared them Is the food good How do dishes and standards vary from day to day meals like this to the celebratory feasts or quintessential experiences that constitute most of the meals in the book Much to criticize, but much to enjoy too I m glad to have a new to me manga series I can look forat comic shops now Yea foodie manga Oishinbo looks at the heart of Japanese food and the care and thought that goes into each dish.The English translation pulls together the best chapters and groups them by theme here, Japanese Cuisine The comic ran for 30 years so we get hints at character arcs and development but don t see it ourselves The art is serviceable, the translation well done I especially appreciated the translator s notes at the end which provide detail and context It was great to have the J Yea foodie manga Oishinbo looks at the heart of Japanese food and the care and thought that goes into each dish.The English translation pulls together the best chapters and groups them by theme here, Japanese Cuisine The comic ran for 30 years so we get hints at character arcs and development but don t see it ourselves The art is serviceable, the translation well done I especially appreciated the translator s notes at the end which provide detail and context It was great to have the Japanese names of dishes included there are so many fish that I only know in Japanese, so I was lost until I checked in the back Ayu is sweetfish , who knew I m glad this book got me interested in the series, and I ll be searching out the first few volumes in Japanese so I can enjoy the character development and plot as it was originally presented Fun first book in a manga series about Japanese cuisine This first installment is about the broader components of Japanese cuisine and is told through a story about a young man who has been challenged to come up The Ultimate Menu and is constantly being berated by his father, a very famous gourmet food aficionado and artist Loved the food aspect of it and will definitely being moving on to the second book which focuses on sake.