Yakitate!! Japan Vol. #22 (Mania.com)

By:Sakura Eries
Review Date: Friday, April 02, 2010
Release Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hands of the Sun versus Blizzard Hands!

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Takashi Hashiguchi
Translation: Noritaka Minami
Adaptation: Noritaka Minami

What They Say
Are you ready for the Iron Chef of bread?! Manga shall not live by bread alone. The pizza-making competition continues as Pantasia opponent Marco makes a pizza so tasty it'll turn even the toughest bread-battle judges into baby birds. In order to compete, Azuma's seafood-based concoction must also have the power to turn man into bird--or at least amphibian! When the contest progresses to pastries, Azuma's unpleasant opponent Yukino uses her supernaturally cold hands and a multi-layered con job to reverse all of Pantasia's fortune. Will Azuma's dreams disappear into thin air?

The Review!

Up until now, even though St. Pierre has been manipulating the food assignments for Yakitate!! 25, pretty much all of Azuma's competition have wanted to face him in a fair fight. Not so with Round 10! His next competitor is Tsukino's evil sister Yukino, and she and St. Pierre have more than one dirty trick up their sleeves.
In manga, characters are rarely portrayed as purely evil. For example in Yakitate!!, Mizuno has compassion for her Koala, and even old man Kirisaki was once the gentle baker who first taught Azuma. Not so with Yukino -- Hashiguchi-sensei has her bad to the bone, quite appropriate for St. Pierre's most diabolical and startling trick yet!
In terms of a food competition manga, the over-the-top techniques are imaginative enough to make you want to come back for seconds. However, the reactions... having finished this volume, I find myself wishing for the straightforward reactions of the early volumes. You know, like where Kuro-yan imitates Godzilla's Gamera after eating turtle bread. Now it seems like everyone and everything is transforming into animals, body parts, and food items, and it’s taking as much space to explain the puns behind the reactions as it does to explain Azuma's and his competitors' creations. When it takes that much effort, the jokes are as likely to elicit a yawn as a laugh.
In summary:
Tsukino's evil sister Yukino steps out of the shadows and onto the stage for Battle Tarts! It’s a heated battle against her blizzard hands, but even with Azuma's stunning innovations to rise to the level of her pastry skills, there’s a greater threat lurking with this particular challenge.

Mania Grade: B-
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-1421529042
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Yakitate!! JaPan