Hot Pot Bento Buffet

Hot Pot Bento Buffet

Hot News from the world of anime!!

Konnichiwa Minna, we bring you a hot serving of Bento Buffet this month. Some of the dishes we’ve prepared are a deeper look into the lore of the Japanese Hot Pot, some yummy food videos and some useful words the Japanese use at meal time. We also look at our top five anime recommendations for the year 2011, our Anime Challenge this month is from 2011 as well and we share rockin’ AMVs inspired by 2011 anime series. All that as well as news hot from the anime motherland, Japan. Hungry for Anime? Itadakimasu!!

Anime News from the Past Month


Earlier this week AnimeJapan announced that on March 21 it will host a stage presentation titled “Bleach 20th Anniversary Project & Tite Kubo New Work Presentation”. Guests set to appear in the presentation are voice actors Masakazu Morita and Ryotaro Okiayu, Weekly Shonen Jump editor-in-chief Hiroyuki Nakano, and America Zarigani comedy duo member Yoshiyuki Hirai and the event will also feature stage presentations for several franchises that do not currently have upcoming anime projects announced, including Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Theater and Is the order a rabbit??. and Aniplex will also host a “Aniplex New Anime Stage” presentation the next day. AnimeJapan 2020 will be held from March 21-24 at Tokyo Big Sight. The first two days will be public days and the latter two days will be business days.

Kubo launched Bleach in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2001, and ended it in August 2016. The franchise has also inspired an anime series games, novels, stage plays, and a live-action film that opened in July 2018. Word has it that the Bleach anime will finally return after its long absence to cover the rest of the manga, but that is just a rumour as every year there has been word of ‘a new Bleach series, or even a reboot series coming out soon’. But the world of anime can surprise us, we never know… A Burn The Witch Ova has been announced and that looks promising. Here is a video with more information.

Second Oriental Dragon Festival

The Oriental Dragon Festival is a Chinese festive event showcasing dragon dances, Kongfu shows, a flea market, and delicious food as well as various entertainment attractions such as singing performances and more. This event takes place along 9th and 11th Avenue in Edenburg on Saturday, 15 February 2020 from 10:00-22:00. Entrance is free, it is well worth grabbing a friend and experiencing Chinese culture firsthand!

For more information, click here → Second Oriental Dragon Festival

Ultraman punches out top position

Netflix Japan published an article on Note regarding the most watched new titles on the streaming service in Japan in 2019. According to Netflix, the 3D CG Ultraman anime was the most watched anime title, and the 6th most watched title overall. Here is a break down of the top ten anime watched on Netfix Japan last year:


Neon Genesis Evangelion

One-Punch Man

Kengan Ashura

Attack on Titan

The Seven Deadly Sins


Dr. Stone

Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious

Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest

It is amazing that classics such as Neon Genesis Evangelion still have the mettle to fight to top ten position, showing that old stories still resonate with the newer generations.

Ultraman’s first season premiered globally on Netflix on April 1. Given it’s success last year it comes to no surprise that a second season is in the works. Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) and Shinji Aramaki (Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars) directed the first anime season at Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) and Sola Digital Arts (Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars).

Weathering With You

In the middle of this month Weathering With You managed to rank second at the US Box office, earning US$1,586,217. In first place was the movie Star Wars: The Rise of Luke Skywalker and in third, 1917. Weathering With You opened in 359 theatres and 448 screens in Japan last July, and soon ranked as number 1 in its premiere week. The movie is also is now the #7 highest-earning domestic film of all time in Japan and was the highest-grossing film in Japan in 2019.

The English dub cast includes Brandon Engman as Hodaka, Ashley Boettcher as Hina, Lee Pace as Suga, Alison Brie as Natsumi, Emeka Guindo as Nagi, Riz Ahmed as Takai, Vinnie Penna as Kimura, Mike Pollock as Yasui and Barbara Goodson as Tachibana.

GKIDS describes the film’s story:

The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong­ willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky…

Kawaii Kulture – Hot Pot

When it’s winter we all love comfy food that warms us up like stews and soups. Japan has some amazing winter dishes and one of the most popular is the very nutritious and tasty Hot Pot. Known in Japan as Nabemono (鍋物, なべ物, nabe “cooking pot” + mono “thing”) There are quite a variety of hot pot dishes to bring warmth to the cold winter days. Nabemono are kept hot at the dining tables with portable stoves, its even cooked at the table in many cases. The diners gets the chance to pick whatever cooked ingredient they want from the pot, which is then eaten with a dip or a broth. More ingredients can be added to the pot during the meal.

There are two main types of nabemono (a) flavoured stock (mostly with Kombu) like yudōfu (湯豆腐) and mizutaki (水炊き), eaten with a dipping sauce (tare) to enjoy the taste of the ingredients themselves; and (b) strongly flavoured stock, typically with miso, soy sauce, dashi (traditional Japanese soup base) , and/or sweet soy types such as yosenabe (寄鍋), oden (おでん), and sukiyaki (すき焼き), eaten without further flavouring. Nabe’s soup base is mostly made from dashi , soy sauce and sake. There are many different types of nabemono, depending on the ingredients used. Stews featuring oysters, scallops, cod, salmon, and chicken are very popular. One of the best examples is known as chanko nabe. It contains chicken, seafood, potatoes, and other vegetables, a Hot Pot dish that is known to give lots of stamina and is a favourite of Sumo wrestlers, because it helps them gain weight.

More examples include Yosenabe: Yose () means “putting together”, implying that all things (e.g., meat, seafood, egg, chicken, tofu and vegetables) are cooked together in a pot. Then there is Motsunabe (もつ鍋): made with beef or pork offal. Its Ingredients vary from restaurant to restaurant, but it is typical to boil the fresh cow offal with cabbage and garlic chives. Nabe also has regional variants like in Hokkaidō you get Ishikari-nabe: A hot pot of salmon stewed in a miso-based broth with vegetables. With typical ingredients such as daikon, tofu, konjac, Chinese cabbage, potato, Welsh onion, shungiku, shiitake mushroom and butter. In the Chūetsu region there is Momiji-nabe, a hot pot with venison, burdock, shiitake mushroom, Welsh onion, konjac, tofu, green vegetables, stewed in a miso-based broth.

The pots used in nabe cooking traditionally are made of clay (土鍋, donabe) or thick cast iron (鉄鍋, tetsunabe). Clay pots can keep warm for a while after being taken off the fire, while cast iron pots evenly distribute heat and are preferable for dishes like sukiyaki. These Pots are usually placed in the centre of dining tables and are shared by multiple people. This is considered the most sociable way to eat with friends and family, and according to many Japanese nabe tastes even better when served in traditional Japanese style, by surrounding a table under which there is a kotatsu

Spread The Word: Mealtime Words

If you are visiting a Japanese person at home there are a few useful words relaing to mealtime that may come handy.

Gohan (meal) kanji: 御飯

Some of you may know that gohan means rice, and that rice is a staple at almost every Japanese meal. Over the years the meaning of the word evolved and it is understood in context also to refer to a meal in general.

Asagohan (breakfast) kanji: 朝御飯

Asa literally means “morning.” Remembering the word is easy if you know the word gohan. Asagohan literally translates to ‘morning meal’

Hirugohan (lunch) kanji: 昼御飯

Hiru means noon, thus Hirugohan means ‘noontime meal’

Bangohan (dinner) kanji: 晩御飯]

Ban means evening meal which translated to ‘evening meal’

Itadakimasu (Let’s eat!) kanji: 頂きます

If you watch anime in Japanese you are practically married to this word already. It is traditionally said before a meal and loosely can be translated to ‘Let’s Eat. There are deeper meanings and other uses to the word and if you read the’Spread The Word’ section in our Bento Buffets, you will know some of them already!

Gochisou sama deshita (What a feast!)

The literal translation may be ‘What a feast’ but figuratively you are actually saying ‘Thank you for the food’ or ‘What a great meal’. It is a nice way to make the cook feel appreciated so spread the love, say ‘Gochisou sama deshita’.

(O)cha (tea)

Tea is one of the most common drinks to find in Japan, and the Japanese even have tea ceremonies ingrained in their culture, so it is a very revered beverage. The optional “o” at the beginning is a title of respect – rather appropriately, since tea is a respectable drink.

Chawan (tea cup)

Traditional Japanese teacups may look simple in design but are very difficult to make. They are very artisticly crafted; the potter must techniques and materials to allow the inner spirit of the piece to emerge. Take a closer look next time you enjoy a cup of tea in Japan and get lost in the art!

Word of the Month: Gohan

Our word of the month is Gohan because it is not just a word for rice, but also a word meaning ‘a meal’.

Recipe of the month: Hot Pot

We offer not one but two videos for you this month. First we visit with Strictly Dumpling where we visit the restaurant Nabezo that has a All You Can Eat Shabu Shabu in Shibuya. Secondly we visit theMEATMENchannel to see how to make Chanko Nabe, the Sumo Stew, the popular Hot Pot that Sumos adore. Itadakimasu!!

All You Can Eat Shabu Shabu

Chanko Nabe, the Sumo Stew

Birthday of the Month: Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service

Our Birthday girl this month is the eternally-13-year-old witch Kiki, from Kiki’s Delivery Service. According to the novel the anime is based on, Kiki was born January 2nd, 1947. She lives with her parents and pet cat and best friend, Jiji until the night she decides to leave. As it is traditional for 13-year-old witches to leave home for a year on the night of a full moon to pursue their skill through training, she leaves her home in Karikiya for a year in order to train as a witch. She travels by broomstick to the port city of Koriko, where she helps the (very pregnant) owner of a bakery, Osono in change for accommodation. She opens a “Witch Delivery Business”, delivering goods by broomstick. Her first delivery is a disaster but her pet cat/familiar Jiji helps her. Her adventures is quite entertaining.

Kiki is a friendly, and sweet girl but can be stubborn and proud at times. In the beginning of her life at Koriko people see her as a showoff, but she makes good friend that see her for the great person she is. Kiki was voiced by Lisa Michelson, who also voiced Satsuki Kusakabe in My Neighbor Totoro. Her character was inspired by Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking.

Kiki shares her birth month with Nico Robin from One Piece, whose birth day is on the 6th and Light Yagami from Death Note whose birth day is on the 28th.

Top 5 anime recommendations: 2011

For some of us this is a blast from the past as we look at the top anime that the AnimeFanatika staff enjoyed in 2011. There are action, horror, comedy Vampires, Hunters, freaks and freaky just waiting to be discovered or rediscovered. To some of us these titles are anime we grew up on and to others gems that hardened anime fanatiks remember from a decade ago. Here are some of the series and movies we loved in 2011!

Disclaimer: Please be advised that some of the videos depict scenes of gore and violence. Viewer’s discretion is advised.

A Letter to Momo



Children Who Chase Lost Voices

Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Special Mentions

We also recommend that you give the anime Toriko a try if you love food or DragonBall Z or One Piece, of the movie Tiger & Bunny: The Rising if you love action girls. Love visual novels? Then watching Fate/Zero is definitely a good suggestion as it is an adaptation of a visual novel. Our last recommendation is Deadman Wonderland, which happens to be our anime challenge this month!

February 2020 Anime Challenge: Deadman Wonderland

Our challenge anime this month is filled with mystery, gore, horror, drama and comedy, a perfect blend for those who are horror anime fanatiks. The anime is Deadman Wonderland, a masterpiece in its own right that acquired a small devoted fandom since its release. The now extinct anime house Manglobe created this monster in 2011, basing the anime off the first five manga volumes. Some characters from the manga were not featured in the anime, such as Azami Midou and Masaru Sukegawa. The manga itself was written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou, the same brain-team responsible for writing and illustrating the Eureka Seven manga.

The setting: A massive anomaly caused a great earthquake that ravaged Japan’s mainland destroying most of Tokyo, sinking three-quarters of the city into the Pacific Ocean.

Ten years later. What seems to be a normal day for Ganta Igarashi and his classmates, preparing to go on a class field trip to a certain prison amusement park called Deadman Wonderland, turns into a deadly horror, flipping Ganta’s life upside down. His whole class gets massacred by a mysterious man in red. Ganta is framed for the incident and sentenced to death, and sent to the very jail he was supposed to visit. Ganta’s nightmare is only just beginning.

Disclaimer: Please be advised that the following video depicts scenes of gore and violence. Viewer’s discretion is advised.

AMV of the month: Toriko x Deadman Wonderland

Keeping up with our top 5 anime recommendations of 2011 we share two AMV dedicated to anime from 2011. Using scenes from episode 135 and 136 of the Toriko, we listen to Skillet singing Whispers in the Dark. Our second video featuring scenes from Deadman Wonderland is Papa Roach’s Give Me Back My Life (the nightcore edition).


Deadman Wonderland

Anime Meetup: 22 February: Best of 2019

Another year has come and gone and wow was there tons of good anime to keep us entertained. Some of the series that left a big impression on us were Kimetsu no Yaiba, the new season of Boku No Hero Akademia, and Dr. Stone. There was something for everyone.

This anime day we will be screening the best anime of 2019 as voted for in the South African Anime Survey Awards. Pop in and see if you agree with the winners of 2019.

Here is a video showcasing the winners of 2019:

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

When : Saturday, 22 February, 2020, 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.

Be sure to look at our event page on our website as we may update with more news on events.