Mixed Vegetables, Vol. 1
by Ayumi Komura
So Ashitaba wants to go out with Hyuga, but only because he's the son of a famous sushi chef, and her life's ambition is to become a sushi chef, too. Hyuga, meanwhile, likes baking and is quite good at it. (It hasn't happened so far, but I half expect the author to make Hyuga's major reason for going out with Ashitaba be that he wants to be a world class pastry chef like her father.) When Hyuga asks her out, Ashitaba happily agrees - but as time goes by and it's obvious he likes her, she feels guilty because she doesn't return his feelings. She nearly ends the fledgling relationship, but when she learns her lovey-dovey parents had an arranged marriage, Ashitaba realizes that all she has to do is fall in love with Hyuga, and everything will be OK! Sushi chef for the WIN!
Even though Ashitaba is ridiculously selfish, by the end of the first volume she shows sign of a growing awareness for others' feelings, and it will be interesting to watch her further development as the series progresses. Hyuga's a little more elusive. So far, he's done nothing but be the perfect shoujo hero: smart, talented, good-looking, and devoted. It's a little boring, but I'm hoping that in future problems he'll develop more of a personality.
Ashitaba's best friend, Ichii, looks almost identical to their cooking school's teacher, Matsuzaka-sensei, so at times it can be confusing which is which. Overall, though, the art is very clean. Screen tones are used extensively, but not to the point where they panels look crowded or overly busy. In one of her "Side Dishes", short comics that appear between chapters, artist Ayumi Komura mentions she doesn't like drawing food, a surprise since the food is rendered quite well. Simple line drawings of seafood, cakes, fruits and vegetables look mouth-watering.
This is a ridiculous manga. The plot's silly and predictable, but it's also a lot of fun.
5 out of 5 stars