A Bento of Fire and Ice
While winter still has its icy grip in Japan, it is loosened a bit as soon, the spring season will be upon the Mother Land of anime. Ice will melt on the mountains and soon Sakura Trees will show spring buds. It will also bring a new anime season and we all look forward to that. Last month, on the 16th of February, the Chinese New Year started off and we want to wish our Chinese readers a fortunate and healthy Year of the Dog. Our bento this month is full of yummy treats both to warm those readers in the ice and snow as well as those readers that are suffering from the warm summers in their respective countries. We have a Devil Level Ramen article to burn your socks off as well as a Kawaii Kulture article about the Kotatsu. For those in need of cooling down, we have a nice anime birthday chilled in ice. We also bring you exciting news about Comic Con that is coming to South Africa. Lastly, we have our anime news of the past month nice wrapped in one bundle, ready for you to enjoy. We are YOUR monthly news bento. Itadakimasu!!
The season so far
In Card Captor Sakura Clear Card last month we saw how the Claw Cards that Sakura collected so diligently (in the first series) lost all the art and became clear. Gone are the images, and the magic that she could summon from them, they were rendered just worthless see-through cards. She also started to have these dark dreams… Luckily a new key brought new magicks and with the new magicks, new images started to appear on the cards as she caught them. As in the first season, her awkward romance with Li Syaoran is back as a theme throughout the new series. In Episode 5 of Card Captor Sakura Clear Card, amidst the magic card catching, Sakura and Li share a bento and do some Sakura Blossom watching. It is a romantic episode that complimented the Valentine’s Day vibe in February.
In the anime Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further than the Universe), four Japanese school girls, one that is determined to find her mother in Antarctica and the other three accompanying her, each for their own reason. The anime is a slice of life coming of age journey where they learn that going to Antarctica itself is a journey in self-growth and maturity. The anime is not for fanservice seekers, but if you love serious and whimsical anime, this might be the anime you are looking for.
Everyone that is into Batman and anime are waiting with bated breath for the Batman Ninja movie! Earlier in February Warner Bros. Home Entertainment started streaming an English-dubbed version of the anime’s trailer. The video reveals that the movie will be released on April 24th. The English cast mebers were also revealed: Roger Craig Smith as Batman, Tony Hale as the Joker, Grey Griffin as Catwoman, Tara Strong as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, Fred Tatasciore as Gorilla Grodd and Deathstroke, Yuri Lowenthal as Robin, Adam Croasdell as Nightwing and Alfred, Will Friedle as Red Robin and Red Hood, Tom Kenny as Penguin and Eric Bauza as Two-Face. The Japanese cast includes Kouichi Yamadera as Batman, Wataru Takagi as Joker, Ai Kakuma as Catwoman and Rie Kugimiya as Harley Quinn.
Warner Bros. released the following synopsis of the story:
“Batman Ninja takes a journey across the ages as Gorilla Grodd’s time displacement machine transports many of Batman’s worst enemies to feudal Japan – along with the Dark Knight and a few of his allies. The villains take over the forms of the feudal lords that rule the divided land, with the Joker taking the lead among the warring factions. As his traditional high-tech weaponry is exhausted almost immediately, Batman must rely on his intellect and his allies – including Catwoman and the extended Bat-family – to restore order to the land, and return to present-day Gotham City.”
Junpei Mizusaki (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) is the director of the movie, while Kazuki Nakashima (Kill la Kill) is the screenwriter. Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai manga) is the character designer and Yuugo Kanno (Psycho-Pass) is the music composer for Batman Ninja. With the array of Batman enemies, Batman and his sidekicks have their work cut out for them, especially because he cannot rely on technology and have to go ‘ninja-style’ on his foes. This movie may just blow us all way!
Gundam Build Divers
If you have been hungry for more of the Gundam Build franchise, then say ‘Itadakimasu’ because this April brings us Gundam Build Divers, the next series in the franchise! The anime will premiere on April 3rd. Gundam.Info’s official YouTube channel posted a 100-second preview video that introduced us to new Characters, Gunpla as well as the anime’s story. It has also been announced that the theme songs will be performed by AAA member SKY-HI (The opening song Diver’s High) and Malaysian singer Iris, who will perform the Ending song ‘Ashita he’ (To Tomorrow)
The anime series’ official site released a description of the series: ”The Gunpla Force Battle Tournament is a big event held in GBN once per year. Competing in the final round are Avalon, led by the champion Kyoya Kujo, and the elite 7th Panzer Division led by the cunning Rommel. Starting with Kyoya’s Gundam AGE II Magnum, a variety of Gunpla take to the field to determine which is the strongest force!”
The show stars Yūsuke Kobayashi, Natsumi Fujiwara, Nene Hieda, Haruka Terui, Jun Kasama and Sho Hayami and is directed by Shinya Watada. The first series in the franchise Gundam Build Fighters aired from October 2013 to March 2014, and the second series, Gundam Build Fighters Try from October 2014 to April 2015.
Pokémon the Movie: Everyone’s Story
It has been confirmed that the 21st Pokémon movie, Pokémon the Movie: Everyone’s Story will open in theatres in Japan on July 13. The movie continues the story from the previous movie Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! The story is set in Fuura City, where people have lived with the wind, and received the wind from Lugia, the legendary Pokémon. At the annual Wind Festival, our hero Ash meets five characters Lisa, Kagachi, Torito, Hisui and Largo.
This movie is directed by Tetsuo Yajima (Pokémon: XY TV series), instead of Kunihiko Yuyama, who directed all the previous Pokémon movies since 1998. Yuyama is still linked to the movie as animation supervisor. Shizue Kaneko (Pan de Peace!) is working on the character designs.
Space Battleship Tiramisu
A preview video was released about the upcoming anime series Space Battleship Tiramisu, which is based on Satoshi Miyakawa and Kei Ito’s Sci-Fi comedy manga Uchu Senkan Tiramisu/Space Battleship Tiramisu. The plot centres on the ace pilot Subaru Ichinose of the space Battleship Tiramisu. Ichinose is the ship’s youngest crewmember who always shuts himself up in the cockpit of his personal ship, Durandal.
The comedy anime is directed by Ikehata Hiroshi (Magical Circle Guru Guru), Yu Sato (Ninja Slayer) is on series composition and AI Yokoyama (X-Men) works on the character design. The anime’s main voice cast includes Kaito Ishikawa (Rin-ne), Takahiro Sakurai (Mr Osomatsu), Junichi Suwabe ( Yuri!!! on Ice), Takuya Eguchi (Ore Monogatari!!) and Akio Otsuka (Ghost in the Shell).
Comic Con is coming to South Africa
Dust off your cosplay suit, get your favourite comic ready to be signed and make sure you have enough data on your phone to
stalk er… ask celebrities to take their photos with you because Comic Com will be in South Africa in September. The event is to launch Comic Con Africa and it is going to be HUGE! Comic Con announced earlier this month that they, in partnership with Telkom VS Gaming, will host the event. Some of the super sugoi features to be expected are promos of new series, movies and anime, cosplay competitions, manga, comics, VS gaming as well as panel discussions with international as well as local celebrities.
Some of the celebrities rumoured to be at the Comic Con includes game voice actors Nolan North and Troy Baker, some members of the most watched series in history, yes, Game of Thrones as well as actors from The Big Bang Theory series. So ladies, this may be your chance to meet Jon Snow, if we are lucky enough to have him here for Comic Con! The event will be from 14 – 16 September 2018 at the Kyalami International Convention Centre.
Interesting tidbits from the realms of Anime
The YouTube Channel TheEcchiBros released a Top 10 Must-Watch Anime of Winter Video. We thank their member Kirito for giving us permission to share the super sugoi video with all of you! Please show them your support by checking out their channel!
Kawaii Kulture – Kotatsu
Japanese houses are cold since most of the regions in the country do not have central heating. To stay warm many people keep warm with a heater or the popular kotatsu. Chances are you have seen one in a Japanese movie or an anime!
Kotatsu, low (knee-high) tables designed to sit on traditional tatami floors. A thick quilt covers them and they have a heater underneath. This interesting Japanese furniture has been around since the 14th century. The more traditional ones use a coal pit that is built into the floor, but modern Kotatsu has an electric heater that is built under the tabletop.
It is often the heart of a household. Family and friends will sit around them and eat their meals, or socialise with drinks or watch television together while enjoying its warmth. You will find them in Japanese-style restaurants and at Ryokan.
There is a type of person that gets into a kotatsu and you only see their heads outside it. They use a computer, read books or watch TV under it. They look like snails and have been named ‘Kotatsu muri’ or a Kotatsu snail. These creatures are lazy, slow and inactive, they are kotatsu-addicts, handle them with care! Be careful, you yourself can turn into one; the power of kotatsu is strong… Your cat and your husband, your wife and son and daughter, no-one is safe….
Food of the Month Devil Level Ramen
We have explored ramen many times, such as looking at Naruto’s favourite ramen and sharing ramen recipes. Ramen receive a lot of love when it is winter in Japan as it is a wholesome hearty warm meal to chase the winter cold away. We found an interesting ramen that will melt the ice off any coldhearted person’s heart. YouTuber Mark Wiens and his Camerawoman/wife visited a ramen restaurant in Tokyo where he sampled the one spiciest ramen in Japan, the Devil Level Ramen. Watch our video below as he takes on a bowl of ramen that may just burn even a devil to ashes!
Birthday of the Month – Yuri Plisetsky
Yuri Piletsky is one of the main characters from the anime Yuri!!! on Ice. He is a competitive figure skater and trained under renowned coaches such as Yakov Feltsman and Lilia Baranovskaya. He was raised by his paternal grandfather, Nikolai in Moscow, Russia. They were very close, closer than Yuri’s relationship with his mother.
Figure skating since a young age, he moved from Moscow to Saint Petersburg to receive training from Yakov Feltsman. He dominated the Junior circuit until he moved to the Senior circuit. Yuri is the two-time consecutive Junior World Champion and Two-time consecutive Junior Grand Prix Final Champion. Due to his incredible talent, he is seen by many as the rising star in the figure skating world.
Yuri is an artist on the ice, performing with beauty an grace but the moment he steps from the ice he ‘transforms’ much like a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde persona into a foul-mouthed and rude person, dismissive of other people around him. This behaviour earned him the nickname ‘the Russian Punk’. It is not beneath him to threaten or intimidate to get his way. He yells a lot and is short-tempered, not an easy person to get along with.
Yuri’s birthday is on the 1st of March. He shares his birth month with Leorio from Hunter x Hunter, whose birthday is on the 2nd of March, and Sakura Haruno from the Naruto anime franchise whose birthday is on the 28th.
AMV of the month – Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is hugely popular, so you are probably familiar with the story: Through the arcane science of alchemy, two brothers tried to resurrect their dead mother. But something went horribly wrong, and the resurrection failed, extracting a high price from the brothers. Edward Elric lost his entire right arm and part of his left leg and his little brother Alphonse nearly died but is plucked from death as Edward desperately fused his brother’s soul to a suit of armour with alchemy before he passed out. Alphonse took his body to their adoptive family, the Rockbells who happens to be prosthetic (called automail in this world) experts, who fitted Edward with automail limbs. They set out on a journey, after recovering and learning more on alchemy at a special academy, to become State Alchemists, which will help Edward to do research as he aims to get their bodies back through alchemical means.
We bring you a super sugoi AMV showcasing this amazing anime. The song used in the AMV is Breaking Benjamin’s Dance with the Devil. The song is a perfect fit and already in the opening lyrics you can see that the words tell a similar ‘feel’ to how Edward and Elric must have felt like after losing their mother, and losing essentially who they were before the failed alchemical ritual:” Here I stand, helpless and left for dead/Close your eyes, so many days go by/Easy to find what’s wrong/Harder to find what’s right.” Enjoy the video!
March Anime Challenge – Canaan
Thank you to all that participated in our February Anime Challenge – Kino no Tabi. It was fun to follow Kino and Hermes’ adventures as they journeyed the world.
This month we have double the adventure as our challenge is the action anime, Canaan. (A Shout out to David from our Whatsapp group for suggesting this challenge). Canaan is a 13 episode series that centres on three women and how they are linked to each other, also to events surrounding an upcoming anti-terrorism summit in Shanghai, China. The three ladies are Canaan, a Middle-Eastern assassin and mercenary, Alphard, Canaan’s rival and head of a terrorist organization called Snake and lastly the reporter Maria Ōsawa, a victim of an attempted terrorist attack in Shibuya two years prior to the anime series. As they all cross paths it leads to armed interventions between Canaan and Alphard, who both have a deep and tragic history.
Anime Day – Fullmetal Alchemist Attack!
This Anime Day is going to pack a punch and you do not want to miss out! Not only will the Live-Action Fullmetal Alchemist movie be screened but also the Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale movie! These are but two of the screenings you can expect.
The event will take place on Saturday, March the 17th. It will start at 12:00 and end at 21:00. The venue is at Cool Runnings Centurion (120 Ivan Str, Hennops Park Centurion). Entrance, as always, will be free. There will be Popcorn, sponsored by Yummee! Treats, but first come first serve! There will be refreshments and delicious food specials available as well. Be sure to visit the meetup group or our FB Event Page for more detail.
Disclaimer: Please note that all videos are copyrighted to their respective owners.