Bento Buffet Shrine Edition

Bento Buffet Shrine Edition

Discover Japan's Shrines and Temples

Konnichiwa Minna! There are many anime that plays off at shrines and temples or has shrines and priests as a crucial part of the storyline like Kamisama Hajimemashita and Shiki. In this Bento we explore Shrines and Temples, learn a few Japanese words, look at Japanese Buddhist cuisine and much more. Join us in the fun and remember, we are YOUR monthly anime news source! Itadakimasu!!

The winter anime is in full swing, let’s look at some of the anime we have watched so far. In Yakusoku no Neverland we met three orphans named Ray, Norman and Emily. They were at the orphanage since birth, and their ward, who they address as mom warned them never to leave the confines of the institution. From the beginning the anime’s atmosphere is ominous as we discover that all children has numbers tattooed on their necks. We also learn that when the children turn twelve they leave the orphanage. One day Emma and Norman leaves the orphanage and make a very dark discovery. The orphanage is actually a meat farm and the children are raised to be food for demons. Our three heroes then start to make plans to escape the orphanage.

We also watched Sword Art Online: Alicization where Kirito discovered that he has been guided on his adventure the whole time by Cardinal. He learns of her plan to defeat the Administrator. She asks for his help and he decides to help her with conditions of his own. Kirito and Eugeo also learns how it may be possible to get their friend Alice back.

Anime News

Anime movies Made in Abyss & Saga of Tanya the Evil

Everybody that followed the anime series Made in Abyss fell in love with the orphan girl Riko. She lives, in the anime, on the edge of a humongous sink hole that reaches so far into the earth that no-one knows its true depths. That abysmal hole holds many treasures and is a spawning pool for dangerous monsters that habituate its seven levels. Riko one day receives word from her mother, an adventurer long lost that she has arrived at the sinkhole’s bottom, and she wants Riko to join her. Riko, equip with her knowledge of the Abyss and her mysterious robot sidekick, Reg, descends the Abyss to try and reach her mother…

In January this year, on the 4th and 8th two compilation Made in Abyss movies were released in Japan titled Made in Abyss: Tabidachi no Yoake and Made in Abyss: Horo Suru Tasogare. Now it seems there will be another Made in Abyss movie, which will follow after the series called Made in Abyss: Fukaki Tamashii no Reimei! Watch this space for more information on the movie as new news is released to the media.

On February 8th another anime movie treat awaits us. Earlier this January a trailer of the Saga of Tanya the Evil has been released. 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 upcoming movie will continue 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. New cast members include includes 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).

Fruits Basket

Many seasoned anime fanatiks may remember the original 26-episode Fruits Basket anime (Studio Deen) that was aired in 2001. That series deviated some of the manga’s plot points such as Shigure and Momiji’s behaviours. Now the manga is again adapted to anime, with promises that the whole manga is to be adapted. New staff and cast members, by the manga ‘s creator Natsuki Takaya’s request is working on the project and TMS Entertainment is doing the series’ production.

Staff members include Yoshihide Ibata (FLCL Progressive) as director, Taku Kishimoto (91 Days) doing series composition and Masaru Shindou (Macross Delta) on character design. Natsuki Takaya herself is the anime’s executive supervisor.

The cast includes Megumi Han (Hunter x Hunter), Rie Kugimiya (Toradora!), Makoto Furukawa (One-Punch Man), Manaka Iwami (Tsuki ga Kirei), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Date A Live), Yūma Uchida (Macross Delta), Yūichi Nakamura (Fairy Tail), Atsumi Tanezaki (The Ancient Magus’ Bride) and Satomi Satou (K-ON!). The anime will premiere in April.

Here is a synopsis of Fruits Basket released by Yen Press:

“After a family tragedy turns her life upside down, plucky high schooler Tohru Honda takes matters into her own hands and moves out…into a tent! Unfortunately for her, she pitches her new home on private land belonging to the mysterious Sohma clan, and it isn’t long before the owners discover her secret. But, as Tohru quickly finds out when the family offers to take her in, the Sohmas have a secret of their own–when touched by the opposite sex, they turn into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac!”

Rumiko Takahashi

Chances are that you grew up on the works of Rumiko Takahashi. She is a multi-awarded talented mangaka who gave us Ranma ½ (1987-1996), Inuyasha (1996 – 2008) and more recently Rin-ne (2009 – 2017). She was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award (1980, 2001), Seiun Award (1987, 1989) and Inkpot Award (1994) and In July 2018, she was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame.

In January 2019, Takahashi won the Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême, becoming the second Japanese artist to win the award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, the first being Katushiro Otomo, the author of the “Akira” series, who won in 2015. She was not able to receive her award in person but managing director of French publishing group Glenat, Jean Paciulli, received Takahashi’s award in her stead. 

TV Tokyo

Earlier in January TV Tokyo started streaming anime previously aired on television on their YouTube channel. It is a limited stream, as these series will only be available for a year. It includes about 20 series amassing to a total of more than 800 episodes. The channel adds 3 to 10 videos per weekday. These videos are sadly video-locked to Japan. So far videos of Inazuma Eleven: Football Frontier, Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary, Pochitto Hatsumei: Pikachin-Kit, Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories, Yōkai Watch, and Danbōru Senki has been added with more series to come. 

Anime Tidbits

Kawaii Kulture : Temples and Shrines

Japan is home to two main religions, Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture , but Buddhism itself was imported to Japan in the 6th Century. Shinto is a word that was created to distinct the native religion from Buddhism as well as Confucianism, imported belief-systems which was imported from China. Shinto, scholars believe, has its roots from the primitive ancestral believes of the worship of nature. The ancient Japanese honoured the sacred nature spirits that manifested in rocks, rivers, mountains and trees, pretty much like all our African, European, Asian etc. forefathers did, all over the word before the discovery of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Shinto practitioners believe that the Kami or Gods can influence human events and natural forces. They respond to human prayers and are close to humans.

These two religions have been co-existing peacefully, they even complement each other in unique ways. There are even people that believe that Shinto is a branch of Buddhism, but it is not true. Yet, some people practice both religions, which is not wrong, like we said they complement each other. You can even see Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples stand beside each other at some places!

There is little difference between a temple and shrine in Japan. Shinto are practiced at shrines and Buddhism at temples. Shrines are the dwellings of the Kami. Sacred objects are stored there in an innermost chamber where they are not seen by anybody, much like it is done in various religions around the world. Shrines are visited by people to pay respect to the Kami or to pray for good fortune.

Visiting Shrines and Temples has its own rules and etiquette. Here is a video to help us understand the do’s and don’ts of visiting them. Here is also an article with more information. 


Spread the Word & Word of the Month: Temple

Our word for the month is o-tera which means Temple.


Many people go to temple for prayer. – Ku no hito wa, o-mairi o shi ni jiin ni ikimasu.

I toured the temples in Kyoto. – Kyoto de o-tera-meguri o shita.

Traditional Food of the month: Shojin Ryori

Every belief system has its own cuisine and rules or taboos such as in some religions pork are not allowed in their diet, Some Hindus eat Modak during Ganesh Chaturthi and Japanese monks have a traditional dining style called shojin ryori. This specific cuisine style is made without the use of meat, fish and other meat products which can be enjoyed by meat-eaters and vegetarians. These meals are mostly centered around soybean-based food such as tofu, seasonal vegetables and wild mountain plants and it is believed that this cuisine helps to bring balance to mind, spirit and body. Buddhists believe that killing animals for human consumption clouds the spirit, meat also interferes with meditation. Certain strong flavours such as garlic are also prohibited. If you think that Buddhist food is bland think again, they are rich in flavour, and monks use the ‘rule of five’ which makes Shojin Ryori food interesting. Every meal offers five colours (green, yellow, red, black, and white) as well as five flavours (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami). To learn more about shojin ryori let’s watch this video! 

Here is a yummy tomato and turnip soup video, just to show you how creative one can get preparing a shojin ryori dish.

AMV of the month: Love is a Temple x Kimi no Na wa (Your Name)

Our AMV this month is Alok’s ‘Love Is A Temple (feat. IRO)’ featuring footage from the anime movie Kimi no Na wa (Your Name). The anime movie is a supernatural romance drama and tells the story of a high school girl yearning to live the life of a boy in the big city and a boy that hopes for a future in agriculture. One day they find themselves in each other’s bodies and in order to understand this mystery they begin to search for one another.

The Brazilian born DJ and record producer, Alok Achkar Peres Petrillo is best known for his worldwide hit song ‘Hear Me Now’. 


Anime Birthday of the Month: Nefertari Vivi

Our anime birthday this month is Princess Nefertari Vivi from the anime One Piece. Her birthday is on the second of February. Nefertari Vivi is the princess of Alabasta and daughter of Nefertari Cobra and Nefertari Titi. She has a cute spot-billed duck named Carue that is sometimes her steed. When we met her first she was one of the members of the nefarious Baroque Works and her code name was Miss Wednesday. After revealing to the Straw Hat Pirates that she is actually a spy, working against Baroque Works she joins them for most of the Alabasta Saga. She left them after that but we do catch up on her in One Piece from time to time.

Luffy offered to her a spot in his crew but she declined, wanting to restore her country, she is still, however, close to the Straw Hats and they mutually see her as an honorary member. That includes Carue, her spot-billed duck. Nefertari Vivi and Carue are fan favourites and when we catch up with her in One Piece every now and then we are happy.

Nefertari Vivi shares her birth month with Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran High Host Club) on the 4th of February and Nico Robin (One Piece) and Mewtwo (Pokemon) on the 6th of February.

February Anime Challenge: Red Data Girl


Our anime challenge this month is Red Data Girl, and we would like to thank our Whatsapp group, we gave them a few choices and Red Data Girl was the clear winner. Red Data Girl is an anime adaptation of a series of fantasy novels written by Noriko Ogiwara and illustrated by Ranmaru Kotone. Thus far there has been six volumes in the series.

Red Data Girl tells the story of 15-year old Izumiko Suzuhara, a girl who was raised at the Tamakura shrine, shrine that is part of the Kumano Shrines World Heritage Site. Izumiko has the ability to destroy any electrical device she touches. She is a shy teen-ager with a dream to live in the city so her guardian Yukimasa Sagara suggests that she enrols at Hojo High School in Tokyo where his son Miyuki is also a student. One day while Izumiko is on a middle school field trip, a deity named Himegami appears to her. She learns that she is a yorishiro, a vessel for a kami. She also finds out that because of that Miyuki has been tasked with protecting her.

This anime challenge is just right up our alley, since it goes with the Bento’s theme this month. We hope you will join us in unraveling the mystery that is Izumiko Suzuhara and enjoy all her adventures.


Anime Meetup: 23 February: Winter Season Review

Join us as we look at the winter season openers to see if we missed out any good anime this season. So far we have seen quite a number of great anime this season like Boogiepop wa Warawanai, Grimms Notes The Animation and Yakusoku no Neverland, and there might be more we missed! Bring a friend or two and come and enjoy the anime day with us!

Entrance is free and there are loads of in-house food and drink specials to enjoy at Cool Runnings on the day.

When : Saturday, February 23, 2019, 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: Cool Runnings, Centurion (120 Ivan Str, Hennops Park Centurion, Gauteng · Pretoria) The anime day is at the back of the club in the anime screening room.

For more info or to RSVP have a look at our Meetup Page and our Events Page.

South African Anime Awards

As promised in our last bento, we share the South African Anime Awards video with you. The South-Africa Anime Awards was made possible by Shirogane from Anime Awards SA who collaborated with TheEcchiBrosCosplay as well as AnimeFanatika to let South African anime fanatiks make their voices heard about which anime they think are the best. This is the second South Africa Anime Awards and we would like to thank all who participated, from the voters to all the people that made it possible. We thank the YouTube channel GCF Undefined for sharing the video with us.