21 Aug / what did you eat yesterday? (vol. 9) by Fumi Yoshinaga, translated by Jocelyne Allen
Before digging in, you’ll want to catch up here with our favorite Tokyo lovebirds to better understand their evolving relationship, not to mention appreciating (envying?) their toothsome meals. As carefree as Shiro and Kenji appear on this cover, however, be warned – this latest volume is not all raucous laughter and summer bingsoo.
On the lighter side, cost-conscious Shiro deals with disappointment over the closing of his favorite (cheap) neighborhood supermarket. In contrast to the results of Shiro’s red-penned discounted deals, he and Kenji enjoy an especially delectable feast when their friends Kohinata and Gilbert’s refrigerator breaks down and the foursome are forced to relish the luxurious contents to prevent spoilage waste.
Life turns more serious when Shiro skips the obligatory New Year’s visit with his parents to stay home with Kenji; his acknowledgment of both devotion and regret will surely cause an empathetic lump in your throat, but be assured the Kanto-style zoni rice cake soup should tastefully soothe heart and belly both. Sadly, Shiro’s parents are too conservative to welcome their son’s partner (Japan still refuses to recognize gay marriage) … but no one is getting younger, including Kenji, ahem!
In between, Shiro gets unwillingly duped into the annual bar association elections, Kenji relays the latest exploits of his lothario co-worker, and – most of the time – everyone gets to eat really, really well!
Volume 9’s volatile ending promises the next installment should open with major life changes happening quickly. Uh-oh. That said, the one thing that will surely stay the same is the food, glorious food … regardless of the situation, in Shiro and Kenji’s cozy home, quality meals are guaranteed. How satisfying to have a place at their table!
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2014 (Japan), 2015 (United States)