An Early Look at Tea for Two Vol 1 by Yaya Sakuragi Manga Review

Title:  Tea for Two Vol 1

Author:  Yaya Sakuragi

Publisher:  Blu

ISBN:  9781427809575

May Contain Spoilers

Madoka is a klutz, constantly breaking things, much to his sister’s irritation.  In an effort to help make him more graceful, she forces him to join the Tea Ceremony Club.  The president of the club, cool, composed Hasune, isn’t so thrilled to have such an uncoordinated member, but he finally relents and agrees to teach Madoka how to be more elegant and in control.  As  Madoka learns more about the tea ceremony, he finds himself thinking more and more about the aloof Hasune.  Is it possible for such an elegant guy to fall for an oaf like Madoka?

I loved the backdrop to this story.  Hasune looked so cool in his kimono, as he skillfully taught Madoka to appreciate the elegance of the tea ceremony.  At first shocking everyone with his lack of decorum, Madoka soon learns the complex ritual of preparing and serving tea.  Though he’s less than thrilled to be part of the club, he develops a fascination for the reserved Hasune.  Hasune is so unlike anyone else he knows – Hasune’s family maintains tea ceremony traditions, which he was required to learn from a young age.  He is much more mature than the childish Madoka, but the two are drawn to each other despite their differences.

Madoka is a bit of a dunce, and he starts to think that Hasune has fallen in love with him.  True, it’s Hasune’s fault, for that ill-advised method of waking Madoke from a catnap.  Madoka is unsure of how he feels about Hasune, so he throws himself at him, hoping that since his head can’t figure out if he loves Hasune, maybe his body can.  This is Madoka’s usual method of problem solving, to impetuously throw himself into what situation he’s presented with, and to somehow come to a solution.  Where Hasune keeps a tight lid on his emotions, Madoka just lets his consume him, and that’s what makes him such a great character.

The character designs for Tea for Two are a little awkward, as the long, angular faces feature impossibly pointy chins, and at times the characters look like clothes pins, with lanky bodies and tiny heads.  The faces are very expressive, but the exaggerated proportions of the characters were distracting.  Overall, I did like the art, but those trowel like chins made me want to go outside and start working in the garden.

Also included is a bonus story “Sweet Life” and the hilarious “The Unfortunate Gene.”  There’s also a nifty interior color page with the handsome, kimono-clad protagonists on one side, and the cover illustration on the other.  Madoka’s pose, as he’s set to go to battle with his tea making implements, and Hasune’s slightly pained expression, is really cute.

Tea for Two Volume 1 will be available May 13.

Grade:  B

Rated for Mature

Review copy provided by BLU