Old-Fashioned Cupcake – Sagan Sagan
Sleep, wake, and work — sums up the day-to-day life of 39-year old, Nozue. A routine that eases him, and conversely weighs heavily on him — which worries the hard-eyed but reliable Togawa, a 29-year old subordinate of his. In an unexpected turn of events, the two of them end up visiting a pancake shop bustling with girls.
Old-Fashion Cupcake is a beautifully drawn age-gap, workplace romance. Cupcake is an apt title because Nozue is a total sweetheart. He’s a mild-mannered man, a little too hang-up on his age, good-looking, well-liked, and highly respected at work. While always kind, he’s also spectacularly clueless about his subordinate, Togawa’s advances towards him.
I loved that this is from Nozue’s oblivious POV but we can see Togawa’s subtle but unmistakable attraction towards his superior. The two started going on food trips when Nozue casually mentioned a desire to enjoy things the way two girls they spotted on the train station were having fun hanging out. Togawa then gamely took Nozue to various cafes popular with women. They eat pancakes and parfaits while taking pictures of the food the way girls would do.
The love story is wonderful! Togawa is one of the best manga boyfriends there is. He’s super thoughtful, very perceptive, and completely devoted to Nozue. He talks the older man out of his I’m-an-old-geezer funks. I love how the two poke fun at the 10-year age gap between them.
The manga tackles middle-aged woes. Nozue spends too much time angsting about his old age. But this is not a story about recapturing the glories of youth. It’s more about learning to live rather than being stuck in a rut because of fear of failure.
I enjoyed how the story flowed smoothly. Even at some parts where there was a huge chunk of text, they didn’t bog down the pace. The romantic development was slow but so emotionally moving. I rooting hard for Nozue. The guy could use definitely use some TLC.
And, OMG! That ending! Togawa really knows how to drop a bombshell.
But this is just volume 1. The story continues in “Old-Fashioned Cupcake with Cappuccino“