As I'm sure you all remember, a couple of weeks back, I posted about the awesometastic manga of awesomeness that I'd mailed to rachelmanija, which turned out to be a manga about ekiben otaku.
Ekiben = specialty bento you can get at train stations
Otaku = crazed fans
rachelmanija hoped for scans, and now I finally have them.
All images, if you click them, will link to larger versions of the picture.
Here's the cover of the manga, which explains exactly what you'll get in this manga: ekiben and trains. Plus an adorably chubby guy.
I shall call the adorably chubby guy Mr Bento, as I have no idea what his name is. Mr Bento owns a bento store, which is convenient as he's crazy about bento.
Mr Bento is also crazy about trains. Note his stunned look of admiration.
Also note the exquisitely detailed drawing of the railyard. As the story opens, Mr Bento is starting out on the trip of a lifetime, which turns out to be an anniversary present from his patient and adoring wife. You see, Mr Bento's dream has been to travel around Japan via train, sampling ekiben. Her gift to him is a train ticket and the words "Go for it!" I don't know how he managed to land her, but he's a lucky man, I say.
As you can see, the book is interspersed with train porn, which can be historic trains, modern trains, railway schedules, and so on.
And here Mr Bento is slowly savoring the opening of his trip's inaugural bento.
And here we have the heart of this manga: lovingly detailed drawings of bento, with arrows pointing to various foodstuffs in it.
Note the SPEEDLINES OF AWESOME.
Also note Mr Bento's bentogasmic face as he eats it. The manga is FULL OF PAGES OF HIM EATING BENTO. You think I'm kidding? I AM NOT. DO NOT EXPECT PLOT.
And here we have the landscape porn this manga provides.
Mr Bento admires the scenery and dreams of his lovely wife. I am POSITIVE that the MIGHTY TRAIN ROARING OUT OF THE TUNNEL just then is ENTIRELY COINCIDENTAL and has absolutely NO metaphorical meaning WHATSOEVER.
And now we introduce another character! A young woman!
WAIT! This youns woman IS ALSO AN EKIBEN OTAKU! Who whips out her camera and takes photographs of her bento beofre eating it! this totally does not describe oyceter, rachelmanija and myself at restaurants...
Ahhhhhhh! Mmmmmmmm! Oooohhhhhhh!
This may be the most number of panels I have ever seen on one page in a manga.
Time for more train porn!
Just as an aside: these pictures aren't drawn. They're taken from photographs which ahve been manipulated in a graphics program and turned into halftone, and then probably have some touch-up work to make them nice and clean, to add text, and the like. :D
And more landscape porn!
And more ekiben porn! I didn't scan the HALF of it!
Just to show you, it's not all trains and ekiben. Here, Mr Bento relaxes in a hot bath at an onsen. Next to a train station.
And heading into a bit of drama....
...we learn that Mr Bento is terrified of heights.
Anyway, I have left it there. There are still mysteries to be solved: why does the young ekiben otaku woman cry in the onsen? She leaves, but then she meets Mr Bento again at some sort of performance that he attends at a stop in between trains. Oh no! Will Mr Bento be tempted from his lovely wife at home by the Young Ekiben Otaku Woman?
Only time will tell. There are four more volumes to this manga: we can't answer all the questions in volume 1.
An icon-sized image of Mr Bento having a bentogasm:
So, guys: AWESOMETASTIC MANGA OF AWESOMENESS or what?