This is a seinen manga that combines both relationships and food.
Writer and Artist: Naru Narumi Translator: Ayumi Kato Blystone Cover Artist: Naru Narumi
I love manga, especially if it′s about Japanese food. Now, I was immediately drawn to this one, because ramen is a great thing: it has noodles, broth, some veg and a soft boiled egg, a great combination, right? At least, that′s what I thought ramen was all about, until I read this comic.
It turns out that ramen is more like pasta: there is nothing you can′t do with it! From adding fruit to it, to trying some Italian type carbonara style…to spicing it up tremendously… there are lots and lots of ramen options.
Now, high school student Ms. Koizumi is obsessed. She can only live for ramen, and it is everything she ever cares about. This is where this manga started becoming weird for me. The protagonist, Yu Asawa, would really like to be Ms. Koizumi friend (or girlfriend?). However, Ms. Koizumi has one love only, and it has noodles in it. Her response to this food is so intense that it made me uncomfortable, and made me wonder if she has some very low empathy levels, or if she is just plain weird.
Maybe this is just a character flaw, a chance for humor, since people are so freaked out by her actions (like falling asleep because she had traveled for three hours in a bullet train, just for a specialty ramen bowl…), that, in order to understand her or hang out with her, they are more than willing to eat with her.
Now all kinds of people at school are curious about her, and therefore, they are curious about ramen… many types of which even Japanese don’t know about. But, for sure, Ms. Koizumi seems to know everything there is to know!
If you are willing to get into this type of narrative, curved relationships, weird obsessions, and a very focused and beautiful girl… then you will enjoy this manga very much. Also, a Ms. Koizumi anime TV series is now on Crunchyroll, as well.
Publication Date: September 25, 2019
Format: B&W, 136 pages; TPB; 5 1/8″ x 7 1/4″
Age range: 14
Featured image by Naru Narumi, all images belong to Dark Horse Comics