It is Strawberry Season!!
Every season something new happens. In Spring trees blossom changing the world into a magic explosion of bright colours and in Autumn leaves fall carpeting the world in reds, yellows and browns. Even human life has it seasons. In Japan the Emperor stepped down from his station, the first monarch to abdicate the imperial throne of Japan in more than two centuries, his son, Naruhito now the new monarch of Japan, a new season is starting in Japan, a new era. Spring is the season for sakura blossoms and strawberries and we explore the strawberry lore and yummy recipes of Japan this month. Since Ichigo means ‘strawberry’ in Japanese, we visit the anime Bleach and watch a Bleach AMV and celebrate the birthdays of epic Bleach Characters. We have lots of treats in our bento this month. Enjoy the taste. Itadakimasu!!
Anime we watched
AnimeJapan's Top 10 Fan-Voted Most Wanted Anime Adaptations
At the recently concluded anime convention, Anime Japan 2019, in Tokyo they gave fans the opportunity to vote on which manga they would love to see adapted the most to anime, and the results were announced at the convention after over 190,000 fans voted to establish the top 10 list. Conditions to the nominations’ eligibility included that the manga had to be published in 2018 and that it had not already have had an anime adaptation.
Here is a list of the manga, of which some have not had any English translation yet.
10) Nishikida Keibu wa Dorobō ga Osuki by Mayuko Kanba
9) Kusuriya no Hitorigoto by Natsu Hyūga (novel) and Ikki Nanao (manga)
8) Satsukare by Daisuke+Asahi
7) Detective Conan: Zero’s Tea Time by Takahiro Arai
6) Uramichi Onii-san by Gaku Kuze
5) Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun by Iro Aida
4) Shoboshobo Man by Dan Ichikawa
3) Gunjō ni Siren by Mikan Momokuri
2) Tasū Ketsu by Taiga Miyakawa
1) Im: Great Priest Imhotep by Makoto Morishita
Immigration Shake down
We have heard of the fashion police but it seems there is a cosplay police or shall we say cosplay immigration police. Multiple cosplayers were arrested at an anime convention by the Malaysian Immigration Department (Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia; JIM) which was held at a hotel in Malasysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, on April 20th. 11 of 52 suspects were arrested of which one was a local man. They were suspected of abusing social visit passes and work permits and the ‘long arm of Jim caught the guilty parties of which were 5 Japanese nationals, 3 from Singapore, 2 from Thailand and one from Hong Kong.
Immigration director Hamidi Adam said: “Investigations have revealed that the detained foreigners have been in the country for a few days using a social visit pass. However, some have also misused work permits given to participate in the festival.” Let this be a lesson to us to always know the country where we are visiting’s guidelines for foreign work visas and other information to make our stay there as respectful possible.
Saga of Tanya the Evil
In February the movie Saga of Tanya the Evil (Yōjo Senki) opened in Japanese movie theaters. Saga of Tanya the Evil follows the life of a businessman that found himself reincarnated as Tanya von Degurechaff, a little girl. In a world of magic and war s/he is tasked by a supernatural being to survive the war and die a natural death or face hell for all the evil and sins s/he has committed. The movie continued the story of the anime series focusing on Major Tanya von Degurechaff and Warrant Officer Mary Sioux. You see Tanya killed Mary’s father in battle, and Mary is dead set on exacting revenge.
Most of the anime’s staff and cast returned for the movie and new cast members included Cho (One Piece); Takashi Inagaki (Kingdom Hearts); Toshiyuki Morikawa (the 1997 Berserk); Jun Fukushima (A Place Further than the Universe); and Mutsumi Tamura (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid). According to the anime adaptation’s official Twitter account the franchise’s anime movie has earned 400 million yen at the box office. It earned 100 yen already in its first 5 days, 200 million yen by February 23rd. USA anime fanatiks will be pleased to learn that the movie will screen in more than 500 theaters in the US on May 16th.
In Memory of Kazuo Koike
It was a great loss for the manga community. On April 17, 2019, Kazuo Koike died due to pneumonia at the age of 82. The man was a manga titan best known for his manga Lone Wolf and Cub and Crying Freeman. Kazuo Koike’s passing is a great loss for Marvel Comics as well as he worked with Marvel a few times. He wrote Hulk: The Manga in the early 1970s, as well as a story in X-Men Unlimited (Issue 50) in 2003.
Some of his manga like Lone Wolf and Cub, Lady Snowblood and Crying Freeman were adapted into live-action movies. He created a golf manga and mahjong manga as well, showing that his manga talents did not just lie in Action Manga. He also started a college course, the Gekiga Sonjuku, which teaches people how to be a mangaka. It is no wonder that in 2004 Koike was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.
Kazuo Koike was an inspiration to many artists on many levels. His leaves a huge legacy behind as teacher and as story teller. His work will continue to inspire, and touch new fans. We salute you, Kazuo Koike.
Kawaii Kulture – The history of Strawberries in Japan
Strawberries are spring fruit. While it is true that Strawberries are available through out the year, even in wintry December, this delicious fruit’s actual season is from early spring until early summer. Strawberries has been a beloved fruit in Japan for centuries. In ‘the Pillow Book’ by Sei Shonagon (written in the 990 to early 1000s) it was a sweet treat enjoyed by the Heian Imperial court. But the strawberries mentioned were wild strawberries. As for the strawberries we all know, the so-called ‘Dutch Strawberry’, entered Japan in the 1840s and were mostly enjoyed as ornamental plants!
Only after the second world war strawberries became affordable for the general public, since before that it was a very expensive and rare fruit. Japan is deep in the strawberry business. It has been the seventh largest producer of strawberries globally, since 2013. Japanese Strawberries, are also some of the most unique, as there are many varieties available and new ones are introduced to the world on a yearly basis. Examples are the Tochi Otome (Togichi maiden), a small, sweet, aromatic variety from Tochigi Prefecture and the Amao (Sweet King), sweet enormous berries four or five the size of other berries from Fukuoka Prefecture.
There is also a tale in folklore of a man that was chased by a ferocious tiger across a field. At the edge of said field was an enormous cliff. Our hero in a last act of desperation caught hold of a vine and swung himself over the edge of the cliff, holding on for dear life, but also trying to be safe from the tiger. As he was dangling there he looked down only to see more tigers at the bottom of the cliff, and to add to his dismay two mice were gnawing on the vine he was holding. He now know that his goose was cooked, he was going to die. Just then he noticed a wild strawberry growing on the cliff wall. Clutching the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other hand and popped it into his mouth. He realized just how sweet a strawberry could taste. That is where the story ends. Well, at least he had that strawberry before meeting his maker.
Spread the word - Ichigo
Strawberry in Japanese is Ichigo. When the word Ichigo comes to mind, most Bleach fan would immediately think of the Shinigami Ichigo from Bleach. Hard to think that such a fierce warrior has such a cute name!
The word Ichigo is not a Japanese loan word borrowed from Chinese or Korean, it is a proper indigenous word. Our word for this month is actually a sentence. Ichigo miruku ga sukidesu – I love strawberry milk
Here are a few new food words to learn. First a conversation
Yuki: HANBAAGAA ga suki desu. SANDOITCHI mo suki desu.
Riku: Hai. SANDOITCHI ga suki desu. Ichigo miruku ga sukidesu!!
Yuki: I like hamburgers. I also like sandwiches.
Riku: Yes, I like Sandwhiches. I love strawberry milk!
If you listen to the words well, Hamburgers and sandwiches in Japanese might be easy to learn. Hanbaagaa – Hamburgers
Sanoitchi – Sandwhiches
Remember our sentence for the week!
Ichigo miruku ga sukidesu – I love strawberry milk
Recipe of the month - Rose Crepe Cake
We watch Rie from the Tasty YouTube channel make a us yummy Rose Crepe Cake filled with strawberry goodness. The dish looks sexy and yummy, a rose of crepes blossoming cream and strawberries, surely it will make your guests’ mouths water. Enjoy the recipe!
Top 5 Slice of Life anime
Slice of Life is a genre that feels natural in a sense as we experience life with the characters. We feel part of their lives. Some examples include anime such as anime like Beck (aka Mongolian Chop Show) where we experience the life and growth of a young musician as he gets pulled into the life of an entertainer or Great Teacher Onizuka where we experience the life of a gangster-turned-school-teacher. Slice of Life can cross other genres such as Fantasy (Mahoutsukai no Yome), Adventure (Kino no Tabi), Supernatural (Fruits Basket) or drama (Heidi). Here is our top 5 Slice of Life anime recommendations.
Great Teacher Onizuka
Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara
Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori
Birthday of the Month: Yuzu and Karin Kurosaki (Bleach)
In the anime Bleach there are two beloved side characters, the young twin sisters of the main protagonist Ichigo, named Karin And Yuzu Kurosaki. They are fraternal twins and the daughters of Isshin and Masaki Kurosaki. They were born when Ichigo was four years old. They used to cry a lot but at age 5 their mother Masaki died. That caused them to mature faster.
Yuzu decided to take over the household and to look after the family. Karin on the other hand decided to contribute by never causing her family to worry about her and thus she stopped crying even if she was injured or upset. They also work as nurses in their father’s clinic, the Kurosaki Clinic. Did you know some of the differences in their story lines in the manga and anime? In the manga, when Fishbone D the hollow attack the Kurosaki Clinic Yuzu is grabbed by the Hollow and Karin warns Ichigo about the hollow, but in the anime it is the other way around.
The twins may not be main characters but they are well-loved by Bleach manga and anime Fanatiks. They celebrate their birthday on the 6th of May. Other anime characters who share their birth month are Gon Freecs from Hunter X Hunter on the 5th of May and Toriko from the anime Toriko on the 25th.
AMV of the month: Bleach x When Legends Rise x Godsmack
Our AMV for may is When Legends Rise by Godsmack with footage from the anime movie Bleach The Movie 4: Hell Verse. Godsmack hails from Lawrence, Massachusetts in the U.S.A and was formed in 1995. The band consists of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin. Godsmack accomplished much since it’s beginning including 7 studio albums, an EP and four DVDs to name a few. Chances are that you grew up or old listening to some of their hits like ‘I Stand Alone‘ and ‘Voodoo‘.
Enjoy the AMV!
May Anime Challenge: Nana
Our May anime challenge is the romance/ slice of life/ music anime Nana, based on the Manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Ai Yazawa. The manga itself ran from 2000 to 2009 in Cookie Magazine when it went on hiatus. The anime series ran from 2006 to 2007 and was animated by Madhouse, directed by Morio Asaka and written by Tomoko Konparu. It has a brilliant music score and boast with memorable openings by actresses from the series such as the series first and third openings and third ending songs which were performed by Anna Tsuchiya.
The anime series’ name take inspiration from its two main characters who are both Nana by name. Small town girl Nana Komatsu follows her boyfriend to Tokyo, hoping to live her dream life while the other Nana, Nana Osaki used to be a member of a popular punk rock band in her home town and now finds her in the city of Tokyo with the goal of making it big as a vocalist. These two Nanas meet on the train to Tokyo, and later run into each other again when they happen to check out the same apartment and decide that they must be room mates. The series shows us their friendships and lives in a classic slice of life style was the Nanas chase their dreams. It is filled with great music, animation and voice acting, so be ready for a great challenge this month.
Anime Day: Spring Roundup
Winter in Japan is gone and Spring is in the hair with the Sakura trees in full bloom. Time for us to see what anime is on offer this season and what goodies to look for.
Join us on the 4th to watch some anime and pick your favourites. Cool Runnings will also be having a geek out day to celebrate May the Fourth with board games, Vampire VTES and other surprises which starts at 10h00.
Entrance is free! Grab a friend and come join us for a super sugoi day.
When: Saturday, May 4, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Place: Cool Runnings, Centurion (120 Ivan Str , Hennops Park Centurion, Pretoria)
How to find us at venue: The anime day is in the back of the club in the anime screening room
Be sure to look at our event page on our website as we may update with more news on events.