License Request Day: Cooking Papa

December 24, 2010

One of the many important things I’ve learned from the entertainment industry is that Christmas is the time of year to make unreasonable demands of higher powers that they are obligated to fulfill if they want people to keep believing in them. We’ve basically got them in a corner, so why not go for the big ask? Why not say, “Hey, someone should throw caution and logic to the wind and publish a 100-plus-volume cooking manga”?

While working on this week’s letter of the Seinen Alphabet, I ran across a mangaka named Tochi Ueyama, who basically only has one title to his credit. This isn’t due to laziness, as he’s been working on it since 1984. 112 volumes have been published to date. It’s called Cooking Papa, and it runs in Kodansha’s Morning.

As near as I can tell, it’s about an average family where the father, a white-collar worker, does the cooking. (The mother, a journalist, isn’t very good at it.) Papa helps their son learn his way around the kitchen. Every chapter includes recipes.

Now, I can hear all the “buts” to the point that they sound like an outboard motor. But it’s way too long! But cooking manga doesn’t have a great commercial track record! But we should pester Viz to publish more Oishinbo instead! But Kodansha isn’t taking that many risks yet!

All of those things are true. But if we all adopt our best Cindy Lou Who miens, perhaps manga’s heart will grow several sizes. It’s Christmas. We’re entitled to expect miracles. TV said so.

What are some of your Christmas Miracle license requests?