Kitchen Princess Manga Review — Final Thoughts

キッチンのお姫さま/Kitchen no Ohimesama
Kitchen Princess Manga Review — Final Thoughts

*SPOILERS TO FOLLOW!*

I’ve read a few shoujo titles over the years, most notably Cardcaptor Sakura (which is also mahou shoujo) and Fruits Basket. As usually happens, some readers of this blog had suggested that I might try Kitchen Princess since I liked Fruits Basket. It took some time before I could budget purchasing the manga, which I decided to try not just because it was another shoujo title, but because it was also a cooking manga, something that would be new to me. It was an educational experience to say the least.

Kitchen Princess
The story is a pretty cliched one — a pretty but orphaned girl (Najika) has some outstanding skills (the ability to remember any taste and perfectly emulate any dish she’s eaten) and gets assigned to a prestigious school. She’s an outcast but catches the eye of two popular guys who are also the sons of the school’s director — Daichi and Sora. Najika uses her cooking skills to win over others such as the popular model Akane, who at first loathed Najika.

While there is very little of what I would call traditional humor (some of the omake stories are more lighthearted than the main story), I found it humorous how author Kobayashi-sensei managed to work in a certain number of recipes every volume, all of which are published at the end of the volume by Del Rey. Some come off more natural, such as when Najika is in some cooking competition or is helping at Fujita Diner, but sometimes her “food fixes everything” dishes came off as a bit of a stretch to me. Then again, I’m not the target audience of this manga. ^_^;

When cooking isn’t in the forefront, we have the cliched love-triangle as Najika attempts to find her “Flan Prince,” the boy who’d save her life as a child and who gave her his flan snack afterward. So, Najika first goes with Sora, who leads her to believe he’s her Flan Prince but then he’s unexpectedly removed from the picture and Kobayashi-sensei brings in a new boy (Seiya) to not only fill in the love-triangle, but also to be a cooking rival for Najika.

As I look back at these romances, I was never filled with anything other than “meh!” I’m guessing that young girls may be OK with it but for me, I just couldn’t get into the romance aspects that much and certainly never bought the Daichi-Seiya-Najika love-triangle. I was into the romance stuff in Fruits Basket (and other titles) so I’m not hardened against that. The Sora-Daichi-Najika love-triangle was more believable but Sora’s “removal” (which was something completely unexpected) ended what little interest I would have had.

I will admit that some of the recipes published do look somewhat interesting. They are presented in a simplistic style to allow children to be able to prepare these dishes. Considering the time restraints in my life, I kinda doubt I bother to try to make one of these dishes but I might one day. We’ll see.

Kitchen Princess
The artwork in the manga is by ANDO Natsumi, who does a her job well. I don’t think I ever mentioned this before, so I thought I’d mention it now.

I’m pretty sure that the target audience of young pre-teen and teen girls will really get into this manga but for me, it was too cliched and angst-filled for me to have any real enjoyment. As such, I do plan to give this to my nieces in a couple of years and we’ll see how they react to this. ^_^

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4 Responses to “Kitchen Princess Manga Review — Final Thoughts”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Have you tried Oishii Kankei? http://wingtipcafe.com/en/?page_id=145

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Never heard of it until just now. ^_^;

  3. Anonymous says:

    Have you tried Ouran Host Club?

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