REVIEW: ‘Cheri, My Destiny’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

cheri my destiny - But Why Tho

Workplace romance? Check. Characters who get right to the point instead of chapters of miscommunication? Also, check. Two attractive pastry chefs falling in love? Check, check. Cheri My Destiny is a 141-page yaoi one-shot written and illustrated by mangaka Okoge Mochino. This yaoi one-shot is localized and published in English by TOKYOPOP as a part of their LGBTQ+ focused line of manga entitled LOVE x LOVE. Cheri My Destiny is translated by Christine Dashiell and features retouching and lettering by Vibrant Publishing Studio.

In Cheri My Destiny, Kaoru is brimming with confidence. He’s running his own patisserie after studying in France, he attracts many customers, and he’s definitely handsome. But there’s one small problem. Sure, he captures his customers’ attention, but they all seem to be growing increasingly enamored with the local Japanese sweet shop across the street and Soujirou, the attractive and reserved craftsman who works there.

Convinced that stuffy old Japanese confections could never compete with his modern, Western-style creations, he decides the only way forward is to prove to Soujirou that his chocolates are the best. Kaoru stomps into his competitor’s store, insults him a bit, and then returns with bonbons to prove the superiority of his skill. But when Soujirou accepts his gift gracefully and even compliments him on his skills, Kaoru’s intense feelings suddenly start to turn to romance instead of crushing the competition.

Cheri My Destiny is filled with romance tropes, yes, but it also shuns a few of them; for starters, Kaoru, while unsure if Soujirou is interested in a boyfriend, doesn’t let miscommunication linger. Instead, he confesses to Soujirou directly and does so without fear. Kaoru’s self-confidence goes beyond just his pastry skills and goes into his personal life as well. He’s the driving force of the story and pushes it forward through his own will. For his part, Soujirou is quiet and honest, and when the two are together, it’s a wholesome romance of respect for each other and their craft.

My only issue with the one-shot is that there are small inconsistencies in character designs. For example, Kaoru’s hair at the beginning of the one-shot looks different throughout the rest of the pages while essentially being the same style. That said, Mochino’s artwork when it comes to the pastries is mouthwatering. From the chocolates to the traditional Japanese sweets, I wanted to reach into the page and eat them all. Additionally, the illustration of Kaoru and Soujirou’s more intimate moments is both wholesome and emotional.

Overall though, there isn’t much in the way of conflict, making Cheri My Destiny a straightforward story that is just about two people finding love with each other. That said, not every romance needs large dramatic elements, and this manga proves that. Sometimes a romance can just be sweet, and that’s what makes it worth picking up.

Cheri My Destiny is available now, wherever books are sold.


Cheri, My Destiny
5

TL;DR

Overall though, there isn’t much in the way of conflict, making Cheri My Destiny a straightforward story that is just about two people finding love with each other. That said, not every romance needs large dramatic elements, and this manga proves that. Sometimes a romance can just be sweet, and that’s what makes it worth picking up.