I really love manga about food... I really love to read good manga about food... but Yakitate!! Japan amaze me in a... strange way.
Story: the plot is really simple. Azuma Kazuma is a genius at baking and creating bread. His dream? To create the perfect bread to represent Japan internationally. With this goal he enter the famous bakery Pantasia and a lot of cooking battles begin.
This is the plot. Really. It's that simple. Until the end of the World competition in Monaco (the first part of the manga) this manga is really good: the ideas for the different kind of bread are interesting, the characters are nice and the reactions to the bread are fun.
Sadly the second part of the manga aren't that interesting: Azuma don't have any kind of development (he is a genius so he don't need improvement....), other characters don't do anything anymore (or some are simply used for the reactions), the reactions become too long and boring and the bread? It's become magic since the reactions to it can change people forever (for example a human that trys Azuma's bread can become a fish..).
I think that near the ending, the manga was axed since it was rushed and started to make no sense at all.
Like I wrote before, the main character is a genius so he don't improve that much. The other characters have a lot of potential but some of them simply aren't used anymore and others stop to baking bread to simply become side characters for the gag reactions.
The art is good and nice to look... nothing special but they are nice. (Sorry, I'm used to wonderful pages where the food is that realistic that you can't stop thinking about wanting to eat whatever they cooked!)
Overall, I think this is a good manga... maybe it should have been much shorter but it's a nice read.
My rating: 7/10
That last battle was... horrible. The amount of magic was too much when the reactions to the bread startet to change people forever... but fighting against a bread-monster was too much. Why the author didn't wrote a normal human vs human battle? I wanted Kirisaki to fight Azuma... I wanted to read something more normal instead of that battle. I was fine with everything until that point but that last battle ruined everything.