In food and in life, one must taste what is bitter to appreciate what is sweet… Troubled that memories of the past continue to invade his dreams of the present, Keiichiro Tachibana stuns all who know him by abruptly quitting his ordinary office job to open a bakery. He envisions a predominantly feminine clientele and a wait staff of cute girls. Instead, his employees include a playboy pâtissier who's been fired from every job he's ever had, an ex-boxer with an insatiable sweet tooth, and an absent-minded childhood friend and family servant. Can this unlikely quartet overcome personal tragedies, learn to work together, and discover a recipe for culinary success?
Contains the complete 12-episode series.
Special Features: U.S. Trailer, Clean Opening, Clean Closing, Interview with Tomomi Kasai, Live Event Coverage, Scene Access and Nozomi Entertainment trailers. Also includes a special booklet featuring Character Bios, Quick Facts, Featured Desserts, and two interviews featuring all four main voice actors as well as Fumi Yoshinaga, the author of the manga!
Spoken Languages: Japanese, English subtitles.
In The Cafe
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Foodie Manga & Anime Recs by Right Stuf Staff
Though you wouldn't think that drawings of food could leave stomachs rumbling so fiercely, the highlighted desserts in each episode of Antique Bakery make it hard to walk away from the show without craving something sweet. If you're hungry for even more anime and manga featuring gastronomic adventures, or if you're interested in a guide to setting your own culinary creativity free, then check out the savory selections below.
For anime fans, two restaurant-centric series that come to mind are Wagnaria!! and Ramen Fighter Miki. Both focus more around the lives of those who work at their respective eateries than on the food, but even though dishes aren't integral to the plot, they're still a constant part of the setting. Wagnaria!! and Ramen Fighter Miki also differ in tone from Antique Bakery, allowing viewers the opportunity to see how lives steeped in food-culture can vary from place to place.
Manga fans have an even broader range of foodie-friendly options from which to choose.
If you're in the mood for a side of romance and out of the ordinary lead characters, check out Natsume Ono's Ristorante Paradiso and Gente, its three-volume prequel. Though the excellent food at Casetta dell'Orso is well known to its Italian clientele, it's the employees that keep customers coming back for more. They're far from your average bi-shounen wait staff. Instead, the waiters, sommelier and even many of the chefs are all slightly older, bespectacled gentlemen, and their appeal is clear – even to Nicoletta, the bistro's new, young apprentice.
Oishinbo might be to your taste if you like your heroes brilliant, talented and otherwise utterly flawed. Think House M.D., but with food. Selected stories from Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasaki's long running manga are collected into seven volumes, each focusing on a different theme – from general Japanese cuisine and ramen to sushi and pub food.
The upcoming Drops of God manga brings readers along on Shizuku Kanzaki's quest to find the rarest of wines. In order to inherit his recently deceased father's legacy, he must find the "Twelve Apostles" and the "Drops of God" described in his father's will. Kanzaki isn't alone in his search, though. To succeed, he must compete with his father's adopted son, wine critic Issei Tomine, who is already well-known for his skills despite his young age.
Other titles of interest:
For foodies willing to branch out into the live-action realm, Korean drama The Grand Chef stands out as an excellent starting point. Imagine the original Iron Chef cooking show (which had plenty of drama and intensity all on its own) combined with a plot full of mistaken backgrounds, former ties to the royal family, crossed love-lines, and sibling rivalry.
Other titles of interest:
And if you're interested in going beyond fictional explorations of food, check out our recently updated Cooking category for our complete selection of cookbooks.