Robot 6

SDCC ’09 | Can cooking manga find a place at the table in the U.S.?

The San Diego Union-Tribune broadens its coverage of Comic-Con with this nice overview of cooking manga, and the reasons behind the genre’s popularity in Japan:



In the United States, where most comic books are aimed at children, manga are a revelation. In Japan, paperbacks and magazines full of cartoons are a cradle-to-grave phenomenon, with subjects and styles to suit all ages and interests.

And food is a major concern in Japan. Even in the cities, many people still buy bread in bakeries, fruits and vegetables from produce stands, and coffee beans from local cafes. Seasonal delights are so avidly tracked, this sign was spotted one spring day outside a Tokyo bistro: “We now have eel pizza!”

Food and manga, then, are a perfect pairing — at least in Japan.

But how does it fare in the U.S., where Viz Media began releasing the top-selling — in Japan, at least — Oishinbo in January? Okay, it turns out, but not great.

Oishinbo is the most successful cooking manga in Japan,” blogger Deb Aoki tells the newspaper. “If the epitome of this type of manga can’t make a beachhead in America, that is worrisome.”


One Comment

Really, COmcis in the US are mostly for children? Really? Have they even been to a comic shop?

That aside. Oinshinbo is great. It is level up Manga that doesn’t great on the nerves. One of the problems this series will see here is that instead of releasing it in its episodic original state in over 150 volumes, the book is being released in best of volumes that cut a swath across the history of the book. The two main characters begin as friends but are sometimes pregnant or married by the end of a volume, but then back to friends at the start of the next volume. That aside, it is a fun, almost comic version of Iron Chef, with compelling characters that will provide a lot of interesting knowledge to the reader!

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