It’s summertime and we’re firing up the grill this month with Manga Spice Cafe! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s the newest (and only) manga subscription box service on the internet right now. Manga Spice C serves you up 3 brand new 1st volume manga, alongside a lovely mix of Asian sweet and savory snacks. They even include a drink! There are currently no tiers. So yes, you get all this in just the basic box!
July’s box was based on the celebration of the 4th of July, not so much for the fireworks, but for the grilling goodness that this holiday is known for, barbecue! We’re excited to jump right into this unboxing as it already sounds promising. If you want to see a live unboxing, head on over to the Dream Saga channel as Cody does a thorough review. If you want to get a more in-depth unboxing experience, stick with us as we share pics and dive into this epic box!
As with every month, upon opening the box, you will see the info sheet with this month’s maid mascot on the cover! July’s mascot is Maid Miho-chan, who has a Japanese character in her name representing fire. It’s very appropriate as Miho-chan reveals this month’s themes of FIRE and MAGIC.
The info sheet is full of information! The snacks are described in detail and look to be very tropical and reminiscent of summertime. Yum! Also, we see the bios of each manga artist, plus some links to special content, like a behind the scenes tour of Yuuki Tabata and his assistants’ work space and a look at real life prototypes of Delicious in Dungeon’s monster dishes.
Bisco Hatori’s work was displayed under the showcase this time around, and we got a glimpse into the kinds of special effects and attention to detail the mangaka gives to her work. (Bisco is known for the classic series, Ouran High School Host Club!) Her newest work, Behind the Scenes!!, is the first manga we unboxed. Let’s take a look at the story:
“Ranmaru Kurisu comes from a family of hardy, rough-and-tumble fisher folk, and he sticks out at home like a delicate, artistic sore thumb. It’s given him a raging inferiority complex and a permanently pessimistic outlook. Now that he’s in college, he’s hoping to find a sense of belonging. But after a whole life of being left out, does he even know how to fit in?!
It’s two months into Ranmaru’s college career, and if he’s learned one thing, it’s that he’s really uncomfortable around other people. But when he stumbles into a zombie mob attack, he’s forced out of his comfort zone in the most dramatic way possible! Of course it’s just a movie shoot, but when he wakes up from his ignoble faint, he’s been whisked away behind the scenes with the Art Squad! Could this group of weirdos be what Ranmaru’s been looking for all his life?!”
Bisco Hatori’s work is known to be quite hyperactive and humorous and there’s a lot of that in Behind the Scenes!! But what Bisco crafts equally well in her story is a sense of drama, and at the right times. That balance of high energy and dramatic calm creates a fun yet meaningful experience for the reader. And if you are a creative type or even someone just trying to find value in yourself and a place where you fit in this world, you might see yourself in Ranmaru. He finds a home with the Art Squad, or in other words, the visual arts club, which is a club not often explored in manga. Bisco also creates the perfect atmosphere for her manga with her use of screentone that resembles splashes of watercolor. As you can tell, we really enjoyed this manga, and we think you will too!
While reading, we snacked on juicy pineapple gummy candies! The flavor is super rich and delicious. We also threw our White Heims in the freezer before we ate them, and man were they good. They’re cream-filled wafer snacks from Korea, that tasted like hazelnut and vanilla ice cream, and are 10x better when you freeze them, making them a frozen delectable snack!
Volume 4 of Behind the Scenes!! will be released August 1!
Speaking of delicious, we have a ridiculously quirk yet super unique manga up next. Let’s check out Delicious in Dungeon:
“When young adventurer Laios and his company are attacked and soundly thrashed by a dragon deep in a dungeon, the party loses all its money and provisions…and a member! They’re eager to go back and save her, but there is just one problem: If they set out with no food or coin to speak of, they’re sure to starve on the way! But Laios comes up with a brilliant idea: “Let’s eat the monsters!” Slimes, basilisks, and even dragons…none are safe from the appetites of these dungeon-crawling gourmands!”
Manga characters literally feasting on their enemies. That IS brilliant. Delicious in Dungeon is the surprise this year for manga, as it seemingly came out of nowhere. Dungeons and Dragons lovers will especially love this book. The story keeps you hooked from page 1. The characters are an interesting bunch and their reactions are even more so priceless!
One of the best parts about this book are the recipes, which appear every time a character makes something new. We actually thought after reading this that we could cook monsters! And have it turn out delectable, as the monsters seem to be quite yummy in this story. The prototypes from the link on the info sheet looked pretty real themselves too! But we’ll leave all the monster-hunting to Laios and his company. They are magical pros and apparently monster chef connoisseurs after all.
To satisfy our hunger for strange things, we enjoyed this manga with a box of Every Burger cookies and coconut Ramune! The Every Burgers were different, a mix of white chocolate (the “cheese”), milk chocolate (the “patty”), and sesame seeds (stuck to the cookie “bun”). These cookies made to look like miniature burgers might taste strange at first but quickly grow on you. A nice alternative to eating monsters.
Volume 2 of Delicious in Dungeon will be released August 22nd!
Our last magical manga in July’s box that brings the heat is Black Clover. The story summary:
“Asta and Yuno were abandoned together at the same church, and have been inseparable since. As children, they promised that they would compete against each other to see who would become the next Emperor Magus. However, as they grew up, some differences between them became plain. Yuno was a genius with magic, with amazing power and control, while Asta could not use magic at all, and tried to make up for his lack by training physically. When they received their Grimoires at age 15, Yuno got a spectacular book with a four-leaf clover (most people receive a three-leaf-clover), while Asta received nothing at all. However, when Yuno was threatened, the truth about Asta’s power was revealed, he received a five-leaf clover Grimoire, a “black clover”! Now the two friends are heading out in the world, both seeking the same goal!”
Black Clover is a series that’s been running in Shonen Jump weekly for some time now, and has been quite popular. But with its popularity, it’s also gained quite a lot of criticism. The problem is many Americans are familiar with Naruto, a well-known anime and manga series on this side of the seas. And Black Clover has been accused of being too similar to the ninja-focused tale. A boy who’s not so great at what he does wants to become the leader of his village. The truth is this is a typical shonen story with typical motivations for the main character. Many shonen comics start this way, but even with the closeness in story, Black Clover is about magic and Asta starts off with having no promise whatsoever with magic. The interesting part is how he fairs in the world full or magic as an anti-magic force. And let’s not forget how the other characters develop as well. This manga is action-packed and still worth a read if you love shonen-type stories full of drama, fighting and comradery. Don’t let the haters deter you!
We poured over this manga with a bag of sweet Cherry Berry Hi-chews and a bag of savory BBQ flavored GGE ramen cubes. These look like bundles of dried ramen, which were also quite strange to try, but boy, were they oh-so delicious!
The Black Clover anime series debuts in October 2017!
So what did we think of this month’s box? Delicious in July!! We had a great mix of magical manga, the “magic” of behind the scenes, dungeons, dragons, monsters, and five-leaf clovers! We also tasted a yummy mix of tropical and BBQ-inspired sweet and savory snacks and drink. A great way to enjoy the summer.
Subscribe now to get your own monthly box of manga, snacks, and drinks at Manga Spice Cafe!