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Shaenon K. Garrity
This is where I write stuff.
New Smithson! 
2nd-Nov-2006 07:02 pm
I'm just so happy with the way this scene is coming out. Brian is brilliant as hell.


Those of you who like good comics may want to read my interview with Gene Yang on Sequential Tart. Gene was nice enough to talk to me about his graphic novel American Born Chinese, the first comic nominated for the prestigious National Book Award, and how the secret Asian-American cabal is poised to crush Whitey and install Derek Kirk Kim as our lord and master.

Also, it's time for--yes!--another installment of Overlooked Manga Festival! Those with slow connections be warned: this one's got a lot of scans. Warm, yeasty scans.

In my post on Kekkaishi, I commented that manga about baking are always awesome. Today I aim to prove this by serving up a sample of...


Because this is manga, there's only one way to present Great Moments in Baking: as a bloody-knuckled, all-out tournament battle! So step into the squared circle, manga bakers, and show us what you've got!

First up: Antique Bakery, the story of four gorgeous and occasionally heterosexual men who run a patisserie together. Ono, the head baker and holder of the coveted title "Gay of Demonic Charm," is about to unveil the bakery's Christmas specials. Of course, in Japan, Christmas has no religious significance and is primarily an opportunity for young couples to get it on, which suits the philosophy of the Antique Bakery just fine. Tachibana, the stubbly-faced owner, doesn't care for pastries (yes, he owns a patisserie, but I SWEAR THERE'S A GOOD REASON), but reluctantly samples Ono's wares.

Educational yet strangely suggestive: that's good baking.

Next: Yakitate!! Japan, which follows the fortunes of one Kazuma Azuma, a teenage boy determined to create "Ja-Pan," the national bread of Japan, so that his nation can finally hold its own against such bread giants as France and Italy. (Pan, you see, is Japanese for "bread," which makes this a brilliant pun rather than an inexplicable and bizarre premise for a manga.) In a competition for a job at the renowned bakery chain Pantasia, Kazuma whips up one of his many experimental Ja-Pan models, freaking out the other contestants:

Last but certainly not least: venerable hardboiled cooking manga Iron Wok Jan. Iron Wok Jan doesn't actually include much baking, being more about Chinese-style cooking, but sometimes Jan has to bust loose with the oven action. Called upon to produce a dessert for an intense cooking competition, he starts by slitting the throats of several dozen pigeons and collecting the blood, then asks the question on everyone's lips:

The answer? Well, check it out...

But what do the judges think?

Jan accepts the praise with his usual classy restraint:

And there you have it. Which baked good wins this brutal baking tourney? Antique Bakery's Christmas buche, Yakitate!! Japan's edible curry bowl, or Iron Wok Jan's blood egg pie?

Cast your vote in the comments! I'll announce the winner next week. Although honestly, in manga baking, everyone wins.

2nd-Nov-2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yakitate is someting I've been curious about for awhile. I'm glad it's out, now.

On a side note, ever think of covering Aqua Knight in the Overlooked Manga festival?
2nd-Nov-2006 08:20 pm (UTC)
I have to vote for the curry bread. How can you not love something that cool?
2nd-Nov-2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
I vote for the homo-erotic buttercream.

16th-Jul-2008 01:19 am (UTC)
Once you have that, you can just buy one can of chickpeas and a lemon and whenever you want hummus and it only costs you like a $1.
2nd-Nov-2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, how could they say mean things about buttercream frosting?

A properly-made buttercream frosting is one of life's great pleasures.
30th-Sep-2007 05:20 am (UTC)
yeah, but fake butter cream is one of the worst things EVAR. =_=;;

it's understandable he hates it if he IS thinking of storebought/lame cakes - i mean, the cheap storebought cakes with fake buttercream icing...? they look so absolutely foul when it's made with margarine or shortening and I could never imagine even trying to eat it again, it's even worse than fake whipped cream.

butter makes everything better XD!
16th-Jul-2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
It looks so nice even though it's not complete. We love it. I can't wait to move on to the next project.
2nd-Nov-2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
Oh MAN I love cooking manga! There will never be enough cooking manga, as far as I'm concerned."Antique Bakery" is the only one out of these three I haven't checked out yet, since I like savory dishes more than sweet ones. (Yakitate FTW, by the way.)

But where's the love for "Cooking Master Boy?" That manga taught me the joys of replacing pretty much any instance of water in recipes with broth, and improved my culinary abilities twofold pretty much overnight.
2nd-Nov-2006 09:01 pm (UTC)
If you have any love for slash, even if you pretend to hide it like I do, you should read Antique Bakery. Hell, even if you don't like slash! No one can resist the "Gay of demonic charm!"
5th-Nov-2006 09:33 am (UTC)

Jason Thompson taught himself to cook from Iron Wok Jan! He focused more on the simple stir-fries than the pigeon-blood pastries, though.
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3rd-Nov-2006 01:41 am (UTC)
Buttercream, baby. Butter. Cream. Oh yes.
3rd-Nov-2006 02:05 am (UTC)
Edible curry bowl. I'll be waiting for it to show up and the Japanese themed renn faires (When SCA and anime fans have offspring, what could go wrong?)
3rd-Nov-2006 02:35 am (UTC)
I hope that was a rhetorical question.
3rd-Nov-2006 02:38 am (UTC)
Only time will tell.
3rd-Nov-2006 04:52 am (UTC)
The bread is my favorite, too-- they're all good, but that one sticks in my mind as most entertaining.
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3rd-Nov-2006 11:36 am (UTC) - Re: Today's Smithson...
The last two panels are pretty much what I sound like when I try to have a serious conversation with anyone outside my immediate household.
3rd-Nov-2006 09:21 pm (UTC)
Hey I found you because of some manga blog. I also review manga and do mangacast nonsense and know soggytoast... friending you.

BUt also I vote for Antique Bakery's cake. I just read that volume and WOULD VERY MUCH LIKE TO EAT THAT. Like "I'd eat that" in a way like "I'd hit that".

I love curry... but blood desserts? Well, I'd try anything once.
4th-Nov-2006 05:27 am (UTC)
I knew that there was such a thing as cooking manga (I've thought that the Japanese restaurant "Super Fusion Cusine" where I bought a random thing that had flying fish roe in it sounded like a manga) but I didn't know just how, uhh, weird it was. Go figure. :)
12th-Nov-2006 03:39 am (UTC)
I found it impossible to vote.

a Buche de Noel made with shortcake instead of a classic Genoise is just WRONG!

Classic Genoise

8 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 cups unbleached, unbromated pastry flour, sifted

Place a 1-quart saucepan half filled with water over high heat and bring it to a simmer. Make a double boiler by setting a large mixing bowl over the simmering water. Place the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and honey in the mixing bowl and make an egg foam by whisking the mixture to 113 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 7 to 10 minutes. The egg foam passes through various stages becoming foamy, then smooth and finally it thickens. When it is thick, it will be hot to the touch, tripled in volume, and light in color and the sugar will have completely dissolved. If you dip the whisk into the mixture and pull it out, the batter should fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon.

Remove the mixing bowl from the heat and whip the batter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until it cools, increases in volume, stiffens slightly and becomes pale yellow, about 7 to 10 minutes. Take the time to whip it well; if the mixture is under whipped, the baked genoise will be dense. Very, very carefully, fold in the flour with a rubber spatula until the flour is no longer visible, making sure to fold to the bottom of the bowl. Do not over mix or the batter will deflate. Fill buttered and parchment paper-lined 8-inch round cake pans 3/4 full with batter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until well-risen and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Let the genoise cool slightly. Unmold, remove parchment paper and finish cooling on a wire rack. The baked genoise can be stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 weeks if well wrapped in plastic wrap. Return it to room temperature before using it. \

23rd-Apr-2010 03:26 am (UTC)
i'm not read Yakitate manga but watch the anime. very interseting anime about making breads.



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21st-Aug-2010 09:45 am (UTC)
Great manga, but nothing beats Naruto Shippuden.~

21st-Aug-2010 09:45 am (UTC)
Great manga, but nothing beats Naruto Shippuden.~

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