Story/Art: Fumi Yoshinaga
Translation: Maya Bosewood
What They Say
In this volume, Shiro turns down an offer to become a celebrity and Kenji’s culinary adventures are reprised. A hard-working, middle-aged gay couple in Tokyo come to enjoy the finer moments of life through food. After long days at work, either in the law firm or the hair salon, Shiro and Kenji will always have down time together by the dinner table, where they can discuss their troubles, hash out their feelings and enjoy delicately prepared home-cooked meals! This volume includes recipes for shrimp and turnips in rich sauce, hamburgers in mushroom sauce, leek consomme, caramel simmered apples on toast, hot soba, rolled omelets, ginger pork with heaps of onions, and spaghetti napolitan.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Though the opening chapter is mostly a recipe, we do get to see Kenji and Shiro go out to dinner with another gay couple, Yoshi and Tetsu. Shiro is visibly worried about being noticed as gay, and ends up getting a little loud with Kenji when the subject is raised, though more because he’s upset with himself for having such a problem. Though this doesn’t cause an issue, it does lead to Yoshi and Tetsu suggesting to eat in at Kenji and Shiro’s place next time (which is far less rude than it sounds in English). Of course Shiro panics over what to prepare, but he obviously pulls things together into a fantastic meal. However, it turns out the meal wasn’t the main purpose of the meeting, as they wanted to ask for Shiro’s help in having Yoshi adopted by Tetsu (which is the unfortunately needed workaround for gay couples in Japan due to the lack of gay marriage).
Next up, Kenji takes care of Shiro while he’s sick, and Shiro tries his hand at making tempura even though it isn’t his strong suit. Following that, Shiro gets a surprising request from his boss. It turns out he was actually recommended to appear on TV. The producer of a law show then shows up and finds our stingy hero perfect, but Shiro staunchly refuses the offer. The sly producer does slip him some sweets in the hopes of buttering him up, and Shiro does seem to be in a bit of a pinch from all the pressure. However, Shiro finally realizes where he remembers the producer from, and is able to safely explain his situation and back down in a satisfactory manner.
Shiro then ends up listening to his boss’s troubles, and gains a steady supply of apples in the process. In the next chapter Shiro ends up with a conversation with Kayoko’s family that both elaborates their characters and gets him thinking a little on just what having a baby is like. Finally, Kenji ends up listening to his boss’s problems, making a nice parallel to the similar setup with Shiro from earlier.
This volume unfortunately drops off at least a little from the last few, losing a bit of the gripping nature those books had. It’s certainly not bad at all, though a few chapters feel a little too heavily focused on the recipes, which are of spotty use to English readers due to the difference in ingredient availability. Fortunately, though, that’s mostly limited to the front half of the book. It also feels like a bit more of a “hit” in terms of doable recipes, which is a definite plus. Ultimately this is another nice, relaxed entry into the series, and if its flavor has been to your taste up till now then this will certainly satisfy the hunger for another helping.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Vertical
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014