Modern Visual Culture

Recommended Works

Antique Bakery

西洋 骨董 洋菓子店

Mangaka: Fumi Yoshinaga よしなが ふみ
Born: 20th of Oct, 1971 Tokyo Metropolis, Japan
Original Publisher: Shinshokan
English Language Publisher:
Published: January 1999 to January 2002
Status: Finished
Number of Volumes: 4
Serialized: Wings ウィングス
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Demographic: shojo

    Synopsis
    An intelligent, mature comedy that depicts the lives of four people who work in a small bakery: the owner, Keisuke Tachibana, his childhood friend, Chikage Kobayakawa, the charming pastry chef Yusuke Ono, and his apprentice, Eiji Kanda.

    The character-driven plot follows these four characters and the bakery's customers. Each character comes with an interesting set of quirks. Thirty-two-year-old Tachibana speaks French and cannot stand sweets, which is odd, considering he opened a bakery. Ono cannot keep a job, because he cannot stop seducing his coworkers. Twenty-one-year-old Eiji is a former delinquent, and Chikage Kobayakawa wears his sunglasses at all possible times, due to weak eyes.

    Additionally, the series presents a lot of interesting information about the finer points of French baking. There is also a darker subplot involving abusive relationships that becomes prominent in volume four.

    The title is named after the fact that the bakery is located in a former antique store in a residential area of Japan.
    Background & Impact
    The series was first adapted into a television drama before later being adapted as an anime and a Korean film. In 2001, it was adapted into a Japanese live-action drama for Fuji TV that altered the source material considerably. A Korean live-action film that was more faithful to the original manga was released in 2008. An eleven-episode anime series was also released in 2008.

    The series won the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for shojo manga.