Putting the Kawaii in Culture
We can learn much from a country and its culture from its seasons and Japan has a rich and unique seasonal culture. Every season has its own cuisine culture, like eating Oden or Chestnuts in the fall, or interesting festivals and public holidays like Japan’s Bunka no Hi (Japan’s culture day) on the 3rd of November. In this bento, we look at some elements of the culture of Japan in the fall season. We share food lore, find out more about Sakura blossoms and also dish up exiting anime news. Itadakimasu!!
First Episode impressions
There are some great new anime series this season. In the first episode of Black Clover we learn that Asta is the type of person that has to work extra hard since the gift of magic that everyone else in the world has, was not given to him. He reminds one of Rock Lee from the Naruto franchise in that regard. Black Clover is an exciting anime, with likeable characters that are not shy to do the hard work of giving the watcher character development and solid storylines.
Every anime season there is one dark series that make some anime fanatiks shudder, whether from the love of horror and mystery of from the hate of it. This season we have such a series that may rival great horror anime such as Another and Mirai Nikki. In Ousama Game a presumably supernatural force holds a class of students’ hostage through text message. They receive’tasks’ on their cell phones and if the students do not play along with the force who calls itself the King’s game they get punished by gruesome and fatal means.
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. The animation is beautifully orchestrated and the background is beautifully drawn. In the first episode, ‘A Country Where People Can Kill Others’ a valuable lesson about consequences of one’s actions is weaved into the plot of the episode.
Want to know more about this season’s anime, then have a look at our Ten Fall Season 2017 Anime Recommendations.
Attack on Titan Season 3 update
When Attack on Titan season 1 ended all Attack on Titan fanatiks were stranded in a limbo for quite some time, wishing for more of the epic action fantasy series. After that long wait in limbo, season 2 finally arrived earlier this year, but the season was shorter than season 1. In the final episode of season 2, it was revealed that there will be a third season in 2018. Some fanatiks of the anime voiced that they are afraid that we would wait long for the third season like we did for the third season but earlier this month at the Attack on Titan Reading ＆ Live Event Orchestra performance it was not only confirmed that we WILL see the third season next year, but also that the third season will air in July 2018’s summer season.
An added bonus is that the second season is to be edited into a compilation movie which is due to open on January 13, 2018. The movie’s title will be “Kakusei no Hōkō” (The Roar of Awakening). The official website for the anime also revealed that most of the staff and cast that worked on the second season will return but that the new season will not include season 2’s chief animator, Ayumi Yamada. Please watch this space for more updates!
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
Remember the fourth Full Metal Panic! Anime series we hinted about? The series was supposed to premiere this fall season but it has been pushed back for the spring anime season of 2018. The anime series has been around for more than 15 years. In 2002 it started with the Full Metal Panic! 24-episode series, followed by the 12-episodic parody series ‘Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu in 2003 and the last series, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid in 2005, which spanned 13-episodes.
The anime series, based on the Full Metal Panic! Light novels, follows Sousuke Sagara, a member of a covert anti-terrorist private military organization known as Mithril, under orders to protect Kaname Chidori, a spirited Japanese high school girl. He moves to Japan to study at Chidori’s school, Jindai High School and is assisted by his comrades Kurz Weber and Melissa Mao. Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu is different from the other two seasons as it is more a parody that focuses more on romance than the threat on Chidori’s life.
Shoji Gatoh, born July 11, 1971 (age 44) is a Japanese author from Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Gatoh is best known for the creation of the Full Metal Panic! series that included light novels, manga and anime, but he is also the writer behind the Amagi Brilliant Park novels that also became an anime series last year. Gatoh is actively involved in the manga as well as anime versions of his work. His Full Metal Panic! Light novel series ran for 23 volumes from 1998 to 2011.
Fujimi Shobo announced the new series at the ‘Fantasia Bunko Big Thanksgiving 2015’ event. No other information was given about the newly planned continuation of the popular anime series. Now we bring you new news about the hit series. At the Fantasia Bunko Festival 2017 a new promotional video was screened and we learned more developments about the upcoming anime.
The anime will be directed by Katsuichi Nakayama (assistant director for Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo) at studio XEBEC. Shoji Gatoh, the Full Metal Panic! novelist is writing the scripts as well as handling the series composition. The character designer is Osamu Horiuchi (Full Metal Panic!, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid) joined by Aya Yamamoto (animation director for My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!) as the sub-character designer. Some of the upcoming anime’s returning cast includes: Tomokazu Seki as Sousuke Sagara, Satsuki Yukino as Kaname Chidori, Ikue Kimura as Kyoko Tokiwa, Toshiyuki Morikawa as Atsunobu Hayashimizu, Rio Natsuki as Eri Kagurazaka, Yukana as Teletha “Tessa” Testarossa, Shinichiro Miki as Kurz Weber, Michiko Neya as Melissa Mao, and Kazuhiro Yamaji as Kurama.
Granblue Fantasy the Animation
The Granblue Fantasy the Animation’s official Twitter page announced earlier this month that a new anime series is in the work. Not a lot of information was shared by the time this article is written but we can speculate that it will most definitely be a sequel to the 13 episode anime that premiered in April. The anime is based on a smartphone game.
The anime is about a boy named Gran and his talking winged lizard, Vyrn that come across a girl Lyria, who escaped the power-hungry Erste Empire. Gran and Vyrn try to keep her from the evil Empire’s reach. The world is a world of skies, a world filled with islands adrift in the sky making their escape very interesting to see in the anime. As we learn more on the sequel season we will keep you updated so watch this space!
For almost 1000 episodes we have watched a boy and his Pikachu travels the woods and towns of the world, catching Pokémon while being stalked by two ominous weirdos in white jumpsuits with their Meowth. The kid is Ash Ketchum, and though, after hundreds of episodes of trying to win a league, he is still deadset on becoming a Pokémon Master. Currently, he retired from wandering around and decided to go to school in the Alola region.
That is just one way to describe the amazing adventure anime called Pokémon that became a culture brand of its own and a household name. Since it started it had various seasons, the currently being Pokémon Sun & Moon. The anime franchise’s 1000th episode will air on November 9th and comedian Sunshine Ikezaki will voice the Pokémon Hypno (known as Sleeper in Japan) for that episode. We congratulate the Pokémon anime team that has charmed so many children over the last 20 years with their upcoming 1000th episode. Have you seen the series? You have to catch ‘em all! Here is an updated Pokémon rap to introduce you to some of the adorable creatures in the anime.
Interesting tidbits from the realms of Anime
Kawaii Kulture – Sakura blossoms in the fall
We have shared with you tales of the Sakura blossoms in spring in previous bento buffets and kawaii kulture articles but many of us have not known that Sakura trees also sometimes bloom in the fall season! So when the Japanese go out to do Momijigari, in other words, go out to visit areas to observe the leaves that turn red in autumn, chances are that at some places there will not only be the red, yellow and brown leafs falling to the ground but also a Sakura trees falling bloom leafs. The view must be spectacular. So if you are lucky you can see Sakura blooms from September to December. Japan even has fall foliage forecast for its citizens to help them find the right spots for the well-loved tradition of autumn leaf hunting. Most Japan Autumn days are rather pleasant, with the summer heat gone, and some days cool and some days rainy.
Word of the Month
Our Japanese word for this month is Sakura which can mean the ‘flowering cherry tree’ as well as the cherry blossom. It is a well-loved word in Japan and many anime characters also are names Sakura. Here we have a few examples:
Sakura Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura (Anime and Manga –main character),
Sakura Haruno from the Naruto anime and manga franchise – Major character,
Sakura Matō from Fate/Stay Night – a major character in the visual novel with her own path choice and she is in all the anime based on that specific visual novel,
Sakura Rokujo, anime and manga series Tokko, one of the Main characters.
There are many more characters named Sakura in Anime and Manga series.
Traditional Japanese Recipes
Japanese Chestnuts (Kuri)
One big favourite fall season ingredient is The Japanese Chesnut known as Kuri in Japanese. Archaeological proof of its importance (they found charred chestnuts at those sites more than 9,000 years old. ) to the cultur of the people of Japan has been found at archaeological sites of the Jomon period settlements. (That is roughly 10,000 – 200 B.C.) Chestnuts are also known to be used in Shinto rituals in certain parts of Japan and an important as an osehi (cuisine part of the New Years’s festivals).
It is also in anime used a lot in different ways such as the Ranma ½ episode ‘Behold! The “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” Technique’ where female Ranma use picking chestnuts from a fire without burning her hands to learn a martial art technique, and in Toriko’s 72nd episode where Dream Chestnuts are one of the dishes served at a food stand at a temple.
Chestnuts are very hard to peel, and in Japan, they cook chestnuts in salted water to make it easier to peel, while in Europe they roast chestnuts. Best way to do this is to soak the chestnuts for a few hours (overnight is even better), drain them and then place them in a pan. Cover them with water and add a teaspoon of salt per litre of water. Once it starts to boil, allow it to cook for ten minutes, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. After that, you can leave them to cool in the water. The chestnuts can then be halved easily and the yummy goodness can be scooped out with a spoon.
Here are two chestnut recipes. Just click on the recipe name to see the videos.
Chestnut Rice recipe
Birthday of the month
Our birthday character for the month is none other than Rock Lee who celebrates his birthday on November 27th. We all know him as a shinobi that works hard to make up for his shortcomings in any way he can. Even if he lacks certain skills that are usually associated with being a ninja, he makes up for that with her never-say-never attitude, something that his sensei Might Guy, imparted to him. Guy-sensei gave him special training, and it was so successful that he became taijutsu master that must not be messed with.
This young shinobi is a focused, energetic, hot-blooded and single-minded person. He is also very forgiving; he forgave Gaara for crushing his arm and leg and even became good friends with him. He also speaks respectfully to others and never uses swear words, a real gentleman. He is determined, a recurring which we can see throughout both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, always seeking to improve himself.
Many people do not know that he has his own spin-off anime series called Rock Lee and his Ninja Pals. The series spans 51 episodes and all the voice actors from the Naruto anime retain their acting roles in the series. It is filled with humour and small sketches and does not follow the main storyline of Naruto Shippuden and quite fun to watch.
AMV Of The Month
When you listen to the song Rise by the band Skillet enough and think of Attack on Titan season 2 then the intro lyrics of the song makes sense and fitting for an AMV: ‘All I see is, shattered pieces/I can’t keep it, hidden like a secret/ I can’t look away/ From all this pain, in the world we’ve made’. So this month our AMV is just that, the song Rise by Skillet with scenes from Attack on Titan’s second season!
Skillet is a rock band that hails from Memphis, Tennessee and currently consists of John Cooper on lead vocals and bass, his wife Korey on rhythm guitar, keyboards and backing vocals and Seth Morrison on lead guitar. The band formed in1996 and so far released nine albums!
Monthly anime challenge – BTOOOM!
Last month our monthly anime challenge was the anime Mononoke, which was a nice horror anime to keep up the Halloween spirit. This month we have a very exciting challenge lined up. Our November challenge is the Game Action anime Btooom! Which is filled with elements of romance as well as psychological themes. It is based on the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Junya Inoue.
Btooom! Tells the story of the 22-year-old gamer Ryota Sakamoto. He gets ‘nominated’ to participate in a real-life version of the game. He one day wakes up on a tropical island, not remembering how he got there in the first place. When someone attacks him with explosives he realizes that he is trapped and that he is in danger. He is trapped inside the game he loved so much. And he must fight for his survival. He also meets his love interest Himiko for the first time.( She is his in-game wife.) They, with the help of fellow gamers, must find a way to return to the real world. Be sure to look on our FB page as the challenge is updated every week.
The next anime meetup will be held on the 16th of December and it will be a Free For All Anime Day. Please have a look out on our meetup page, as well as our Facebook Page. We also have a WhatsApp page and our South-African readers that wish to be part of the Whatsapp group can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the group.
Throughout December there will be an anime survey to see which anime of 2017 is our readers’ favourite anime! The survey will be divided into 4 forms (you only have to fill out the first 2). “Best anime”, “Worst anime”, “Most surprising, and “most disappointing”. all lists contain every anime shown this year, so every anime has a chance of being nominated as “Best” or “worst” of the year. in the event that we missed a series that you liked, you can add in your own favourite. Please note, this only applies to series titles that STARTED running in 2017. great shows like “All out!!” are not included. More details to follow in our next bento as well on our Facebook page.