Today we’re diving into Confessions of a Shy Baker from Tokyopop. As a Valentine’s Day release the title already seems like an adorable and fluffy fit for the most romantic day of the year. But, as many fans are aware, you can’t just a BL by its cover (or its title!).
From the back of the book: “Toshimitsu Yamamura owns a real estate company and loves baking delicious, healthy snacks in his spare time. When his coworker comes to him one day with the idea of advertising their real estate agency as LGBT-friendly, Toshi realizes this little change could really help people who often face discrimination in his industry. He’s terrified, though, because he worries this move will out him as gay. Joined by his boyfriend Gonta who inspired him to bake in the first place, Toshi navigates a changing world that’s slowly becoming more accepting, faces his fears and discomfort, and bakes some incredibly lovely treats along the way.”
Where to begin with this one? I’ll be honest, guys….I…did not love it. Personally, I’m very big on plot in manga and, of course, I have my own preferences when it comes to art style. The plot here was just lacking. It dragged and felt like it vacillated between being a sort of educational pamphlet and a bland diary of one man’s interactions with the people in his life. Given the title it’s understandable that there was a particularly heavy focus on baking, however, if you’ve ever read “What Did You Eat Yesterday?” it’s going to feel decidedly unoriginal. As for the art, it’s not terrible, but you’ll probably find yourself asking why the food looks better than the characters. Again, just not my type of thing, I suppose.
Slice-of-Life is not the easiest genre, as that life you’re peeking in on has to be interesting enough to keep you coming back for more. Confessions of a Shy Baker just wasn’t that for me. But that’s ME. If you love baking, if you’re not looking for drama or angst, if you just want a really chill read where nothing even remotely stressful happens… this could be it! If you enjoyed What Did You Eat Yesterday? then I would definitely suggest you give Confessions a try. For me, I might eventually give volume 2 a read just to see if it picks up at all… but I won’t be in a hurry to do it.
I’ve seen a bit of grumbling from readers of the digital release regarding Toshi’s focus on his boyfriend’s weight and caloric intake. To western readers this might come off as body shaming or fatphobia. I can’t say whether it is or isn’t but Toshi does not make disparaging remarks about Gonta’s body, and a little attention to Toshi’s own habits makes me feel he’s just a health conscious person who expresses his love for his partner by keeping his well being in mind when he bakes for him.
I don’t really like writing reviews for titles I didn’t enjoy because I hate to disparage anyone’s work! Just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect for others so please do judge for yourself. Content-wise this is rated 13+ and is definitely a safe read for those who prefer the less risqué side of BL.
Ready to read? Grab your copy HERE
Didn’t love it, but fans of “What Did You Eat Yesterday?’ probably will!
Publisher: Tokyopop/Love x Love
Age Rating: 13+
Page Count: 178
Release Date: 2/14/2023
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