oyceter: man*ga [mahng' guh] n. Japanese comics. synonym: CRACK (manga is crack)
Does anyone know the origins of "プリン" (flan)? I know パン is from Portuguese, but I remember being confused by プリン when I was there.

Now that Najika's in the prestigious Seika Academy to find her Flan Prince (as one does), she must battle all the people who think she has no place in the special class! Sadly, the battles are not literal, although there are a few cook-offs involved.

And then there is a plot twist at the end of volume 5/beginning of volume 6 that was extremely unexpected. It briefly made me think this would not be quite as typical of a shoujo cooking series as it seemed, but things appear to have gone back to normal by volume 7. Maybe.

Spoilers are actually surprising )

I'm not reading for deep characterization or surprising plot. The assorted food battles and espousing of food philosophy—"Best ingredients! Fancy plating! Exquisite taste!" vs. "COOK FROM THE HEART!"—are what make the series for me, and as the series continues to talk about food a lot, I will continue to enjoy.

Also, I am now so hungry for omurice and Japanese curry! And Japanese-style Italian pasta with an egg on top!
oyceter: man*ga [mahng' guh] n. Japanese comics. synonym: CRACK (manga is crack)
Kazami Najika is a poor orphan who has nevertheless lived happily in Hokkaido with Hagio-sensei, who taught her to cook. But she's determined to find her Flan Prince! Apparently the day she learned her parents had died, a mysterious young boy gave her delicious flan and a silver spoon, and Najika has vowed to repay his kindness by finding him and making him the tastiest dessert ever!

As one does...

The silver spoon bears the logo of the prestigious Seika Academy in Tokyo, and so, Najika is off to Tokyo to seek her prince. Unfortunately, she's been placed in Class A, which is the class for special people, and quite a few of those special people are disgruntled by a seemingly talentless orphan in their midst. But soon, Najika's gotten the attention of the Kitazawa brothers, who are also enemies for reasons no one knows. Kind and aristocratic Sora helps her out, and grumpy Daichi scowls at her but also helps her out sneakily. (All bets on Daichi winning out after a brotherly reconciliation! I am sure this comes as a surprise to no one, as the best way to win your love interest's interest in shoujo is to be surly yet quietly adorable when you think no one is looking so they cannot take advantage of your soft marshmallow heart.)

This is light, fluffy, and nearly substance-less. The art is very young shoujo, with ponytails and ginormous sparkling eyes and huge smiles. You have the rivalry between two boys, the beautiful girl who hates Najika, and of course, Najika herself—brilliant cook, klutzy girl, adorable and hard-working orphan. There are many scenes in which Najika espouses the importance of cooking to make someone feel loved, and of course, her food is sure to win everyone over.

Still, I think this might appeal to younger audiences or people looking for manga for younger audiences, and I like reading just for kitchen wackiness.

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