Posted by psgels on 20 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews



Bishounen-series are in a way much like bishoujo-series. It’s just too easy to just treat the fanboys or fangirls to a lot of fanservice and get things over with, but of course the real challenge is to put them in interesting situations, develop them properly and flesh them out like real characters, otherwise you could just as well start selling paper bags. Antique Bakery is an example of how to do this right, although it’s rather unconventional.

I’ve said this before, but the series of the past spring- and summer season often had theme of fooling the viewer. Quite a few series defied expectations by focusing on something different from what you’d expect them to. Antique Bakery for example, looks all the way like a yaoi-series. Instead, it’s just an iyashi-kei series with a bit of mystery, where one of the characters just happens to be gay.

It really knows how to handle its cast of characters. At first, it starts out like a rather cheesy series, but very soon the cheese turns into genuine drama. Every character gets enough attention to show what he’s got. Because the series deals with such an original setting of a cake-store, the characters really have the ability to move away fro the stereotypes, and develop in the way they want. There’s this strange bond that develops between them as the series goes on, and it just seems to fit perfectly.

The mystery-part of the series is also delightfully unpredictable. How often do you see a guy with a trauma, because he had once been kidnapped in his past by someone who forced to make him eat cakes all the time? At first, it might seem like a bit of good cheese, but interestingly enough as the show goes on, this develops into genuine drama, with an actually very nice ending that prefers logical progression over a sensational ending, and yet puts a satisfying conclusion to everything.

There’s one character who feels a bit out of place in this series. This series is mostly about adults, but there’s one teenager amongst them, but he just doesn’t feel as part of the cast as the others. All attempts to flesh him out feel a bit shallow, and the moments that focus on him are mostly the less exciting of the series. An ex-boxer who loves cakes may sound good on paper, but the creators just didn’t use his character well enough.

This also isn’t a series for everyone. The fact remains that one of the characters is gay, so if you hate gay people with the intensity of one thousand suns, then you’re not going to like this series, even though the fact that the guy’s gay is used very nicely to symbolize the anxieties of gay people in the modern society. There’s also one particularly wrong scene where the guy carries his fantasies a bit too far, but apart from that the creators nicely balanced his feelings, to prevent the shounen-ai tones from getting too big of a focus.

Overall, though, Antique Bakery is another example of why Noitamina rocks. It comes with the most unconventional premises that actually work out somehow. It’s an inspired series that’s sometimes relaxing, and sometimes it shines with powerful drama, and the creators showed that they knew exactly how to use their limited time of 12 episodes. While it’s not going to break any records, it’s another good example of a nice quick watch.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

3 Responses

  1. Sapphire says:

    What’s “iyashi-kei” ?

  2. psgels psgels says:

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Iyashikei

    I think that that link explains best. It’s a “healing”-type genre, which pretty much describes the quiet parts of Antique Bakery.

  3. Starss says:

    Terrific spot on review, Antique Bakery was a big surprise for me and I didn’t know what to expect but it was brilliant and also surprisingly comedic. Some of the most dramatic scenes were the funniest while also feeling so wholeheartedly genuine, it just feels unexpectedly cruel to laugh.

    I really hope that scene about Ono’s fantasies refers to the one scene in the rain, which so perfectly demonstrated his nickname while being that much over the top you can’t take it seriously.

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  • WyattX
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 07:30 AM)
    Basically, they just want more money, but they’re forgetting about the people who made the site possible: us. I’ve been frequenting the site since mid 2007.
  • WyattX
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 07:26 AM)
    I also filed a minor complaint to Fakku recently. If you’ve been there as of late, you’d know that they’ve started to publish & sell doujin on their own. However, this is taking up too much of their effort and is pretty unnecessary, because all that it has done is slow down their stream of new doujins. Other sites, like hentai.ms, has been comparatively far more prolific.
  • WyattX
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 06:39 AM)
    Example, obviously nsfw. This is Karma’s latest work: https://www.fakku.net/manga/rainsnow-english
  • WyattX
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 06:35 AM)
    If you’re that apt at writing pleasant slice of lifes, I’d recommend sticking to writing fluffy slice of lifes. Because you’re mediocre at writing hentai.
  • WyattX
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 06:34 AM)
    Karma Tatsuro makes cute, feel-good stories in the very first few pages of almost every doujin he writes… Then they always devolve into vanilla hentai with generic sex, and they always conclude by goes back to being a regular,belter,fuzzy feel-good manga. Strange bloke.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 06:18 AM)
    @K-off: let him be m8, it’s only natural to get hated on after writing the fanfic of the century.
  • k-off
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 06:11 AM)
    @Miyako “Look how cultured I am, comparing an anime to a completely irrelevant comedy classic,” is what you’re saying m8. Who the hell says “For my holy grail references?”
  • MiyakoJungle
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 06:06 AM)
    “Ooh, you can’t compare things from two different mediums!!” *Figuratively vomits
  • k-off
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 06:03 AM)
    @Miyako Did you really just compare Monty Python and the Holy Grail to Fate?
  • MiyakoJungle
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 06:00 AM)
    Fate sucks. For my holy grail references, I’d recommend Monty Python.

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