Title: Mixed Vegetables
Author: Ayumi Komura
Artist: Ayumi Komura
Genre: Shoujo, School Life, Comedy, Romance
Summary: Hanayu Ashitaba is the daughter of the celebrated Patisserie Ashitaba, but all she wants to do is be a sushi chef. Hayato Hyuga is the son of the prestigious Sushi Hyuga, and all he wants to do is be a pastry chef! It’s love and leftovers at Oikawa High School Cooking Department as these star-crossed gourmands do their best to reach their cuisine dreams! – Shojo Beat
“A cooking shoujo manga. I find that very refreshing, and maybe I would be able to learn useful facts about cooking like many mangas that follow this cooking theme.”
If you’re looking for a manga purely for that reason, Mixed Vegetables is not for you. It has little bits and pieces of information about the cooking world, but not much; don’t expect this to be some cooking/baking themed roller-coaster like Yakitate!! Ja-pan or Chūka Ichiban!(cooking master boy is the most epic of all). It’s done in a very small scale.
Romance enthusiasts, you’re in luck! There’s potential(I shouldn’t even bother saying this, it is shoujo) for romantic feelings from the male and female protagonists just waiting to be united. But don’t be fooled by your ‘familiar romance manga’ instincts – there’s something unconventional in the first volume that just made me jump with glee.
There are plenty of ‘moe’ moments! =D
The comedy aspect of the story nice and simple; it’s there and you might chuckle. I find the jokes quite original and not overdone – kudos to the execution. The heroine of the story is quite likable(to me), she’s like an exploration of teenagers with that sort of naive, childish sort of trait. I’ve accepted the idea that some people might find her really annoying, but I think she’s executed quite well because I don’t see her as this loser crybaby. I think quite a few people may actually be able to relate to her.
The art can also portray really serious events and it actually works(I find many serious parts of many stories quite lame). I’m pretty sure that the male characters would be much appreciated. The hero can most likely make your heart go ‘doki-doki’ – or even racing. The body porportions are very good which makes it appealing, but the whole style is sort of ‘manga-fied,’ as in it’s not realistic(just saying). Another attribute that I really like(I don’t really know whether I should be liking it or not), is that the adults and parents are drawn so young it’s as if they all have the age of university students in their third year. They’re drawn as attractively as the main high school protagonists – not old and wrinkly and short(most shoujo mangas have wrinkly parents). You might not even mind if everyone committed incest or if the story just deviated and talked about their parent’s early romantic beginnings/stories instead.
My last words will be that Mixed Vegetables is an interesting story away from the conventional school life genre; there’s the culinary school and there is ambition. There’s not much use of cliched events like school festivals etc. I’d list ambition as one of the strongest aspects – it isnt’t all about the romance developing. The characters themselves have their own aspirations and motivations. It doesn’t come through fully in the first volume, but believe me ambition will pounce up in the further into story. I rest my case.
Overall rating & any additional comments: 3.9/5