Our Special Seinen Edition!!
This month we dive into seinen anime and learn all about it, we share hot pot recipes that are full of punch like One-Punch Man, get dancey with some rockin’ AMVs, go to space in our monthly anime challenge and investigate rareties from Only in Japan. That is not all, we have lots of fresh content in this bento to nibble because we are YOUR monthly source of Anime and Japanese news and content. Itadakimasu!!
July in the news
Castlevania anime gets spinoff series!
Netflix has really wowed us all with great anime content in recent years. The Castlevania game’s anime adaptation is well received and loved and now they plan a spinoff and if it’s as good as the Castlevania series, we are in for a treat. According to Executive producer Kevin Kolde, director Sam Deats, and assistant director, Adam Deats of Adi Shankar’s Castlevania the new series will star Richter Belmont (a descendant of Castlevania’s protagonists Sypha and Trevor) and Maria Renard. The series will be set in France during the French Revolution in 1792. If you are an avid Castlevania gamer you may remember Richter and Maria from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as well as other games in the successful franchise. The new series title is still a mystery for now.
The Castlevania anime series first premiered globally on Netflix in July 2017 as a four-episode season, followed by an eight-episode season in October 2018, the third ten-episode season followed in March 2020 and in May this year the fourth ten-episode season premiered. The anime is going strong.
Netflix describes the series:
“A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly beasts controlled by Dracula himself. Inspired by the classic video games.”
Disclaimer: The following video contains strong language and scenes of violence and gore, viewer discretion is advised.
Movie recaps can get you jail time
Three people found out the hard way that you can’t just post content on YouTube without permission from your source. On June, 23 the Miyagi Prefectural Police announced that they arrested a woman and two men for uploading a fast movie to YouTube last year. The Japanese term ‘fast movie’ is a term for those movie summary videos with titles like “Example movie in five minutes”, where they heavily edit clips or use still images of an entire movie narrated with a voice-over or subtitles. There are channels on YouTube dedicated to series like The Walking Dead and Star Trek using this template. The three in question posted a 10-minute movie recap.
Copyright infringement is a criminal offence in Japan and you can get jail time for just posting a fast movie video of 10 minutes. If you want to review a movie, it is better to ask permission to use footage before posting on YouTube. Getting monetized for content used by artists without permission is seen as stealing from the original creators of said content.
Remember a year ago there was a Poketoon cartoon? AN actual cartoon featuring Pokemon, not an anime. It starred the Pokemon Scraggy and Mimikyu, and was reminiscent of the old Disney-style cartoons, well earlier in June Poketoon returned with not one but two new Poketoons!
The newest episode, made by Studio Colorido (Pokemon: Twilight Wings) starts with a young girl that bonds with a baby Nidoran, and then, suddenly its parents Nidoqueen and Nidoking turns up… It is an emotional and fun episode and can bring a tear to the eye if you are the type that shed a tear when watching touching scenes.
The other Poketoon, released a week before features a martial arts Pancham, and we all know Pancham is kawaii. With two Poketoons showing up in one month after a year maybe it is a sign for more Poketoon content to come. We certainly hope so, because in the world we currently live in, more healthy doses of Kawaii can make the world a better place.
Resident Evil lurks the screens again
Yes, you read right, more Resident Evil is on its way, starting this July! Resident Evil has always been popular and well-received. The games had us all scared in a fun way, then there were the live-action movies starring the talented beauty Mila Jovovich and a string of well-crafted CGI anime movies. On July 8th, Netflix will start screening a four-episode CG anime series called Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, the first actual Resident Evil series.
The show will have fan favourite characters from Resident Evil Leon S. Kennedy (Nick Apostolides will be his English voice) and Claire Redfield (played by Stephanie Panisello. Other English cast members include Ray Chase as Jason, Jona Xiao as Shen May, Billy Kametz as Patrick, Joe J. Thomas as Graham, Doug Stone as Wilson and Brad Venable as Ryan.
The series is set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, and takes place in 2006 after a hacking incident is uncovered at the White House. Leon S. Kennedy, ordered to investigate the incident, encounters zombies when the White House is targeted in a mysterious attack. He later meets Claire Redfield, who’s been checking a strange drawing made by a child refugee while working on a TerraSave-led mission to oversee the construction of a welfare facility.
The series is directed by Eiichirō Hasumi (director of the live-action Assassination Classroom movie) and the movies music is composed by Yūgo Kanno (Psycho-Pass, Ajin) is composing the music. Toykopop is also releasing a “manga-style” graphic novel adaptation alongside the series.
There is also a Resident Evil live-action series in the making with stars such as Lance Reddick, Ella Balinska, Tamara Smart, Siena Agudong, Adeline Rudolph, and Paola Nunez. This series is directed by Bronwen Hughes (The Walking Dead) and Andrew Dabb (Supernatural) is writing the script. It is going to be an eight-episode series. Constantin Film who were responsible for the live-action Resident Evil movies starring Mila Jovovich is behind the upcoming series. Lastly, there is a live-action reboot of the Resident Evil movie in the works too called Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City which will premiere in November. As for the live-action series and movie, as we learn more we will keep you posted, until then we have the new series starting on Netflix to enjoy.
Only in Japan!
From insect restaurants to renting overweight people our Only in Japan caters for the weird beautiful part of Japan, the uniqueness that only comes from the motherland of anime. Yes, we live in a weird world, every country has its strange parts and here we share and celebrate the weird and wonderful.
Big in Japan
In Japan, you can rent-a-grandma, or rent-a-family member, a service that seems strange and some might think it serves a fetish-driven fanbase. Add to that a new trend that gives a new meaning to the term ‘Big in Japan’, renting an overweight person! A new company named Debucari seeks to change the image of being overweight in Japanese society. Their name explains it all ‘debu’ means ‘fat’ and ‘kariru’ means ‘rent.’
Debucari also makes it a point to make sure people understand that they are not a romantic escort or erotic entertainment service. It is important to them to promote a mindset moving away from a negative image about overweight people. It is more a service for commercial clients that need a plus-size model or to use for extras in a TV series or movie. The service also helps out with non-business purposes such as renting someone overweight to help to pick out a present for a heavyset person or to give someone advice that only an overweight person can give. It should be applauded, as every person on this planet, how big or small can offer each other positivity and light, and if you should hire a solution for it why not.
Creepy Crawly Crunchy Challenge
The practice of eating an insect is nothing new, all over the world from Asia to the Americas there are people that love eating creepy crawly creatures. In Southern African countries, the Mopani worm is often eaten with pap, and in New York, in the USA you can find deep-fried roaches and spiders at pricey specialized restaurants. Taking an insect ramen challenge is then perhaps not that bizarre right? We share a video and leave the judgement to you… but the thing about it: Isn’t bugs a great food source to turn to especially in the current economy? They are everywhere and can be free… Freaked out? Let’s hope the video will make you think differently… don’t bug out on us!!!
Link of the month
We all love our anime heroes and like to measure them up sometimes with other cultures like “who would win in a fight between Goku from Dragon Ball Super versus Superman” or “Who is the strongest force of lightning DC’s Black Lightning, Thor from Marvel Comics, Laxus from Fairy Tail or Raiden from Mortal Kombat? This month we share one such video that pits ten of our anime heroes against Marvel’s Hulk. Who would win against the green tanky hero?
Kawaii Kulture: Seinen
Seinen manga and anime, what is it really? Is seinen a genre? AnimeFanatika took a deep dive into the world of Japanese entertainment media to find the answers. To answer what seinen really is let’s look at the word first. The word ‘seinen’ means ‘youth’ in Japanese. The interesting fact is seinen manga and anime is a type of anime, not a genre per se as seinen manga and anime can include a broad spectrum of genres such as fantasy, horror, science fiction, Isekai, or any other genre you can think of. The term ‘seinen’ is a marketing practice and has certain characteristics that associate with young adult males but is actually aimed at men between the ages of 18 and 45. It does not mean that only men will be interested in seinen media, a lot of ladies and boys and girls like some seinen manga and anime too. Seinen manga and anime usually focus on action, politics, science fiction, fantasy, relationships (not necessarily romance), sports, or comedy. Seinen just boils down to meaning “anime for young men.” This translates to a wide variety of stories that can portray R-rated levels of violence (Elfen Lied) and sexuality(Prison School), murkier morals (Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor), and characters that are not promised any sort of absolution (Gangsta).
Seinen manga has very early origins. Weekly Manga Times, first released in 1956 was aimed at middle-aged men which featured tales of erotic nature and yakuza! Then in 1959 two of the main shōnen manga titles appeared: Weekly Shōnen Magazine and Weekly Shōnen Sunday. 1967 seinen history actually started when the first true seinen magazine appeared: Weekly Manga Action, which became popular with manga titles such as Lupin III and Lone Wolf and Cub, and later Crayon Shin-chan. A year later a magazine called Big Comic followed best-known for it’s series Golgo 13. Shueisha, known for their magazine Weekly Shonen Jump aimed at teenaged boys decided in 1979 to enter the seinen market with their new magazine Weekly Young Jump, which to date featured seinen manga series such as Elfen Lied, Gantz, Hen, Kirara, Liar Game, Oku-sama wa Joshi Kōsei, and Zetman. A lot of these titles was adapted into anime or live-action series.
Examples of seinen manga and anime include Monster (thriller), Chobits (Science-fiction), One-Punch Man (Superhero Science Fiction), Gangsta (crime), Tokyo Ghoul (horror), Mushishi (supernatural), Devil’s Line (Horror), and Cowboy Bebop (Space Opera). As you can see seinen is a diverse category and even if it is aimed at young men 18 to 45, maybe some of the other readers in the other age groups or some of the ladies will have favourites in the seinen market.
Spread the Word: a seinen proverb
Since ‘seinen’ means ‘youth’ let’s learn a Japanese proverb together.
Seinen kasanete kitarazu (盛年重ねて来らず) meaning: The prime of your life does not come twice.
It means you only live once, a Japanese way to say:’YOLO’. In this sentence seinen (盛年) means ‘prime of life’ and Kasanete (重ねて) means ‘once more, repeatedly’.
Recipe of the month: One-Punch Man Hot Pot
One-Punch Man fanatiks will know that the anime’s main protagonist is the most powerful being that exists in the series, but did you know that our seinen hero’s favourite food is the hot pot. To celebrate Saitama’s favourite food we share some hot pot recipes with you. If you want to learn more about hot pot, please have a look at our bento buffet article that features a lot of hot pot lore: Hot Pot to Warm The Soul Bento Buffet
How to Make Shabu Shabu
Top 7 Japanese HOT POT (Nabe) Easy Impressive Recipes
Top Five Seinen Anime recommendations
This month our choices for the top five seinen was difficult since there are just too many great titles to choose from but here it is, a variety of some of the best of the best seinen anime in existence. We have supernatural-slash- horror with Death Parade, Supernatural Martial arts with Hinamatsuri, Science Fiction with Inuyashiki, superpower anime with One-Punch Man and space western-style mayhem with the classic but never forgotten Trigun. These are the tip of the iceberg in what seinen has to offer, but all well worth a watch.
AMV of the month: Seinen Heroes of AMV
We give you a back-to-back One-Punch Man Double play and a bonus AMV! We start off with the song Ready or Not performed by Mischa “Book Chillak feat Esthero featuring Saitama’s fight against Boros, followed by JAM Project’s iconic song “THE HERO !!” because the opening song from One-Punch Man is just the punch we need to make our AMVs pop this month. We bring you a bonus AMV this month from the seinen anime Inuyashiki featuring the song Hero by Skillet. We hope we have your head bunging and fingers tapping with our music selection this month. Enjoy the AMVs
Ready Or Not
"THE HERO !!"
August Anime Challenge: Cowboy Bebop
A definite anime classic, Cowboy Bebop is a space western that follows the adventures of a group of bounty hunters trying their best to survive day-to-day on their spaceship called the Bebop. The crew consists of five very different people: Spike Siegel, a retired and exiled hitman; Jet Black, an ex-officer of the Inter Solar System Police, retired thanks to the loss of his arm; Faye Valentine, a con artist suffering from amnesia due to the fact that she was in cryogenic hibernation for a long time; Edward, a preteen genius hacker girl; and Ein, a hyper-intelligent, genetically-engineered dog.
The soundtrack is one of the best anime OST ever heard, with talents such as Yoko Kanno, (who also sang in Ghost in the Shell- Stand Alone Complex and Wolf’s Rain), The Seatbelts and Mai Yamane contributing to the soundtrack. Cowboy Bebop, considered one of the best anime series of all time, consisted of 26 episodes and aired in Japan from 1998-99. The anime was created by a production team (billed as Hajime Yatate) led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno.
Birthday of the Month: Vash the Stampede (Trigun)
There was a time, back in 1998 when, if an anime fanatik asked you if you know Vash the Stampede and you said no, they would look at you in shock, then make sure to show you just how super sugoi it is. Vash the Stampede, the hero of the anime Trigun was as popular as Ichigo from Bleach, or Uzumaki Naruto from the Naruto anime.
Known as The Humanoid Typhoon because of the chaos and destruction always surrounding him, Vash became a legend, travelling from town to town. He was a gunslinger that wielded a humongous silver revolver, trying to protect love and peace, virtues his adopted mother held dearly. Because of the destruction that surrounds him, two Bernadelli Insurance Society reps named Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson found him while investigating claims made due to damages caused by the mysterious ‘Humanoid Typhoon.’ Even if he appears with them in every episode of the anime, Vash has only referred to Meryl by name once, and he has never referred to Milly by her name! It is also interesting to know that our hero, Vash made a cameo appearance in the PlayStation game Wild Arms 2nd Ignition.