Manga Preview: Let's Eat Ramen

New York Comic Con is starting to look like New York Manga Con, and the latest announcement of a visting manga-ka came last Thursday: GEN Manga, the digital manga magazine, is bringing Nagumo to NYCC.

I reviewed the first five issues of "GEN" a while back, but if you didn't happen to pick up issue 8, you might not be familiar with Nagumo. "GEN" published his short manga "Let's Eat Ramen" in that issue, and as far as I can tell, that is the only Nagumo manga available (legitimately) in English. He has had two series in Houbunsha's "Manga Time Kirara Carat," a seinen manga magazine devoted mostly to 4-koma; to give you a flavor of their style, Yen Press has published a number of their other manga, including "Sunshine Sketch," "K-ON!," and "S.S. Astro."

"Let's Eat Ramen" is, as the name suggests, about eating ramen. It's a slice-of-life manga, actually, about a shy girl who wants to go to a fancy ramen shop but is intimidated by all the connoisseur types there; then a friendly classmate happens on the scene and suggests they go in together. After that, they go on several other ramen-eating adventures. There's not a lot of plot, but it is interesting to see all the cultural baggage that comes along with a food that, in the U.S., is mostly associated with starving grad students.

Here's a preview so you can see what I mean: