The owner of the Antique Bakery, as well as a waiter. He was childhood friends with Chikage, the son of his family's live-in housekeeper. He was also Ono's classmate in school and harshly rejected Ono's love confession. He seems to be the only man whom Ono finds attractive, but who is not attracted to Ono in return. Tachibana comes from a rich family. He was kidnapped when he was a child. The one thing he remembers about his abductor is that he loved cake and fed him the cakes he bought every single day. Although Tachibana was rescued, his abductor was never found. After this ordeal, his family became overly protective of him. He feels obliged to play the "good boy" for his relatives because he does not want them to worry about him. As a result of his experiences, he often suffers from nightmares and has no taste for sweets. He is also fluent in French.
In the Antique Bakery doujinshi by the author, it was revealed that Keisuke has had multiple girlfriends during the course of Antique Bakery.
The pâtissier, a renowned chef who has been fired from many bakeries because of his "Demonic Charm": whenever he is attracted to a man, that man — whether gay or straight — suddenly becomes irresistibly attracted to him in return. His coworkers will inevitably fight over him, and Ono will wind up fired again. This stemmed from when he was in high school, when Tachibana turned him down. He went into a gay bar, and suddenly he became a very popular lover. He has said his type is older men. He is also scared of women, and is fluent in French as well.
In the Antique Bakery doujinshi by the author, Ono begins an intimate relationship with Chikage however is still ultimately in love with Tachibana.
Eiji is Ono's apprentice, as well as other help in the kitchen. He is a former street punk who was picked up off the street and reformed by a boxing coach. He trained to be a boxer, and was a top fighter. However, due to his detached retinas, he had to give up boxing. He saw a "Help Wanted" ad in the bakery's window, and decided to join. He has a huge sweet tooth. He holds Ono in very high regard, calling him his "Master", due to his skill in making sweets. Over time they have developed more of a father-son relationship than that of a master and apprentice.
In the Antique Bakery doujinshi by the author, Kanda and his french teacher Constance appear to be dating.
Chikage is Tachibana's childhood friend. His family works at the Tachibana house. He was sent by the Tachibana family to watch out for his friend. Chikage is trained to become a waiter by Tachibana. However, he is very klutzy and has a hard time. He wears sunglasses all of the time, as his eyes are weak. He has a crush on Ono, though he thinks Ono doesn't feel the same way (on the contrary, Ono is in love with Chikage). He is very shy and polite. He calls Tachibana "Young Master" after the game "Ōoka Echizen (大岡越前)". Chikage is also two years older than Tachibana and has a daughter.
In the Antique Bakery doujinshi by the author, Chikage and Ono begin an intimate relationship.
Kaedeko (楓子?), affectionally called "Deko" or "Dei-Dei", Chikage's daughter, is a sweet, beautiful, if not so bright young girl, although she is often mistaken for a teenager because of her "mature" looks (she is really about ten years old).
Ms. Ito (伊東,Itō?) and Mrs. Urushihara (漆原?), two regular customers at the Antique.
Haruka Nakatsu (中津 はるか,Nakatsu Haruka?) and Tamiko Kagami (各務 民子,Kagami Tamiko?) (nicknamed "Tammy") are two voluptuous female news announcers who are used on the news simply to display their bodies. They long to be seen as real reporters rather than a peep show; they reported a story about the Antique Bakery.
Tadahiro Akutagawa (芥川 忠宏,Akutagawa Tadahiro?) is a cold, boring, and, frankly, somewhat scary reporter who works for the police, was obsessed with trying to find Tachibana's abductor, and who is now a pastry connoisseur, sampling cakes from bakeries all over Japan.
The television series differs perceptibly from the story of the manga. While the four main male characters remain the same in many of their relationship dynamics, the BL/homosexual aspect of the original manga is significantly reduced to almost nothing. There is the notable addition of Itsuki Momoko, a female sports journalist who appears in the first episode of the series.
Differences between manga and TV series
- The character of Momoko never appears as she does in the manga like she does in the series. Momoko, in effect, provides a sort of cushion for Ono's heterosexual development.
- Instead of being openly gay, Ono is a straight man who merely has trouble dealing with woman because he was burned by a bad relationship in the past.
- In the manga, Ono and Chikage developed a relationship (and indeed, shared a near-kiss or two) that came close to, but was never consummated. In the series, the dynamic between Ono and Chikage is reduced to one scene where Ono gives Chikage The Look of Supposed Seduction.
- During a particularly funny scene, Eiji tries to teach the Awkward Kid how to kiss by using Ono as the model of the "girl"-- the camera angle turns away to Tachibana's horrified expression as he walks in on the three of them, and the audience never really knows for sure whether or not Eiji and Ono have kissed.
Korean live-action movie
The Korean adaptation, Antique
(Korean: 서양골동양과자점 앤티크, Seoyang-gol Dongyang-gwaja-jeom Antique), was released on November 13, 2008, and drew more than 1 million moviegoers within its first two weeks of release, making it one of the most successful Korean movies ever made .
Directed by Min Gyu Dong, the movie stars (amongst others) Joo Ji Hoon (Goong/Princess Hours and The Devil) as the owner Jin Hyuk and Kim Jae Wook (Coffee Prince) as the genius patissier Son Woo. The film was exhibited at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2009 . The action in the film has been transposed to Korea and the characters given Korean names; otherwise, the script follows the main plot threads of the manga closely.
Comic Book Bin's Avi Weinrib enjoyed DMP's scratch-and-sniff covers. Al Kratina found Antique Bakery "fluffy, light, and disposable". Chris the 4th Pip thought the characters showed "surprising depth".
Janet Houck, writing for Mania Entertainment, felt that the story of the first volume was choppy, using many flashbacks, and that the volume should have been given a higher rating due to its depiction of Ono's backstory. David Welsh enjoyed the character-driven story, especially the Christmas story, which was rooted in a business perspective. Jessica Brooks of Anime Jump enjoyed that although food-themed manga is usually about food preparation, instead Antique Bakery is about customer satisfaction. She also noted that Ono's homosexuality was essentially "played for laughs", although she did not feel this was a negative. Tom Rosin, for MangaLife, felt that the first volume was "about cakes more than anything else", and that he felt hungry after reading Tachibana's sales pitches. Katherine Dacey, writing for Pop Culture Shock, felt that the main theme of the series was a "slice of life friendship story". Johanna Carlson noted that the series is faux-yaoi. Robin Brenner, writing for TeenReads, noted that the series' plot is not "the point" about this manga - the funny character interactions and elegant character artwork are.