I usually try to read my manga in Japanese but more than often the series that interest me the most are just too complicated to read in their original language. What did you eat yesterday? is one of these. Spotted it on my last visit to Tokyo but because my two suitcases were already bursting with manga and books I decided to skip this title. Even with all my orders from Japan I never got one volume because I just wanted to fully understand this story without missing out on all the details from the cooking recipes. It’s a Seinen manga and even if the language is usually a little more straight forward (or more natural for that matter) then your usual 少年 title, there can still be a pretty wide array of vocab be used.
What did you eat yesterday? centers around a young gay couple with one of them being a lawyer in his 40s. He’s not a star, just a normal guy working a middle class position in a big law firm. They agreed on a monthly food budget of 25k ¥ and while reading the short chapters of the manga you get some pretty detailed descriptions of the different dishes. But the cooking aspect is just one reason you have to love this series. The stories are always told with a comedic undertone but are never seem forced. We learn about the pasts of the two characters, when of them was dating a famous host and the other one years before a woman.
The mangaka Fumi Yoshinaga (a woman, for those who are not too familiar with Japanese surnames) really manages to tastefully portrait the relationship of these two men. Struggling with their daily lives, always looking too handsome for their age (early 40s) and cooking some decent food each day. It’s one of those series that are best enjoyed with a good glass of wine or tea in the evening. Just relaxing in a lounge chair listening to some late night Jazz and enjoying some anecdotes from two gay men who love to cook.
Vertical is publishing the series in English and did a decent job with their edition. I’m still a bit disappointed with what they did with The drops of god which just seems a little cheap with the plain binding. They fixed that with What did you eat yesterday, though and wrapped the whole manga nicely.
- Buy What did you eat yesterday? on amazon.com
(If you buy the book through my link, I’ll get a small referral fee which will be used to buy even more awesome stuff for review.)