Spring into action with an early edition Bento
We bring you an earlier-than-usual Bento Buffet, just in time to enjoy for the long weekend. We aren’t the only ones having a holiday because as usual in Japan there is the spring holiday called Golden Week. Wherever you are and whatever you are celebrating, have a super sugoi holiday and enjoy our Bent. We are YOUR source for monthly anime news. Itadakimasu!!
The spring season anime so far has a couple of great gems. We look at a few anime episodes that aired so far. In Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori we meet four tall dark and handsome young men running a café. The setting is beautiful, the café is surrounded by a little bamboo forest (yes, it is in the middle of the city). The four men serve delicious looking food while caring and helping a patron with their problems. In the first episode, they are working out they café’s spring menu and at the same time helping out an overworked woman to change her life in a profound way.
In the anime Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi, we meet Aoi, a girl with the ability to see Ayakashi (Yokai). She loves feeding them as she finds them on the road. One day she feeds an ogre and he spirits her away to the spirit world. He gives her an ultimatum that Aoi should become his bride because her grandfather owed him. She is very reluctant to become an ogre’s bride and tries to go around the town to find a work, determined to pay her grandfather’s debt off with hard work. No-one wants to hire her and when things seem dark for her help comes in the form of a nice fox spirit that wants to help her.
Our last anime will catch your attention if you loved the anime Isekai Shokudou (Restaurant from another World). The anime is called Isekai Izakaya – Koto Aitheria no Izakaya Nobu. The anime is about a bar in Japan with a magical door that opens up in a fantasy world. Each episode has two parts. The first segment focuses on the bar and its patrons and their reactions to Japanese cuisine. The second segment is a live-action cooking episode where a chef puts his spin on one of the dishes that feature in the anime part of the episode. Both segments are highly enjoyable.
Want to know more about this season’s anime? Why not look at our Ten Spring Season 2018 Anime Recommendations!
This Month in Anime
Pokémon the Movie: Everyone’s Story
A second trailer and third teaser started streaming earlier this month for the upcoming Pokémon the Movie: Everyone’s Story, the 21st Pokémon movie in the franchise. 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.
The movie features a returning cast: Rica Matsumoto (as Satoshi or Ash), Ikue Ōtani (as his Pikachu), Megumi Hayashibara (as Musashi), Shinichiro Miki (as Kojiro), Inuko Inuyama (as Nyarth) and Unshō Ishizuka as the Narrator
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. Eiji Umehara (Grimoire of Zero) and Aya Takaha are writing the script and Wit Studio (Attack on Titan) is handling the animation production in collaboration with Studio OLM. The movie will hit Japanese theatres on July 13.
In Memoriam – Isao Takahata
It is with sadness that we have to report that anime legend Isao Takahata passed away on April 6th. The 82-year old anime icon passed away at a hospital, losing the fight against lung cancer. He leaves behind a legacy that enriched the world of anime. He was a renowned anime director and also the Studio Ghibli co-founder. He has directed several well-loved anime like Heidi Girl of the Alps, Anne of Green Gables, Grave of The Fireflies and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. He also did several episodes of Lupin III.
Isao Takahata is a cultural Icon of Japan, he will be missed and his legacy will entertain generations of anime fanatics still.
ISLAND, an anime adaptation based on the 2016 visual novel by Front Wing is something to look forward to this July. The anime’s setting is Urashima, an island cut off from the mainland thanks to the actions of its ruling families as well as a mysterious contagion. A young man named Setsuna washes up on the island shore, claiming that he has no memories except for his name and that he was sent from the future to save all of Urashima. He gains the help of the daughters of the three ruling families and together they try to unravel all the island’s mysteries. Island is directed by Keiichi Kawaguchi
Live-action Mob Psycho 100 series
If you are into Mob Psycho 100 and love Japanese J-Dramas then we have good news for you. As part of Netflix’s May line-up in the USA, the Japanese live-action will debut on May 22nd. As Mob Psycho 100 enthusiasts know, the series was first a manga, written by ONE, who is also the mangaka that brought us, One-Punch Man. The series was also adapted into an anime series which ran from July to September in 2016. The live-action series already premiered on Netflix in Japan in January as well as on TV TOKYO and BS Japan in the same month.
The live-action was directed by Kōichi Sakamoto and produced by Fuminori Kobayashi, and Reiko Yoshida and Kei Kunii wrote the scripts. The series cast included Tatsuomi Hamada, Kazuki Namioka, Yūki Yoda and Akio Ohtsuka. Mob Psycho 100 tells the story of Mob, a school student with powerful psychic abilities that uses his power to exorcise evil entities and spirits.
We have seen some crazy Pepsi commercials over the years, but in Japan when they do Pepsi, the do it epic. On April 17th a new Pepsi commercial hit the airwaves that look like it is the love child of a Mad Max movie, a music festival, a Post-Apocalyptic world and Pepsi. It is all to advertise the new Pepsi J-Cola. With a scary budget, 150 dancers and a truckload of celebrities it is a commercial that looks and feels more than a mini-movie than just a simple commercial.
Interesting tidbits from the realms of Anime
A brief commentary on Anime, Manga, and Autism
Every April is World Autism Month, and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. South African Youtuber GCF Manga & Anime released a very informative video on a brief commentary on Anime, Manga and Autism earlier this month. It is great to see the anime community reach out to tackle real-life situations and show its relevance in anime.
Spread the word – 25 useful kitchen words
If there is one thing all human have in common it is food. It is a language of its own just by taste, aroma and presentation. But food’s best friend is the kitchen. What if you have to cook for a Japanese person and you’re looking for the grater? If you know the word it can help already. Even if you just know a few words for kitchen tools or appliances it can help out a lot! Here are 25 useful words to learn!
Bowl – bouru
Can opener – kankiri
cabinet – todana
Chopsticks – ohashi
Cutting Board – manaita
drain – haisuiko
Fork – foku
freezer – reitoko
fridge – reizoko
Frying Pan – furaipan
Grater – oroshiki
kitchen – daidokoro
Kitchen Knife – hocho
Knife – naifu
lid – futa
Mixing Bowl – boru
oven – obun
Plate – osara
Pot in Japanese is nabe
Rice Cooker in Japanese is suihanki
saucepan – sosupan
Spatula – hera
Spoon – supun
stove – konro
whisk – awadateki
How to pronounce words can also be a hurdle, but here is a video with even more kitchen words and how to pronounce them. Enjoy the lesson!
Traditional Japanese spring snacks – Taiyaki
Since it is spring in Japan we look at a dish that is well loved in springtime: Taiyaki. It only takes a few minutes to make! Some of you might remember that in the anime Kannon there is a girl named Ayu Tsukimiya that loves hot taiyaki or you might remember this snack from the anime Clannad. Taiyaki translates to ‘baked steam bream’ and is a fish-shaped cake, imitating the shape of Tai (Japanese Red Sea bream).
Taiyaki’s history is older than a hundred years; it started out as a street food in Tokyo in 1909. In 1975 its popularity soared thanks to a song, Oyoge! Tayaki-kun! (‘Swim! Taiyaki!’) hit the no. 1 spot in the Japanese music charts. The song held that position for 11 straight weeks! This popular dish went through many creative evolutions as people kept inventing fillings to spice it up. The most common filling for taiyaki is red bean paste made from azuki beans. Other fillings may include chocolate, custard or even cheese. There are even shops that sell pink sakura-flavoured taiyaki in spring.
Taiyaki is made using regular pancake or waffle batter. The batter they pour into a fish-shaped mould (for each side), then the filling is added to the one side and the mould is closed. Both sides are the cooked until golden brown. Here are the ingredients: 150 g (, about 1¼ cup) cake flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 egg, beaten, 200 ml (about ¾ cup) milk, 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar, 100 g (5 Tbsp.) anko/red bean paste or filling of your choice and 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Here is a video to guide you through the whole baking process.
Birthday of The Month – Piccolo
Piccolo (or Piccolo Jr) is a Namekian and the final child and reincarnation of Demon King Piccolo. He celebrates his birthday on the 9th of May. He is a very wise strategist and battle expert who used to be a ruthless enemy and the main antagonist of the anime Dragon Ball. Later he becomes friends with Goku and becomes one of the Z fighters, due to a close bond that forms between him and Goku’s son Gohan, whom he trained when Gohan was a child. His bond with Gohan is very strong; during Frieza’s Revenge in Dragon Ball Super, he sacrificed his life to save Gohan from Frieza’s Death Beam. Piccolo also trained Goten to fight Majin Buu and he trained Trunks. In Dragon Ball Super he trained Gohan again to help him regain his fighting instincts and showing the Z-fighter some of his battle flaws. Piccolo, along with Kami and King Piccolo, as part of the Dragon Clan, are reputed to be the original creators of the Dragon Balls.
Piccolo and most of his family were named after musical instruments, but apparentl,y, Piccolo means ‘another world’ in Namekian! Piccolo is Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball’s favourite character (although he also said in an interview with Shonen Jump that Goku is his favourite, maybe he just can’t choose between the two epic characters). It is interesting to note that in a 2006 Dragon Ball/One Piece manga crossover manga called Cross Epoch, Piccolo appeared as a swordsman alongside Roronoa Zoro from One Piece.
AMV Of The Month – Blue Stahli – Down In Flames starring Piccolo
What better way to celebrate Piccolo’s birthday than with a rocking AMV! Blue Stahli hails from Detroit, Michigan. It is a multi-genre project that is the brainchild of Bret Autrey. Blue Stahli’s music appeared in many games as well as movie trailers.
May Anime Challenge – Blade And Soul
First, we would like to thank all that participated in last month’s challenge which featured the anime Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka. We hope you enjoyed the adventure with us! To newcomers that wonder just what the challenge is the rules are very simple. We all watch an anime that is suggested by AnimeFanatika. Every week, on Monday, we give you the episodes you must watch. All you do is then watch the episodes. The challenge is just for all of us to maybe explore and anime we have not seen, or an old favourite that we are revisiting. The challenge is just about having fun!
This month’s challenge is the Anime Blade and Soul. The anime tells the tale of Alka, an assassin for the Clan of the Sword. She is on a self-imposed quest to find a woman named Jin Valel, the woman who killed Alka’s master, Hon. On her journey, she also encounters three strange women, each a formidable warrior herself. The anime focuses on the futility of vengeance, as well as the stubbornness that envelops one when you know better but instead follows down the darker path.
Blade and Soul is a Japanese anime adaptation of a Korean fantasy martial-arts MMORPG which was developed by NCSOFT (Team Bloodlust). The anime aired from April to June 2014 and was directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki and Hiroshi Takeuchi, scripts were written by Atsuhiro Hamasaki. Production was done at Studio Gonzo.
There is no anime meetup for May, but we will keep you posted for the anime day in June, so watch this space for more!