Archive for the 'antique bakery' Category

Antique Bakery: The Things I Do (And Enjoy) For Cake

When they finally did a shot that consisted entirely of girls, I knew, deep in my misandrist heart, that it was time to make an Antique Bakery post.

So I picked up Antique Bakery when it started airing, because I’d promised myself that I’d watch it, out of both a sense of duty and fairness (if I like girls gazing deeply into each others eyes so much, it’s not fair to deny the boys the opportunity to gaze deeply into each other’s eyes), and because I really just wanted to see what was up with a vaguely shounen-ai manga that won the Kodansha. I expected it to be somewhat of an exercise in passive, neutral appreciation of something that, while I may not have been able to get fully behind it the way I would, say, Itazura na Kiss, I would still retain an intellectual appreciation of the series on an abstract level.

I most definitely did not expect to enjoy it quite as much as I have.

As has been pointed out by the astute female bloggers usagijen and issa-sa, Antique Bakery isn’t really a shounen-ai/boys’ love series so much as it is a fairly straightforward shoujo [there’s a word here for what kind of series Antique Bakery is, but I really don’t know what, exactly, that word is] series with a brush of light shounen-ai elements, because Yoshinaga Fumi loves baiting her audience with such teasing moments. And, although I am decidedly not gay (not 100% straight, of course, because no one is 100% straight, but I’m definitely very firmly in the “straight” zone) I find myself quite enjoying these moments of BL baiting. It’s almost the same kind of feeling I get when watching an Itazura na Kiss episode, except reduced dramatically in intensity (but, seriously, I don’t think I’ve watched anything that comes close to how I fee when I watch Itakiss–not even the first nine episodes of Kaiji) and perhaps more bemused than I would be watching a similar scene in Itakiss, but that’s far from an insult against the series. I mean, really–when you have almost ludicrously sombre pipe organ music playing over the dancing-in-the-rain scene with Chikage and Ono, I think even a hardcore shounen-ai/yaoi fan would be cracking a smile, at least inwardly, so I can hardly be faulted for snickering. It’s complimentary snickering, though, so don’t get me wrong there.

The actual series itself, leaving out the BL elements as much as you can, is actually quite good, even if I’m not quite able to remember what, exactly, is going on. Not a whole lot has really happened–it’s vaguely slice-of-life in that respect, to abuse that term even more–but it’s quite enjoyable nonetheless. The main four characters–Tachibana, Chikage, Ono, and EIji–are all extremely likable (much as the Ouran High School Host Club main male ensemble was likable), play off each other to comedic effect well, and, in general, are well-crafted characters. I actually find myself rooting for Ono and Chikage, for whatever unfathomable reason that may be. Possibly I’m losing my mind, or, at least, my testosterone is leaking. Or just plain defective.

For a series that I picked up more out of quasi-intellectual curiosity rather than active pre-airing interest and self-hype, I’m actually surprised by how much I’m entertained by Antique Bakery, doubly so by the very elements that I thought would most alienate me. I highly doubt I’ll win over any more skeptical viewers to it with this post, but as I’m pretty sure I’m the only (or at least one of the few) straight males with a positive opinion on this series, I figured someone had to stand up for those of us with broken chromosomes. My license to be a male is probably being revoked even as I write these words. And I may be watching Antique Bakery slow, but I’m watching most everything slow right now.

(P.S.: I know I’ve done a bit more “general review”-type posts than the usual [whatever the usual actually is] in the past week or so, but part of that is that series such as Code Geass R2 and Macross Frontier are winding to their conclusions and I’m kind of waiting for either the ending, or a decisive moment, or [this is the major reason] the time to sit down, watch the episodes, and generate a post on it. The other part of it is that I’ve been wanting to give series I’ve neglected over the past few months some much-deserved attention. The other, other part of it is that I am lazy. It doesn’t help that classes start tomorrow for me, either.

apologies must be given I am shameful please berate me with words violently -_-;;;;;;;;;;;;)


I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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June 2023