Matcha Flavour Bento Buffet

Matcha Flavour Bento Buffet

Now in Anime flavour!

This bento buffet we get inspired by Japanese tea ceremonies and matcha. We also explore super sugoi ways to keep busy during the COVID-19 Lockdown situation (and there is free stuff involved). We have extra Kawaii Kulture, extra food content and more surprises. We wish all our readers a healthy and safe April! Itadakimasu!!

News from the Past Month

Corona Virus Awareness and Free Stuff

We are all aware of the current situation in the world, everyone on the planet is affected and we all know about the virus. However, we want to share a great website with you that you should look at.

The Silentek website

Looking for statistics on how the COVID-19 is affecting South Africa? This informed site is then a great way to do it. They keep the website updated and it is at the moment our best source for every statistic COVID-19 related. It also shares stats about the effect the virus has globally. Total Cases, Total Deaths and Total Recoveries as dutifully recorded. You can visit the website here: COVID-19 South Africa 

For more information about the Corona virus, please visit: SACoronaVirus 

A lot of businesses, artists, schools and gaming platforms released free stuff for us on the web to keep us busy in this difficult time. From educational to entertainment is catered. Here is a list of free stuff to get while under lockdown. 

Art

Love art but can’t visit your favourite gallery? There are five art galleries you can actually visit online during the lockdown. It is the perfect way to support our local artists and see some amazing art. Here is more information on the five galleries. Five Galleries 

Audible

Audible’s Japanese section has 53 free books with your name on it. So, go crazy and listen to some super sugoi books for free. Just click here: Free Books

There are also free Audible books in more language to choose from. Look at more books Here: More Books 

Dungeons And Dragons

Nothing beats a lockdown like a good fantasy pen and paper RPG where you roam a world with friends. When playing Dungeons and Dragons, our world, and its problems seem to fall away and you walk in the skin of a new person. Imaging instead of being you, you are an Elven rogue or Half-orc Barbarian. You throw the dice and it rolls your character choices and new destinies. Well, here we have a great find. A WIzards of the Coast D ‘n D campaign, brand new and absolutely free! The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. Go, explore, slay dragons… Here is the link: The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount – 

Steam Games Festival: Spring Edition

Want to try out a few new games? Then the Steam Games Festival: Spring Edition is right up your alley. But be warned, some of these games are so new that they are actually pre-release preview builds, they may be unpolished gems but you might find a diamond in the mix. Find out more here: Free Games! 

Kawaii Kulture Special: Bowing saves lives

If you think of Asian greetings, bowing immediately jumps to mind. In current times where we Westerners are getting paranoid about the traditional handshake, bowing may be a great answer to greeting a person. It is a polite, friendly, respectful practice from Korea, Japan and various Asian nation. Bowing is a very important Japanese tradition and form of etiquette. Their word for it is ojigi (お辞儀).

Foreigners living in Japan will constantly encounter situations where people will bow, understanding why Japanese people do so and what it means helps a lot. It is used as greetings, introductions, to thank someone, as a sign of respect or to apologise. It also is a sign that hat whatever your social status is, you are lowering yourself and putting yourself in a position that is vulnerable. A way of showing the other person or persons that you are putting them first.

It is important to notice that some foreigners think they should bow like they see anime characters do in an anime and do a full 45-degree bow and hold it there for a few seconds. Not so and we hope the following list of bowing types will help clarify that myth.

As a greeting – In Japan they give each other a small nod of the head and shoulders (about 10 degrees) when saying hello or goodbye. In Japan, this type of bow is known as eshaku (会釈). It is especially used around acquaintances. It can be used as a way to say thank you.

As a sign of respect – It shows humility to bow. You might see a Japanese worker bowing before an animal’s cage in a zoo as a sign of respect. In Japan, it is called keirei (敬礼). It is a 30-degree bow, and perfect for business-related situations.

As a Religious bow – It is common to bow to the gods at a Shinto Shrine. It can be a shallow bow of the upper body, but in some Shinto ceremonies, people might bow from a kneeling position.

As an apology – a mild apology of 10 degrees for instance if you bump into someone by accident, a 45-degree bow (if you ticked off your boss) for 5 seconds followed by ‘Sumimasen deshita‘ (I am sorry for what I did) might just do the trick. Known as saikeirei (最敬礼).it is the most formal of the Japanese bows.

A fun lesson in bowing Techniques

A Japanese bowing exercise manual

Homecookin' Japanese-Style

With everyone on lockdown, creative ways of cooking may make some of us wander the net for ideas. Especially if you want to learn how to cook. Japanese actor and media personality Hiro Mizushima started a YouTube channel where he starts to learn how to cook from, at first, basic recipes such as how to cook rice to traditional complex Japanese dishes. He is even friendly enough to put in English subtitles in his videos. Why not follow Mizushima’s progress and learn with him? 

How to cook rice

Nikujaga

Kyoto Animation's gift

Not so long ago we grieved with Kyoto Animation when an arsonist attacked the anime studio and set it ablaze resulting in the death of over 30 people. But enough sadness. Kyoto Animation made over a dozen anime TV series and movies free to watch online last month and during the first part of the lockdown. New titles were released every day over a 16-day period as much of Japan stayed home to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Kyoto Animation in an act of generosity made the lockdown more bearable for anime fanatiks in Japan. They did not specifically mention the coronavirus but their announcement about the free anime came well after the world became aware of the virus.

Here is a list of the dates and anime released

March 16: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On!

March 17: K-On!! (episodes 1-14)

March 18: K-On!! (episodes 15-24)

March 19: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions

March 20: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions -Heart Throb-

March 21: Sound! Euphonium

March 22: Sound! Euphonium 2

March 23: Hyoka (episodes 1-11)

March 24: Hyoka (episodes 12-22)

March 25: Air

March 26: Kannon (episodes 1-12)

March 27: Kannon (episodes 13-24)

March 28: Clannad

March 29: Clannad After Story

March 30: K-On! The Movie!, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

March 31: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Take on Me, Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Welcome to the Kitauji High School Concert Band, Sound! Euphonium: Todoketai Melody

Kyoto Animation may not be the only anime company making its works free to watch but the gesture is heartfelt, especially after the hardships the anime house endured,  There is a lesson to be learned here. Interested in more about Kyoto Animation? Visit their Kyoto Animation website. 

Kawaii Kulture: Sado

Tea is one of the best drinks in the world, from Britain to Japan and everywhere in-between you can probably find someone at this moment brewing and or drinking a cup of tea while you are reading this. Especially in Japan a country known to have 28 types of tea. From tea that’s grown in the sun to tea grown in the shade, such as Matcha. There is a tea that is either steam-pressed (Sencha), pan-fired (Kamairicha) or sun-dried, tea made from buds (Mecha), leaves, tips, sticks (Kukicha) or stems. There is even tea that’s harvested on a special date on the calendar like Bancha.

In Japan drinking tea is not just for the pleasure of it, there is a deeply revered ceremony that is held sometimes. This tea ceremony is called Sado, meaning the way of the tea, and it is strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism.

These days the tea ceremony is a popular hobby and many Japanese that want to get more in touch with their culture take Sado lessons. These ceremonies are usually held in cultural community centres and/or private houses and there are even Sado ceremonies in some anime such as Ranma ½ as well.

The ceremony consists of many rituals learned by heart, each movement choreographed precisely, that even placing the tea utensils is considered from the guest’s point of view. The tea used in the Sado ritual is Matcha, a green tea made of powdered tea leaves, served with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. The tea is first prepared by the host pouring all his or her attention to the minutest details and then served to the guests. It is not about the drinking of the tea, but about tea prepared from the depths of the heart.

It is a noble time-honoured tradition and one can understand why many Japanese take lessons to practice this beautiful ceremony again. There are grace and beauty in watching this ceremony.

Spread the word: Tea!

In Japan, the word for tea is ‘cha’ but it is impolite to say it like that. Polite expression in communication is very important in Japan. When talking about tea say ‘ocha’. Just by adding the ‘o’ prefix, you make the word more polite and a Japanese person will respect you for it. The ‘o’ prefix you might be familiar with because you watch anime, here are examples:

Okane – money

Oniisan – elder brother

Ojiisan – grand father

Okusuri – medicine

An interesting fact about ocha (tea) is that since tea is mostly green in Japan it mostly refers to green tea. Western tea is referred to as koucha which literary means red tea. Another word used for green tea is Ryokucha, which is the generic word for green tea.

If someone is serving you a cup of tea, you may hear: ‘Ocha o dozo’ ‘Please have some tea’. Remember to say ‘Arigato’! (Thanks!) If you are nice you can say Oishii-desu (It is delicious). The person serving you the tea will feel happy and a little compliment is always a beautiful thing.

Word of the Month

Ocha which means ‘Tea‘, politely.

Recipe of the month: Matcha Truffles and Matcha Creme Brulee

Matcha is used as an ingredient in many recipes especially sweets and desserts. We first look at some decadent Matcha truffles from DR. Vlogs, then we visit everybody’s favourite dog at Cooking with Dog for a yummy Matcha Creme Brulee. Itadakimasu!!

Matcha Truffles

Matcha Creme Brulee

AnimeFanatika Top anime 5 recommendations for 2013

2013 made anime history. An anime hit the screens that became a point of discussion for many fanatiks for years. That anime is Shingeki no Kyojin, yes Attack on Titan. To some, it is THE series of the decade. 2013 is also the year of other great anime such as Date A Live, Log Horizon, Kill La Kill, and Diabolik Lovers. And honourable mentions such as the gorefest Danganronpa: The Animation, and the supernatural suspenseful Red Data Girl.

Shingeki no Kyojin

Date A Live

Log Horizon

Kill La Kill

Diabolik Lovers

April Anime Challenge: Diabolik Lovers

Our April Anime Challenge is filled with blood and romance, a horror romance anime called Diabolik Lovers, sharpen your stakes and ready the holy water as we step into the world of blood -loving vampires. The anime is based of the visual novels franchise by Rejet which materialized into our reality on October 2012. The series bit everyone’s fascination and in 2013 Zexcs studio produced the epic anime and it hit the television screens in Japan. During the month Ookami will tell you more about the anime on our Anime Challenge page.

In the anime Yui Komori goes to live in a secluded mansion at her father’s request, a mansion which happens to be the home of the six Sakamaki brothers – Shuu, Reiji, Ayato, Kanato, Laito, and Subaru – a family of vampiric sexy vampire boys. The boys are very confused at the start of the series as to why a beautiful girl arrived, until it is realized that Yui is their ‘sacrificial bride’. Add to that the fact that the boys keep getting hungry for her blood and you can imagine the twist and turns this story will take. Will she survive the fanged family’s lust for blood? Will she stay human or become a creature of the night. Join us this month, darklings, for Diabolik Lovers to find the answers.

Birthday of the month: Kimihiro Watanuki

Our birthday star this month is Kimihiro Watanuki (xxxHolic), a high school student imbued with the ability to see supernatural apparitions, seeing it as a curse, struggling to cope with it. One day he stumbles upon a house where the witch Yuuko Ichihara lives. Ichihara grants wishes, but at a price. When Watanuki asks her to remove his ability to see the supernatural, she agrees but only if he pays back the cost of the wish by working for her, taking on the role of a part-time cook, housekeeper and barman – since Ichihara loves her sake.

He is thrown into an awesome adventure, as each day is far from normal in this house, with him tasked with errands of a supernatural nature. This is ironic in the sense that in order to remove his ability, he has become more and more wrapped up in the unseen world of ghosts, spirits and demons. Watanuki is also not alone in most of his quests, with his love interest, Himawari Kunogi, and another classmate he despises, Shizuka Domeki, join him on these adventures as per Ichibara’s request.

Watanuki shares his birthmonth with Kurapika (Hunter x Hunter) on the 4th and Michelle K. Davis (Terra Formars) on the 19th.

AMV of the month: Shingeki no Kyojin / Attack On Titan

In our AMV this month, we take a blast from the past with scenes from Shingeki no Kyojin / Attack On Titan while listening to My Demons by the band Starset. Enjoy the video!

Anime Meetup

Unfortunately, due to the lockup, our Anime Meetup for April is cancelled until further notice but keep checking every week for our weekly anime challenge to keep you entertained during the lock-down period.