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Manga / Antique Bakery

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Antique Bakery is a manga by Fumi Yoshinaga which depicts the lives of four men who work in a small bakery. It was published in Japanese by Shinshokan from 1999 to 2002, and in English by Digital Manga Publishing.

The series won the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga. The manga was adapted as a Japanese TV drama, with the title Antique: Antique Bakery, which was broadcast on Fuji TV in 2001, a 12-Episode Anime, airing on July 3, 2008 on noitaminA, and a Korean live-action movie.

Compare and contrast to What Did You Eat Yesterday?.

Antique Bakery contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: One of the more infamous qualities is the constant CG shots of Antique Bakery and other little details. There won't be an episode where there isn't a CG shot of something.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Keiichiro in spades. He was kidnapped at the age of nine by a man whose motives remain unknown and he was forced to eat sweets that he bought. At some point before he was rescued, Keiichiro stabbed him with a knife, possibly in a blind panic. Then when he's finally found, his kidnapper had slipped away before the police got to him. Throughout the series, it cuts back to nightmare sequences, slowly revealing what happened to him.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Ono has a reputation as a "Gay of Demonic Charm," and has been fired multiple times for (sometimes accidentally) charming his straight coworkers and bosses.
  • French Cuisine Is Haughty: The titular cake shop has a menu entirely in French to evoke this idea, the head pâtissière learned his trade and title in France, and the apprentice goes to France for advanced cuisine instruction. The waitstaff, thankfully, don't manage the snooty part of the stereotype.
  • French Jerk: Jean, a pâtissier from France. He sneers at Keiichiro's attempt at speaking French, was a harsh tutor to Ono and is an abusive lover.
  • Genre Shift: A very subtle one, but at the end of the series Antique Bakery gets some detective/thriller-ish overtones as the police begins to believe that the same man who kidnapped Tachibana when he was a kid has resurfaced and is now kidnapping and killing kids, while also buying cakes from Antique. Turns out it's another person entirely.
  • Official Couple: In the doujins, Ono and Chikage end up in a relationship. Through some tribulations, including Ono cheating on Chikage, they decide to stay together.
  • Punny Name: Chikage; "kage" meaning shadow, the joke being that he follows Tachibana everywhere. It's actually how he introduces himself to Ono and Eiji.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • Keiichiro was kidnapped when he was about nine and he barely remembers anything from his experience. However, it's clear that whatever happened has left him emotionally and mentally scarred. As a result, he plays off his behavior and hides his pain from everyone around him.
    • Ono was rejected by Keiichiro, which hurt him deeply. In the first episode, he said that he even considered suicide because of Keiichiro's rejection. On top of that, the man he dated after that incident turned out to be an abusive and controlling man. Years later after being away from France, that same boyfriend tries to get Ono to work for him again. When Ono turned him down, the former was beaten up and almost had his fingers broken by him. The sad thing is, though, Ono tries to defend him.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Chikage, who wears them because of his light-sensitive eyes. Lampshaded by Ono.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In episode 6, when Tachibana offers to sleep with Ono to prevent him from going back to France, a waitress happens to pass by, stops for a moment and walks away like nothing happened.