Yuri Manga: Himitsu no Recipe (ひみつのレシピ)

November 10th, 2011

Underclassman Wakatsuki is reasonably sure she’s gay, but not entirely, so she convinces her sempai, the president of the cooking club, to y’know, kiss her, just to see.

And so, Morinaga Milk’s Himitsu no Recipe, (ひみつのレシピ)begins with a very cheap, servicey opening, and then desperately tries to make a story out of it.

Now that she’s convinced she likes girls, Wakatsuki is also convinced that she likes Buchou. A lot. A lot a lot. And, um, she really wants Buchou to like her back. So Wakatsuki joins the Cooking Club and plots to be closer to the club president, who is almost completely oblivious of her not-all-that-mixed signals.

For her part, Buchou really wants the Cooking Club to be successful and she’s putting her heart and soul into recruitment and training, pretty oblivious of Wakatsuki’s ulterior motives.

Unfortunately for readers, the heart aching sincerity of GIRL FRIENDS is pretty much completely absent in this series. The first chapter very much reads like a one-shot. The overall feel was that the first chapter was a tryout to see if Morinaga-sensei and the Tsubomi editors got along and when they did, they just told her to continue with these two characters.

It’s hard to be sympathetic to Wakatsuki, who would be completely sympathetic if she had her crush, treasured it, fantasized about it, and told herself the whole story in her head, as we do with crushes. But it’s impossible to really like her the 5th or 6th time Buchou has pushed her off and said, “No.” Because sexual harassment isn’t funny or cute or, really, entertaining, no matter how moe the art is.

The big summer training camp is coming up and Wakatsuki has her battle underwear ready to go. I’m almost hoping that Buchou fends her off, gives her what for and throws her out of the club. From my perspective, Wakatasuki needs to be trained properly.

I’m sorry this manga isn’t better, but it had such a bare bones opening and really hasn’t developed any muscles since.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 4
Characters – 5
Yuri – 6
Service – 6

Overall – 6

If you were a big fan of GIRL FRIENDS, I think you might be better off skipping this. If you just love Morinaga Milk’s work on principle, then definitely get it. It has her signature art style, but I know she can write better stories than this.

Sorry all the recent reviews have been grumpyish, but we’re getting down to the bottom of the pile of things I bought in September. And I’m saving the best for last. ^_^

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7 Responses

  1. Atarun says:

    It’s true that Morinaga Milk-sensei can write so much better stories than Himitsu no Recipe. Not just Girl Friends, but Kisses, Sighs and Cherry-Blossom Pink (the Even If We’re Not Friends comeback I did not dare hope for).

    It is also true that she knows how to make LFB-tailored crap. I’d say her work can fall almost anywhere on the thoughtfulness (for lack of a more descriptive and yet inoffensive word) spectrum.

  2. You nailed why this series just isn’t as good as Girl Friends. When you’d rather see the main character’s love interest wind up with someone else (the Sempai who used to be the Cooking Club’s President), you know there’s a bit of a problem.

  3. @Katherine – Exactly so. Wakatsuki *should* be jealous (even though she really has no logical cause to be) because she’s made herself odious and the former club president is supportive and pleasant in a way Wakatsuki is not.

  4. @Atarun – I wonder if she ever truly created something for LFBs. Yes, she definitely likes aggressive seme-type kouhai characters, but she uses that *so* often I think it’s just what she like to see. ^_^

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm… I actually really like this series. Obviously its not in volumes so there’s limited plot Milk sensei can write for.

    I don’t know if you read it in English or Japanese, but if you read it in Japanese, it runs along way smoother obviously. I would just keep in mind about the different cultures and stuff.

    Anyways, the series is almost coming to an end I think…. I’ve read till ch 15 I believe.
    I wouldn’t bash on Wakatsuki just yet though if you haven’t read the chapters past 10.
    I mean, I read the raws so that’s how I know… I’m not sure the english translated versions are up yet.

    I kinda understand where you are coming from about Wakatsuki, but it totally gets better so I wouldn’t give up on it just yet!!!
    I would read it till the end for sure and then see what you think of it. =)

  6. Hi @Anonymous – I get this series as it came out in Tsubomi magazine (not as a scanlation, as you are doing. I buy the magazine). Then I buy the collected volume.

    When I write a review I am reviewing that volume, not later chapters.

    I have rad all the chapters of the seriess so far and I still do not like either of the characters. So we disagree there. ^_^

    Okazu readers overwhelmingly support the artists, writers and publishers of Yuri by buying anime and manga series in English and Japanese.

    I hope you will join us, rather than merely helping yourself to chapter distributed illicitly by people who have no right to do so and who give the creators no right to make decisions and no money.

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