Kaoru’s Cake House

14 September 2009 at 5:10 pm (Books)

Kaoru's Cake House

Picked this up at a nearby bookstore. Glad to see that local publications are now being distributed quite widely — albeit a tad bit late.

Kaoru is dubbed on the back cover as “Malaysia’s famous manga artist.” Her illustrations are pretty, no doubt about that. Perhaps a little too pretty … I could barely tell the guys from the girls. Gender aside, I enjoyed the drawings.

The storylines, however, fell short. Wing, for example, was introduced as a pessimist who never smiles unless he’s in pain or about to do something diabolical. I expected something more for Wing, being the one who owns Kaoru’s Cake House. A bit more insight into his character, a bit more depth.

I understand this is a collection of stories, one with (as the artist herself admits) limited space. But I would have been happy to have had a couple of stories fewer, if it had been replaced with a bit more meatiness in the others. Some stories felt like fillers, and they were unforgiveably preachy to boot.

It would seem that this was originally written in another language — Malay? (There’s an English translator in the credits.) The English translation was not proofread carefully because there were … grr … grammatical errors peppered throughout the book. Having said that, I liked the fact that the translation had a bit of a stilted feel to it — you see similar anomalies in manga translated from Japanese to English. But the grammatical errors … gah!

Then again, this is two years old now. She has a new series out: Maid Maiden. From the sneak previews online, it looks promising. The art is gorgeous. The language, however … oh, dear. They must have used the same translator.


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