Ramen is an Asian noodle dish with broth, and an eater’s customizable choice of meats and/or vegetables. It is also avaliable as an instant kind where the chef supplement their own ingredients to liven the taste. This is a dish that can be a meal or snack. Starting from Issue 8, this is the main focus in Let’s Eat Ramen (ラーメンを食べよう), one of Gen Manga’s current stories. Any food manga reader should check this story out.
Gen Manga has currently released roughly 20+ pages of this story from Japanese doujinshi artist Nagumo Curry Bu who is not known in the West. The premises of this story is relatively simple: Saeki is a teenage girl who loves ramen, but is quite scared of going into a noodle restaurant by herself. She finds a eating companion in her male classmate Hozumi, and they follow Saeki’s magazine on traveling to the 100 Best Spots of Ramen eating.
Other than ramen eating in this slice of life, coming of age story, another theme that gets subtly mention is demographic targeted presumptions. What I mean by demographic targeted presumptions is atmosphere experiences on establishments catering toward one gender over another. In a bout of ramen vs. pasta. Nagumo calls eating ramen as “manly”. Whereas pasta is the choice for females.
I am quite looking forward to seeing how this story would spin out. It will not last as long as Oishinbo with over 100 volumes, but the decision of a conclusion is with the doujin artist. But to definitely read this story, and check out other Gen’s stories, check out their website here.