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Manga / Oishii Kankei

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Momoe and Keiji
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Momoe Fujiwara is a 20-year-old girl who has never suffered any kind of shortage in her life. She's always comfortably lived as an ojou, enjoying rich food with her parents. However, that happiness is cut short when her dad dies of heart failure, and all of their money goes towards his debts. Momoe is at a loss of what to do with her life... until she encounters by chance the small French restaurant Petit Lapin, and tastes the delicious food they make there. She decides to become a chef, even if she hasn't cooked in her life and even if the chef is the handsome but extremely rude Keiji Oda.

Oishii Kankei (lit Delicious Relationship) is a manga by Satoru Makimura. This josei manga doesn't only focus on romance like most of fellow works of the genre, but on the dynamic between the different chefs and restaurants Momoe gets involved with, and takes special attention with the issue of how a woman can survive in a male-dominated market such as foreign cuisine in Japan. Thus, it can be enjoyed by many people outside its target genre.

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The manga was serialized in the Young You magazine from 1993 to 1999, and later compiled in 16 volumes. It was adapted to live-drama twice: one is the Japanese 1996 version, and the other is the Taiwanese 2007 version.


This manga series provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Momoe is shown to be blonde in the manga, but is brunette in both drama adaptations.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Petit Lapin's actual name is Petit Lapins. This is incorrect, since it uses a singular adjetive and a plural noun.
  • The Baby Trap: Kanako tries to pull this on Keiji to force him to marry her. She was, in fact, pregnant, but the baby wasn't his, but from her boss.
  • Betty and Veronica: Light-hearted and blonde Kaoru is the Betty and grumpy and dark-haired Keiji is the Veronica to Momoe's Archie. Also, Momoe is the Betty and Kanako the Veronica to Keiji's Archie.
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  • Cool Old Lady: Chiyo.
  • Driven to Suicide: Keiji's parents. Kanako attempts it too, but fails.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Momoe and Keiji start dating and build a new restaurant together on Petit Lapin's grounds: one section is Momoe's small diner, the other is Keiji's chic but cozy restaurant. It isn't top class, but they both never intented it to be that way. Kanako and her mother are now stable and have a healthy relationship, and she's going to raise her child in France. The old staff of Petit Lapin is happy and Chiyo is still healthy. Miki is fully stablished in Kobe and has started dating her former coworker, and their restaurant is doing well.
  • Scars Are Forever; Miki has her back covered in scars from the earthquake. She uses them as a reminder to not become soft, as she believes her parents' death during the earthquake was her fault.
  • Gratuitous French: Considering this manga revolves about French restaurants in Japan, this is everywhere, from dishes to places.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Keiji.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Keiji dislikes the idea of women entering the kitchen.
  • Ojou: Momoe, at first, who has lived a rich life until her father's death. She later deconstructs the trope by learning to live by herself.
  • The Ophelia: Kanako succumbs to borderline madness after she breaks up with Keiji. She eventually gets better.
  • Parental Abandonment: Keiji's parents left him alone at a restaurant and killed themselves to avoid debts. He was adopted by Chiyo, but he's still pained by that fact.
  • The Pollyanna: Momoe is aware that she's average at cooking and that she doesn't have any natural talent, but she still keeps pursuing her dream as long as she can.
  • Reality Ensues: No matter how good the chef is, recession strikes hard and all restaurants who aren't dirty cheap end up closing. Petit Lapin too.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: During the manga's publishing, a terrible earthquake struck the Kobe region in 1997. Miki was a victim of the earthquake, leaving her scars in her back. Her parents died during the earthquake.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Keiji.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Miki has short hair, wears male chef clothes and sticks away from every sign of feminity. Momoe, however, has long hair, usually wears aprons with dresses and is appreciated as cute by everyone who surrounds her.
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