Hey all, Dani here.
Welcome back to another dose of Manga Monday! Okay, so I’m so excited that I don’t think I can contain myself for much longer. Today’s review is for a volume that I was sent in the mail(!) by Yen Press. Basically I’ve been receiving promotional e-mails from Yen Press for a few weeks, and I responded to this one, saying that the story sounded interesting, and I was sent not just this volume, but also a graphic novel and a light novel. This was all done with the implied agreement that I would be writing up a review for the books I received. So, thank you so, so much to Yen Press, for sending me some awesome sounding finished copies, but please know that my opinions are still my own and will remain honest.
I was excited because this is the first time outside of winning a giveaway by the publisher, or attending BookExpo, that I’ve worked with a publisher in this manner, and honestly–I hope that I can look forward to more experiences like this in the future. Oh, you can find my review for the graphic novel here, and I’ll hopefully have the light novel read and reviewed later this week?
Okay, let’s jump into the review.
Publisher: Yen Press
Publication Date: June 23, 2020
ISBN: 1975309030 (ISBN13: 9781975309039)
Somewhere in Tokyo, there is a certain special door. Most days, it stays closed and unmoving. Curiously, it opens up exactly once a week to welcome dwarves and dragons and elves who cannot wait for another chance to enjoy the inviting and comforting food of a restaurant from another world…
Rating: 3.5 stars
This was a good yet simple first volume in a series. As predicted, reading it did make me hungry. Am I slightly embarrassed to admit that I was eating cantaloupe and watermelon while reading this and some of the fruit juices dripped onto the pages? Yeah, a bit, but I’m also super glad that I was snacking while I read it.
The art and description of food just seemed so tasty. And it was super obvious that everyone obsessively loved the food. But that also slightly bothered me. Every single character who took a bite of food gushed profusely about how amazing and wonderful and tasty and fantastic the food was. It just felt as if it was being shoved down our throats that the food is AMAZING. I mean, I don’t really gush that much about food, and I’ve found so much delicious food in my life. I take a picture of it to share on my social medias, and say that I recommend this restaurant or that dish, and that’s about it.
But, I guess I can understand that foods from a different culture or world would seem delicious and exotic to others. I know that I’m intrigued by the flavor profiles of different regions and cultures, so I imagine that demons and devils, and elves and dwarves, and dragons and more would find Earth food interesting.
I do like the chef’s ideals when it comes to food and food service, and I like that since he doesn’t live in the fantasy realm then he doesn’t have the same beliefs and prejudices. It allows us to have a main character who is demon-blooded.
We also have the beginnings of a food rivalry between our Earth human chef and an Elven chef. So that should lead to some interesting adventures and food competitions.
So I’m definitely going to at least give the second volume a try. I’m hoping that this was just an okay slow-ish start to what will be a great series. I’ve had a few manga series where the first volume is a 3 or 3.5 star rating, but I watch as the rating goes up with each volume. Only time will tell if this series will be one of those ones as well.