Pastel Vol. #05 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Release Date: Sunday, December 31, 2006
Translated by:David Ury
Adapted by:David Ury
What They Say
When Mugi and Yuu miss the last train home after a late night out, a friendly restaurant proprietor, Tetsu-san, invites them in from the cold. Impressed by Mugi's passion for cooking, Tetsu offers him a job... Which is how Mugi comes to meet the gorgeous eighteen-year-old Aoi-san, a wandering artist (and kissing machine) who is deeply in love with Tetsu.
Unfortunately, Tetsu isn't interested, but hey... a kissing machine's gotta kiss somebody, right? It turns out that nobody is safe from Aoi-san's smooches, not Tetsu, not Mugi... not even the unsuspecting Yuu-chan!
Wow, we get a bit of continuity in this volume! One of the things that's emphasized again and again in the stories is that Mugi's a great cook, so one of the stories leads up to him becoming an apprentice at a restaurant. The volume seems to stick with this thread, so I'm hoping it's going to stay as a bit of direction for the series. I like that Mugi was finally given purpose, and it really seems like something that fit the character (this may seem rather obvious, but it just felt like something good happening to a good guy).
On another note, Mugi gets a lot more love this time around. The fanservice-y jokes were kept to a minimum in this volume, and Mugi is falsely accused much less than usual this time around. Most everyone is actually quite kind to him, which I liked because he's literally one of the nicest guys in manga, and he does take a lot of abuse.
One thing I don't give this series enough credit for is the good vibe it gives off. Far from being the drama-tacular spectacle of similar series like I"s, Pastel mostly features cute stories about Mugi doing nice things for people. There's a lot to be said for that, and as much as I would love to change a lot of things about Pastel, I have to step back and admire this about it periodically.
Though the episodic format stays the same, I liked this volume a lot more than some of the previous ones. I'm hoping we get a bit more plot to go on next volume, and if that happens, I think I'll be quite satisfied coasting through another pleasant volume of this series.
Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Del Rey
Orientation: Right to Left