Read it while it's Hot
We end our year as we started it with another Hot Pot Bento since there is so much more to discover about this super sugoi Japanese dish. It’s winter in Japan and Hot Pot warms the body and soul and is a comfort food of the next level. This time we go regional and explore different dishes from some of Japan’s regions. We also bring you our ‘Only in Japan’ feature, discovering the weird and wonderful that can only happen in Japan. We also have a lot of food videos for the foodies, rockin’ AMVs, our challenge of the month and more. We are YOUR monthly source of news and Japan-related content. Itadakimasu!!
November News Recap
In Memoriam: Kirby Morrow
Kirby Morrow, a huge voice acting legend especially in the English-language dubs of anime, died at age 47, on November 20, 2020, eight days after the death of his father. The cause of his death was related to a long history of substance abuse. Anime fans across the world expressed their grief with online tributes of YouTube and social media. Some of his most well-known roles include voicing Cyclops in X-Men: Evolution, as Goku in the Canadian import of Dragon Ball Z, as Cole in the LEGO Ninjago series, as Miroku in the English dub of Inuyasha and its various spinoffs, and as Trowa in the dubbed version of anime series Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. He also played Captain Dave Kleinman in Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate Universe. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. His presence in anime and science fiction will be miss, but his legacy lives on.
The Promised Neverland Season 2
In 2019 an anime with incredible storytelling and great character development named The Promised Neverland wowed the anime community, fanatiks loved it so much they wanted more. The anime was soon renewed for a second season, and the plan was that it would be released in October 2020 but it had to be pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic. Good news is that the anime is set to be released on January 7th, 2021.
Even greater news is that a live-action movie is scheduled to be released in December 2020 and Amazon is developing an English live-action series for 2021. The series will have Rodney Rothman in the director’s seat. He is known for his work on 22 Jump Street (2014) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).
Totoro music played at train station
Studio Ghibli must be ecstatic. At Tokorozawa Station in Tokyo’s neighbouring Saitama Prefecture, five new departure melodies are from their hit movie My Friend Totoro, making it the first time a train station in Japan to use music from Studio Ghibli as train departure music. It is hoped that this new feature would attract visitors to come and enjoy Tokyo’s northern neighbour.
Tokorozawa is known for being the birthplace of Totoro and home of director Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki credits Saitama hills for the inspiration behind the creation of the Totoro character. To use Totoro songs as departure jingles are a beautiful homage to both My Neighbour Totoro and Hayao Miyazaki. Songs used at the station include the ‘Sanpo’ opening theme (known as “Hey Let’s Go” in English), and the closing song, “Tonari no Totoro” (“My Neighbour Totoro“).
Only in Japan
We’re back with more ‘Only in Japan’ where we seek out stories that are unique to Japan and can not be found in other parts of the world, whether it’s teen-aged girls in love with Godzilla or fish playing Pokemon, if it is out there, we will find it and share it with you.
Four fishes beat Pokemon Sapphire
A few months back in August we reported to you about fishes playing Pokemon, aiming to be the very best, the best there ever was. After thousands of hours this team of fishes, Maurice, Lala, Moo, and Ponyo, can join ranks with human gamers and call themselves proudly pokemon masters as they won the Pokemon Sapphire game. That’s not all, Lala found a glitch in the game’s Seafloor Cavern that had gone undetected by human gamers since Pokemon Sapphire’s release 18 years ago. Well done, Lala!
For us as humans playing the game is a 30-hours-or-so playthrough, but for the fish, it took 3,195 hours to defeat the game. The pokemon team that defeated Pokemon Sapphire consisted of Tentacruel (level 77), Walrein (level 73), Mightyena (level 72), Swellow (level 74), Manectric (level 72) and a Camerupt (level 67). Impressive choices.
The interesting fact is that the Mutekimaru YouTube Channel creator was asleep while his fish defeated the game. He is now thinking about what game he and the aquatic gamers will tackle next. We wish the Mutekimaru team all the best! Ganbatte!
Game of um...Thrones?!
Unkore, a game of thrones? Not really, actually a poop-themed game, but you understand the throne reference, right? The poop-themed anime game encourages you to care about your digestive system. Your poop’s colour and shape is not something you want to talk about, except if you are very, very weird, but its significance can help you with health issues if you Ummm… know what to look for. Instead of talking about your scat with a friend, who might leave you and suddenly relocate to another city you can play with cute anime girls in this free Android/iOS who go on special missions in Utopia, a fantasy realm. To earn in-game currency all you have to do is tell the game’s characters about your daily bowel movements, and no, this is not a weird fetish game, it is actually a new campaign from health awareness nonprofit Japan Unko Society to promote digestive health awareness, and important issues such as colon cancer. The game tracks your answers and if red flags pop up, will recommend you to see a doctor. Only in Japan, right?
Kawaii Kulture: Hotpot
We have seen the hotpot dish in various anime such as Yuru Camp (Episode 3), Shokugeki no Soma (Episode 53), and Gintama (Episode 25). As each hot pot in each anime differs so hot pot dishes differ from region to region in Japan. Certain regions are known for different ingredients.
A prefecture in the snowy north of Japan which covers Japan’s second-largest island. A place of beautiful winters, and fresh seafood. The most well-loved hot pot there is the ‘Ishikari-nabe’, named after the longest river on the island. Ishikari-nabe is based on a traditional fisherman’s stew that fishermen enjoyed on the banks of the Ishikari river as they fished for salmon. The dish is salmon stewed in a miso-broth with vegetables. The typical ingredients of the dish include daikon, tofu, konjac, Chinese cabbage, potato, Welsh onion, shungiku, shiitake mushroom and butter.
On the northern edge of Honshuu, Japan’s largest Island we find Tōhoku. The region is popular for its mountains, lakes and onsen, a very scenic region. Tōhoku produces high-quality rice, apples and pears. In this region, they have a speciality rice cake named ‘tanpo’. The rice cake is made by pounding freshly boiled rice into a pulp, then it’s coated around thick skewers made from cedar wood and it’s grilled on an open flame to ensure a rich flavour from the cedarwood. When this hollow cake is toasted it’s cut into smaller pieces, ready for eating or to be added into dishes such as the Kiritampo-nabe, where the tampo rice cake is the centrepiece of the dish. In Kiritampo-nabe the tampo is stewed in broth with chicken, burdock, Japanese parsley, Welsh onion, and konjac. It is the pride of Akita Prefecture.
Known for its famous gardens, shrines, canals and capitals this region offers some serious and interesting ingredients such as peaches and sake produces with poisonous blowfish fins. Blowfish or fugu can be prepared in various different ways. Like sashimi, it is cut in thin pieces that are see-through, and those who prepare the fish must know their ingredient as the fish is highly poisonous. They actually undergo rigorous training to get a licence to be able to prepare the dish. Fugu can also be served in rice or hot pots. A well-known fugu hot pot dish is Fugu-chiri where slices of fugu are stewed in dashi with leafy vegetables like Chinese Cabbage and eaten with a ponzu dip.
Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s islands, with four prefectures, must not be underrated because of its size. There are a lot of castles and shrines and various plantations such as olive, red bean, and soy bean. A well known hot pot from the region is Benkei no najiru (Na means green vegetables and jiru means soup. The ingredients are interesting duck, wild boar, chicken, beef, pork, daikon radish, carrot, mizuna (a type of Chinese cabbage), hiru (a type of shallot), and buckweed dumplings and rice.
These are but four regional hotpot dishes and it is well worth it to explore the rich variety of hot pots’ should you find yourself travelling Japan in winter, after all, as people tend to say, diversity is the spice of life, much more so in food.
Spread The Word : Nabemono
Our word for the month is Nabemono which broken down from the original Japanese ‘nabe’ which means ‘cooking pot’ and ‘mono‘ which means ‘thing‘ is the Japanese term for ‘hot pot’ in basic loosely translated terms ‘cooking a thing in a pot’. Nabemono is also shortened to ‘nabe.. If we look back to our kawaii kulture article, the term nabe is everywhere, example Ishikari-nabe and kiritampo-nabe.
Other useful Hot Pot dishes are Shabushabu (sha-bu-sha-bu) which are beef and vegetables cooked in a pot of boiling broth, Sukiyaki (su-ki-ya-ki) which is a beef and vegetable hot pot, Yosenabe (yo-se-na-be) which is a casserole of vegetables, fish, or meat and Oden (o-den) which is a hot pot stewed in stock. For a more elaborate language lesson regarding food, read our Hot Pot Bento Buffet.
Recipe of the month: Hot Pot
Top 5 Hot Pot Recipes
From visiting a shrine in Kyoto and eating tofu hot pot to Hot Pot With Meatballs in Tokyo Japan, watching the cooking and eating of Mille Feuille Nabe, watching people eating hot pot at home during the lockdown, to watching a petite young woman eating mountains of hot pot like a super Saiyan we have it all. Enjoy the shows, itadakimasu!!
JAPANESE Tofu Hotpot FEAST
Hot Pot With Meatballs in Tokyo Japan
Cooking and Eating Mille Feuille Nabe
Japanese Nabe "Hot Pot" Soup Night
How much Japanese Hot Pot can she eat!?
December Anime Challenge: Restaurant to Another World (Isekai Shokudō)
If you are in the mood for something light to nibble on, with just the right side dish of humour served with fantasy elements then the anime Isekai Shokudou is just the anime ‘dish’ for you, simmered to the perfect heat. It is the perfect anime challenge for December. It is about a restaurant somewhere in Tokyo that specializes in Western cuisine, Mondays to Fridays. On Saturdays, however, it is closed to the public but then it is when a dimensional door opens and beast men, lizard men, sword men, wizards, shape shifting dragons, treasure hunters and other fantasy world surprises go to the restaurant ‘Western Restaurant Nekoya’ to eat from its exquisite menu. (There is even a parfait that can cure illness!).
The anime is based on the Japanese Light Novel series, written by Junpei Inuzuka, with illustrations by Katsumi Enami of which five volumes were released by Shufunotomo. The novel was licenced by Seven Seas Entertainment. The anime adaptation, which is our challenge this month aired in Japan from July 3rd to September 18th in 2017. Masato Jinbo directed the series at Silver Link while Takao Sano and Keiichi Sano adapted the original character designs for animation. The opening track is “One in a Billion” by Wake Up, May’n, while the ending track is “Chiisana Hitotsubu” (“A Small Grain”) by Kiyono Yasuno.
Anime Birthday of the Month: Misa Amane from Death Note
In Death Note, Misa Amane is an up-and-coming model and strong supporter of Kira, which later leads to her becoming the second Kira. When she gained her own Death Note she seeks out Kira, to thank him for killing the man who murdered her family and to offer him help. She becomes a key element in helping Light Yagami in his quest to find out L’s real name. Misa is short and slender and very attractive and loves to dress up in Goth and Punk fashion. She has light brown to green eyes but they change colour since has a special ability called Shinigami Eyes, which allows her to see a person’s name and lifespan above their head. When this ability is active, her eye colour change to bright red.
Misa Amane made her manga debut in chapter 24 of the Death Note manga and her anime debut was in episode 11. Tsugumi Ohba, the writer of Death Note, decided to create Misa because he did not want the story to consist of male characters, to prevent the story from becoming ‘boring’ a ‘cute female’ was his solution. Misa Amane’s birthday is 25 December, making her a Christmas baby. She shares her birth month with Kaneki Ken of Tokyo Ghoul on the 20th and Tony Tony Chopper from One Piece on the 24th.
AMV Double Play!!!
We have not one but two AMVs for you this month. First up is an AMV featuring scenes from Dr. Stone with the song Cooking by Lazy Town. Next up we have an AMV titled Anime’s Got Talent with the song Here comes the hotstepper by Baby&Me featuring anime characters from Mai-Hime, Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo, Arakawa under the bridge, Me!Me!Me!, Hataraku Maou-sama, Durarara!, Free!, Gintama, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaku-kun, Shigatsu wa kimi no uso, Amagi brilliant park, Tiger & Bunny, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatte Iru, Kyokai no kanata, Angel beats, Avatar: the last airbender, Bakemonogatari, Code Geass, Clannad, Idolm@ster, Death note, Dragonball Z, Full metal panic, Golden time, Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, Naruto, Macross Frontier, Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai, My little pony, Plastic Nee-san, Kami nomi zo shiru sekai, Log Horizon, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, Danshi koukousei no nichijou, Yowamushi pedal, Kiki’s delivery service, White album II, Fullmetal Alchemist, Nanatsu noTaizai, Tamako love story, Fairy tail, One piece, Bleach, Soul Eater, Tenjou Tenge, Carnival Phantasm, Space dandy, SKET dance, Magic Kaito 1412, Death parade, Super Sonico the Animation, Kore wa zombie desu ka?, Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Nuraihyon no Mago, Princess lover, Magi – Labirynth of Magic, Noragami, Hunter x Hunter, Shingeki no Kyojin, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, Eden of the East, C3, Mekakucity Actors, Kamisana no Memo-chou, Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata, Chaos;Head, Lupin III vs Detective Conan, Mirai Nikki, Cardcaptor Sakura, FLCL, Princess Tutu, and Sailor Moon! Enjoy the AMVs!!!
Anime's Got Talent
Anime Meetup: Free for All!
Time for a final meetup for the year so let’s have one last blast before we all run off for the holidays and see how much sun and fun or anime we can take in before the new year hits us. The theme is ‘Free For All Anime Day!’.
How it works. Anything goes! Well… except for shows that are adult in nature, well maybe Bikini Warriors. If we have it, we will show it or bring your favourite anime to us to screen. Join us and bid the year goodbye by watching YOUR choice of anime.
Free entrance and loads of in-house food and drink specials to enjoy at Cool Runnings on the day.
When : Saturday, 12 December 2020 from 12:00-18:00
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.