Noodle Edition Bento Buffet

Noodle Edition Bento Buffet

A Noodle Adventure

We’re going on a Noodle-themed adventure as we explore the types of noodles in Japan, learn how to order Ramen in a Ramen Restaurant, learn about Japanese cuisine and watch a crazy AMV about anime chefs. We also bring you news on our Anime Challenge for September and we update you on the Kyoto Animation arson attack we reported about last month and other news. Get ready your salt and pepper, grab that spatula, let’s get cooking! We are your Monthly source for anime news! Itadakimasu!!

Anime News

ID: Invaded

Who does not love a great murder mystery especially if it is an anime? Well Fate/Zero director Ei Aoki is brewing us up a trippy murder mystery set in an incomprehensible virtual world. Produced by Kadokawa, the series titled ID: Invaded is set to hit the screens in 2020.

Imagine a world filled with tumbling, floating houses, land masses that collide and disappearing structures and that is the virtual world of ID: Invaded. The dream world makes you think of the anime movie Paprika or the movie The Cell (2000). Our main protagonist, detective Sakaido finds him in this bizarre world, investigating the death of Kaeru, a young girl that was fatally stabbed to death. The anime is scripted by novelist Otaro Maijo, with Daisuke Mataga (Grimoire of Zero) as main animator and Kenjiro Tsuda (Fire Force) is the voice of Sakaido.

Seeking African Hero!

Ever dreamed of becoming a mangaka, your dream may be a reality. The Japanese publisher Hakusensha is holding two contests for overseas artists. Hakusensha is accepting applications for

“African Sci-Fi Hero Manga Creators” and “Shonen Manga Coliseum” contests. The African Sci-Fi Hero Manga Contest’s story will center on an African hero. The applications for this manga should be based on Hakusensha’s tentatively titled READ manga by Rene Hoshino. Hoshino was raised in both Japan and Cameroon. The winner of this contest’s work will be serialized on both the Manga Park and Manga Park W app, which launched in Africa earlier this year. This app has already been downloaded over 200,000 times by users in Kenya and Nigeria and the app is planned to be expanded to more African countries soon. The winner will also receive 100,000 yen (about US$950) in prize money. Applicants do not have to be African to enter.

The second contest, The Shonen Manga Coliseum is looking specifically for manga for boys in the battle, fantasy, sci-fi, school clubs, sports,and isekai genres. The winning manga will also have his or her work serialized on the Manga Park app, which will be followed by an English-translation and a publication on Manga Park W, eventually. The winner will also receive 100,000 yen (about US$950) in prize money. 

The application dead line for both contests is October 15th. Winners will be announced in November. The African Hero contestants must submit an eight-page manga, with full-body images based on the two main characters shown on the contest page. Shonen Manga Coliseum contestants need to submit a 4-40 page original manga story for boys. 

Special Report: The Kyoto Animation Tragedy Update

It is more than a month since tragedy struck at The Kyoto Animation’s studio when an arson set their building ablaze, on the morning of July 18th 2019. 35 people were killed and 33 injured and most of the materials and computers were destroyed in Studio 1. It is definitely one of the deadliest massacres in Japan since the en of the second World War and reported as the deadliest building fire in Japan since the 2001 Myojo 56 building fire. 

Names of the deceased where withheld by the media at the president of Kyoto Animation’s request out of respect for the victims families.The Kyoto police reported on 25 July that all victims were identified and started to return the bodies of the victims to their relatives. As of yet, discussions are ongoing with Kyoto Animation whether, when and how to reveal the identities of the deceased, however some of the families released their own findings and status of their loved ones such as the family of colour designer Naomi Ishida who was confirmed dead and director Yasuhiro Takemoto, whose death was confirmed through DNA testing. Other confirmed deaths include animation directors Yoshiji Kigami and Futoshi Nishiya. On August 27 the names of all the deceased were revealed. 

More than US$ 10, 000000 were raised thanks to fans and supporters all over the globe and Kyoto animation plans to allocate money to the victims and the bereaved families. Some of the donations include ¥10 million from Japanese Musician Yoshiki and game developer Key.

The tragedy impacted production on various anime. Kyoto Animation’s Sound! Euphonium collaboration with Keihan Main Line was delayed, as well as episode 4 of BEM. They also had to cancel a publicity event for the upcoming 2020 Free! Movie. Sadly the 11th Kyoto Animation Award has been suspended. On the bright side Violet Evergarden Gaiden is still set to premiere on August 3rd 2019 at Germany’s AnimagiC convention as originally scheduled.

Hideaki Hatta, Kyoto Animation’s president stated in an interview that he is considering demolishing Studio 1 and replacing the building with a green public park and a memorial monument. The company also issued an official statement, requesting respect for the victims and their familty members and that all future statements will go through either the police or their lawyers.

Kawaii Kulture – An introduction to Japanese Noodles

Noodles are a very important staple to Japanese cuisine and there are many types of noodles. We are going to study men () (That is the Japanese word for noodles), and some of the main types of noodles in Japanese cuisine.

Ramen (ラーメン)

Ramen is probably the best known to us thanks to the Naruto anime, and we have shared a lot about ramen on this website. It is a thin and curly or wavy wheat-based noodle, slightly yellow in colour. It is usually made of wheat flower, salt, water and kansui (or a form of alkaline water) and the dough is risen before being rolled.

It is mostly a dish of boiled noodles served in different flavoured soup (a soup made from chicken or pork stock) with many toppings such as kombu, katsuobushi, niboshi, shiitake mushrooms, and onions. This dish varies from place to place. Differences can be tasted in broth, soup flavours, toppings even noodle texture and much more. It is not an easy dish to make from scratch, especially because the taste of Ramen mainly depends on the soup, which requires a certain amount of skill, and chefs train a long time to be perfect with this.

Here are the best known regional variations on ramen: Shoyu – Soy sauce based (The most common). Specialty of Tokyo, Miso – Miso Ramen (not necessarily Vegetarian). Specialty of Sapporo, Shio – Salt-flavored Ramen, made from a variety of dried seafood and seaweed. Specialty of Hakodate and Tonkotsu – Pork Bone based creamy soup. Specialty of Kurume

Udon (うどん)

These white, wheat-based noodles are the thickest of the Japanese noodles and it is often enjoyed chilled and dipped in a sauce, or served in a brothy soup.

Some examples of udon are Kitsune udon, or “fox udon,” which is topped with sweetened aburaage, tanuki udon, or “raccoon udon,” which is topped with tempura batter flakes. Tempura udon is topped with tempura, and Chikara udon is topped with mochi.

Soba (蕎麦)

Soba are buckwheat noodles, made of a mixture of buckwheat and wheat flour. 100% buckwheat is the only noodles a celiac (a serious autoimmune disease) sufferer are able to eat. Soba can be eaten chilled just like udon or served in a soup. After eating the soba noodles, many people like to drink the obayu (蕎麦湯), which is the water the soba was cooked in, mixed with leftover tsuyu. Soba is also a favourite to eat on New Year’s Eve in Japan.

Yakisoba (焼きそば)

Not to be confused with soba, yakisoba is not made of buckwheat noodles but wheat flour noodles that is stir-fried instead. Very similar to ramen noodles it is usually prepared with vegetables like cabbage, onions, carrots, small pieces of pork, and flavoured with salt, pepper and yakisoba sauce. Toppings may include beni shoga (red picked ginger), katsuobushi (bonito flakes), aonori (green seaweed powder) and mayo. This dish is quite popular as a street food.

Sōmen (素麺)

Usually served cold, sōmen is a very thin, white wheat flour, popular in summer, however it can be served in a warm soup (nyumen) in winter season. In the summertime there is a fun way to serve this noodle called nagashi-sōmen (flowing sōmen). They place the noodles in long bamboo flumes and the diners ‘catch’ the noodles as the sōmen flow by, dipping it in their tsuyu and eating it.


Hiyamugi (冷麦)

This noodle is similar to sōmen (but a little thicker) and Udon (but thinner) and in-between both in size and can be served in a similar manner than both. You can find it white but also mix it up by serving the noodles in green or pink colours!

Shirataki (白滝)

It is popular as weight-loss food because it lacks calories. The noodles are thin and translucent and made from konjac yams. It is full of dietary fibers and lo in carbohydrates. While it may be virtually flavourless it is very versatile in cooking, especially in stewed dishes like sukiyaki and nikujyaga,.

Harusame (春雨)

Made of potato starch it is perfect for use in salads and hot pot dishes or when putting a Korean or Chinese spin on Japanese dishes. It is similar to Chinese glass noodles and the most commonly found glass noodles in Japan.

Spread the Word & Word of the Month: A convenient Japanese guide on phrases to use at a ramen restaurant.

So you finally get to Japan and want to sample some genuine Japanese Ramen. You and your nakama (loosely translated to ‘posse’) find out about a restaurant and you go there. The first thing you want to place your order. Here it can get interesting. Some restaurants have a vending machine where you buy your order from in the form of a ticket (they are usually by the entrance), while at others you consult the menu at your seat and you give your order to the staff. As you can see, different eating establishments have different ways to order.

Now we get down to business. Since you are new to the restaurant you might be wondering what ramen may be best. Here is how you can ask the staff for a recommendation.

Japanese: “O-susume wa nan desu ka?”

Meaning: “What do you recommend?”

Next, you may want to ask about the flavours as ramen has different flavours such as soy sauce, salt and pork bone broth. Here is how you can ask about the flavours:

Japanese: “Kore wa, donna aji desu ka?”

Meaning: “What flavour is this?”

Everybody prefer their noodles different in firmness. The person serving you may ask you:

Japanese: “Katasa wa dou shimasu ka?

Meaning: “How firm do you want your noodles?”

First let’s share the correct terms of firmness:

Katame is “firm”

Futsu is “standard”

Yawarakame is “soft”

You can answer like this starting with you perfered firmness. In our example we use ‘Standard”:

Japanese: “Futsu de onegaishimasu.”

Meaning: “Standard, please.”

Next up the staff member may ask how concentrated your ramen must be.

Japanese: “Kosa wa dou shimasu ka?”

Meaning: “How do you want your soup?”

First let’s share the correct terms of concentrated:

Koime is “strong,”

Futsu is “standard”

Usume is “diluted”

You can answer like this starting with you preference. In our example we use ‘Strong”:

Japanese: “Koime de onegaishimasu.”

Meaning: “Strong, please.”

These are but a few useful phrases, we hope your first authentic ramen restaurant experience will go smooth and that we have helped. Itadakimasu!!

Recipe of the month: Ramen! Ramen! Ramen!

In Kawaii Kulture we mentioned types of ramen you can eat and here we share a video from the YouTube channel TabiEats on 5 Ramen Types YOU SHOULD KNOW. TabiEats is an amazing resource to find out about traditional Japanese as well as Hawaiian-Japanese cuisine. We have featured some of their videos on AnimeFanatika bentos, and their content always leave you hungry for more! Itadakimasu!! 

Since many of our readers in based in Gauteng we researched and visited a few Ramen places and also asked our WhatsApp group what their favourite Ramen Hangouts are. Takeshi from AnimeFanatika also gave us great input on these restaurants.

Simply Asia

According to Takeshi it has three different types of Ramen and quite a selection of different noodles.

Simply Asia has over 50 restaurants in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe collectively. To find the one closes to you, check out their website. 

Asia House

Takeshi said that he loved their Ramen Bowl for two and they have excellent steam buns.

On their website they state: 

“Here at Asia House we specialise in the finest Thai Food, Chinese Food and top quality Sushi Bar. With our fresh ingredients and qualified staff you will enjoy every dish on our menu.

Come visit our shop to experience the taste that will make you want to come back every time.

From California Rolls to Thai soup, our menu has the biggest variety to choose from, for all the different tastes out there.”

Yamakado Sushi Restaurant

Takeshi raves about their super sugoi Udon Noodle Soup. They are situated in Fourways Mall, a perfect place to fill up the energy after a shopping excursion. You can also order from them online if you don’t want to leave the house or office. 

Honorable mentions

Fukada (Centurion) and Love Me So in Johannesburg are also great Ramen joints to visit.

Top 5 Lesser known Food Anime

In March, in our Wasabi Bento Buffet, we shared the Top Five Food Anime but it is time we explore some of the lesser known food anime you may or may not have heard off. There are quite a lot of food anime and it is just proper that we show some love to anime that we sometimes miss out on. So here is our Top 5 Lesser known Food Anime. 

Antique Bakery

Bonjour♪Koiaji Pâtisserie

Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan

Muteki Kanban Musume


Birthday of The Month: Orihime Inoue

Since our Bento is food related and bad cooks need some love to lets celebrate everybody’s favourite bad cook from Bleach, Orihime Inoue’s Birthday, which falls on September 3rd. She is the beautiful girl with the long orange hair and the brown dreamy eyes (In the anime the eyes are silver-gray). We know her as part of Ichigo’s group, Karakura Town’s own group of protectors against supernatural forces.

Orihime has very high grades at school yet she comes off as naïve and clueless, something that might be because she lived alone in her house since her whole family died (the last of which her brother Sora Inoue, to whom she was very close). Due to that solitary life she also has an over-active imagination, which is very endearing, and she also are very perceptive about what drives people. She is also know for her love for weird food, invented from recipes she created herself.

She has two hairpins that her brother gave her and thanks to her spirit energy ‘leaking’ into it, it became also her weapon. The hairpins harbor the power Shun Shun Rikka (Six Flowers of the Hibuscus Field) and this power consists of six spirits all with flower names that reside in the hairpins.

Orihime Inoue shares her birth month with Asuna from Sword Art Online on the 30th and Kakasi Hatake from Naruto on the 15th.

The bleach anime is known for showing short inserts after the ending credits. Here is a funny scene where Ichigo and Ishida is forced to ‘enjoy’ Orihime and Rangiku’s cooking. It appeared in episode 234.

AMV of the month: Napal Baji by PSY

We share a hilarious fun video showcasing various anime simply called Anime Masterchef. Our song featuring in this month’s AMV is Napal Baji by PSY. The AMV has won many awards and is quite a treat. Enjoy the video! Itadakimasu!!

Anime Challenge: Muteki Kanban Musume (Ramen Fighter Miki)

Our September Anime Challenge is Muteki Kanban Musume (Ramen Fighter Miki) based on the manga series by Jun Sadogawa, which ran from May 2002 to February 2006 in Akita Shoten’s Weekly Shonen Champion. There also was a sequel manga called Muteki Kanban Musume N. The Muteki Kanban Musume anime, produced by Telecom Animation Film was directed by Nobuo Tomizawa and aired in Japan between July and September 2006. The anime’s opening song is “Wild Spice” by Masami Okui and the ending song is “Muteki na Smile” by Naozumi Takahashi.

Muteki Kanban Musume is a food/comedy anime about the adventures of Miki Onimaru, a 20-year-old young woman whose mother runs a Chinese ramen restaurant. Miki is the delivery girl for her mother’s eatery but because of her boisterous and over active personality Miki gets into trouble frequently, which can be quite hilarious to see.

Anime Meetup

AnimeFanatika will have no Anime Meetup for September due to Comic-Con. Our next Anime Day will be on October 19. Be sure to look at our event page on our website as we may update with more news on forthcoming events.