The promise of Spring
Hello Anime fanatiks. We live in a world ruled by seasons don’t we? Seasons rise and fall, we meet new scenes, like the browning and reddening of leaves of autumn, and as well, right now in the promised land of anime, Japan, Sakura Cherry trees are starting to bloom in jubilation, the air filled with the fragrance of spring. Pretty soon, as if in the wink of an eye salarymen and sakura-enthusiast will put out the blue mats to lie or sit under the Sakura trees to take in the splendour and appreciate the beauty of the Sakura petals falling in a soft breeze.
Like in nature, anime also work in seasons, a season for new anime to start, and old anime to end. As we say goodbye to some anime, we also say hello to new stories and adventures. Join us as we say hello, join us as we say goodbye. Change is in the air…
The Month That Was
One friend we have to say goodbye to is the anime Naruto: Shippuden after 500 episodes, just as we had to say goodbye to its first installment Naruto after 220 episodes before. When we met Uzumaki Naruto he was a prankster, trying to fight hard to win the approval of the people in his town. The villagers all kept their distances from the Naruto since he is the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tails. Despite being shunned as the jinchūriki, Naruto never gave up on people and this inner strength made people warm up to him eventually. Naruto became well liked, a hero that saved villages and towns, a legend formed that would later be carved out in a mountain, among other legends, when he becomes a hokage.
Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden held Naruto fanatiks enthralled. From the first episode in Naruto where he made us laugh with his pranks (and the animation style was not as well defined as it now is in the series) to the 500th episode of Naruto: Shippuden where many Naruto enthusiasts wept a happy and emotional tear, but also a sad one… or hero grew up, it was time to let him go.
The story of Naruto is far from finished, as we will see glimpses of our favourite shinobi in a new anime, in a ‘new’ season of Uzumaki Naruto’s life where we observe him as a father but also a leader. The new anime is called Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Now his son Boruto must make his mark in the world. Will he become a greater legend than his father? We will have to see if he can fill his father’s shoes.
For more information on some of the new anime this season, be sure to look at our Top Ten Anime Spring Releases list
Chronos Ruler (Jikan no Shihaisha)
Imagine there is a group of super-powered guardians that is protecting the timeline from the interference of demons that devour time as well as misguided humans. You see, when humans try to change the past, they unknowingly summon demons that eat time. It is up to the ‘Rulers’, the heroes of the Chronos Ruler anime to harness the power of the elements to stop both the humans and the demons.
This new anime, based on the original Chronos Ruler manga will premiere in the summer of 2017. Cast members announced so far include Jun Fukuyama, Kaito Ishikawa, Rie Kugimiya, Kenji Akabane, Shizuka Ito and Tomokazu Sugita. .
Directing this project is Masato Matsune (Chaos Dragon), joined by Sharakusai as assistant director, Michiko Yokote (Shirobako) doing the series composition, Hiroya Iijima (Afro Samurai) on character design, Ryoji Nagasawa (Log Horizon) in charge of colour design and Haruo Miyagawa (Izetta: The Last Witch) is the prop designer.
Made in Abyss
Made in Abyss is an upcoming fantasy anime based on the web manga by Akihito Tukushi. It is set in a world where the whole world was explored except for a massive bottomless chasm named The Abyss, a place filled with relics and artefacts. Our hero is Rico, a 12-year-old orphan with a dream to become as famous an explorer like her late mother. One fateful day she meets Regu, a strange robot boy who may just be the one who helps her reach her dream…
The anime’s staff include: Director: Masayuki Kojima (Black Bullet), Assistant director: Hitoshi Haga, Series composition: Hideyuki Kurata (The World God Only Knows), Screenplay: Hideyuki Kurata and Keigo Koyonagi, Character design: Kazuchika Kise (xxxHOLiC), Art director: Osamu Masuyama and Color design: Miyao Yamashita. The main cast for the anime includes Miyu Tomita and Mariya Ise. The anime will make its debut in Japan in July of 2017.
Overlord Season 2
Anime fanatiks totally addicted to Overlord can finally let go of the thumbs they were holding for a second season because it has finally been confirmed! If you are not familiar with the anime here is a bit of information for you: The Overlord anime ran for 13 episodes in 2015 and was a massive hit. It plays off in the year 2137 and tells the tale of Momonga. When his favourite game, Yggdrasil is shut down he decided to not log out of it. Then he noticed something interesting. NPCs started to feel emotions and other changes started to occur in the game’s world. Momonga decided to take over this new world.
The anime’s official Twitter account confirmed earlier this month that production for the second season is underway, and it was also confirmed at the end of “Shikkoku no Eiyu/The Dark Hero,” the second compilation movie of Overlord, released this month in an announcement video. The first compilation movie “Fushihsa no Ou/The Undead King” was released in Japan in February.
Interesting tidbits from the realm of anime
Are you looking for more news? We have you covered. Here are a few links to other news that were released during the month. Just click on the anime’s name!
AMV Of The Month
Speaking of new seasons, April hails the return of the second season of Attack on Titan. In Attack on Titan the future of humanity is hanging on a thin rope as humanity finds itself on the endangered species list all thanks to a mysterious race of giants, the Titans that wanders the earth and their favourite food is humans. Humans that managed to get away from them all walled-up themselves in towns surrounded by three layers of towering walls. For Eren Yager life was peaceful until titans manage to break through the wall and Eren’s peaceful life is shattered. He and his childhood friends Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert fought for their very survival in season one and now, in the second season, new types of Titans and problems await our heroes.
Our AMV for this month celebrates the return of Attack on Titan with Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive, a very fitting song for a very post-apocalyptic anime.
Spread the word
Since we are talking about seasons a lot, lets look at some Japanese words linked to the seasons. We learn the words for the four seasons, we learn some rain words and some useful sentences that can be used in conversations.
The Four seasons
haru – spring
natsu – summer
aki – autumn
fuyu – winter
ame – rain
ooame – heavy rain
kosame – light rain
gouu – heavy rain
taifuu – Typhoon
tsuyu – the rainy season
jiame – continuous rain
yuudachi – shower
harusame – spring rain
shigure – drizzling rain
kirisame – misty rain
samidare – early summer rain
How to talk about the weather
Tenki ha dou desu ka – How is the weather?
atsui desu – It is hot
samui desu – It is cold
hare te i masu – It is sunny
kumo tte i masu – It is cloudy
shitsudo ga takai desu – It is humid
ame ga fu tte i masu – It is raining
yuki ga fu tte i masu – It is snowing
kaze ga tsuyoi desu – It is windy
dai areno tenki desu – It is nasty
kion ha nan do desu ka – What is the temperature?
nana go do desu 75 – It is 75 degrees
Want to learn more about rain and the rainy season in Japan? Have a look at Rainy days in Japan
Things to do in Tokyo in Spring
Armed with all these weather words and in need of adventure you can always go to Tokyo in spring to experience the adventure of spring first hand, with a pinch of adventure. You can go to the many farmers markets and look for seasonal veggies. There you will find takenoko or bamboo shoots, which is a seasonal ingredient. These tender and slightly bitter shoots the Japanese usually parboil or steam and serve with rice (They call the dish tatikomi gohan).
Something else you can do to bring adventure to spring is shiohigari (clam digging). Some Tokyo residents love foraging for food, making an adventure about it by going to Odaiba Kaihin-kōen, on Tokyo Bay, armed with pails, rakes and rubber boots. If you are lucky you will have Asari (Japanese little neck clams) to flavour your miso soup with the next morning!
On April 8th you can also go and celebrate Buddha’s birthday at Asakusa’s famous temple Sensō-ji temple. While the temple staff serve you Hydrangea tea (for free) you can watch as children pull a paper mâché white elephant, an ancient Buddhist symbol through the temple precincts. It is spring in Tokyo and there are much more that you can do. Spring is full of promise for you to discover.
Traditional recipe of the month
True to the theme, we share a nice seasonal recipe with you this month.
Sakura Cherry Blossom Wagashi
Spring means flowers and having an edible bouquet of flowers seems like a yummy option. Today’s recipe can do well as a little gift in a gift box or add a kawaii seasonal element to a bento box. Imagine biting into a light and refreshing Sakura blossom complemented by a sweet sakura bean paste centre…
The ingredients for our recipe are 250ml water, 3 tsp sugar, 3g powdered agar/kanten, pink food colouring and 250g sakura an (bean paste). That is about all you need to make six of these delicious treats.
You start the recipe by pouring both the water and sugar in a small pot that has already been set to medium heat. Sprinkle the agar in, let it dissolve and let everything simmer for a minute. Pour the liquid then into a container and allow it to cool for about a minute t room temperature. Drop a few, just a few, drops of pink food colouring into the liquid, swirl the colouring around in the mixture with a toothpick, but not too much, just to create some swirly pink patterns into the fluid. Keep the agar mixture then a room temperature and allow it to set for ten to fifteen minutes.
While waiting for it to set, you can start to prepare the sakura bean paste centre. Divide the Sakura into six pieces, then roll them into balls and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. After the jelly has set, run a knife around the edge of the jelly before removing it from the container. It should get out easily now and in one piece. Now, using a small flower or sakura shaped cookie cutter, cut out shapes from the jelly. The cutout jellies should be about 5 mm thick, but if not you can always slice them n half to make 2 thin Jelly flowers out of them! Finally, you can stick the shapes onto the sakura an! And you are done and have a sakura flower edible masterpiece! Enjoy and share with someone special. Here is the tutorial video!
With imagination and an adventurous pallet there are more sakura-related recipes to try out. Here are a few links to some interesting recipes:
Upcoming Birthday of the month
Celebrating his birthday on the 4th of April, Kurapika is a hunter, known to all Hunter x Hunter fanatiks as the last survivor of the Kurta Clan. The Kurta Clan was all murdered for their eyes, which were removed from their bodies, because when certain emotions are activated their eyes become blood red. Their Eyes are known as Scarlet Eyes.
Kurapika is set on revenge, it is his goal and driving force to avenge his clan and to recover all the pairs of eyes of his murdered clan. He has blonde hair brown eyes (or blue eyes – In the manga and 2011 anime it is brown, in the 1999 anime it is blue), and of course, when he has intense emotion his eyes glow a beautiful red. When we meet him in the series he wears a blue tabard, decorated with an orange hem and a white full-body training suit underneath.