It’s a chilly November and we’re happy to see a new box of Manga Spice Cafe at our doorstep. For those who don’t know, this subscription package arrives like a “manga cafe in a box”, delivering to you exciting new manga, Asian snacks and drinks. This month’s theme is EXPLORE, presented by a lovely new maid character named Rose-chan. There’s a lot to share here, so let’s dive on into this unboxing!
Something you should know about actual Japanese maid cafes is that pretty girls dressed as maids will greet you upon entering the cafe. Since this box is also modeled after a “maid cafe”, the first thing you see is a booklet with our lovely Maid Rose-chan on the cover to greet you. And look at that hair!
Inside the booklet, you’ll find a plethora of knowledge about all the manga artists for each book we received, plus a couple of fun facts, an art showcase section, links to interviews, and an overview of the included snacks and drink items.
The showcase section is always a special treat, showing the works of art from the best or most interesting artist of the 3 books for this month. Yoshitoki Oima was our showcased artist, which is no surprise as her work has found her great success so early in her manga artist career and even inspired an animated movie (A Silent Voice).
Not only is her work beautiful, but she has a talent for portraying deep and complex layers of emotion on her characters faces. Let’s take a closer look at her newest manga, To Your Eternity:
“A lonely boy wandering the desolate tundra meets a wolf, and the two become fast friends, depending on each other to survive the harsh environment. But the boy has a history, and the wolf is more than meets the eye as well… To Your Eternity is a totally unique and moving manga about death, life, reincarnation, and the nature of love. “
First of all, I must say, the cover is gorgeous. So is the color title page insert. Now that that’s been said, the manga is also rendered beautifully. Just when it seems like every manga in the present is focused on fan service, or school settings, a gem of a story such as this appears and thrust you into an unknown world of tundra and forests, with wolves and tribal characters, that remind you there is more subject matter to be enjoyed in manga form. A mysterious being must learn from the ground up what it means to live and to be alive, as it comes to Earth and takes on different forms, from a rock, to a wolf, to a boy. Despite her being a young manga artist, Oima proves to be a master at creating feelings from visuals rather than with words. In fact, there are moments in the book where no dialog is used at all and one can feel the emotion and atmosphere of each moment. It’s worth picking up this book ASAP if you want to jump into a unique and moving manga experience.
We snuggled up on the couch with this book and a bag of Collon biscuits filled with smooth vanilla bean creme and a bottle of delicious, light and fizzy raspberry Ramune!
Volume 2 of To Your Eternity will be available December 19, 2017!
Oh! And speaking of emotional, In/Spectre takes us on a interesting tale about a girl missing an eye and a leg! The story goes like this:
“Both touched by spirits called yokai, Kotoko and Kuro have gained unique superhuman powers. But to gain her powers Kotoko has given up an eye and a leg, and Kuro’s personal life is in shambles. So when Kotoko suggests they team up to deal with renegades from the spirit world, Kuro doesn’t have many other choices, but Kotoko might just have a few ulterior motives…”
This is a beautiful manga! The artwork is super clean, and Chashiba Katase’s lovely style matches perfectly with Kyo Shirodaira’s story, which he created as a novel first. From the description, romance seems to have no part to play in the story, but it actually does surprisingly. (Kotoko, the main female lead, has a major crush on the pretty boy Kuro). The story takes a dark turn at times when the yokai start to enter the tale and the mysteries begin, plus there’s plenty of dynamic action and cooky characters as well! We highly recommend picking up this manga!
We enjoyed this book with a bowl of hot, seafood flavored, ramen noodles. We even received chopsticks with our lunch. Thanks Manga Spice Cafe!
Volume 7 of In/Spectre will be available April 10, 2018!
Onward to the last adventure manga! Rokka Braves of the Six Flowers:
“When the world is threatened with destruction, six chosen heroes will rise to save it. One of them is Adlet Meyer–who calls himself “the strongest man in the world.” But when he answers the call to assemble with the other heroes and face the darkness, there are not six heroes, but seven. Who is the traitor in their midst?”
Rokka gets off to a fast start as our main character, the cocky yet cowardly Adlet Meyer, stirs up trouble in a bar. The action is exciting right from the beginning, and reminiscent of a shonen manga with an irritable big baddy being belittled by a not-so-hot shot proclaiming he’s the “strongest man in the world”. Rokka is another manga in our box drawn incredibly well, though not as strong in the background department. But it delivers a solid and entertaining adventure story with an array of intense characters. It’s so good, it inspired a now popular anime by the same name! It get an A+ from us.
We enjoyed this heart-racing manga with some creamy cheesecake Pocky Double (double dipped pocky that has thick creme) and grape-flavored Hi Chews, plus these savory nori-shio (seaweed) Chip Star potato chips. And look at this color insert!
Volume 4 of Rokka Brave of the Six Flowers was released November 14, 2017!
What is our final verdict on November’s box? We love it! How could we not?! It had the perfect balance of savory and sweet snacks. We were even able to have a small picnic with this box! Adding a Raspberry Ramune in with the other berry flavors was an amazing compliment. These subscription boxes are masterfully curated and we can’t get enough of them. The exploration/mystery manga were all so different yet super interesting and engaging. Maid Rose-chan did an awesome job with packing a fun box for us!
If you want a box like this, full of brand new manga, Asian snacks and yummy drinks to arrive at your doorstep every month, please visit Mangaspicecafe.com to subscribe. You won’t regret it!