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Manga Spice Cafe Subscription Box #23 Review

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Close Box Top

Manga Spice Cafe is your monthly manga maid cafe in a box! Each box contains 3 newly released manga, as well as 3-5 Asian snacks with a drink item. Every box will feature a maid character on the info sheet that highlights the manga and the artists who created them.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Open Box Top

This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - All Items Shown

About Manga Spice Cafe

The Subscription Box: Manga Spice Cafe

The Cost: $36.00/month US + $3.95 shipping, $39.95/month international + $24.00 shipping

The Products: 3 brand new manga, 3-5 Asian snacks and a drink

Ships to: US for $3.95 and internationally for $24.00. International shipments include instant drinks, such as powdered beverages and teas.

Manga Spice Cafe #23 Review

Each box features a maid from Manga Spice Cafe. Meet Miho-chan:

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Info Sheet Cover Top

My name is Chio-chan! I have a great passion for different cultures and traditions and I wanted to share my love of them with you! This month, I packed a box full of manga inspired by these themes. Plus, you’ll get to taste the many flavors of Japan and Asia through yummy snacks and a special tea drink!

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Info Sheet Cover Left Top

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Info Sheet Cover Right Top

A newspaper style info sheet is always included in the box. The sheet opens up to include information about featured authors and artists. The next page gives a bit of history behind the manga selection and special interviews with authors.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Info Sheet Menu Top

This month, the selected snacks are placed on a map of Asia to show their background. Below, there is a menu style list that details ingredients, flavors, and possible allergens. Manga Spice also provides sticker labels with dietary information + ingredients in English (thanks for the extra efforts!)

To the cafe!

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - your name. Volume 1 Cover Front Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - your name. Volume 1 Cover Sample Top 1

your name. Volume 1 – Retail Value $13.00 (found here for $12.73)

To be honest, the art is a little underwhelming, and the film was so well made the manga (based off of the film) is a little disappointing. It was a nice return to the film’s amazing, and quite complicated storyline. It’s a very solid series that I found myself still wanting to read more. I do 10/10 recommend the film to even those who are not fans of animations—the storyline is complicated and emotional, and the animation is breathtakingly beautiful.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - your name. Volume 1 Cover Sample Top 2

Seemingly at random, Taki, a high school boy from Tokyo, finds himself waking up in the body of Mitsuha, a girl from a small rural town. The days when he’s “Mitsuha” are a constant struggle to navigate speaking, behaving, and dressing like a girl. Despite Taki’s best efforts, though, everyone can’t help but notice that Mitsuha is acting a bit… odd.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Satoko and Nada Volume 1 Cover Top Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Satoko and Nada Volume 1 Sample Top 1

Satoko and Nada Volume 1 – Retail Value $12.99 (found here for $11.11)

Of the three manga books, I like the art of this manga because of its simple originality and humor. The simple strokes Yupechika are striking and complement the fresh slice of life that follows Nada and Satako. The storyline is both informative and cute—it’s like reading a breath of fresh air, light and funny.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Satoko and Nada Volume 1 Sample Top 2

Satoko, a Japanese student studying in America, has a new roommate: a Saudi Arabian woman named Nada! They might have different customs, but through mutual respect―and the hilarious adventures of their daily life―Satoko and Nada prove that friendship knows no borders.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Kino's Journey - the Beautiful World Volume 1 Cover Top Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Kino's Journey - the Beautiful World Volume 1 Sample Top 1

Kino’s Journey – the Beautiful World Volume 1 – Retail Value $12.95 (found here for $11.42)

To new manga readers, the art style can still seem a little odd; however, as an I read, I came to find Shiomiya’s art style calming and pleasing. There’s not much action in the book, so it’s a calm and light read. Shiomiya’s art style is unique and may be odd for new readers, but his art has warmth in its lines. You can clearly see the work and thoroughly detailed panels throughout the book, which I have come to look for and appreciate in an illustrator’s work.

Note: apparently, the illustrator did not do justice to the main character’s looks, according to a friend who has watched the animated series.

 

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Kino's Journey - the Beautiful World Volume 1 Sample Top 2

“So, who’s the kid?”
“My name is…”
××××× hesitated for a moment, turning slightly to look back along the road they were traveling. Beyond the red horizon, her homeland’s gates sank into the distance, never to be seen again.
Facing forward once more, ××××× looked past Kino’s side to focus intently on the path ahead before answering. 
“My name is—”

Kino travels with the trusty talking motorrad, Hermes. The duo are always together, with Hermes providing speed, and Kino providing balance. They stay in each country for no more than three days, as a rule—enough time to learn about each destination’s unique customs and people. And so Kino and Hermes journey ever onward…

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Master Kong Jasmine Green Tea Front

Master Kong Jasmine Green Tea – Retail Value $1.49

If you’ve read my reviews before, you probably know I’m a huge green tea fan 😉 Jasmine and green tea is a favorite combination, mostly since the tea bases are the same, except jasmine tea also includes white tea and black tea. The highly fragrant flavor of jasmine tea was well paired in this drink with a slightly bitter, strong green tea taste.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - MAMA Ramen Creamy Shrimp Tom Yum Flavor Front 1

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - MAMA Ramen Creamy Shrimp Tom Yum Flavor Back

MAMA Ramen Creamy Shrimp Tom Yum Flavor – Retail Value $0.69

Shrimp Tom Yum is a type of hot and sour Thai soup typically flavored lemongrass, lime, and chili. This ramen uses a creamy soup base with a thinner style of curly noodles—the first soup base has a lemongrass base, and the sauce packet you add in later gives a slight, lovely spicy kick.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - MAMA Ramen Creamy Shrimp Tom Yum Flavor Cooked Top

I’ve never tried this kind of soup before, but I really enjoyed the sharp lemon/lime scent with the sweet chili flavor!

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Oishi Ube Cream Filled Pillows Bag Front Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Oishi Ube Cream Filled Pillows Bag Back Front

Oishi Ube Cream Filled Pillows – Retail Value $1.00

Ube craze! 2017 was all about the discovery of the purple yam in ice cream, bubble tea, and even cheesecakes. Ube, or purple sweet potato, has a very slight vanilla taste and is a subtle sweet flavor with a beautiful shade of purple.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Oishi Ube Cream Filled Pillows Open Top

These ube cream filled pillows are purple wheat cereal pieces with a smooth, creamy filling and are so fun to pop into your mouth.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Umaibo Yakitori Flavor Wrapped Front Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Umaibo Yakitori Flavor Open Front

Umaibo Yakitori Flavor – Retail Value $0.45

Umaibo, or light puffed corn snack, is an iconic Japanese snack. Yakitori is a Japanese type of skewered chicken with a special sauce made of soy sauce, sugar, sake, and ginger. It’s delicious! This umaibo has an extra flavor layer that uses the real sauce and is a tasty mix of smokey and sweet.

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Calbee HAITI Takoyaki Balls Bag Front Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Calbee HAITI Takoyaki Balls Back Front

Calbee HAITI Takoyaki Balls – Retail Value $2.00

Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of pancake batter and cooked in a special molded iron. It is typically filled with octopus bits, tempura scraps, green onion, and topped with a special sauce (a mix of Worcestershire, sugar, and ketchup), mayonnaise, dried bonito flakes, and nori (dried green seaweed powder).

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Calbee HAITI Takoyaki Balls Open Top

These puffs had a distinct sour smell of the takoyaki sauce but tasted sweet and savory. These light corn puffs perfectly recreate the savory and umami-rich takoyaki flavor. I love the nice touch of nori powder on the snack!

Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Texas Corn Okonomiyaki Bag Front Manga Spice Cafe December 2018 - Texas Corn Okonomiyaki Bag Open Front

Texas Corn Okonomiyaki – Retail Value $0.27 (¥30)

Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake that uses cabbage, bonito flakes, green seaweed, and green onions (the name means “as you like it,” so you can make the pancake with whatever ingredients you prefer). The sauce is the same as takoyaki sauce—these corn puffs have a similar sour smell but sweet texture but are even puffier for a light airy texture. Both snacks are enjoyable and balance well with the strong jasmine green tea!

Verdict: This month’s selection was a light manga selection of slice of life books, tasty Japanese snacks, and a beautiful tea pairing (which definitely won my heart). The Satoko and Nada manga was a hilarious light piece of art perfect for a relaxing hour 😊

I estimated a retail value of $44.84, which tops the original box value of $36.00! I consider part of the value as the nice manga cafe-like experience we get with snacks along with the books, but this is just my opinion!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, but go order now for April’s box! Subscriptions open from the 4th to 14th of each month

Value Breakdown: This box cost me $36.00 + $3.95 shipping, which means that each of the 9 items in the box has an average cost of $5.55.

Check out all of our Manga Spice Cafe reviews and more manga and anime boxes in the Anime Subscription Box List!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What do you think of this Manga Spice Cafe? What was your favorite manga?

Manga Spice Cafe

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Price
$36.00
per month
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Written by Nicole Sim

Nicole Sim

Nicole is an avid lover of all things food, skincare, and fashion! Her hobbies include gardening, attending her art studio, and traveling. She fell in love with subscription boxes after her first Ipsy because of the surprise ad variety of products to receive.

Posted in Manga Spice Cafe Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, UK Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: manga spice cafe | 0 comments

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