22 May / what did you eat yesterday? (vol. 8) by Fumi Yoshinaga, translated by Yoshito Hinton
If these Tokyo lovebirds don’t steal your heart, they’ll certainly inspire you to feed your growling belly. As you slobber your way through this latest volume of Shiro and Kenji’s culinary delights, you might even be inspired to create something tasty of your own. The step-by-step panels actually make the toothsome dishes seem within kitchen reach.
That said, here the twosome eat out more than in previous installments. In addition to the occasional restaurant dates with friends, they travel further out to Kyoto on a birthday trip for Kenji and sample temple food, cafés, and bentos. In Kenji’s adoring and grateful words to Shiro, “Sharing meals with you really touches my heart.”
As compatible as the two men are, their lives are not without complications. Kenji worries that Shiro’s extravagant travel gift has hidden meaning; indeed Shiro initially hides his concern over his parents’ retracted invitation to what should be an extended family gathering. At his friend Kayoko’s house, Shiro finds himself insensitively insulted, then unexpectedly buoyed by Kayoko’s pregnant daughter. He gets a lesson on “diaper cake,” and enjoys his first brownies thanks to Kenji’s happy childhood memories of Anne of Green Gables. All around are reminders of other relationships gone awry, but Shiro and Kenji manage to devotedly hold on to their shared meals …
Eight volumes in, Fumi Yoshinaga’s gentle series about the daily lives of a contemporary, urban couple who are also gay is as fresh as it was in its initial debut. Mixed in with their adorable (delicious!) love story, Yoshinaga deftly reveals universal challenges to any relationship – as obvious as interactions with friends and family, to secret concerns about mortality and fidelity, to the more immediate questions of ‘what’s for dinner?’ Go ahead and dig in … satisfaction guaranteed.
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2013 (Japan), 2015 (United States)