March Anime Challenge – Koufuku Graffiti

Our anime challenge for March is Koufuku Graffiti also known as Gourmet Girl Graffiti. It is based on a four-panel manga written and illustrated by Makoto Kawai. It has 12 episodes and aired in Japan between January to March 2015. The opening theme is “Shiawase ni Tsuite Watashi ga Shitteiru Itsutsu no Hōhō” (The Five Methods of Obtaining Happiness That I’m Aware Of) by Maaya Sakamoto, and the ending theme is “Egao ni Naru” (Become a Smile) by Rina Satō and Asuka Ōgame. Rina Satō and Asuka Ōgame also plays the main characters Ryo and Kirin, respectively.

Ryo Machiko is a second-year middle school girl who has been living alone since her grandmother passed away. She is an exceptional cook but feels that her own cooking does not taste good. Then she met up with her second cousin, Kirin Morino, who starts to stay with Ryo over weekends while attending cram school in Tokyo. Will Kirin convince Ryo that she is a great cook?

Week 1 - 04 - 10 March

Episodes to Watch: 1 to 3

It is week 1 of our Koufuku Graffiti challenge and this week’s challenge is episode 1 to 3. One of the voice actresses in Koufuku Graffiti is Asuka Ōgame. She was born in the Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan and is affiliated with Sigma Seven. Except for her role for Kirin Morino she also starts in a very interesting cooking show on YouTube where she displays very …er… interesting cooking skills and it can end very entertaining where she tastes the food she cooked herself.

Here is the first video where Ōgame is dishing up some dasjimaki tamago (Japanese-style rolled omelette).

Her character in Koufuku Graffiti is Kirin, a girl the same age as main character Ryō, but since she is shorter in stature she looks 12 years old. She dreams of going to an art school in Tokyo and she attends the same art cram school as Ryō. The stays over at Ryō’s every Saturday and attend the classes every Sunday. A bit shy and childish, she is however very polite and well-mannered. She is a big eater but hates carrots. Let’s see how her hatred of carrots are overcome in the anime! Have a super sugoi week and enjoy the challenge.

Week 2 - 11 - 17 March

Episodes to Watch: 4 to 6

Konnichiwa minna! We are in the second week of our Koufuku Graffiti challenge. Last week we salivated with Kirin as her cousin Ryō prepared her scrumptious meals. In episode 1 we met both Kirin and Ryō. Ryō felt so alone. Her grandmother died a year before the first episode takes place and Ryō suffered from loneliness, so badly that it affected her cooking. Her food felt bland, empty. We can all relate as we all know that a meal shared is better than eating alone. A meal we cook for someone is more delicious as it becomes an act of love.

Luckily for Ryō, he life is about to change as her aunt phones her, asking if Ryō’s niece, Kirin can stay over on weekends because Kirin going to do art cram school at the same school Ryō is attending. That weekend Ryō meets up with Kirin at the station. Kirin showers her with ingredients like napa cabbage that she swiped from home, and Ryō uses these ingredients in some of her dishes for Kirin.

During the episode, Ryō makes Kirin a lot of yummy meals, and even have to deal with a very sick Kirin. To see how it ends, watch episode 1. One of the recipes in episode 1 was Kitsune Udon Noodles, a dish that Kirin absolutely adores. As a treat, we share a food video with you showing us how the meal can be done in real life! We watch as Frances the dog and his granny from the Cooking with Dog channel shows us how it is done.

We hope you enjoyed the food video. This week’s challenge is episode 4 – 6. Enjoy the challenge and have a super sugoi week!

Week 3 - 18 - 24 March

Episodes to Watch: 7 to 9

Konnichiwa minna! It is week 3 of our Koufuku Graffiti challenge. Episode 2 is one of the most interesting episodes in the series as it deals with several cultural interests in Japanese culture. In the episode we see the arrival of spring and how Japanese culture adjust to the new season. Ryo invites Kirin for a Hanami party. Hanami is a cherry blossom viewing event that all Japanese celebrate.

We also see Ryo prepare a popular Japanese dish called tamagoyaki and here is a video where the YouTube channel Yalo ChefCher teaches us how to prepare this popular tamago (egg) dish. Enjoy the video. Itadakimasu!!

There are lots of yummy recipes and interesting Japanese culture in Koufuku Graffiti. Join in the challenge and discover it with us. For those already part of the challenge, our episodes this week are episodes 7 – 9. Enjoy the challenge and have a super sugoi week!

Week 4 - 25 - 31 March

Episodes to Watch: 10 to 12

Konnichiwa Minna! We’re entering the last leg of our Koufuku Graffiti challenge. Episode 9 is the perfect episode to reflect on since it is about how the characters celebrate a whole year they visited and ate together over the weekends. Ryo goes shopping and while musing over what to make food to make for Kirin’s visit, her friend Shiina creepily whispers in Ryo’s ear to make Oden. Ryo in epic anime fashion falls to the ground, startled. They catch up and Ryo invites Shiina to spend New Year’s Eve with her and Kirin but Shiina regrettably declines the invitation.

Ryo returns home and cooks the Oden, but when it is near ready she is tempted beyond reasoning and starts to taste the yummy food from the pot. She realizes that if Kirin does not arrive soon enough, she’ll loose control and eat the yummy dish up all by herself. Meanwhile Kirin has trouble to get to the city since all the trains are packed by people trying to celebrate New Years Day… Will Ryo stop eating the oden before Kirin gets there, better yet, WILL Kirin get there in time? If you watch episode 9 you will know the answer, and if you did not we will not spoil the outcome for you. Watch it yourself, it is very funny! Curious on what this mouth-watering dish called Oden is? Here is a recipe video from the YouTube channel Ochikeron where know-how for Oden is shared with us.

We hope you enjoyed the yummy video. We definitely understand why Ryo couldn’t stop ‘tasting’ the scrumptious dish! There are lots of yummy recipes in Koufuku Graffiti. The fun part is watching the challenge and learning more about Japanese cuisine. Our episodes this week are episodes 10 – 12. Enjoy the challenge and have a super sugoi week!