Not Love but Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy by Fumi Yoshinaga

A female gay porn artist enjoys fine food. It’s a strangely appropriate set up for a manga that, at its core, is itself porn. Already you have decided that this selection is too trashy for you and probably beneath the dignity of this otherwise respectable blog. But I happen to know it’s not beneath your dignity. I know what you do on the internet: pulling up photos of Golden Braised Artichokes with Garlic and Mint – drooling over that recipe for Blueberry Soup. Stop acting like it’s beneath you when it’s not. You love food porn. Admit it.

That’s what this is – a manga filled with graphic depictions of food. Our under achieving protagonist drags her quirky acquaintances out to various real-life Tokyo restaurants where they, and we, take part in detailed gastronomical orgies highlighting the unique delights offered by the particular ethnic style of the cuisine as seen through Japanese eyes. The fun comes from the descriptions of our guests as they sample the foods. Some are fellow “foodies” while others are pushed outside their comfort zones to try various gourmet tidbits. Relationships are sort of explored over the meals, but part of the charm of this one-shot is that the relationships center more around the food itself. Sometimes there’s almost something more, but the characters always revert back into their quirky dysfunctions which are only bridged by the food they share.

If reading about a group of gourmands not quite connecting over servings of delicious victuals sounds like a good time, then grab this book. I wouldn’t want it to be any longer than it is, but for a literary equivalent to a Food Channel soap opera, it serves quite well. And if you really enjoy it, you can visit the actual restaurants and order the same meals. The author provides a map with the nearest subway stop and even offers advice on how much money to bring. It’s the perfect dish for food voyeurs.

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