Kitchen Princess Vol. #03 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Del Rey
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 202
  • ISBN: 978-0-345-49660-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Kitchen Princess

Kitchen Princess Vol. #03

By Sakura Eries     August 29, 2007
Release Date: July 31, 2007


Kitchen Princess Vol.#03
© Del Rey


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Miyuki Kobayashi / Natsumi Ando
Translated by:Satsuki Yamashita
Adapted by:Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir

What They Say
Thanks to a magical talent for cooking, Najika is attending Seika Academy, a top private school, and has a great job at the nearby Fujita Diner. Najika believes that her "prince," the boy who once saved her life, is a fellow student. But when it appears that the diner might close, and jealous classmate Akane hatches a sinister plan to drive Najika out of school, Najika retreats to her childhood home to care for her beloved guardian, who has fallen ill. With so much trouble brewing at the academy, will Najika return to the school or just stay home forever?

The Review
Jealous of Najika's growing relationship with the Kitazawa brothers, one of her classmates hatches a plot to get rid of her by persuading the PTA to shut down Fujita Diner! Even Sora, who is interim school director, is unable to sway the board's decision. Najika despairs at the impending loss of the one place where her talents shine -- until a few words from the most unexpected of people inspire her to fight for the diner. With some creativity and the help of the Kitazawa brothers and even Fujita, Najika convinces the PTA to reverse their decision. However, her celebration is cut short when she receives news that Hagio-sensei has fallen ill. Najika rushes back home, and what she finds at Lavender House has her wondering if it wouldn't be better for her to just stay in Hokkaido.

Najika faces another series of incidents with the potential to make her leave school, but as this volume closes, the plot looks as if it's going to be less about Najika proving herself and moving more in the direction of a love square between Najika, Akane, and the brothers. The Kitazawa brothers are getting more interesting as bits of their troubled family life are revealed, and with the venom drained out of Akane after the peach pie episode, there's the potential for her to become more fleshed out as a character as well.

With so much going on between the characters though, the whole Flan Prince aspect of the story turns into a bit of an afterthought. When it pops up again at the end of Chapter 13, it's almost as if you have to remind yourself, "Oh yeah, THAT is why Najika came to Seika." Considering all the trouble she took to get to Seika, she's expended very little effort in her search, and it's not until Chapter 14 that she finally gets around to asking someone about the Flan Prince incident.

A couple of comments about the packaging. The cover design, which is the same used for the Japanese manga, depicts Najika's hair in a uniform bright orange hue. It's a contrast from the way her hair was shaded in the first two volumes and looks like a rush job as the same bright orange is used for Najika's ribbons, hat, and apron. Najika's distracting hair color aside, the teaser on the back cover is misleading. It makes Akane out to be the one trying to shut the diner down, which is not the case.

Extras include table of contents, an explanation of honorifics, story thus far summary, cast of characters (where we finally learn that Najika's in the seventh grade), closing remarks from the manga's writer and artist, recipes for six foods made in the manga, two pages of cultural notes, an untranslated preview of Volume 4, and ads for other Del Rey releases.

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