Title: Yakitate!! Japan #3
Author: Takashi Hashiguchi
May Contain Spoilers
As Kawachi continues his intense training to gain the "Hands of the Sun," Azuma sets off on a journey to Izu in search of the secret ingredient to make a bread that won’t mold for three weeks. When he returns and successfully creates a tasty, non-molding bread, Kawachi is crushed. When the manager adds insult to injury by dumping liquor over his head, Kawachi is furious! But wait! Could the manager be trying to tell him something?
Tsukino’s torturous training regime has strengthened Kawachi and given him the determination to win the Rookie Tournament. Azuma is crushed when he’s declared his rival, and told to keep his distance. He’s like a puppy that’s been kicked. Azuma is so good-natured and, well, simple, that he can’t understand why his friend is trying so hard to defeat him.
At the Rookie Tournament, Azuma and Kawachi discover that there’s more at stake for Tsukino than they realized. Her rotten younger sister, Mizuno, is also in the tournament. Tsukino, the illegitimate daughter of Sadamichi Azusagawa, is being forced to compete with her sisters to see who inherits Pantasia. Given the smallest store and no support from the family, the deck seems stacked against her. However, if she can prove that she knows how to cultivate talent, her reputation in the group will increase. Now Azuma and Kawachi are resolved to be the top two finishers in the tournament.
Ryo Kuroyanagi is back to verbally abuse the contestants, challenging them to pick the correct butter that’s the key to a tasty butter roll. When Azuma chooses the lowly margarine stick, it looks like he’s out of the tournament before it even begins. Or has our idiot savant somehow used his magic on his pastry?
Once again, I was caught up in the suspenseful kitchen contest, and it made me ponder firing up the oven to attempt a little baking magic of my own. Common sense prevailed, however, and the urge swiftly passed. Instead, I reached for another manga morsel, shuttering at the thought of the mess that Azuma and Kawachi must be faced with after each adventure.
Rated for Older Teen