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Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles

Reading food or cooking-centric manga has its glaring disadvantages, although by large they are chosen to be ignored rather conveniently. I mean, those awful hunger pangs acting up especially when one has just had breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, supper or all five could easily baffle as one of life's seven (?) mysteries. Yet peculiarly, that odd feeling doesn't quite hurt since anything food-related should be mostly therapeutic before some level of sinfulness kicks in. How does that go again...act first, think later? Anyway, this isn't some preaching on how anybody should refrain from gorging because of apparent health concerns. I believe that food is a happy creation which mankind has the option to choose their favourites and indulge in to see them through the entire day or even for just a little while. Thanks to the power of food, the world of manga feels more illuminated! Naturally, the hunger pangs would orchestrate their favourite song as well.

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles by mangaka Narumi Naru is the latest addition to the many gastronomic pleasures in any form possible. Like how several other titles wound up in my prized collection, it was a quick but memorable shot of randomness that brought the series to my easily wavering attention while browsing at Books Kinokuniya sometime ago. Of course, there was the guilt of probably another impulsive purchase but I jolly well knew that the guilt would be catastrophic if I let the books pass me by. Luckily, they were still around on the shelves when I at last decided to get them! Thank goodness for my almost complete lack of procrastination where books are concerned. Hold the eggs and flour please.

So who is this Ms. Koizumi? Nobody knows her given name yet quite unfortunately, and even with the second tankoubon recently released, there is still no hint of anything else that she gets by. Anyway, Ms. Koizumi is a newly transferred high school freshman who exudes a cool, mysterious aura on her. She is of a few words, yet her striking beauty and cuteness draw frequent attention from other students. The manga begins however from the perspective of Ms. Koizumi's fellow classmate Oosawa Yuu, who has to eat out due to her mother's overtime. She passes by a rather long queue outside a ramen shop, and contemplates for a moment if she should eat there. However, that thought is cut short as her gaze settles onto Ms. Koizumi who is all by herself in the line. The engrossed Ms. Koizumi becomes aware of her surroundings (?) when a white collar queries if the line continues from her direction, or rather Oosawa's since she is standing a little awkwardly beside her. Oosawa then attempts to start a conversation with Ms. Koizumi but her attempt isn't quite reciprocated. Unfazed by Ms. Koizumi's reticence, Oosawa enters the ramen shop.

If I ever get an opportunity to visit Japan, I would so love to eat at one of those ramen shops. The dispenser (?) looks really funky! Okay, I have been living pretty much an ancient life. Anyway, Oosawa looks a little uncertain seated at the counter. The chef asks Ms. Koizumi if she would like garlic on her ramen, and she requests for an extra of the condiments which Oosawa has the same since the uncertainty has kicked in a notch. What happens next is nothing short of literally jaw-dropping and eye-popping. I would be shocked stiff as well if such a sight greeted me. Ms. Koizumi proceeds to attack that piping hot mountain effortlessly, to the bigger surprise of Oosawa who seems paralysed by her own noodles that she turns her attention to her classmate's antics instead. Ms. Koizumi displays a completely contrasting side of her while indulging in her ramen. Instinctively, she resumes her stoic expression upon exchanging glances with Oosawa. An overjoyed (?) Oosawa persistently asks Ms. Koizumi to lunch together next time.

I'm really drawn to the style of this manga. The tone is instantaneously heartwarming and engaging with the usual comic relief apparent in many titles. Of course, the magic works way better if you aren't turned off by ramen and more ramen and even more ramen. The obi on both tankoubon warns readers not to read the manga in the middle of the night. That brings me back to the beginning where the disadvantages come about. Well, I suppose reading this wouldn't be as bad as some would imagine, since it is quite impossible to just spring out for ramen in the middle of the night. Many restaurants and shops would have already ceased operations by then anyway. Hmm, if anybody has any instant ramen, rest assured (?) that eating those wouldn't have much adverse effect unless any of the flavours remotely tastes like the ones straight off the ramen shop's stove, or has thick slices of pork.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

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