Saturday, June 2, 2012

michi speaks: Café Relish ni Oide

Altenative Title: Welcome to Café Relish
Mangaka: Takatsuki Noboru
Status: Completed (1 volume)
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life, Yaoi


Inui Takeshi is the owner of a restaurant in trouble! He and his cute younger brother Yasutomo are trying to make a living, but business is just too slow. When regular customer and ex-host Ookami Kyousuke suggests an all-male version of a maid cafe, the brothers reluctantly agree to the idea. Ookami and fellow host Sannoumaru Miyabi move in with the Inui's and begin the adventures of Cafe Relish!


My Take:

Okay here I thought this has been reviewed and much to my surprise, it was not. Without further ado, let's begin with the main characters. Yasutomo, a high school student, is single-handedly raised by his older brother, Inui Takeshi, after being parentless since youth. The restaurant that Inui worked so hard to manage for their daily sustenance seems to be dying out of customers, plus a growing problem with loans in which he had applied to maintain the business. One of the customers noticed this and wanted to help the brothers. The owner disagree as he can't afford to pay for additional employees.

That customer, Ookami Kyousuke, convinced Inui that he will accept no salary until when the restaurant is stable. He suggests a new theme as part of their major renovation because the restaurant felt lifeless. Ookami just recently resigned as a host and was about to find a good opportunity at Inui's. Yasutomo thought that the idea might work. Add to the gang is Ookami's fellow host, Miyabi, who suddenly decided to quit his current job as well.

Now, the concept for the restaurant. Yasutomo said it would be like a maid cafe. Ookami backed up his suggestion. But instead wearing a maid uniform, it'll be more on cosplay. Yasutomo volunteered to make them costumes (as he's a cosplayer too, but the truth is, he likes to make costumes). As they have defined all the things to consider for rebuilding the restaurant, the day has come to open and serve the customers. The number of customers increases everyday and seeing good-looking men serving food is such an entertainment (and most of the customers are female).

There are some bad parts of this manga but it teaches us some important points. One, struggles and problems can be overcome when everybody is helping and showing support for each other. Just like how the brothers and other characters overcome the bankruptcy of the restaurant by devising ways to make the restaurant get back on the groove.

Second is trust. Building trust is, by itself, very difficult to make without a solid foundation. Just imagine, how Yasutomo able to trust a total stranger, Ookami, when he says he will help the brothers improve the restaurant. I myself did wonder, but I guess it's on the face value. But no. It has to be deeper than that. It is something mysterious, an invisible connection between one person to the other.

Lastly, never lose passion. Sewing is Yasutomo's favorite hobby. Not all men do sewing but this is his passion. His mother inherited him the sewing machine that she used to create dresses. Now he used it to make costumes for everyone managing the restaurant.

"All is well." I remember this famous line from a Bollywood movie, 3 Idiots. All has become well after the success of the restaurant.

Wonder why I don't say so much about Yasutomo X Ookami pairing? In the beginning, the pair already lack the connection with each other. Though it was intended so the readers can feel them as the story progress. Sadly, it didn't fair well on me. Much I wanted to read and re-read, there is a little chance that I will like the pair (or even one of them). I guess the plot or their pursuit to love were easily overcome by their strong personalities. Well, this is a light and happy kind of story after all.

Despite the bad side of this manga, this is a nice piece to read. Hope everyone will still enjoy reading this. The simplicity of its plot will surely enough to brighten your day.

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