Let’s be real for a minute; there are hundreds of subscription boxes out there now. That means, in theory, there is something for everyone no matter what their tastes are. However, that being said, there is still a little bit of a lag in targeted merchandise on the market. This especially becomes true when you start to get into otaku culture. Most boxes contain cheap collectibles such as Pop! vinyl figures and keychains. If they have some of the more expensive or rare collectibles then you have to wait for shipping from Japan. This can be a little frustrating for somebody who’s just looking to indulge themselves more in the culture. Lucky for us, a new subscription box has come out called Manga Spice Cafe. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Manga Spice Cafe?
Basically, this is a book of the month club for otaku and people who love Japanese anime. With each box, they will send you a drink and upward to five snacks along with three new first volumes manga books. The books included all center around a theme which is picked out and represented by an anime-style maid. Each month they draw a different maid that has various likes and personalities that correspond to the books included in each box. These maids are cute and tastefully drawn to make you feel like you’re in a Japanese maid cafe. Overall, the idea is cute and well delivered, making it stand out above some of the other book subscription boxes.
What’s in the box
Dragon Ball Super – Volume 1:
Based on the popular Dragonball and Dragonball Z manga series comes a follow-up title: “Dragon Ball Super.” This manga is primarily good for older anime fans or young fans looking to get into the series. It is a shounen series, which means it is targeted more towards boys, but Dragonball is one of those series that fans of all genders have been known to enjoy. It’s a nice read with comedy and action elements that will keep anybody entertained or give them in a good introduction to what the shounen genre has to offer.
The Water Dragon’s Bride – Volume 1:
This book is a shoujo series titled “The Water Dragon’s Bride.” As the title suggests, this is a romance novel with many twists and turns. This book is about a girl who gets sucked into another world and must overcome trials to survive. It does focus on romance but follows the shoujo storytelling formula and has many dark plot points. This manga is best for anyone who enjoys a great romance story with dark twists.
My Girlfriend is a T-Rex – Volume 1:
This is a more comedy focused series titled “My Girlfriend is a T-Rex.” The series is set in the present where dinosaurs still roam around, but they have human-like features. It focuses on the relationship between a half-tyrannosaurus rex girl and a human male trying to sustain an everyday romantic relationship. This of course brings several complications to the story due to the fact that the girlfriend may just have a few carnivorous habits. The story is good for anybody who likes rom-coms and stories that don’t take themselves too seriously.
- Dragon Ball Z-themed Ramune Soda
- Cookies and Cream Pocky
- Fizzy Candy Mixed Bag
- Honey and Apple Twist Snack
- Soft Candy Chews
- Japanese Potato Baked Potato Chips
All of the candy is really good and mixes perfectly for a snack while reading. This box has stayed away from flavors that are too wild so far and even included noodles to try in the last box. The drinks provide a unique experience thanks to the interesting concept of opening Ramune. So far, all of the snacks in the crates have been a win!
*Note: The box is nicely packaged so you don’t have to worry about damage coming to your books. The books are also placed inside protective plastic just in case anything goes wrong with the candy.
This Manga Spice Cafe crate costs exactly $35 a month which is what you would pay for about three volumes of manga. That, coupled with the snacks, makes this box a great value for anyone looking to reach out to new titles and have a nice package of treats waiting for them every month. The box also contains a book that details information about all authors of the books and the foods included, which is a nice addition to teach the reader a little bit more about titles that they may enjoy. This is neat because it’s often overlooked as manga is still such a foreign topic, so the highlight helps authors featured in the box obtain more people gain interest in hopefully buying more volumes of their books. The Manga Spice Cafe site also features an online store where you can buy the other volumes of the manga series that you received in the box. It’s also worth noting that this company is still extremely young and has been one of the best overall startups that I have ever seen and the subscription box business.
This crate is easily one of my favorite so far. It’s nicely organized, they ship on time, and the box comes fast. The orders open from the 1st to the 15th of the month and they show you the theme and the first manga volume included as well as the drink that will be going into the box at the beginning of the month. This usually is a very good indicator of what to expect and they tend to stay on point with their things. I especially recommend the next box, themed Geek Girls, because it will feature the first volume of the ballroom dancing manga “Welcome to the Ballroom,” and it will have a more Shoujo theme than the rest. This, of course, doesn’t mean that they’re going to stray away from having a balanced box so don’t be afraid if romance isn’t all that you’re into.