ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dark Horse Manga presents Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles, a food manga written by Naru Narumi and translated by Japanese chef, Ayumi Kato Blystone that follows Ms. Koizumi and her friends as they highlight the ramen culture of everyday Japan. Throughout the series, Ms. Koizumi, a quiet, reserved high school girl who is only addressed by her last name, is considered cold and mysterious amongst her classmates. She also happens to have an intense fascination and love for ramen. Most people don’t know how deep her knowledge and passion for ramen goes, mainly because she doesn’t care to get close to others, let alone make friends, and prefers to dine alone.

And despite her love for ramen, Ms. Koizumi can’t cook any herself; she even has to depend on others to cook instant ramen for her, which explains why she frequently visits ramen shops regularly.  It was on one of those visits when she was waiting in line at a ramen shop to open that a classmate, Yu Osawa, sees her and makes a last-minute decision to join her in line hoping to get to know her better and possibly become friends. But things don’t exactly go as Yu had hoped. While Ms. Koizumi doesn’t mind that Yu joins her for some ramen, she isn’t very open to engaging in conversation beyond saying a few words. But that doesn’t stop Yu from trying to make a connection with her while they dine together.

It’s during this meal that Yu learns how much Ms. Koizumi loves to eat and talk about ramen. Yu sees how passionately Ms. Koizumi consumes and savors every bit and slurp of her meal. That’s when she also gets to see a more pleasant and happier side of her that is entirely different from the calm and reserved demeanor she has on every day.

After they finished their meals Yu, feeling as though she’s made a step closer to bonding with Ms. Koizumi, suggests that she suggests more ramen shops to her and that that should also talk more often since they are classmates. In return, Koizumi politely but quickly turns down the offer and walks away. From this point on in the volume, the story focuses on Yu’s attempts to join Ms. Koizumi for ramen and become friends.

One thing I enjoyed about this manga is that it has a pretty straight-forward plot, it’s just a story about a girl who is passionate about ramen and is determined to consume it every chance she can get. And while the plot and character development don’t have much importance in the series, that’s fine. I think it works well for this series that each chapter’s story is simple and independent Contrinon its own. I also found myself being much more interested in the information and trivia about ramen each chapter than the characters and overall story. 

People that consider themselves to be foodies, especially if they also have an interest in cooking too will also enjoy this manga. This is in large part because throughout the volume, Narumi shares simple tips for cooking and eating ramen. Including recipes for readers to try out at home. After reading this manga, I fully expect you to have a craving for some tasty ramen. While a regular cup of instant noodles might help subside the craving, it won’t measure up to the real stuff you see on the page.  And if you’re like me and have limited options for authentic ramen, having these recipes can be helpful if you want to be a little creative with your instant ramen and try something different.

Overall, Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles Volume 1 a fun food manga that has a simple story, about ramen and highlights some of the culture behind it. By the end of reading it will have you craving some good authentic ramen too. I recommend it if you’re looking to switch things up and have a break from a heavy plot-driven manga and look at some well-drawn delicious food instead.

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles Volume 1 is available September 24.

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles Volume 1
4

TL;DR

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles Volume 1 a fun food manga that has a simple story, about ramen and highlights some of the culture behind it. By the end of reading it will have you craving some good authentic ramen too. I recommend it if you’re looking to switch things up and have a break from a heavy plot-driven manga and look at some well-drawn delicious food instead.