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Moé Girl Café by Cat Studio HK
Type: Business Manager, Restaurant
Basic Game Setup and Plot: You are a manager of a Japanese maid café (which are cafés in Japan that are of a cute style and the workers are girls in maid costumes). It has no plot, but it is a game where you try to unlock as many things as you can such as recipes, awards, and a bigger café.
Note: The word “moé” (pronounced with a long “o” and the “é” like the “e” in anime.) is hard to translate, but in short, the Japanese see “moé” as an adjective for cute anime girls that the Japanese otaku (nerds or geeks) have romantic or sibling-like affection for. If you want a more clear idea it would be better for you to research it on wikipedia or elsewhere, because it is very hard to explain in one paragraph.
Game Play: 3½/5 Above Average: The game was fun to play. There is a lot to do in the game such as unlocking awards, trying to get people to vote for your café, and getting a five star approval from the twice a year (game time) reviewers. The way you play is by hiring different girls to serve food, cook food, or attract customers to your café. You can upgrade them and you can also upgrade your food and can buy more attractive furniture and decorations. You do not do any of the chores yourself; you only manage the café and employees.
Graphics: 3½/5 Above Average: The graphics are cute and sweet. The characters are all very “chibi,” which is the Japanese term for anime and manga characters that are short and cute. The entire game is like this in the food, decorations, and people. There are no graphics in the game that I thought were ugly or badly drawn. They were drawn better than the lazy, unimaginative way some American games draw their restaurant graphics.
Music: 3/5 Average: The music was like most games of that sort: a little catchy, repetitive, and not to dramatic or complicated.
Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: The game is fun and cute, so I think that it would be much enjoyed. I also think it is unique in being maid themed and having so many different employees in it. I think girls in their late preteens and older would understand and like it best.
Official Rating: E
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2½/5 Quite Suggestive: In the game you may buy different clothes for your maid’s including some pretty provocative ones like bikinis, playboy bunny costumes, and school swimsuits. There are also other less sexy clothes like a teacher uniform and cat costumes. (The cat costume advertised is not really a two piece bikini but a one piece dress). Though I believe these clothes were put in the game for people who are attracted to certain kinds of clothes, they are not really made to be sexy. The characters are also very short and stout, even close up, so the only really sexy outfit is the bikini and maybe the bunny uniform (unless you are attracted to girls wearing certain clothes such as teacher outfits). There are also some girls that show up in the game that make announcements and tell you how too play. Though their clothes are a little revealing, they are also not given very much detail because they are just close up chibi characters. NOTE: You will notice there are some very feminine dresses of a theme called “Lolita.” This is not the American Lolita, and research proves it is merely a fashion trend that somehow picked up the name.
There is an award called “Shake hentai” that you get by irritating the maids. Though I cannot say if “shake” is being used as a Japanese word or an American one (either way I cannot make sense of it) I do know hentai means a porn game in Japanese. Nothing sexual is done in the game or when you rub their heads to irritate them, so I am personally a little confused by the title. Perhaps it is a way of calling the player a pervert.
Your café is referred to as a “harem” in the game.
Violence: 0/5 None
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 1/5 One or Two Light Utterances: There is an award you can earn called “Go to hell~” because you have to irritate your employees to get it.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 0/5 None
Religious Issues: 1/5 Slight Contradiction: There are three awards mentioning false gods.
Magic: 1/5 Some References: There are table and chair sets that are themed “Vampire”, “Mushroom fantasy”, and “Season of witch.” There are two awards one called “Even aliens visit here” and another called “Be careful of dragons.” No magic is done in the game.
Overall: 2½/5 Almost Child Appropriate: The worst things about this game were the language and the reference to hentai video games. It is not strongly recommended because of that, but if a person wishes to play it is suggested thirteen years and older.
(The second game is not recommended whatsoever, as their are uses of the ‘s’ word as well as backstories of characters that include sexual abuse.)
WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
Wildwing by Emily Whitman
Type: Historical Fiction, Teen Romance, Time Travel
Basic Plot: Adelaide (Addy) is a girl that believes and is told that she will always be nothing more than a maid for the rich. After traveling back more than six hundred years in time in a machine, she becomes a completely different lady that is rich and royal. Though it seems like this is the most wonderful thing that has happened to her, she soon finds that being rich has a lot of unwanted burdens with it.
Plot: 3/5 Average: The plot was interesting, but the story was not to hard to guess. The characters were also a little stereotypical in my opinion. I do think it was good, though, until at the end, because I think it could have set up a little better. I won’t say why, because I do not want to spoil it, so you will have to read it to know.
Writing Style and Setup: 3/5 Average: The writing style was good and descriptive, but it was not extraordinary in comparison to other historical fiction I have read. The one thing I disliked the most in her writing was her nonchalant attitude toward ignoring historical facts. Ms. Whitman admits in her author’s note, “…I have no qualms about taking liberties with the facts for the sake of my story. Addy would have had to speak French, not English, in Sir Hugh’s castle. Falcons would have been hooded much of the time. And so on.” That is just really lazy in my opinion. If she was OK breaking the rules of history to make her story easier to write, why did she even have research done at all? She might have done better writing a fantasy type novel if she wanted it to be less constricting. It is one thing to write historical fiction and another to just ignore how the historical society was set up.
Moral: 2½/5 Good and Bad Morals: The book says at the end what the moral was meant to be, that we should not completely forget who we are when trying to change, but merely “finding the strength in it.” Now, if I understand, this is the author’s way of saying we should be more content with life, but the problem is that some of the things in Addy’s life changed anyway. Some things stayed the same and Addy had a much better attitude towards them, which is good, but she also had some things change. I guess we can wonder if she would have been content if things had not changed at all. This book also pushes rebellion as a good thing in some places to, and the idea that being a strong-willed and independent person is good. Though we should encourage independence, rebellion and stubbornness should not be encouraged at all. The moral in my mind could have been better portrayed and was used in some ways to make rebellion sound good. In some ways there are very light traces of Curious, Curious George.
Overall: 3/5 Average: Ms. Whitman’s book was not extraordinarily unique at all, but it was not the worst historical fiction book either. I think quality wise it is entertaining for girls fourteen and older, unless you are an adult that likes teen historical fiction.
Sexual and Inappropriate Content 3½/5 Extremely Suggestive and Suggested Relations: Addy’ mother was not married when she had her. Addy often thinks about how unpleasant the physical part of her arranged marriage will be. Even if she does not ever describe anything really inappropriate, such as actually doing it, it is more than a lot of parents would probably want their child or teenager reading. Her fiancé also looks at her in a provocative way sometimes and makes a few lightly suggestive comments. Addy thinks her fiancé has come to rape her and it is really just a servant. It talks about a girl in a stained glass window that is half naked and is probably a martyr. Addy and her mother argue about how if Addy doesn’t start changing she will end up pregnant and unmarried like her mother. Addy takes off her outer clothes so that she can climb a tree while a boy is watching. Addy gets help getting undressed by a maid and she sleeps in bed at least once, maybe more times, naked. When Addy wants ask if a boy would kiss her if it weren’t for her nobility, he says he “would do more than kiss” her if he could. There are a lot of suggestive remarks made by men and women. A woman servant helps give Addy a bath. Slut is used once. There is kissing in the book but half of it is the long, wet kissing when people make out. In fact, they do make out a lot while lying down and it is very lightly suggested that they might have done something because he starts loosening her clothes in one scene while saying, “Why don’t you tell me what happens next?”
Violence: 3/5 Some Descriptive Violence: It is clearly put that Addy got in a fight with another girl. Her mother slaps her back so that she will remember to curtsey. She also believes Addy got in a fight, though she didn’t. In a stained glass window a half naked girl is about to be beaten. The steward slaps a child. A man is bled in the belief it will make him better. There is a torture chamber that is used on a man and Addy dreams will be used on her, but it does not show it happening. It talks about a horse that breaks its leg. There is hawking and the hawk is described eating its meat a bit violently. People believe a boy fell off a cliff. A person think thieves killed a boy’s parents. A knife is pushed across part of a boy’s head. It talks about how a man loves war and fighting. Addy says she will strangle a man if he does not listen to her, but it was probably just an empty threat. Addy is afraid that they might have found out her true identity and will beat or kill her for it. There are injuries throughout the book, and some of them are a little morbid. The violence itself is not disturbing; it’s the aftermath of it. (You may read more about the injuries in “Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content.)
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 3½/5 Moderate Light Swearing: “Bastard” is used properly times around seven times. “Lord” is misused seven times and “God” fifteen times. “Bloody” is used about eight times. “Hell” is used once and “damn” is used six times. “Hell” and “hellhole” are used to describe places and circumstances once or twice. The book will go through times of no swearing, and then reach a part where it swears several times in a chapter.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 3/5 Some Disturbing Content: It talks about how a man wanted to commit suicide when he believed his son had died. The steward is shown to be a bit sadistic; for it is quite clear he gains pleasure from frightening and harming others when they are below him. Another disturbing thing is that the dead and hurt bodies are so well described. One man is missing half his body and another has no nose. One man is holding the chopped off head of his friend. A man has a very bloody bandaged arm.
Religious Issues: 2/5 References and Customs in Other Religions: The book talks about mass, matins, and priest. Addy goes to a Catholic memorial service to pray for the souls and recite Latin phrases. The priest also speaks in Latin. Addy prays for a dead girl’s soul and the idea that prayer is necessary to bring a soul to heaven is lightly hinted. It talks about a holy vision that the people believed happen, but was just made up. Saint days are mentioned. A man is called “Father.” The pope, purgatory, and convents are mentioned, and churches are called chapels. Incense is burned in the chapel. The characters try to make it appear that Addy’s time travel is a miracle. No actual visions or miracles happen. Though God is implied to be real a lot, I think sometimes it does make it seem like things happen not because of God but because of some force. It is a little difficult to describe and is not very strong, but it is there sometimes.
Magic: 1/5 Some References: A chest is made with a mermaid design. “Magic” is used to describe things and thinks her employer’s drawing room is like “a wizard’s lair” and says that a wizard might appear. It uses a lot of words to describe things that relate to magic like “incantation” and “magician’s spell.” Some wine is in a ewer shaped like a dragon. A medicine is called a “potion.” Addy thinks if the people see her time travel they will think it is witchcraft. The invention that takes her back in time is not magic, but it is more like science. No magic is done in the book if the time machine is not magic, and I believe it is not.
Others: Wine and other alcoholic drinks are drunk a lot in the book, and a man is said to love drinking. They also talk about buying wine. Addy is not at all bothered at the idea of committing adultery with a boy she loves.
Overall: 3½/5 Older Teenager Appropriate: This book has a lot of things morally wrong in it, and I do not suggest it because of it. Mainly the two things I was bothered about with were the amount of swearing and the mount of very suggestive sexual remarks made by the characters. The swearing, sexual suggestiveness, and morbid descriptions of injuries make it unsuitable for a Christian under sixteen, seventeen, or possibly even eighteen. I also think Addy’s mom was put in an unreasonable, wishy-washy perspective and that Addy was put in a righteously rebelious perspective.
WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the stories ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
Mr. Men and Little Miss by Charles Rodger Hargreaves
Type: Children’s Book Series, Fantasy
Basic Idea: The Mr. Men and Little Miss people are imaginary people that have habits based off their names. These habits can be good or bad, and the habits often teach them a lesson or tell a silly story.
Plots: 3/5 Average: The plots are funny and interesting for children. Some of the stories are meant to teach lessons, but most are just for entertainment. The plots are not extraordinarily unique, but they are cute and good for young children. One of the things that are odd is that even though most of the characters live in different lands, they are always running into each other anyway. The other thing that is a bit strange is that the characters don’t think it is weird when odd things happen, such as running into a wizard or talking to worms. Maybe those things are just normal in their world.
Writing Style: 3½/5 Above Average: The writing style is very easy to read and understand. The books are all well described, though, but they are a bit repetitive in style, especially with certain characters. It would be tiresome for some children, but I think others would enjoy it a lot. The style is good and I think it is unique and enjoyable even if some may find it overdone in certain descriptions.
Graphics: 2/5 Below Average: The graphics are cute, but very simple. They look like fancy stick figure drawings and are not very impressive. They are done well and are not drawn badly, though. Simply, they are not drawn unbearably, just boringly.
Moral: 2½/5 Good and Bad Morals: First I will say this series really follows the Build Up Karma philosophy a lot (You can read about it in Dangerous Ideas). People almost always “get what’s coming to them,” some might say. There are some exceptions to this rule and this is the main reason the series got a lower score for morals.
Some times a character that does things wrong will get punished by being wronged themselves. In Little Miss Trouble Little Miss Trouble spreads rumors that Mr. Small has said nasty things about some people. This causes them to get angry at him so in turn Mr. Small spreads rumors about her and she gets “a taste of your (Little Miss Trouble’s) own medicine” as the book says. I do believe in natural consequences and punishment, but for Mr. Small to do what Little Miss Trouble did to him to prove it was wrong is not right. This teaches children that it is OK to wrong others for what they did to you. God says we’re supposed to forgive others and not retaliate, because he will take care of it for us. Besides that idea the morals have a good intention and teach a good lesson. They often teach the important idea that changes (even when unwanted or unasked for) can be beneficial to us and to others.
Overall: 3/5 Average: I believe children eight and under would enjoy the series best. The only thing I can say I disliked was the way the morals were presented. They were good ideas, but the way they were presented was not very well. In all other ways, I approve of the series and put it as average.
Sexual or Inappropriate Content: 0/5 None
Violence: 2/5 Slightly Violent: The characters do hurt themselves by falling, slipping, or etc. Mr. Nosy gets two nose injuries and when he hears a saw it is hinted he is afraid his nose will get cut off. Mr. Small gets two black eyes in one book from some other characters getting angry and attacking him. In one book Mr. Impossible follows Miss Naughty around and tweaks her nose when she tries to do wrong. In Mr. Grumpy the character steps on Mr. Happy on purpose and threatens to kick him.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 0/5 None
Religious Ideas: 2/5 Suggestive: One book is about Mr. Perfect who is perfect, and we all know no one is perfect but God. Some books have Mr. Impossible, who is a person who in the series seems able to do anything like fly or turn invisible. Mr. Daydream is similar, but he was more focused around imagination, while Mr. Impossible was supposed to be a person “who could do impossible things” and was made more real in the series than Mr. Daydream.
Magic: 3/5 Moderate Fairy Tale-Like Magic: There are at least five books that have wizards. They use magic, have wands, and cast spells. They also travel with magic. There is a giant in at least one book and at least one book has a mermaid. There is a book called Little Miss Magic and in it she can make things happen by telling them to do it. (If she tells water to boil it does, etc.). In one book, Mr. Chatterbox gets a “magic hat” that grows over him when he talks too much. In one book there is an evil “Midnight Tree.” In one book there is a wishing well that grants wishes. None of the magic in the series is really weird or black magic though.
Others: In one book two men give Mr. Messy a bath. (Nothing inappropriate just thought it might bother some people.) In one book a pig is smoking. In another a bird is smoking the picture and is described as “clever.” (Though not called clever because it is smoking, in fact he never writes about it smoking it’s just in the illustration.)
Overall: 2/5 Child Appropriate: If you do not mind fairy tale magic in your entertainment it should be appropriate for all children. The series is very clean and I believe that the only really bothersome moral things would be the religious objections and the one under “Quality” called “Moral.”
Disclaimer: I have read only about 3/4 of the series, so if I missed anything I am sorry. This article may change in the future after more research.
WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
Kitchen Princess by Natsumi Ando and Miyuki Kobayashi (This covers volumes 3-4 and a bonus story at the end of book four)
Type: Cooking, School Life, Shoujo,
Basic Plot: Najika is still looking for a particular boy that she has loved for several years. Things start getting distracting when her cafeteria is closing and her guardian gets sick, though. Even though it is hard to find him, it appears that he might have found her instead.
Plot: 3 ½/5 Above Average: The plot is still a bit predictable, but I did not expect certain things to come out so soon. Most manga and anime drag on and on before a person admits he like someone, even to himself. The people in this series all realize who they are in love with quite early. I think the most unique thing of all is the cooking lessons inside. You can learn some fascinating things about cooking in the story and there are recipes at the end, so that is unique.
Graphics: 5/5 Excellent Quality: I love the graphics in this series more than any other manga I have read. I love the way the food is drawn. It looks delicious just to see it. My favorite drawings are the “splash pages” which are the covers to each chapter. Most that I have seen in other manga are not very fancy, but this artist’s splash pages are very well drawn and very detailed.
Moral: 2½/5 Good and Bad Morals: There are good and bad morals in these volumes, but there are more good morals than bad ones. One of the good morals is forgiving others. Najika is bullied a lot by a girl named Akane in the first two volumes, but she helps Akane get over her bulimic/anorexic issue at the end of volume two. After this they are closer and Najika does not seem bitter at all. In volume four they do get in one fight, but afterwards Najika decides to be kind to Akane even if she was mean and they become friends. Also there is a smaller lesson of understanding other people. In volume three Najika emphasizes with someone who is also an orphan, so this can teach that we should help others that have suffered like we have. The one bad moral teaches recklessness a little. After Akane and Najika fight and then make up, they admit that there both in love. Najika tells Akane that when you fall in love with someone that “you can’t be dignified” because there is not much chances that it is mutual love. She believes that doing things that are a bit crazy are reasonable in love because of this. This idea is not talked about long or very much, but the idea that you should be reckless and do things on a whim is not wise. This is idea may be talked about, though, because the Japanese people are very repressed and private. It may be a way of them trying to encourage more spirit and openness in the readers.
Overall: 3 ½ /5 Above Average: I think the plot is interesting for preteens and teenagers and the drawings are outstanding, but the plot would probably not entertain adults that well. Also some of the morals were negative this also lowers the quality rating. I still recommend it quality wise to preteen and teenage girls, though.
Official Rating: T
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: When Najika tells her friend he needs to eat real food and instead vitamins, she says, “Certain body parts aren’t going to grow!” This leaves them in an awkward silence. A boy kisses Najka’s forehead and another one kisses her on the lips. Neither is done in an inappropriate way though.
Violence: 1/5 Very Little Violence: Najika gets shoved twice. Najika hits her wrist against the wall. A boy smacks Najika’s hand away. Najika bumps her head and gets a lump on it for one panel. A boy shoves his brother against a wall, but more in a firm way than a violent one. There are two accidents that cause death, but they are only talked about. Najika and Akane get in a fight. They splash water all over each other and Akane shoves Najika. The violence that is done in the book is very light and there is no blood at all.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 A Little Misuse: “Geez” is used twice and “gee” is used twice. When the children hear they are going to make cake with carrots in it a bunch of symbols pop up to show how upset they are.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Slightly Emotional: Najika is quite emotionally troubled because her guardian is sick. The manga talks about children’s parents dying, but it only speaks about it and shows a Najika in a hospital. The side story is very emotional, but not intense or disturbing. It talks about and focuses on a girl that has died, so young children may find that a bit much.
Religious Issues: 2/5 Suggestive: A girl comes back as a ghost in the side story. She looks like a normal person and does nothing weird. It talks about the belief in Japan and Korea that the human soul is on earth forty-nine days after the physical death. It says the ghost “went to heaven” at the end, but Japanese are almost all Shinto and Buddhist so heaven probably means something different to them.
Magic: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: Najika is told that her “desserts have a magical power” and that they “have special powers.” Najika wonders if a boy knew she needed a new watch by magic. She also thinks his “words are like magic” because he knows how to encourage her.
Others: A bunch of girls want a certain boy to serve them at lunch, and he yells, “This is not a host club!” He says this because Japan has bars where you can have people of the opposite gender serve you food and entertain you (I’m pretty sure they do not do inappropriate things there though, at least normally.) Host clubs are places like this for girls. A man smokes at least four times in the manga and in a character intro he is smoking. When Najika comes back from a trip, she finds that the man in charge of the kitchen has filled the fridge with beer. No alcohol is mentioned being drunk, though.
Overall: 1/5: Child Appropriate: These two volumes do not have as much emotional stress as the first two did, so these are more OK for younger people (well, except maybe the side story). I do not think your child would not start reading in the middle of the series though, so this part is more so to assure you that the series is still appropriate for eleven and twelve year old children and older.
WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes
Type: Classic, Fictional Biography
Basic Plot: Kathryn is a daughter of parents who have emigrated from Norway. She and her family go through things that are good and bad as she grows up and she and her siblings learns a lot of lessons from the patience and morals of their mother.
Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: The plot is set up in a very unique way. The chapters go through time progression, for they get older and go to higher grades, but they have no main story. It is like a lot of little stories about the same people instead of one plot. It was not done in a way that was confusing or weird though, but in a way that was smooth and made sense.
Writing Style and Setup: 4/5 Very Well Written: The writing style was simple and fresh, but the simpleness did not make the descriptions lifeless or dull. The descriptions were what would be expected of a well-written children’s book. They were easy to understand and informative even without the flowery speeches that some may feel are necessary to make a good book.
Moral: 3½/5 Good Lessons: There are many little morals in the book such as not being selfish and admitting when you have made a mistake. Make sure you are aware that they are a moral family but not a religious family. They do not go to church or anything of that sort. Also the mother breaks one or two rules because she feels she needs to do things the rules say she can’t.
Overall: 3 ½/5 Above Average: Mama’s Bank Account was well written. I believe that children older than ten and older could read this easily and understand the lessons in it.
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 0/5 None
Violence: 1/5 Light Violence: It is mentioned that a man got hurt while working. It is not graphic or disturbing at all, only made known it happened. The covers on some hidden magazines are described as being a little violent. (Which is the reason Kathryn hides them.) The cat they own gets in a lot of fights in one chapter and has injuries from them. The cat also scratches one of the girl’s arms a lot. It is talked about how a man is in a fatal horse accident.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 1/5: One or Two Light Utterances: The word “hell” is used to swear once. A man ask his nephew if he knows how to swear and then teaches him how to. It is mentioned that a man swears twice, but it does not say what he said.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: ½/5 One Slightly Emotional Scene: When the family cat comes home from one fight he is greatly injured and the family believes he will die. This is very sad for one of the very young girls, but the cat ends up surviving.
Religious Issues: ½ /1 Slightly Suggestive: Kathryn and her friend decide to do a Catholic Nine Day Novena so that Kathryn can get some money. It may bother some that Kathryn’s father was taken to a Catholic hospital with nuns.
Magic: ½/5 Slight References: A doctor’s wife talks of her husband’s hands having “magic.” No magic is done in the book.
Others: Tobacco is mentioned in terms of quitting its use. It is suspected that a man is a heavy drinker (though he probably was not) and when he is dying he wants whiskey, though he does not get any. Alcohol is used to set fire under a chafing dish. Some wine is brought to a school tea party by a student, and the girl and Kathryn both claim that it “is good for the stommack” (Though only one is saying it from belief). The two girl’s favorite candy has rum in it. No wine is drunk, but the girls do eat the candy. A cat is named Elizabeth, even though he is later found out to be a boy and is then called Uncle Elizabeth.
Overall: 1/5 Child Appropriate: This book is almost completely child appropriate except for that one swear word. Because of it I will have to recommend that a child be at least ten before they read it unless you decide to cross the word out with a pen.
Kitchen Princess by Natsumi Ando and Miyuki Kobayashi (This covers volumes 1-2)
Type: Cooking, School Life, Shoujo,
Basic Plot: Najika is an orphan that has always dreamed of finding the boy who helped cheer her up after her parents died. Reasoning what school he probably went to, she attends it. Not only does she have to look for her “prince,” she goes through the trials of being in Class A, a class in the school specifically for children with skills like music, modeling, or art. Feeling like she has no talent or abilities makes staying at the school harder than she thought.
Plot: 3/5 Average: It was a cute story, but not really unique in these first volumes. This is just the first two volumes, so there will be more surprises later. So far there have not been really that many things that just stand out and make you think the author was extremely original. The plot was not dull or tiresome, though. It was just like a G rated chick flick.
Graphics: 5/5 Excellent Quality: These are some of the best graphics I have ever seen in a manga. It was drawn wonderfully and with a lot of detail. At the beginning of each chapter she has a picture drawn specifically for it. The food looks so good I want to eat it and the people look really beautiful. I can say this manga was eye candy.
Moral: 4/5 Good Application: Many Japanese manga for kids focus on the moral of never giving up on your goals. This is OK as long as your goals are not bad or too ridiculous. It also had the moral of enduring other people’s nastiness and being kind to them.
Overall: 4/5: Though it did have a basic plot, it was very well drawn and the moral is good. I think girls in there late preteens or early teens will enjoy it best. You may also enjoy it if you like to cook, especially because there are recipes after the book is finished.
This is just the first two books, so later in the series the ratings on these things might change depending on what book I am in.
Official Rating: T
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 1 ½/5 A Little Suggestive: When Najika goes tree climbing, she tells a boy to not look up her skirt. A reader can see a tiny bit of her polka-dot underwear. The same boy tells her that her zipper is open in the back. Najika accidentally walks in a boy’s room when he is changing his shirt. Some girls undo a strap on her dress, so she has to try and hold it up. Some boys have a dream that the cafeteria was turned into a bar with hot girls that want to help them “rest.” They wake up before anything inappropriate is really suggested or is done.
Violence: 1 ½/5 A Little Violent: Najika rubs a boys head for teasing her. A different boy smacks food on the floor. Najika hits a boy in the head with a paper fan. Some girls shove Najika twice, and one a chef pushes Najika out of the restaurant. A girl trips Najika. Akane, a girl training to be a model, is going to slap Najika before a boy stops her, but she slaps Najika later.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½ /5 A Little Misuse: “Gee” is used three times in the book.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2 ½/5 Emotional: Najika is an orphan and the sadness right after her parents die is shown. Akane dislikes Najika for spending time with a boy she likes and is mean to her in the first two books. She later becomes anorexic and bulimic at the same time, and her hair starts to fall out because of it. Najika goes through some emotional sadness for being treated poorly by 90% of her classmates. This emotional stress causes her to cry a few times. None of the scenes are intense or disturbing, though.
Religious Issues: 1/5 A Suggestive Issue: Though Najika does mention her parents are in heaven, most Japanese follow the Shinto religion. She was probably talking about a different kind of heaven, especially since she tells Akane later that you can never see people again after you die.
Magic: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: Najika talks about how atmosphere and company are the “magic” that make dining enjoyable. Before she makes gratin she says she will “cast a spell.” Najika refers to what Akane’s grandma did to make pie in only thirty minutes “magic.” One of the recipes is called “magic coffee.” No magic is done in the books.
Overall: 2/5 Clean: I was very happy to find such a manga as clean as this. A lot of Japanese manga is not teen or child appropriate in Christian or even just American society. Even kid and younger teen manga is very suggestive. This manga was very good compared to many I have read and heard of. It is like a chick flick for young teens. The thing that will probably worry parents the most is the emotional issues like Akane’s anorexic and bulimic issue. Though there are emotional issues that may be too much for children, I believe it is not to intense or traumatic for most teens and even some preteens. I recommend the book morally to children 11-12 years old and older.
(This article has been slightly changed in an attempt of better wording.)