Our Dining Table – Mita Ori

This is one of the most cute, genuine and heartwarming stories of two men reaching out to each other and falling in love. It also contains themes of coping with loneliness and the fear of losing a loved one.

Yutaka has difficulty eating around other people and is enjoying his lunch all by himself when a small boy is staring at the huge onigiri in his hand. When the little boy’s tummy rumbles he decides to share his onigir with him and they started talking. When Yutaka asks him if he is all by himself, the little boy replies that he is with his brother. Chaos ensues when his big brother arrives and give the boy a good scolding for wandering off during shopping and trying to eat someone elses food. The older brother apologies and storms of with his little brother

Back at the office Yutaka overhears his colleagues discussing drinks after work and one mentions if they should invite him. “Nah, don’t bother, he never comes anyway.” Leaving Yutaka a bit hurt over these comments.

Later that night, Yutaka thinks about his past and the reader finds out that he when he was younger, he had been told that people can’t stand to eat food when looking at him. That’s some big time trauma you place on a kid.

The next day he goes and have lunch in the park once more and finds the two brothers waiting on him. The small boy is introduced as Tane and wants to eat his onigir once more. His older brother, Minoru, makes him apologise and asks Yutaka to teach him how to cook these onigiri that his little brother craves.

Their cooking parties are becoming more frequent and Minoru and Yutaka begin to find out that they have a lot of in common both feeling lonely and insecure after the death of ones relatives. Trying to find their way on how to handle communicating with others or raising a little brother while not forgetting you have your own to look after too.

There is nothing that I don’t love about this manga, the art style is lovely, the themes are portrayed with a lot of respect and it just show to men, gradually falling in love and being the support for each other that they so much craved.

What is an onigiri?

It’s a Japanese riceball, often with filling. That could be a pickled plum, pickled vegetables, egg, various types of fish or even chicken.

The shape is a triangle but I’ve seen them in a round shape too. Wrapped in a sheet of dried seaweed this are quick bites you can have to soothe your carvings.

When I was in ramen shop in Tokyo the owner offered us miso fried riceballs in the same shape. You slowly see these appear in the Netherlands and I am happy I have healthier quick bite options

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