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Seiyou Kottou Yougashiten / Antique Bakery

Submitted by Druss on Thu, 2012-09-13 01:42

I just finished watching and reading Antique Bakery, a Josei manga by Yoshinaga Fumi which has also been adapted as an anime. The story revolves around Tachibana Keiichiro, who, one fine day, decides to quit his high profile corporate job to open a bakery. His parents, in a bid to support him as best they can, help him out by sourcing a skilled pâtissier for "Antique", so dubbed because it previously used to be an antique furniture shop.

Unfortunately for Tachibana, the genius pâtissier - Ono Yusuke - happens to be an erstwhile high-school classmate of his and to make things interesting, is gay and was quite severely rejected by Tachibana when he confessed to him on graduation day. Ono's assistant - Kanda Eiji - is a former boxer & delinquent with a saccharine tooth while Tachibana's assistant is his childhood mate - Chikage Kobayakawa - and a handsome, goofy, all-thumbs, village idiot.

The anime (12 eps) is short as is the manga (4 volumes). The storyline appears to be episodic, but retains an underlying continuity that holds water and is tailored with fluidity. The character buildup is quite excellent and dynamics and humour are also handled well. The Shounen-Ai (that is boy-boy love to you neophytes) is quite prevalent throughout the series, but is rather perfunctory and unintrusive in nature. It appears to serve more as a humour device (especially in the anime) than anything else. The cooking element, one which I'm always vulnerable to, also succeeds wonderfully.

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