Ashitaba Hanayu is learning to cook at Oikawa High School since last spring. She is the daughter of a pastry shop's owner. Her parents hope that she will become a pastry chef but her dream is to become a sushi chef. Ashitaba's dream begins since she was a kid when the first time she went to a sushi restaurant with her father. She was impressed with the chef's carving skill and decided to become a sushi chef. She can't tell her parents about her dream. So, she decides to marry into a family who runs a sushi shop.
Ashitaba's goal is to marry to Hyuuga Hayato, the only son of the "Hyuuga Sushi" restaurant. She needs to make him fall in love with her. Unfortunately, she easily gets angry with Hyuuga's teasing and her attitude scares him away. Her friend advises her to change her attitude if she wants to win his heart. In fact, Ashitaba feels envy of Hyuuga who has a family that owns a sushi restaurant. She hopes that she can impress him with her sushi-making skill.
The first test is coming soon before they can become a certified chef. The test involves speed cutting and everyone approaches Hyuuga due to his skill in handling knives. He keeps refusing to teach them until Ashitaba asks him to teach her as well. As usual, her motive is to impress Hyuuga by getting high marks in the exam.
Ashitaba feels impressed with Hyuuga's cutting skill but at the same time, she feels lack of confidence as well. She wants to create her own cutting method and trying hard to win Hyuuga's heart. When everyone has gone home, Ashitaba is still practising her cutting skill and without her preparation, Hyuuga asks her out. However, she needs to consider about it instead of accepting it immediately as she feels suspicious of his intention.
As time passes by, Ashitaba feels guilty of using Hyuuga to become a sushi chef. She feels he is deeply in love with her. At this stage, she only has two choices. Either she goes ahead and date Hyuuga and marry him so that she can become a sushi chef or she forgets about her dream and breaks up with him to end her guilt. However, after knowing her parents were married by arrangement and her mom married her father because he is a pastry chef, she starts to doubt her decision to end her relationship with Hyuuga.
While Ashitaba battling between guilt and dream, she starts to question how to fall in love with someone. When they failed their first midterm test together, Ashitaba's friend tells her that it can be a great opportunity for them to spend more time together as it will lead to falling in love naturally. Another test will be coming soon and this time will be baking a sponge cake. They need to come out with a design for the cake and Ashitaba suggests gathering the ingredients with him, thinking probably this be the best way to spend more time together. Well, it seems the trip has changed Ashitaba's heart and she is considering whether to be honest to Hyuuga about her dream to become a sushi chef.
Any books or games related to food is my biggest favourite. I have put this manga in my reading list for quite some time and recently, I really need a casual reading. I need to take a break of reading too many heavy stories or mystery novels. I wouldn't say this is bad but it wasn't superb as well. I hope readers don't have high expectations or expecting this manga to be at the same level as Food Wars. This is totally different and the drawing is simpler. I liked the simplistic drawing although sometimes, I easily get confused with the story flow as the story suddenly leads to a different direction. Probably it's just me that unable to follow the story. Somehow, I'm more interested with the side characters than the romance between Ashitaba and Hyuuga. It seems sweet, funny and cute at the beginning but as time goes by, I'm more interested with the sub-stories which related to cooking, exams, friends, teachers and family.
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Mixed Vegetables, Vol. 1.