Some years ago, a confectionery company released a new product that came with the best prize a kid could ask for: super-powered sweets. Able to summon and control a specific dessert, these kids grew up to become either hoodlums who terrorized the general public or key members of the Recette who combat them. Tsumugi Minase, a lollipop user, opts out from both, preferring to live normally and in secrecy, because if word got out about her power, she would be immediately arrested for the destruction of Tokyo. When a boy on the front lines of the Recette finds out about her power, she comes out with a confession that she needs all of Japan to know—the lollipops that destroyed the capital weren’t hers.
This series has a quirky sense of humor that I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it’s funny when the characters take phrases at face value and respond in this literal, robotic manner. It’s charming, but on the other hand, every character does this, so the cast of decently smart people comes off like a gaggle of gullible idiots. If one or two dudes had this dynamic, that would be their unique charm, but with everybody acting like this, it gives the manga this surreal quality.
The Mudball Man:
When the characters weren’t standing around chit-chatting, battles could be fairly gnarly. They were at their best when a dessert’s properties were used creatively, such as when an ice cream user freezes the air to make another user’s gum non-stinky. What took the cake was when Tsumugi stretches the definition of a lollipop to create a city-sized Elemental Hero Mudballman. Unfortunately, these moments were on the sparse side.
The Sudden Shift:
Usually when a series is destined for cancellation, poor quality is imbued in its identity, but with this manga, I can point to a specific moment when it took a nosedive, and that’s during the Recette exams, after Tsumugi enrolls. All participants are prospective officers, but Tsumugi and her partner get caught up fighting this particularly dangerous dude. Turns out that he’s with the main antagonist, which itself isn’t a bad twist, that the enemy’s infiltrated the Recette, but the immediate goals immediately switch, and all the characters are thrust into death matches in a high school.
This series is creative and amusing, if at times a bit uncanny, but halfway through its run, it cranks up the heat only to blow up its oven. What originally was a sweet treat ended up bittersweet.