Manga Review: Komomo Confiserie Volume 1
Komomo Confiserie Volume 1 focuses on Komomo Ninomiya, a rich girl who enjoyed picking on Natsu Azumi, the son of her family’s pastry chef. 10 years after Natsu and his father leave the Ninomiya family to go to France, Komomo’s family loses its fortune.
Komomo Confiserie Volume 1
Written by: Maki Minami
Publisher: Hakusensha, Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Volume 1 sees Komomo struggling with the idea of losing her wealth. She tries to get a part-time job but she’s not able to keep one for very long. Being a pampered princess for so many years and not having to do much for herself, she doesn’t have any of the necessary skills to work at a job that requires manual labor.
Just as her situation couldn’t possibly get worse, Komomo has an encounter with Natsu, who has returned to Japan now that he’s an up-and-coming chef. This run-in is made worse because Natsu sees Komomo getting fired from her latest job. Natsu tells Komomo she can live with him on the condition that she helps out at his father’s shop.
At first, Natsu seems like he’s doing this out of the goodness of his heart. However, he soon shows his true colors: he wants to torment Komomo for all the times she picked on him when they were younger. Komomo has nowhere else to go, so she’s forced to stay and put up with this. Natsu is rather mean toward Komomo, but there are hints dropped later in the volume that perhaps Natsu is harboring feelings for Komomo that he may not want to admit to.
Volume 1 also introduces a character named Yuri Lacroix, a new employee at the shop who trained at the same place in France as Natsu. At first, he seems like he’s a really nice guy and that Komomo has made a friend. However, it’s later shown that Yuri’s not entirely how he seems on the surface, either.
Near the end of the volume, Komomo starts attending a regular high school with Natsu. This storyline shows Komomo dealing with bullying from another girl who’s afraid that Komomo will take her place as the “queen” at the school. Komomo actually surprised me with how she reacted to the situation. She was portrayed as being such a stuck up and pampered princess at the beginning of the volume, so I didn’t expect her to react the way she did when she was being bullied. As strange as it sounds, perhaps being around Natsu and his attitude may have helped to soften Komomo to some extent.
Komomo Confiserie seems to be setting up the story for some kind of romantic tension between Komomo and Natsu. We’ve already seen hints of this from Natsu, but I don’t think Komomo has come to feel that way for Natsu yet. At this point, I’m not sure whether Yuri is being set up to potentially be another love interest in order to create a love triangle. I definitely see a typical shojo manga set up with this series, which sees antagonism between the main female and the main male protagonist. One of the things that make this story stand out, though, is the fact that Komomo and Natsu have switched the master and servant roles in this first volume.
When it comes to the art, I have to say that Minami has successfully captured the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde aspect of Natsu’s personality when it comes to Komomo. When he turns into the Natsu that enjoys tormenting Komomo, Minami makes his eyes bulge out and uses shadows in a way to show that he’s turned into “evil Natsu.” Minami has also come up with a shocked look face for Komomo when Natsu’s personality shifts, and this expression really stands out.
For the character designs, Minami relies on typical looks for shojo characters. Komomo is designed to appear like a dignified princess one minute, and then almost appear to look like a young girl the next. Both Natsu and Yuri have been given the “beautiful boy” look.
Komomo Confiserie Volume 1 is off to an interesting start, even though I am a little concerned about Natsu’s near obsession with being the only one to bully Komomo. I think that this series will appeal to shojo manga readers who enjoy reading stories where the romantic interest is antagonistic toward the female protagonist early on but has the potential to evolve into a love interest.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media