How to Grill Our Love GN 1

Methods to Grill Our Love GN 1

You need to approach a series that focuses on inducing relaxation and good vibes in the appropriate frame of mind. It’s not always fair to go into a novel expecting a tighter plot and better character interaction when the main goal is the use of iyashikei. The series laying this stage is accountable for making it simpler to settle in and embody that tone. It is the work’s fault if the lack of immersion makes it more difficult to interact with something on its own terms. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say that I was left distracted by How to Grill Our Love’s approach more often than I was invited to hang out with it, especially given that I purposefully didn’t come into the first volume expecting much more than getting to kick back with a cute couple grilling up some good eats.

How to Grill Our Love appears to mix “simple” and “shallow” in its approach to characters and storylines, which is my biggest complaint. A nice steak barely requires any seasonings before being cooked to perfection on the grill to bring forth its taste, so keeping things simple is great. However, this comic typically comes out as undercooked rather than richly uncommon. Other than being crammed into close proximity to promote grilling as their primary form of bonding, our characters Kenta and Chihiro don’t have much going for them. Therefore, despite the fact that they get married very quickly, there is no chemistry or tension between them. This implies that the way in which their accelerated long-distance marriage works is more like a flimsy fantasy than a plot device.

I’d say the biggest diversion that saved me from getting lost in the barbeque sauce of How to Grill Our Love was the viewpoint of that fantasy. At first, I may assume that grillmaster Kenta’s accidental marriage to Chihiro—a beautiful, affluent woman who tolerated his hot-coal hyper fixation—was a self-insert setup for like styled steak-searing simps. However, it soon becomes apparent that Chihiro herself is more of a mystery than Kenta. The stated notion is that she is portraying a stern exterior for professional reasons, with her “real self” having some benefit of being more sincere. However, that only shows in the way that she appears content to be around this nebbish niku-nerd. It takes all kinds, and I’m not here to judge whether our starring lady is acting as a screen for another person’s fantasy of kissing the cook.

However, as you come to the book’s conclusion, you learn that Shiori Hanatsuka, the author, wasn’t even a great lover of grills before creating this manga, and she and her editor had to approach their study from a rookie standpoint. Was all of this prepared with the intention of appealing to a potential group of women who enjoy grilling? Or was it just a one-note idea that was left undeveloped by the creation of these characters to convey this grilling lore? You get what I mean when I say that this series makes me feel like I should just be able to unwind in the backyard with it.

The food porn is at least on target, which helps to lessen the “who is this for” hanger-on of a problem. She now has the capacity to render some meats that appear to be delicious thanks to Hanatsuka’s study. Foods like the seafood in al ajillo sauce are drawn to and praised for their appetizingness. They are accompanied by well-liked, simple-to-follow recipes for readers who they are undoubtedly hoping will be inspired to try making these for themselves. When Kenta starts delivering genuine dialogue instead of just cooking details, it does become yet another distraction. His character is nothing more than a freshly wed guy who rambles on about grilling, so when he describes these dishes in this manner, it further deprives him of personality. I recognize that this is a cookery manga, but at some passages, the speaker does not sound like a real person.

It’s a strategy that prevents Kenta and Chihiro from connecting and getting to know one another better over their shared love of food, which is the one topic the manga actually seems to be interested in. With the exception of one early incident involving Chihiro’s incorrectly blended curry, there isn’t much a sense that they are connecting via their responses to the flavors. As was already noted, the way the meal is pictured and described makes it sound appetizing. But when the only responses our leads can manage in response to it are an appreciative “Yep, this sure does taste good!” it simply leaves one feeling underwhelmed.

By the end of the first volume, a light amount of storytelling begins, ratcheting the couple’s relationship up a level and paradoxically tying up their resolve to always be honest and open about their feelings. Maybe in the future, that will lead to closer, more fascinating conversations, but for now, it feels like adding one more pinch of salt to a dish that you just learned was flavorless. It’s probably not a good thing that this story draws attention to the fact that up until this point, Kenta (and we) have learnt very little about Chihiro as a person. The idea of witnessing a developing couple of grownups in their thirties is somewhat neutralized when they’re still stumbling through the middle-school style challenges of barely being able to hold hands, and it even ends up undermining some of the manga’s more unusual pleasures. How to Grill Our Love may have been able to explore how this couple came to be so unprepared for marriage in addition to all the cooking-related material, but it isn’t interested in that.

How to Grill Our Love’s theoretically reassuring attempts at a laid-back attitude aren’t always awful. It’s pleasant and non-offensive, but without any pretense of characterisation or a plot, it could have worked better as an illustrated cookbook with a couple of adorable hosts. I’m able to gather respect for anything that can convey the pure allure of tasty meal served with a cold beer or a well balanced rum and coke. The unusual tendency of this translation to alternate between writing “barbecue” and “bbq” as spoken by the protagonists, frequently over successive pages, is an exercise that is more distracting than the plot of how we arrive there those meals. It’s unfortunate since, as I must emphasize, the manga’s style and subject matter made me desire it so badly. However, despite their best efforts, they weren’t cooking with this one to begin with.

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