Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Antique Bakery, episode 1

It should probably be expected, considering the source material. Several beautiful-but-rather-amateurly-drawn men run a bakery in a world of sparse, light-on-details (but still CGI) backgrounds. They are, of course, also very rich. With trouble pasts. Just waiting for some attention...

There are some minor sources of amusement (such as the rich owner of the store apparently having been kidnapped a child and apparently force-fed delicious cakes, which naturally leads him to want to open his own pastry shop later in life...) but there is ultimately never even an effort to rise beyond a CLAMP-clone harem show for women. The most original part of the show is the predatory gay chef who is so demonically gay that he turns every straight man he meets - except for the aforementioned owner (who was a dick when he was younger and the first to turn the chef down).

With the lazy art and barren CGI sets, its hard to recommend Antique Bakery to even those who just want non-threatening fantasies about pretty boys who are naturally curious and just want to experiment over a bit of delicious French pastries.
based on 1 episode : ANN : Wikipedia


  1. Oh, I'll go ahead and out myself. I actually enjoyed the manga version, but I agree that the anime somehow loses its (demonic) charm, despite being a fairly faithful adaptation (unlike, say, Murder Princess, where Bee Train's experts of boredom actually made a bunch of changes that watered down an already weak manga). I can't put a finger on why exactly, but it may have to do with pacing issues. If a manga chapter looks dull I can just skim it, but a bad anime episode is going to take just as much time to watch as a good 'un.

  2. Yeah, pacing is a huge issue in anime.

    I've always said that for manga (and novels), the reader has significant control over the pacing - it pretty much goes as fast as you want. That's one of the reasons that stuff like Dragonball works way better in manga, I think.

    In anime, you just gotta sit back and take it, so spending a half-hour just to get to through the premise of "rich guy with troubled past opens pastry store with predatory gay guy and washed-out boxer" (or not even that far) is just hard to swallow, especially with the amateur art and CG backgrounds.

    Demonic Gay Guy had some funny moments, but couldn't carry the episode on his stereotypical shoulders.

  3. Ono is actually sadly notable in the annals of translated manga because his homosexuality is actually treated as one character trait of many, and used for more than just humor or voyeuristic thrills.

    That said, that kind of takes time to develop (there's that pacing issue again), and I certainly can't fault you for not caring based on this one episode-- I sure wouldn't have. Reading the entire first volume of the manga took me, like, an hour tops, whereas watching the anime versions of those chapters would be closer to three.

    Basically, if you found any of the characters at all interesting or amusing, the manga will suit you better-- but at the same time, it's not like this episode was unrepresentative of the pulse-pounding cake-baking extravaganza that goes on therein. It's basically a character study, with regular detours into food porn and light humor. It may be important to note that I was reading Antique around the same time as Yakitate was starting and Iron Wok Jan was finishing, so I kind of had food manga on the brain...

  4. Can't say I was too intrigued, but why don't you bring it along next time we hang out and I'll glance at it. Doesn't sound like it takes much time to burn through :)

  5. Alas, I do not own it, but merely read the copies of someone who hates posting to the internet under his real name.