Yakitate!! Japan Vol. #11 (Mania.com)

By:Sakura Eries
Review Date: Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Release Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2008



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Takashi Hashiguchi
Translated by:Noritaka Minami
Adapted by:Jake Forbes

What They Say
Kazuma and company face another uniquely unconventional challenge in the semifinals of the Monaco Cup: they must prepare tasty loaves of sports bread that will satisfy the needs of F1 racers. This time, though, Pantasia's opponents are the dreaded Kayser Brothers of France, craftsmen whose seemingly unsurpassable skills - and very freaky appearances - have sent lesser bakers into early retirement. Will an audience with the King of Monaco give Kazuma a much-needed edge? And what on earth is a sports bread anyway?!

The Review
Team Japan moves into the Monaco Cup semifinals where they face their greatest opponents yet -- France's Kayser Brothers! And their challenge this time is to create sports bread worthy of F1 racers! With St. Pierre's Kirisaki pulling strings behind the scenes, Gran Kayser's monstrous Hands of the Sun Titan, and fanatical Team France fans everywhere, will Team Japan keep it together to survive this round of competition?

Volume 11 contains the whole of the semifinals from beginning to end. Hashiguchi continues to pack Yakitate full of wild ingredients, spectacle, and puns (which translate with various degrees of effectiveness into English). And of course we have Pierrot's (and Kawachi's) outrageous reactions to match the outrageous breads created. Among the weirder things presented are the King of Monaco and what lies beneath the Kayser Brothers' mantle. It's all fairly bizarre (the Kayser Brothers' formation is particularly grotesque), but is definitely in keeping with the extreme tone of this series.

Though I have enjoyed Hashiguchi's baking challenge plots, I am becoming somewhat dismayed with Kawachi's role in the story. He started off as a rival for Azuma, but since the Monaco Cup arc began, he's been relegated to the role of comic idiot with just about all the other characters ridiculing his abilities, his hair, and his bread. It seems a bit unfair, especially since he did tie with Suwabara in the Pantasia match. Hashiguchi means for it to be funny and part of Kanmuri's plan, but I'm starting to feel really bad for Kawachi. And it would be nice to have someone other than Azuma save the day for Team Japan once in awhile.

Volume 11 extras include a story thus far summary, three one-page bonus comics, mini information on one of the key ingredients in this volume, and ads for other Viz titles.



Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 8.99
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1-4215-1706-3
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Yakitate!! JaPan