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Review: The Manga Cookbook

I’ve been meaning to write a review of The Manga Cookbookfor about a month now, but never could really find the time. It’s an older book, presented by the Manga University Culinary Institute, originally published in 2007 by Japanime Co. Ltd. Check out their site, as they’ve just launched an online cooking show by the chef behind the book, Yoko Ishihara.

I’d seen this book come up a lot while doing Amazon searches for English bento cookbooks, but never quite got around to buying this one because I really wasn’t sure what it was. The title was confusing and I didn’t really understand that it was an actual cookbook done in manga. I finally bought it a couple of months ago and was pleasantly surprised by what I found inside.

The cookbook is in black and white, but the introduction and first 16 pages of the book are a color photo gallery of the final product recipes in the book. It even includes instructions on how to use chopsticks.

While they aren’t exactly professional looking photos, they do give you an accurate idea of what the food should look like in real life. The recipes themselves have step by step illustrations drawn by Chihiro Hattori.

The book is hosted by three characters: Miyuki (the girl seen above), Coo (her little Pokemon-looking mascot), and Miyuki’s boyfriend Hiroshi (seen on the cover). Miyuki, Coo, and Hiroshi take you through each recipe, giving you tips on cooking and explaining the background of some of the foods.

Although this is more of a Japanese food cookbook in general, most of the recipes in the book are perfect for bento, including things such as Nikumaki (meat & veggie rolls), Onigiri, Tonkatsu, Apple Bunnies, and Bunny and Chick Eggs.

In the above photo, you can see that they also include stovetop cooking instructions for rice, which is great for people who don’t own rice cookers. I haven’t had the right amount of motivation to try it yet because it’s hard to convince myself it’s worth it when a rice cooker is but a few feet from my stove. Plus, it reeks of the kind of recipe I’d totally screw up, especially since part of the instructions includes turning the pot of rice upside down. In my universe, such things should not be done lest you want rice on the floor because what can go wrong, will go wrong. I’d bet it’ll work just fine for you though!

After certain recipes, there is a section for “Miyuki’s Notes” in which she will give you further advice or insight on the food she describes how to prepare. In the back of the book, there are 26 pages for you to make your own notes on cooking.

In total, the book is 160 pages and features 29 recipes, though two of them are instructions for making specific bento lunches (train bento and garden bento). With step by step instructions, easy to follow illustrations, and cute characters to guide you through it all, I find this book to be a great starter for people wanting to get into making cute Japanese lunches. All of the recipes (save for the desserts and the kamaboko in the California Roll, which is usually imitation crab anyway) call for common ingredients that can be found in any supermarket. My only complaint is that the book doesn’t stay open very well. If you’re a big manga fan and want to give Japanese cooking or bento a try, this is definitely the book for you.

Amazon even sells the book bundled together with a bento box in a Manga Cookbook Gift Box Set.

Manga University had contacted me back when the New York Times article came out and offered to send me a book for review, but since I’d already purchased it, I asked if they’d be willing to give that book away to one of my readers. So, if you’d like to try and win a copy of The Manga Cookbook, post a comment here telling me why you’d like to win this book. I’ll accept comments until next Monday (December 7) and then randomly draw a winner.

Also, one last order of business was the little commenting event I held last month:

I ended up with just under 100 comments, so I donated $25.00 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Thanks to everyone for the comments!

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  • I would love to get this book as it would make a great present for my best boy who is a total bachelor. He lives alone and eats out way too often because he doesn’t cook. But, he loves anime and japanese culture and would be enticed by this cookbook to at least make himself bentos when I was not around to make them for him. Plus, I shall get to cook from it when I visit him. =)

  • Kiptripsyc

    Hi, I would LOVE to have this book. I’ve had my eye on it for a while but lack the money to really buy it.

    I started bento a little over a year ago, but honestly I’m still pretty new to it because I rarely ever do it. Usually when I do it, it’s just packing food into the boxes. I’ve done two Charaben but they both didn’t come out extraordinarily well. I know next to nothing about doing cool basic things such as those hot dog octopuses! I have no idea how to do that.

    I also love Japanese cooking and only own one cookbook and I own absolutely no bento-related cookbooks. I’m always excited and ready to learn more. Plus I like manga and books in this format (with cute characters and more kind of “guided” learning with them) I learn extremely well from. I’m more of a visual thinker and they really help because I’ll remember the tips and instructions much easier!

    Probably not good reasons, but oh well. I would just adore owning this book. πŸ™‚

  • @Kiptripsyc I can’t think of better reasons than those to get a cookbook! πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  • Michelle

    oh yay! I’ve been looking for this book in my store for a while but haven’t found it πŸ™
    I’m glad to hear you find it a decent all-around japanese cookbook, AND that the ingredients aren’t hard to find. that’s one of the main problems I had with bento boxes: japanese meals on the go.
    I’d like the book because — what else? — I love cooking and would like to expand my repertoire. πŸ™‚

  • Christine M.

    If the giveaway is open to international readers (I’m from Canada), then please, count me in, I’ve been dreaming of getting my hands on this book for ever!

  • If they don’t want to ship overseas, I’ll just have them send it to me and I’ll send it out.

  • Ashley

    I suppose there are other people out there more deserving of this.

    I started getting into bento a week or so ago. So I am still very lost. I have been trying to look up things online, but it is hard trying to figure out where to start. I don’t even know what things are called, or what goes with what. My bentos have pretty much been nothing but carrots. πŸ˜› A book like this seems like a great way to really get started.

  • Ra

    My daughter is a picky eater who loves watching anime with her Dad. Maybe…just maybe!…a manga cookbook would coax her to try some new foods!

  • Krystal B

    I’d love to get this cook book because I’m moving out pretty soon. I really have a low stock of by-the-book recipes and would like to cook more at home to save money and have lunches packed for my breaks. Plus as a college student I sometimes feel I’m doomed to a diet of ramen noodles and vitamin supplements. I’d really like to take advantage of the apartment kitchen.

  • Bobot

    I would like to win this book so I can make myself bento and eat healthier! Of course, I could always use online recipes, but it’s so much easier to cook things when you have a reference like a book…

  • It looks adorable, and is probably a great starter cookbook for a chef like myself.

  • Marian

    I’d like this book to give to my cousin as a Christmas Present. She is a big anime fan/Japanophile, and as a college student, I’m sure this would provide a much diet than the college staple of top ramen noodles πŸ˜€

  • Jen

    Ohhh it is so cute! Umm, reasons for me to win… well! It’s almost my birthday (the 19th!), I have two little kiddos (13 months and 2 months!), and despite being busy with the two of them, I try and make cute things for my husband’s lunch every morning. I know he’d appreciate me doing things that are anime-inspired for him. πŸ™‚ Even if it just means he gets to hover at my shoulder and look at what I’m drawing inspiration from! Ha!

  • I would like to win this book for several reasons. I began making bento last year, and really enjoyed the health benefits, as well as the admiring comments from my students. Unfortunately, this year has been more than usually difficult, and my bento making has fallen off. This book would be a perfect kick-start to help get me making bento again in the year ahead.

    I have also been looking for a cookbook with more ideas for bento, both for presentation and variety. A trip to the local bookstores did not solve my problem. As a picky eater, I’ve been using bento to slowly introduce new foods to my diet (like VEGETABLES). I found that I was more likely to eat new things if it was artistically presented, or prepared differently. Finding more recipes that would help me try more foods, and maybe discover some other new vegetables that I “like” (cucumbers, for example).

    I’m a visual learner. Written words on a page can be confusing to me, and I frequently have to re-read recipes and directions several times to muddle through. I think that reading a recipe presented in a comic/manga format would greatly assist in my understanding. Also, my 10-year old sister loved making bento with me, and it would be nice to have a recipe book she can understand as well.

    Lastly, I am slowly working towards becoming a comic/manga artist myself – in my “spare” time. The idea of a cook book presented in manga form is VERY appealing – not only for the cooking, but the chance to check out yet ANOTHER use for comics.

    Thank you. ^_^

  • danyelle

    i would LOVE to get this book! i have been interested in making bento lunches for years, but finally got my first bento box in the mail last week. i can’t wait to start!

  • Ian

    I would love to win this book, since I am highly interested in cooking as well as japanese cooking in particular. It would be interesting to compare this book to others that I have such as Washoku. I plan to undertake research very soon regarding food and culture in Japan.

  • I experiment a little with bento type lunches for my husband and myself so I would love some new ideas – thanks for sharing yours! I also love the idea of a recipe book in this format, what better way to learn new recipes and techniques!

  • Ardwynna

    I met my fiance in a Japanese class. We started out as friends and conversation practice turned to martial arts sparring, which in turn settled down to happy domesticity. Through it all, an interest in Japanese and other Asian cultures has been a constant with us. It has taken us to distant places and brought us back together again.

    I would love a copy of this book because of the good times we could share making bento with it. Simple evenings cooking together are some of our fondest college memories. The meals we made were simple but from the heart. We both enjoy bento now, but they are often highly adapted to our location. Authentic Japanese cuisine in the manga format we both know and love would be a perfect addition to the ongoing adventure.

  • caeria

    Winning for me would mean that the book would become part of a Christmas present I’m working on for my sister-in-law. She’s coming around to bento-thinking and I’m putting together a basket of things to get her started – box, cutters, squeeze bottles, etc. The book would go perfectly.

  • I keep trying to borrow this book from the library, but it’s been months and still no dice. Half of the copies have gone missing and the rest have holds placed on them. I’m currently number 121 on the wait list for 5 copies. Since each copy can be checked out for 6 weeks… *sigh* I can’t do the math, but I think it means I won’t see this book until I win one here =)

  • I’ve had a 2-year obsession with bentos. Although I don’t make them anymore due to an extremely packed year as a high school junior, I love cooking and still make bento food items which my sister still packs in her bento lunches (she’s less busy obviously).

    In my spare time I promote a volunteer group I started with a friend this year called Indie Bands With a Mission. I help run our Etsy store (yes, we sell bento supplies and handmade bento bags there), and help run the group.

    To me, one does not have to have the time to make bento daily to be a fan of the foodstuffs. I sometimes even look to bentos on Flickr for inspiration when making crafts for the Etsy store. This book would be extremely appreciated, just because I’m always out looking for new recipes to try out as well as visual images to help me broaden my world and crafts. I also have two brothers who I occasionally send to school with bento. I’ve always hoped to get them to follow their sisters’ paths into the handmade, cute revolution (while keeping their masculinity in front of their peers, of course!).

    And that’s my little digression for now! ^_^

  • Colleen

    I would love to win this little cookbook! I am new to Bento and am always on the lookout for new recipes and ideas, I am rather strapped for things that I can put in my bento since I don’t have any sort of refrigeration or heating at my job, so any new cookbook or recipes I can find the better! Thank you

  • Stephanie

    My two sisters left for college this year, leaving me alone for the first time with my two parents. My mom is always working (she usually gets home at 8:30pm and then continues to work from home) and my dad has a weired schedule for work so he goes to bed at 6pm (he gets up for work at 1am). Therefore, I have been having A LOT of time where I am alone and have started cooking in the meantime. I really have started to enjoy it and I have always been interested in Japan and Japanese cooking. In fact, I am taking Japanese Language Classes on Saturdays… but that’s another story. Anyway, I don’t have any Japanese cookbooks and this book looks really interesting and good for beginning cooks (which is me). I would love to get this book so that I can try out bento making and continue to expand my cooking horizons!

  • Marusia

    If the ingredients for the recipes can be found in any supermarket that would be a great addition to my cooking shelf. The last bento book I got from a friend “Bento Boxes: Japanese meals on the go” was a bit confusing in that I didn’t have many of the ingredients readily available to me. I live in the midwest, so salmon, tuna, fish eggs, lotus root, dried sardines and shrimp are somewhat rare commodities. I can’t even find hail-stone shapred ochazuke for a good shrimp tempura coating. To boot, most of the recipes were in metric, making even replicating them a bit of trouble.

    I’d really like to have a book I can understand and use in my own kitchen, and from your review it does sound like something I’d use a lot.

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  • I just returned from a trip to Japan with lots of bento box making gadgets but short on ideas. I would love to have the manga cookbook!

  • Amy

    My little sister has been accepted into art school and is away from home for the first time. She started out in art by copying her favorite manga artists, actually, and I know this would be perfect to keep her inspired and healthy while living in the dorms.

  • I would adore this book. Bento looks delish, but it’s (literally) a foreign language for me and I have to Google what the various foods really are. I’d love to make my own bento! (OMG, is that a page of Udan hints? I love noodle!)

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  • I have a copy already and LOVE it, so i would like to win one for my best friend πŸ™‚ She’s trying to encourage her young teenage daughter to eat healthier, and they both love manga, so i think it would really make a great gift!

  • Ever since I was little, I have been surrounded by Japanese culture, or as much as a white Jewish girl growing up in Maine can be. ^_^ My mother and I share a love for Asia, and if you walk around our condo, it shows. One of my favorite books as a child was a book filled with Japanese children’s stories that my mom read to me. We have books about Asian food and pottery everywhere, as well as Japanese artwork hanging on our walls, a rice cooker (complete with sticky rice), and usually some gyudon in the fridge.
    I’ve been to Japan twice, and have acquired, over time, about 2 bento boxes and a good amount of accessories for bento making.
    While I have all of this, I never know exactly how to make a quick bento for the day with just what we have in our fridge. I’d like to say that we have a good amount of Japanese groceries, but we usually shop at Whole Foods, and only buy at Asian Markets on special occasions.
    I’d love to have this book in order to learn how I can incorporate bento making into the everyday life of my family and I, and help my mom learn how to make bento for herself while I’m home from college so that when I leave again, she’ll be able to enjoy the bento experience as much as I do.

  • This would be the PERFECT gift for my bff, who loves to cook and loves Japanese culture. He is trying to impart some of that love to me in the form of anime and sake among other things, and the cookbook would be a great way to show my appreciation. πŸ™‚

  • I’d love to win the cookbook for my granddaughter who is 10 years old. She loves all kinds of food and loves to bring homemade lunches to school. It would be wonderful for her to have a headstart in making her own lunches to show and share her lunches. Thank you.

  • There are a few reasons why I would love to have this cookbook. And though they aren’t necessarily the most impressive reasons, I am incredibly excited about most of them.

    Firstly, I LOVE manga! All things manga, I even took a college summer course on how to draw my own. My friends call me an addict, I tell them that they just don’t understand what they’re missing.

    Secondly, I have fallen in love with bento. I check about 20 blogs daily just to see what other people are eating in theirs ^_^

    Thirdly, I am a beginner in the kitchen, and I am really looking for cookbooks and recipes that will keep me in the kitchen and excited about it.

    Fourthly, (is it still fourthly? or is that wrong…) I have been ogling this book for almost a year.

    Fifthly, and lastly, all these combine to create one reason that I want this book. It would be something I would enjoy repeatedly, I would share with other people, and would help me improve myself by adding my greatest passion to one of my newest interests…

    Sorry for the wordy post, but I would REALLY love to have this ^^;

    Also, I absolutely love this blog (one of the ones I look forward to checking the most!)

  • Autumn Dahy

    I would love this cookbook! I’m new to cooking and just started messing around with bentos and Japanese cooking in general, it would be really useful for a starter. πŸ˜€

  • Okwes

    i would like to say, i already have this book, but have to say that LOVE it!

    the stove rice recipe is easy, my sister did it, and she burns water!

    all the recipes are good, and extremely easy to do. the instructions are clear and well presented.

  • Michelle S

    Oh, wow! I would love to win this cookbook! It would be a great introduction to Japanese cooking and I too have a younger male relative with an interest in Manga and Japanese culture for whom this would be a great gift (of course, only after I finish with it).

  • lexie

    I’d really like this cookbook, since I’ve been eyeing it for a while. I love the manga format, since I’ve looked at other (Japanese) cookbooks and feel somewhat lost when trying to attempt each recipe–this book provides the beginner approach that I need (answering all of my questions without me feeling foolish), as well as being exceptionally fun!

    I’ve been looking to expand my menu/broaden my horizons, and I think that this will help me dive into Japanese cooking with a very hands on approach.

  • Samantha

    I would love to win this cookbook because I’m trying to learn more about cooking, bento making, and Japanese food. I’m a microwave-queen at the moment, and I’d like to start transitioning more to the stove and actually cooking rather than heating up frozen lunches every day!

  • Mia H-W

    I would like to win the book to give to my 8-year-old for Christmas! He announced at his kindergarten graduation that he is going to be a chef, and he means it! He’s hoping I’ll let him start making his own daily bento- so he would LOVE to add this book to his cookbook and manga collection!

  • Julie H.

    Sounds like a really cute book! Well, I would like to win because I liked Japanese food but after going to Japan I fell in love with it. So I want to learn how to cook all kinds of Japanese food because I don’t have much else in my life going right and this would be a big help.

  • Donn

    I like making bentos. It helps me think about the colors of food and how they change color if you cook them. The cookbook as you described it, reminds me how it makes me smile when I am done. It’s like looking at a colorful piece of art work, made from just ordinary black and white ingredients. Well not black and white but you know what I mean.

  • NipponElla

    I’ve checked out this cookbook from the library, but I’m too afraid to cook with it (since it’s borrowed and I *always* get stuff on my cookbooks). I have read through it though though and I like what I see.

    I particularly like the variations on cooking certain dishes. I’m thinking specifically of the Tamagoyaki recipe. I’ve seen very few recipes for tamagoyaki that didn’t involve the specialized pan for it, so I was intrigued and happy to see how this book chose to direct cooks to make this dish.

    A couple librarian friends of mine are going to do a bento program for teens, and I think I’ll link them to your review of this cookbook. I think they’ll agree with you that this is a good book for beginners and it may be something they can use as references (or give out as prizes).

  • Since I extremely love making bento and don’t have ANY literature about it, I would really like to win this marvellous book! Thanks for a great idea! My husband says he’s the happiest person in his office during the lunchtime πŸ˜‰

  • Alison

    I would love to win the book as I am really nervous about trying out bento recipes but this book makes it look achievable. And I really want to know about turning rice upside down. I promise pictures of the outcome! πŸ™‚

  • Why I want to win this book?

    Hm, it’s not easy to find good reasons. I think you can’t have enough cook books ^-^ And I think the illustrations will help me understand how the recipes work right. Sometimes it is difficult to understand recipes, who are not in your countries language. So the drawings will be helpful.
    And besides that I’m only doing bento since a bit more then 4 month. So I’m counting as starter, right? Some new impressions and ideas, recipes and so on would be great ^-^
    Last I love Manga! And I’m so happy that there are so many I can buy now in German. So I enjoy it really^^ I would love it, to have a cook book with cute manga characters πŸ˜‰

  • I would love to win this book, because I still haven’t found it in my country and because I have a 2yo cousin whom I babysit frequently and am in charge of making him lunch/dinner. It has become somewhat of a ritual because I ask him what he’d like and we have fun in the kitchen making him a “car” or “train” and animals too. I think it would be interesting he could watch the book at the same time, since most cookbooks have the actual pictures ^^

    Thank you for the giveaway and good luck to everyone submitting!

  • I’d be happy to win this book because I have a whole bunch of Bento supplies I collected before I left Okinawa, and haven’t gotten much opportunity to use them. I’m totally inspired by the gorgeous bentos on this and some other blogs, but I can’t recreate them because I don’t have any Japanese cooking skills!

  • Aimee S.

    I was recently gifted with 501 Bento Box Lunches for my Bday and was so inspired by the ideas that I just had to start taking my bentos to the next level. I’d love to have this to add to my collection.

  • our girl scouts have a manga interest group. i would love to give them this book. thank you for pointing me to the website, too!

  • Mary

    I have been coveting this book for awhile, and would love to receive a copy. I recently received a bento box for my birthday and making the recipes in this book would be a great way to christen it.

  • Dawn

    I’d love to share this book with my stepson. He’s a manga fan and a budding cook – what better way for him to try making some Japanese food?!

  • JEngelland

    I would like to win this book for my son. He is sixteen and into all things Manga. I love making Bento so this is a natural crossover of our interests. At that age it is sometimes difficult to have things in common with your parents.

  • I love cookbooks! I probably buy those just as enthusiastically as most women buy new clothes. Frankly, I think I get the better bargain!

  • Thankyou for the review of the cookbook. I was wondering about it myself but since I cannot see a copy online had decided to wait. I would love a free one.

  • Danielle

    I would like this book because I have no idea how to make anything cute for my bento!

  • Christina

    I would love to try my hands at bento-ing but really don’t know where to start so this book would be really helpful! Thanks. πŸ™‚

  • Shelly

    I would love this cookbook because I’ve seen it several times but been nervous to buy it. I have a few bento cookbooks but many of them don’t give good instructions and rather assume you know how to cook in the Japanese style. This sounds like a great cookbook to learn with.

  • sewblonde

    Trying new foods helps me stay interested in eating enough to live.

  • Sara

    I would love to win this cookbook for my niece! She is learning to cook, and loves helping in the kitchen. I already have a small bento box and cute accessories ready for her christmas present, this would be a great bonus. Thanks for all your inspiration, I love reading your site! πŸ™‚

  • I’d like to win this because it seems a great collection of straight-forward recipes that can be used as mains in Bento!
    I’d also like it so that I can pass some recipes on to my sister, who makes her bento now but unfortunately only knows how to make about two different things. (I’ve been there before)

  • I want this book because it would be my first bento cookbook! πŸ˜€

  • marianna

    I need this book because I don’t have a bento recipe book and I really need help making sausages look cute.

  • Victoria

    I’m a bit of a cookbook collector and since I’ve been getting more and more interested in bento (in the hopes of making it for my fiance’s lunches, while I’m on Christmas break from grad school and he’s working), this book would be a fun way to treat the both of us. I’m also seriously curious about what kind of tricks they’re using for cooking rice that involves turning the pot upside down. I never use a rice cooker, so I am thoroughly intrigued as such a weird stove top method.

  • Samantha S

    I’ve been lurking around on Bento Lunch on Livejournal. I have learned how to make so many awesome money saving healthy lunches for myself and my other half. I can’t wait for my little girl to go to school so I can make her lunches she can show off. πŸ˜€

    I would love to have a book so I can cook in the kitchen and have a guide rather than having to run back to the computer. As well as.. I have been unemployed for a little over a year now so our budget is super tight. Since there are so many people out here with more customer service experience and tech support experience I have been having the worst luck getting rehired somewhere. So, I also wouldn’t mind winning something… bring some Christmas cheer around here since there will be 2 presents max for my little girl only.

    One more thing I can think of. I have been reading whatever manga I can get my hands on since I was 11 (so 13 years). Started with Inu Yasha and have since grown up a bit and started reading Trinity Blood, etc… So this book catches my eye every time I hit up

  • Jennifer

    I’d love to get this cookbook because I’ve been making bento on my own for a while now, but haven’t had much luck with local bookstores for decent Japanese recipes. I am also a bit of an otaku so this is an ideal pairing for me. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • Leslie

    I absolutely adore Adventures in Bentomaking! I really look forward to reading them. You are so creative!

    I have a 14 year old son that was “made” in Okinawa… He has never eaten a hamburger. However, he will eat tofu, soba, seaweed, miso, etc like it is going out of style! He has named his white cockatiel, Tofu, and our other cockatiel, Kohii. He is heavily into Yugioh, and plays in tournaments here in town almost every Friday and Saturday. He has won some tournaments against 30 year olds! I was thinking that the Manga Cookbook might convince him to start taking a few bento lunches to school again. He hasn’t brought a bento to school since he was in about third grade. I bring a bento to work everyday. My bentos aren’t beautiful like the ones you make, but I do make good use of leftovers, and get better nutrition than the people at work that eat out every day. And, I have a lot of fun making them. Tomorrow’s has a candy cane made of rice.

    Thank you for your consideration of me and my son for the Manga Cookbook.

    PS: We are spending several days in Japantown, San Francisco just before Christmas. My son loves it there, and won’t even consent to go to the waterfront or Ghirardelli because he doesn’t want to leave Japantown!

  • Heather

    I think I need it because I never bento anymore! I need something to motivate me, and tell me how to do things right. I’ve been looking at that book for quite some time but I never have the money to buy it. I think it will be just what I need to get myself going again. ^.^

  • Hemm… Love to have this book since it’s hard to find here in Indonesia and it’s gonna be so pricey if it’s available here. I love bentoing by using Indonesian food in my bentos and so seldom use the Japanese cooks or ingredients since I know little about them and know little about how to cook/make them. Hope I can learn more through this book :D. And the last, simply because I want to have this book πŸ˜€

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  • Kelly

    Good luck to all those looking to get the book! I would love to get it but there are so many deserving people I’ll just shell out a buy it! I wanted to thank you Pikko as you have inspired me to start making bentos and to create my own (less beautiful) bento blog! I am looking forward to the Bento swag I am hoping to get for Christmas! Keep up the wonderful work!

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  • Adri

    I would like to win this cookbook because I’ve been seeing it on for a while now. Like you, I was interested but not really sure what they were offering. I would like to add this one to my collection to have more bento recipes to make for myself and my fiance!

  • MaryAnn

    This book sounds absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for offering the drawing. What a wonderful addition to anyone’s collection. This book would definitely delight my daughter, as well! Thanks again. ^_^

  • I am such a cookbook addict! Yet I still don’t own a bento cookbook. I got the bento bug a couple years ago and your site is one of the ones I keep coming back to for ideas.

  • Dana

    I would love to win a copy of this book for several reasons. First (and probably most importantly) of all, I’m still quite a beginner at cooking Japanese food. There’s quite a strong learning curve, and it’s been hard to learn from books that assume I’m familiar with some of the techniques. CrΓ¨me brΓ»lΓ©e or a killer crown roast? I’m your girl. Figuring out which kind of rice should be used for what or how to steam veggies without turning them to mush? Not so much… I also would love to work from a book that shows realistic pictures of the food as it might (hopefully) look if I make it. It’s all fine and well to have a cookbook full of ultra-slick impossibly beautiful food photos, but I want to have a high but realistic goal to shoot for. Also, I live somewhere that leaves me with a half hour drive (according to google maps… it actually takes more like an hour) to the closest Japanese foods store. Oh yeah, and I generally don’t have access to a car. So it’d be awesome (and much greener) to have a Japanese cookbook that used mostly ingredients that I could get at the local (bike-ride distance) grocery store! Finally, I have an allergy to shellfish, and this is one of the first Japanese cookbooks that I’ve seen that doesn’t make me reach for my EpiPen. If you ask me, that’s a good thing πŸ™‚

  • Hmm.. I actually have this book, and yes for it being a cute book to teach for Bento from a manga aspect.. ^_^ Nice gesture!

  • AS

    I would love to win this book. I think this will be a great chance to learn how to cook in a learning style that’s best for me, visually. I am a huge manga fan and pictures like this will make learning how to make bentos easier than expected. My girlfriend is also an avid manga reader and having this cook book will give us a great chance to cook and learn together. We’re planning to move to Japan as well too so having a nice bento that’s easy to make for lunch everyday will be of great help to us. Btw, didn’t know you lived in Hawaii too until I looked up your about page, lol.

  • Domachie

    Hi! The reason I would LOVE to have this book is for their simple and cute recipes, and also because illustrated cookbook are my favorites ones! As it is in manga, you have jokes and comics as much as you have step-by-step instructions, I find it totally awesome!

  • Hi everyone,

    I’m the president of the company that published “The Manga Cookbook,” and I wanted to let everyone here know how excited everyone at Manga University is to see such enthusiasm for our book!

    We spent more than three years planning, writing, editing, illustrating and testing the recipes for “The Manga Cookbook,” and we are very proud of how it turned out.

    Unfortunately, several people who have commented here seem to have had a hard time finding “The Manga Cookbook” for sale.

    If your local bookstore or library doesn’t have “The Manga Cookbook” available, please ask them to contact us directly and we’ll assist them in getting it πŸ™‚

    It’s word-of-mouth from Japanese-food enthusiasts like all the folks here who have made “The Manga Cookbook” a success, and we continue to count on you for your support!

    Thanks again — we really appreciate it!

    Glenn Kardy
    Japanime Publishing/Manga University

  • Oko

    I have just started to make bentos for myself because ever since college, I have been eating unhealthy. I wanted to start eating healthy again and I am across LJ bentolunches and saw how easy it is to bring good healthy food to school instead of just some turkey sandwich.

    The only problem with me and making bentos is that I never cooked in my life!!! So I’ve started to look for bento friendly foods online. This book will help expand my knowledge of Japanese cooking, help me perfect the apply bunny, and I just love manga in general ( I own all the Naruto manga!!!)

  • I’ve been looking at this book forever and just haven’t purchased it but it looks wonderful. My dd would love to use it to help me make her lunches and snacks.

  • I would love to get my hands on this book… even for 2 weeks… I need more bento recipes.. πŸ˜€

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  • Addy

    I really appreciate your cookbook reviews, as I am new to bento making.
    I work at a bookstore, so I was able to pick this up yesterday after work and I am in love with it!

  • I’m glad my reviews help and that you love the cookbook!

  • Yumi

    Ohh, one of my friends recoomended both this book, and your site to me! =D I like your site, btw. And shall one day get this cute and simple cookbook!