Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Food Manga - Oishinbo A la Carte


the latest title

I confess that I always used to think manga was just for teenagers. Hence, it was a big surprise when I learnt last year when chatting to a Korean and Japanese friend, how manga teaches people about wine. Known as Kami No Shizuku in Japanese and The Drops of God in English, the manga took the wine world by storm. In Korea, as I was told, whatever wine label that was introduced in the manga series would end up being sold out. It also caused a general appreciation for wine and wine-tasting especially among the younger crowd. While it has been translated into French and Chinese, sadly there's no English version. The closest we will get to an English version is the Japanese television adaptation of the manga where English subtitles explain the nuances of each wine. For more information regarding the manga, read the New York Times article in 2008, the Decanter article and the Daily Mail UK article.

collect them all

Recently, Lyrical Lemongrass highlighted to me this food manga that was being sold during Kinokuniya's Christmas promotion. While I didn't manage to catch the promotion (when I went to see the books, only two titles remained), I was able to accumulate the six titles from plowing Kinokuniya Singapore's bookshelves. Just this Monday, the last title of the series arrived at Kinokuniya Kuala Lumpur - Izakaya: Pub Food.

Definitely a must read for Japanese food lovers, the manga details a competition between two rival newspapers in Japan (the Ultimate Menu vs the Supreme Menu). There's showdowns between the two rivals with various topics and that's where you learn more about the Japanese cuisine through the various stories. In Japan, there's 100 books but these are 7 titles selected to be translated into English. Even though they're grouped by the particular topic i.e. rice or vegetables, you find a jump in the series especially when it comes to relationships. Nevertheless, the manga is extremely enjoyable reading and makes you crave for Japanese food (I had an incessant craving for rice balls after they did the rice ball challenge!). For detailed reviews on each volume, see this great site. Each book is retailing at RM44.33 at Kinokuniya Kuala Lumpur where new stocks for the titles have arrived.

18 comments:

qwazymonkey said...

Sounds like the perfect series for this comical foodie. Wonders hard why my BFF didn't inform me of such things. I'm beginning to feel less important by the day. ROFL!

CUMI & CIKI said...

cool! i thought you were going to tell me that there was a restaurant dedicated to this manga !.. fwar..

UnkaLeong said...

Aiyo. Looks tempting lar! But will cost a small fortune to collect them all lar ;)

rach zubermaus said...

Hello boo_licious,

I am working on a tourism site and have a proposal for you. Is there any way we can discuss this? I can't find your email address to write to you properly. Please get in touch with me at racheljena[at]gmail[dot]com.

Best.

sc said...

i heard the "fish, sushi and sashimi" was really good- wanted to look for it late last year- but something cropped up, i got distracted and still ended up with no food manga :(. thanks for the reminder!

babe_kl said...

this is cool, i think my boiboi will enjoy them too, plus a great way to intro Jap food to him, then we can eat out at Jap restaurants!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I've learnt so much from this manga series! Like eating salmon sashimi can be detrimental to health! (see the book on Sashimi) I'm almost done with the first 6 books di, and I neeeeeeed to get the Pub Food book pronto! Yayyyyy!!!!!

ai wei said...

this one must be great! i must start grabbing but you said they are sold out here >< sobz

ToyBoy & ToyGirl said...

wow! I definitely want to get my hands on the book on sake! must go KLCC soon.

boo_licious said...

qwazymonkey - she mentioned it in passing so maybe tat's why. Anyway, she's going to lend it to you!

C&C - how I wish there was a restaurant in KL tat had all these dishes, that will be fuwah!

Unkaleong - maybe one title per mth?

Thxs rach, will email you.

SC - ah, that is a must for sashimi lovers! Hope you finally get a copy.

babe_kl - ah, good idea. Kids will definitely associate that it is cool to eat Japanese since linked to a comic.

LL - yeah, u better get it quickly as it tends to run out fast.

Ai Wei - new stocks just came in last wkend so drop by Kino to get your copies now. No promises if things are still there as I notice the books do sell pretty well. If finished, just order them from Kino.

Toy Boy & Toy Girl - go go go and stock up!

Su said...

Looks like one cool collection to have!

fruitjuice said...

You might like to check this out http://manga.animea.net/kami-no-shizuku.html

Luscious Temptations said...

I just ordered my copy of Japanese Cuisine from Amazon after seeing these on your site yesterday. So excited! Thanks for sharing.

cltyw said...

Knew it from your blog but know I won't have much luck hunting them down in Melbourne. But a last min trip to Singapore, I manage to get them ALL from Kinokuniya and carry back to Melbourne with me!!! Love it Love it Love it!!! Done with Jap Cuisine, Pub Food and Half way thru Fish,Sushi & Sashimi.....4 more to go.
Thanks for introducing them to me :)

boo_licious said...

thxs fruitjuice for the link!

Luscious Temptations - I hope u enjoy them as much as I do.

cityw - Lucky gal. I keep re-reading them again and again, that's how much I love them too.

Grace said...

Thanks for the recommendation, you now make me want to view the collection too!

Also check out Yakitate!! Japan for bread, bread and more delicious bread if you're a lover of that sort ;)

Saw an anime adaptation of it somewhere, you might want to check that out as well...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakitate!!_Japan

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