The wonderful world of cooking

An assortment of cooking manga to read

Cooking, the practice or skill of preparing food by combining, mixing, and heating ingredients. International baking shows such as “Cake Boss” and cooking shows like “Hell’s Kitchen” show it is almost proven the general populace is enamored by the activity. As much as there are people who are hooked on cooking shows, there are people who are devoted to cooking manga, Japanese comics or graphic novels. 

The cooking manga genre is intertwined with others such as slice-of-life, romance, and comedy. For instance, a slice-of-life cooking manga includes the recently animated “Maiko-san Chi no Makanai-san.” A story surrounding two young girls living in Kyoto, Japan in an okiya, or lodging house for geisha and maiko. One girl, a maiko, or apprentice geisha, women who perform traditional Japanese dances professionally, typically to entertain men. The other girl is a makanai, someone who cooks for maiko. They both left home for Kyoto to become maiko, but after a series of unfortunate events, our main character Kiyo was unable to become a maiko; however, she is able to live out her true passion, cooking for all the maiko, alongside her best friend Sumire. 

Manga similar to this include, “Saikyou No Kanteishi Tte Dare No Koto? ~Manpuku Gohan De Isekai Seikatsu~” (Who is the Strongest Appraiser?). “Amaama To Inazuma” (Sweetness and Lightning), “Tensei Reijou Wa Shoumin No Aji Ni Uete Iru” (The Reincarnated Young Lady is Hungry for Commoner Food), and “Kawasemi-san No Trurigohan” (Kawasemi’s Fishing and Cooking).

Romance or shoujo manga that exist within the cooking genre include, “Yakumo-san Wa Edzuke Ga Shitai,” (Yakumo wants to feed), which revolves around a widowed woman and her next door neighbor. As he lives alone and is exhausted from daily baseball practice, she discovers him passed out from hunger and missing someone to eat with, they then decide to have dinner together every night. While this is classified as romance, it focuses mainly on the cooking and their daily lives. 

Similar titles are, “A Rare Marriage: How to Grill Our Love,” “Mochizuki-Sanchi No Yankee,” and “Shinmai Shimai No Futari Gohan.” “Hazure Potion Ga Shouyu Datte No De Royouri Suru Koto Ni Shimashita” (I Decided to Cook because the Potion was Soy Sauce) and “Yume-Iro Patissiere,” also fall within this category. 

One of the most well-known cooking genres include comedy, such as titles like the infamously animated “Shokugeki no Soma” (Food Wars) which tells the story of Soma Yukihira and his dreams to take over his father’s neighborhood restaurant. When his father has other plans for him and wants him to explore the world of cooking, he enrolls him in an elite cooking academy where the students battle through cooking, hence “Food Wars.” Now, Soma must navigate and shokugeki (food war), his way through high school.

 Famous for its comedic delivery and fan service, it paves the way for titles such as: “Meshinuma,” “Mazumeshi Elf To Youbokugurashi,” “Mogusa-san,” and “Campfire Cooking in Another World with my Absurd Skill.” 

While the world of cooking manga is many and varied and there are still a plethora of titles that have yet to be named, these manga will almost certainly jump start one’s love for cooking.