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Happy Cooking Graffiti

I wish I was living in Japan. The seasons influence just about anything in its beautiful culture, and the fine displays of artistic pride stretch over invisible distances. Food is a never-ending eye-opener in the country, and the frequent close-ups of mouth-watering dishes or the blessed people who eat them are just overkill to the average person. If there was a button anywhere that could stop myself from salivating any further, believe me I would gladly hammer it down. Anyway, today's article is about food...yeah, pardon those invisible droplets of saliva around the corner. More specifically, it is about a new anime series which has recently premiered - Happy Cooking Graffiti (Koufuku Graffiti in Japanese)!

The anime is based on a four-panel manga series of the same name created by mangaka Kawai Makoto. Haven't some of us found four-panel manga hauntingly familiar? Yeah, for starters I've got quite a collection which I've had the opportunity to confess my love for in this universe. Naturally, the built-in radar somewhere wasted no time in computing the information on this delicious series. Let's now take a peek into the heavens! You might want to prepare a bib or something just in case...

Say hello to Machiko Ryou, the main character of Happy Cooking Graffiti. Because Ryou's parents are largely abroad due to work commitments, since a kid she's been taken care of by her grandmother. As the story proper commences, we realise that Ryou's grandmother had already passed on, and Ryou is living on her own. She begins as a second-year student in junior high, and attends classes at an arts prep school as her dream is to enter an arts-centric high school. Ryou was somewhat 'robbed' of the joy of cooking and savouring meals after her grandmother's passing. Supposedly excellent at cooking, she becomes unable to taste the goodness of it. What seems to be missing in Ryou's puzzle of life eventually appears one day in the form of her cousin.

Ryou's cousin is Morino Kirin, a petite girl with an iron stomach and incredible physical strength. Kirin wishes to attend school in Tokyo, hence she's made plans to go to the same prep school as Ryou. However, the long distance proves to be quite the challenge, and Kirin's mother was initially disapproving about her daughter's dream. She finally relented when Kirin said that she would only commute to Ryou's place every Saturday (apparently the prep classes are held on Sundays) to stay over. Kirin's appearance ignites hope and gradually manifests the joy that was once lost in Ryou. Kirin represents Ryou's immediate family now, and both girls care for each other through their weekly culinary adventures.

Shiina (yeah it's just Shiina) goes to the same prep school as Ryou and Kirin. Her cool and mysterious character provides a nice contrast during their activities and such. Ryou easily becomes the butt of Shiina's gentle teasing. Kirin occasionally gets jealous over Ryou and Shiina, as she feels left out in certain situations. Shiina comes from a well-to-do family, and behind her house are stuff like vegetable fields and a hunting ground. Despite her demeanour, Shiina is surprisingly prone to sickness.

Happy Cooking Graffiti makes the mouth water with its presentation of food. However, the forging of emotional connections, affectionate relationships and lasting memories is what really warms up the soul. Watching the anime compensates one way or another for the inability to enjoy the fine artistry on the other side. Oh, reading the four-panel helps a lot too! I highly recommend this series to anybody looking for an ideal fix on a sluggish day.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

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