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Yes, this is the only title. Look how pretty Masakazu Katsura’s art is!
On all seriousness, Matt Blind of Rocket Bomber recently asked manga bloggers to give thanks to the manga industry for all their hard work. He also asked folks to highlight what manga titles we’re thankful for on Thanksgiving 2012. I decided to join in on this feast since hey, creators and publishers really do look out for their fans. With a bit of Jimmy Fallon quirkiness, here are some notable manga series (both licensed and a few unlicensed titles) that make me go, “Arigato, Soushite, ARIGATO!”
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How many of you readers love spicy food and get a kick every time something hot just burns in your mouth? If that’s the case, you might want to check out Kazuki Funatsu’s “Addicted To Curry”. It’s an interesting and humorous tale that mixes romance, comedy, and the wonderful world of curry.
The story revolves around curry chef Makito Koenji and his attempts to save a curry restaurant named Ganesha from going out of business. Koenji was once saved by a young girl named Yui Sonezaki, whose father owns Ganesha. He proceeds to show of his amazing curry cooking skills to Yui and decides to help her in making Ganesha successful. This is not an easy journey as Koenji faces many challenges and obstacles along the way. Addicted To Curry is a series that focuses a great deal on why curry is arguably the number one comfort food in Japan.
With the popularity of Japanese curry possibly growing in the West (mostly in due part to the globalization efforts of places like GO GO Curry!), it would be great to see this manga being localized here in the West. If you have never tried Japanese curry before, it’s really, really good. The main difference between Japanese curry and other notable curries (like Indian curry) is that Japanese curry tends to make their curry thick and creamy. Think of it as Japan’s version of macaroni & cheese. Foreigners in Japan really love it.
Addicted To Curry can be summed up as a mix of Yakitate! Japan (another popular food manga) and Great Teacher Onizuka. One reason why it’s compared to GTO is because Koenji is noted to be a huge pervert. There are a lot of ecchi scenes used for gag purposes throughout the series. Dramatic moments are plenty as well as you find out more about the various characters and their motivations for investing themselves in curry. Like “The Drops of God”, Addicted To Curry can also be described as a battle manga using food as a physical and emotional weapon. There’s also a book of recipes used in the manga written by culinary expert Takeshi Morieda.
When I look at a title like Addicted To Curry, I think about the importance of spices in health. With everyone freaking out over sodium, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup, spices are a godsend when used in cooking. They provide benefits in terms of keeping your brain in fine shape. Even curry is good for you. Tumeric, the spice that gives curry its yellow-ish color, apparently helps prevent heart disease.
So yeah, Shueisha, once Japanese curry really explodes over in the West, perhaps it will be time to bring Addicted To Curry and its 45+ volumes for a run here. Put it in the VIZ Signature series (well, it is published in Young Jump, the home of GANTZ, ZETMAN, Liar Game and other mature titles) and I think we have a title that can make an impact to fans of comfort food and those who love to learn about new things through manga.
Now, if you excuse me, it’s time to feed my addiction to that brown sauce that heats up my soul and I hope it’s an addiction that you will develop to spice up your life.