Anime and Romance
It is the month of chocolate, teddy bears, and love. Every country has its special way to celebrate St. Valentine’s day and in this issue of Bento Buffet we will see how the people in Japan celebrate the day of romance, look at some yummy romantic food and listen to some love-inspired music. We also reveal the winner of the 2017 South African Anime Awards and the winning anime is also our anime challenge for February. Ready for anime romance? Itadakimasu!
The season so far
Some fantastic anime started this season in Japan and great anime shows continued this season as well. In Black Clover episodes 14 to 15 Asta, Noelle and Luck are sent on a mission to explore a new dungeon that popped up near the Diamond Kingdom. They discover unusual amounts of mana in the dungeon and that it is filled with a lot of magic traps. Luckily for them, Asta has that magic nullifying ability, which helps a lot with the traps. An added surprise to these two episodes is also that Asta runs into an old friend… Without dishing out any more spoilers we can say that these two episodes of Black Clover were fun to watch. Watching Black Clover can make you crave more episodes, and waiting a whole week for the next episode to arrive can drive you nuts, especially when the previous episode ended on a cliffhanger.
In Miira no Kaikata (How to Keep a Mummy), one of the new series of 2018, we meet Sora. His father is an ‘Indiana Jones’ type explorer that always sent him strange gifts. At the start of the series, we see that his father sent him a strange gift from Egypt. The gift is a mummy and it can fit in Sora’s hand! The tiny linen-wrapped person is adorable and sometimes acts like a dog. Sora names the mummy Mii-chan and they become great friends very quickly. The show is hilarious; one of the constant running gags is the mummy’s problem with dehydration which is hilariously detected and solved a few times in the first few episodes. If you love light-hearted fun, this may just be the anime for you.
B: The Beginning
Production I.G. streamed a 90-minute trailer to introduce its theme song of the upcoming 12-episode anime B: The Beginning. The theme song is named ‘The Perfect World’ and is a collaboration between Marty Friedman (guitar), MAN WITH A MISSION’s Jean-Ken Johnny (vocal), and KenKen (bass). The anime will be streamed worldwide on Netflix from March 2, 2018.
B: The Beginning is a co-created effort between Production I.G and Kazuto Nakazawa (Nakazawa is known for his work on the anime part of the Tarantino’s Kill Bill” Volume 1 movie. He is also co-directing B: The Beginning with Yoshinobu Yamakawa (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?). Other Staff members include Masaya Ishida on Series composition and screenplays while Yoshihiro Ike (Rage of Bahamut Genesis) is composing the music.
Netflix describes its story as follows:
In a world powered by advanced technology, crime and action unfold in the archipelagic nation of Cremona. Koku, the protagonist. Keith, the legendary investigator of the royal police force RIS. A mysterious criminal organization. A wide variety of characters race through the fortified city as it is beset by the serial killer, Killer B, and a chain of crimes in this suspense drama by director Kazuto Nakazawa and Production I.G.
The anime’s main voice cast includes Hiroaki Hirata (One Piece), Yuuki Kaji (Attack on Titan), Asami Seto (Chihayafuru), Hiroki Touchi (Resident Evil), Minoru Inaba (One Piece), Ami Koshimizu (Sailor Moon Crystal), Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Yuri!!! on Ice), Shintaro Tanaka (Cardfight!! Vanguard G), Atsushi Goto (Naruto), Toshiyuki Morikawa (Tekkaman Blade) and Kaito Ishikawa (Rin-ne)
Cells at Work!
To some anime fanatiks, anime is not just about the fights, the mysteries or the drama but also exploring new worlds. We have seen anime explore space, jungles, food, sport, parallel universes, but in July 2018 an anime will explore one of the most amazing places in the universe, and the anime’s name, Cells at Work! is a great tip-off about where the exploration journey will take us – the human body. In a nutshell, the anime explore the daily lives of cells within the human body. The anime’s tagline – “This is your story. A story inside your body.”
The main cast for the anime thus far include Tomoaki Maeno (Starmyu), Kana Hanazawa (Psycho-Pass), Kikuko Inoue (Code Geass), Daisuke Ono (Attack on Titan) and Maria Naganawa (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)
The main staff for the anime include Kenichi Suzuki (Drifters) in the director’s seat, Yuko Kakihara (, Persona 4 The Animation) as series composition writer, Kenichi Suzuki & Yuko Kakihara working on the screenplay and Takahiko Yoshida (Yowamushi Pedal) as character designer.
As the average human body contains trillions of cells, each with its own function, some fighting allergies, some helping you heal when you scrape a knee or something and so forth it will be interesting to see how the anime will express the happenings of the human body.
Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi
If you are a fanatik of anime with themes of Yokai, Fantasy or food then the upcoming anime Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi may just tingle your anime tastebuds. The anime is based on the light novels of writer Midori Yuuma and illustrator Laruha. The anime tells the tale of a female college student, Aoi who has the ability to see spirits inherited from her grandfather. She is also in love with cooking and one day as she is feeding spirits a god whisks her away to the underworld. Turns out he is the owner of the “Tenshinya” (Heavenly Inn). He insists that due to her grandfather’s debts, she must become his bride. Hating the idea, she instead proposes that she will pay back her grandfather’s debts by working at the Tenshinya as it’s cook.
The main staff for Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi includes Yoshiko Okuda (Casshern Sins) in the director’s seat, Tomoko Konparu (Kimi ni Todoke) in charge of series composition and Youko Satou (Saiyuki Reload Blast) doing the character design. Flying Dog is handling the music production. Some of the cast members include Nao Tōyama, Yuma Uchida, Ai Kakuma And Atsushi Tamaru. Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi starts airing in April 2018.
Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online
Hungry for more Sword Art Online? Season 3 is confirmed BUT there is also an alternative Sword Art Online anime on its way called Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online. The interesting part is that Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, a series of light novels were not written by the original writer Reki Kawahara. Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online was written by Keiichi Sigsawa, writer of the Kino no Tabi (Kino’s Journey) light novel series.
Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online’s animation production will be handled by Studio 3hz (Princess Principal) and is boasting with a voice acting stars like Tomori Kusonoki who will play as Llenn, Yoko Hikasa who stars as Pitohui, Kazuyuki Okisu as M, and Chinatsu Akasaki as Fukaziroh. The anime will premiere in April.
The anime is about 6-foot-tall Karen Kohirumaki, who is very insecure about her height and thus very people-shy. She escapes this world by playing Gun Gale Online, with her avatar Llenn, who is only 5-feet-tall and wears only pink. In the game, she meets the brown-skinned beauty Pitohui and they hit it off. One day Pitohui pressures Karen into participating in “Squad Jam”, a team-based battle royale variation of the Bullet of Bullets tournament.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin, a big inspiration for anime giant Hayao Miyazaki, as well as Studio Ghibli, passed away on Monday, January 22, 2018, in her home in Portland, Oregon, USA. According to her son, she has been in poor health for several months. She is known for writing numerous books including the Earthsea fantasy series and the Hainish Science Fiction series. She won quite a few awards amongst them five Locus, four Nebula, Two Hugo and one World Fantasy Award.
It was her Earthsea series that was the inspiration for the Tales from Earthsea Studio Ghibli anime movie. In the early 1980s famed animator and director Hayao Miyazaki approached her and asked for permission to create an anime adaptation of Earthsea but she declined the offer as she was not familiar with Miyazaki’s work. Years later, she saw the Studio Ghibli movie My Neighbour Totoro and it changed her mind. She believed that if anyone should be allowed to direct an Earthsea adaptation it should be Hayao Miyazaki. Thus in 2006, the third and fourth novels of the Earthsea novels formed the basis of the Studio Ghibli anime movie, Tales From Earthsea. This film was however directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son Gorō, which was a disappointment for Le Guin. She did, however, express that it was a good movie.
Other adaptations of her work include the Sci-Fi Channel’s 2004 miniseries Legend of Earthsea and the BBC radio adaptations of The Left Hand of Darkness as well as the first three Earthsea novels. Ursula K. Le Guin is a legend that inspired literary giants like Neil Gaiman, her work inspired operas and even anime. She will be remembered.
Interesting tidbits from the realms of Anime
Valentine’s Day in Japan
Like Christmas, Valentine’s Day is also a celebration that became part of the Japanese Culture, but, they do it a bit differently than the rest of the world.
Some believe that it all started when a company started to advertise Valentine’s chocolates to Non-Japanese living in Japan in the 1950s. Japanese companies saw the profit in this and started to advertise Valentine’s Chocolates too. It was during a huge ‘westernization-boom’ in Japan, and Valentine’s Day in Japan was born, but… here comes the difference.
In Japan, it is not the men that hands out chocolates to the ladies, in Japan the roles are reversed and ladies hand out chocolate to men. But what is awesome about it is, another holiday was invented in Japan for men to give Chocolates to women.
There are three different types of chocolate to hand out on Valentine’s Day to make sure some people do not feel left out. Giri-Chocolate, Honmei-Chocolate and Tomo-Chocolate.
Giri-Chocolate (Obligation Chocolate), you give to people you don’t really love like bosses, co-workers and male friends. These chocolates are traditionally not expensive.
Honmei-Chocolate (Favourite Chocolate), you give to the one you want to express your love to. It is more expensive and might even be home-made.
Lastly, we have Tomo-Chocolate (Friend Chocolate), which means you (as a female) give it to your female friends.
Guys, of course, do not give Chocolates on Valentine’s Day, they do it on March 14th which is called White Day.
Recipe of the month – Japanese Pepper Chocolate
What is more traditional to Valentine’s Day than chocolate? Several scientists believe that it is far more beneficial to our health than we think. MedicalNewsToday mentioned case studies that confirmed that chocolate lowers cholesterol, that it may prevent memory decline, and that it lowers the risk of developing heart disease by one-third. Whether this is true or not is up for debate but if chocolate helps one relax and feel good there might just be some truth to said scientific studies. In this bento, we share the love of Valentine’s Day with a dash of Chocolate the Japanese way.
We bring you an interesting sweet and spicy Japanese Pepper Chocolate video today to spice up your Valentine’s Day. According to Sweets Tales, Japanese Pepper is not a pepper but a citrus. They stated that when you put the Japanese Pepper to your tongue it leaves a tingling sensation and that it tastes earth, tangy with a bit of lemon. You can buy Japanese Pepper grounded, or buy the berries and grind it yourself. Dishes that it is typically used on are grilled foods like Yakitori (Chicken) or eel.
Here is the Japanese Pepper Chocolate video! Itadakimasu minna!
Birthday of the month – Obito Uchiha
Our birthday of the month is Obito Uchiha (on the 10th of February) from the Naruto Manga and anime franchise. In his youth Obito was a member of Konohagakure’s Uchiha clan. It is believed that he died during the Third Shinobi War. Before he presumedly died he gave his Sharingan to his rival/best friend Kakashi Hatake.
Obito’s ‘death’ created a legacy in Konohagakure. Following that death Kakashi had a huge personality change. Obito’s Sharingan helped Kakashi to gain popularity in the ninja world and he earned the nickname of ‘Copy Ninja Kakashi’ (Kopi Ninja no Kakashi). Kakashi also embraced Obito’s philosophy about the importance of team-members, and he used this in his teachings to his own students, perhaps part of the reason Naruto was so hell-bent on saving Sasuke.
This paragraph may contain spoilers: Later, in Naruto Shippuuden we learned that Obito did not die, but was saved by Madara Uchiha. Obito changed himself after the events of that war. He was disillusioned with reality and he inherited Madara’s warped plan to create and ideal world. He resurfaced under the identity of ‘Tobi’ and strategically took control of Akatsuki, and later started the Fourth Shinobi World War. He became on of the greatest antagonists of the Naruto franchise. However, in the end he did have a change of heart, and atoned for his misdeeds by sacrificing himself to save the very world he planned to replace.
AMV of the month
It is February, the month or romance and chocolates, and what better way to celebrate romance than with some nice love-inspired anime music. This month we bring you two videos to celebrate your Valentine’s Day with, one deals with a love so pure it is endearing and the other with a love that yearns to be noticed.
AmaLee – ‘Sore Ga, Ai Deshou’
Our first video is ‘Sore Ga, Ai Deshou’ originally sung by Mikuni Shimokawa and now covered in an English-version Lyrical AMV by the very talented AmaLEe. This song was the opening song for the anime Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu and features on Mikuni Shimokawa’s third album, KIMI NO UTA (2004).
AmaLee seduces us with her siren voice as the lyrics envoke memories of love, of that feeling of being connected to someone in a tender and endearing way. You can hear and feel it in the lyrics:”Now I believe, the’re’s a million feelings in me, that tell me this must be love.”
AmaLee is a talented artist with a lot of fantastic anime ost and game theme covers. It is well-worth to go and look at her channel on YouTube.
ANNA inspi’ NANA(BLACK STONES) / rose
Our second video is ‘rose’ as sung by Japanese singer Anna Tsuchiya under the pseudonym ANNA inspi‘ NANA (BLACK STONES). “rose” was used as the opening theme to the 47-episode anime adaption of the manga NANA and it also featured on the live-action movies adaptations of the mange called Nana (2005) and Nana 2 (2006).
When Anna Tsuchiya sings the song ‘rose’ you feel the energy of trying to get the one you love to notice you, whether the love is unrequited or if the other person is too busy to notice how much you are into her or him. It is a theme we can all identify with and a theme that one sees in oh so many anime series. Being in love itself is a manifestation of romance too.
Her lyrics are catchcy especially the chorus: “I need your love. I’m a broken rose. Maichiru kanashimi your song Ibasho nai kodoku na my life I need your love. I’m a broken rose. Oh baby, help me from frozen pain With your smile, your eyes, And sing me, just for me” or loosely translated “I need your love. I’m a broken rose The sadness of your song falls down on me My life is lonely and I’ve nowhere to go I need your love. I’m a broken rose Oh baby, help me from frozen pain With your smile, your eyes And sing me, just for me”
The 2017 South African Anime Awards
We want to express our thanks to all our readers from South Africa that participated and voted. We, AnimeFanatika in collaboration with Kurogane from Anime Awards SA, hosted the 2017 South African Anime Awards and now it is time to see which anime was voted most popular in South Africa. It was great for the members of the South African anime community to each has a voice and select the anime which he or she loved in 2017.
We also would like to thank GCF_Undefined for hosting the first South African Anime awards on his channel, and all the staff of AnimeFanatika that worked so diligently to make it happen. The video announcing all the anime that won the poll, as well as the different categories and who the winners of each category were can be seen by following THIS link.
February Anime Challenge – Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World
Our February anime challenge is Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World, the anime that won the 2017 South African Anime Awards. It is a mystery and psychological fantasy that premiered last year in October and was produced by the anime house, Lerche. It is based on the Kino no Tabi light novel series written by Keiichi Sigsawa. There was also a Kino no Tabi series in 2003, two Kino no Tabi visual novels, manga adaptations and two anime movies.
In Kino no Tabi -the Beautiful World- we meet Kino, a traveller with a talking motorcycle named Hermes. They travel the world and meet different cultures, staying no longer than three days at every destination, believing that three days is more than enough to learn almost everything important about a place. She caries weapons for protection: a .44 revolver called ‘the Cannon”, a .22 automatic pistol named ‘the Woodsman and a collection of knives (one of which can fire .22 bullets from its hilt!).
The technology in the world can be quite interesting as an example there is a land that has talking robots but also have phonographs (we have seen anachronisms such as this in anime series like Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist as well). Technology also differs from country to country. There are magical elements as well such as Hermes the talking motorbike and a talking dog.
Prepare to go on a sometimes whimsical, sometimes humourous and sometimes dark adventure in a beautifully crafted world where sometimes what you see is not what you get and sometimes you may find yourself learning something at the end of an episode that may be as profound as a Studio Ghibli movie.
Be sure to look on our FB page as the challenge is updated every week.