Our Dining Table by author Mita Ori
Our Dining Table by Mita Ori is a super adorable manga about one young man who meets another young man because of his even cuter little brother.
It is a boys’ love story which is a subgenre of manga and anime about male/male relationships that are written by women, for women. It’s an oddly specific category that is usually more cute than sexy, more romantic than erotic. I think it is a way to have a non-threatening love story that also doesn’t feel like you’re straying from your marriage.
As with almost any manga I read I borrowed it from my husband because he reads far more of it (and of romance) than I do. He really introduced me to the whole concept of boys’ love stories and I still haven’t read many at all.
In Our Dining Table Yutaka is a lonely young man who doesn’t fit in with his family or his coworkers. Being ostracized by these groups has caused him to have issues with eating with people. It makes him feel very uncomfortable.
Because of this he typically buys a ready made lunch at the convenience store and eats that and his homemade onigiri (rice balls) by himself. It is easier to isolate than integrate.
One day a young child runs up to him at the park and ends up sharing his onigiri. The child, Tane, has an older brother Minoru who is hesitant to allow his young brother to take food from strangers but Tane seems to have loved it so much he gives in.
Minoru invites Yutaka over to help him learn to make the food his little brother loves so much and from there they build a relationship that is the envy of us all. Cooking with friends or loved ones is a greeat bonding activity. It really does sttrengthen relationships!
Minoru and Yutaka bond over shared losses, family, and food until they realize that they both love each other as far more than friends. From their first kiss to them forming a family with little Tane this book is as cute as it is loving.
I found myself enamored with these characters. Their dynamic together is touching and sweet and at times relatable. Their progression from strangers to lovers is organic and never forced. It makes sense the whole way which is impressive for so short a story.
Our Dining Table is a very simple, quick read. I finished it in under an hour. But reading this manga is a delightful way to spend that hour. I definitely recommend picking it up for one of those days when you need a simple escape on your lunch break that doesn’t require much focus or stress.
If you love food and tenderness this one is right up your alley.
4/5 onigiri 🍚🍚🍚🍚
If you like Our Dining Table you might like The Gods Lie.
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Buy it here: Our Dining Table