Best of 2021 Bento Buffet

Farewell 2021

2021 was a good year for some and a bad year for others. Takeshi lost his father and ookami his dog and sister, yet there were good things that happened in 2021. In this bento we look at mostly the best of 2021, we look back at anime which made the year better, we also have our usual news, food and AMV articles and lots of yummy content. Itadakimasu.

December News

New Rurouni Kenshin anime series announced

Rurouni Kenshin is a timeless classic set in a historic time at the dawn of the samurai era. Nobuhiro Watsuki’s manga was one of the most popular series in Weekly Shonen Jump and the 1996 – 1998 anime series was a huge hit which then led to Three OVA side-story series, five brilliant live-action movies and in 2017 a manga continuation subtitled The Hokkaido Arc which he co-wrote with his wife.

The new anime project was announced as part of the Jump Festa 2022 festivities, with a teaser trailer teasing how Himura Kenshin will appear in the newest incarnation of Rurouni Kenshin and it seems this series will be a reboot. The new series titled Rurouni Kenshin-Meiji Kenkaku Romantan, “Rurouni Kenshin-Meiji Swordsman Adventure Story.” will be produced by Liden Films.

Please Tell Me! Galko-chan mangaka Kenya Suzuki arrested for Importing Child Porn

The Kyodo news service reported earlier in December that the Aichi Prefectural Police arrested mangaka Kenya Suzuki on suspicion of possessing child pornography imported from Germany in violation of Japan’s Customs Act. Suzuki allegedly had 6 photon collections that he received by international mail. Suzuki stated upon his arrest that he “desperately wanted to acquire nude photos of foreign children that cannot be acquired in Japan.” 46 books and publications of child pornography were confiscated from his residence.

Suzuki is best known for his Please Tell Me! Galko-chan (Oshiete! Galko-chan) manga. Suzuki launched the manga on Kadokawa’s ComicWalker digital manga service in June 2014, but published it on Twitter before that. Seven Seas Entertainment is releasing the manga in North America. The manga inspired a television anime that premiered in January 2015. Crunchyroll streamed the anime.

Something's afoot, and it is Bread

Japanese capsule toys are strange, from lions sitting on toilets to anime characters. Then there is the newest capsule toy trend, bread with feet, we kid you not. Imagine a loaf of bread, pretzels, croissants, dinner rolls, baguettes and melon bread with feet… Artist Hatena’s concept, Ikiteru Pan (living bread) was born of the artist’s love for bread, but since eating too much of it can be bad for your health, the artist reimagined a type of bread that can run on four legs, to make them difficult to catch thus harder to eat too much off.

Hatena teamed up with capsule toymaker Qualia to create the entire series. Ikiteru Pan can be found all over Japan at capsule machines for 300 yen. They are adorable. Here is a video showcasing these legged bread creatures.

GUNPLA SA

If you are crazy about BANDAI Gundam and looking for THE place to fulfil your wildest mecha dreams then GUNPLA SA is the place for you, a place to indulge in officially related model kits, accessories, tools and related merch, everything a collector needs. Don’t know much about Gundam? The Mobile Suit Gundam anime franchise started in the 80s, it was a mecha explosion and gave birth to epic series such as Gundam Wing and Gundam Seed to name but a few. Then BANDAI Gundam Model Kits hit the scene and to date over 450 million Gundam Model kits have been sold globally.

GUNPLA SA caters to all your needs; Gundam model kits and the tools to make them. They offer gift cards in case you want to buy a voucher for that Gundam enthusiast in your life. Below is their first podcast with more detail about GUNPLA SA. Included is also all their online platforms and their physical address, so go get your GUNPLA on!

Website: https://gunplasa.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRSvPiDOeN5YEnh1SJ9AXJw

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gunpla_sa/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gunplasouthafrica

GUNPLA SA is located at the following address:

The Nexus Hub, 21 Harley Street,

Ferndale, Randburg,

Johannesburg, Gauteng,

South Africa

Only In Japan

In 2021 we featured some crazy stuff that only happens in Japan. One was the dangerous Japanese sport Botaoshi, a brutal game involving 75 members and a giant pole. Another was the panty heist incident that took place in Nagoya in April. We will bring you more bizarre stories that are Only in Japan in 2022!

Botaoshi
The Panty Heist

Kawaii Kulture: Lest We Forget

2021 was a tough year for many, on a personal level some if not all of us lost someone, be it from the Covid-19, natural or accidental causes, this year many were hit by tragedy. In the world of anime and manga, we also suffered losses as talented artists passed away. Some of them we have reported about during 2021 but we want to bring homage in this bento to those amazing heroes that filled our hearts with their manga and anime.

Osamu Kobayashi

Beloved director and animator Osamu Kobayashi died at Age 57 after a two-year-long battle with kidney cancer. He was the world setting designer for the game Grandia but mainly worked as an animator, illustrator, mechanical designer as well as animation director for anime such as BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad and Naruto: Shippuden. He also has a lot of guest appearances under his belt such as on Gurren Lagann episode and Dororo episode 15. He also did concept art for The Last: Naruto the Movie. His work on the ‘Boyhood Arc’ on Naruto Shippuden will always stand as a huge monument of his extraordinary talent. Osamu Kobayashi-sama died in April 2021.

Kentaro Miura

Kentaro Miura, the father of the Berserk manga and anime franchise passed away on May 6th from an acute aortic dissection. He was only 54-years-old. The editorial staff of Young Animal magazine also expressed their condolences and reminisced that Miura never once looked angry or upset, quite a contrast to his series Berserk which is as dark as dark fantasy can get. In fact, they said:” He always looked like a happy person who was a kid at heart”. The Final Fantasy game franchise itself has no link to Kentaro Miura or Berserk yet the Final Fantasy community has been holding massive impromptu memorial gatherings to honour the mangaka. Big swords are part of FFXIV’s imagery, the game’s greatsword-wielding Dark Knight class when equipped with shadowy-hued armour has a striking resemblance in common with the berserk protagonist, Guts.

Yuji Suzuki

Yuji Suzuki, director of the anime Edens Zero passed away on September 9, 2021. He was also known for his contribution to various series such as Space Brothers, Fairy Tail, Talentless Nana, Fairy Tail among others.

Masami Suda

Veteran animator, director, and character designer Masami Suda died at age 77 on August 1, 2021.

His first project was working on the original Speed Racer at Tatsunoko Productions in 1967 then he went on to work on children’s shows such as Gatchaman and The Genie Family, he also worked as a character designer and director on Fist of the North Star. He also worked on anime such as SLAM DUNK, the Speed Racer remake, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Viewtiful Joe and Yokai Watch.

Takao Saito

Mangaka Takao Saito, died aged 84. Saito’s best-known work was Golgo 13, the tale of a professional hitman, first published in 1968 and later adapted into games and films. Its 201st edition came out in July this year, breaking the Guinness world record for the most volumes ever published of a single manga series. He died of pancreatic cancer on Sept 24.

These are but five of the greatest names of manga and anime heroes that passed in 2021. There are many more and we once more want to express our condolences to not just their family and friends but to all who lost someone dear to them in 2021.

Japanese Food – Osechi, the New Year's Food

Osechi is traditional food enjoyed on New Year’s day in Japan. They’re presented as an assortment of colourful dishes packed together in special boxes called jubako, which resemble bento boxes. This is typically a meal eaten with family for the new year’s season and can be spread out for a couple of days. This assortment of food is each symbolically supposed to represent something. There are so many components to osechi, and it varies so much depending on who has prepared it. The reason for this is that most shops traditionally closed up until the 4th of January in order to have a break in the new year. This is another reason why most of the food you can find in an Osechi is cold instead of heated up. Some of the food you can find in osechi include Black Beans (representing hard work), shrimp (representing longevity), Datemaki (A type of sweet rolled egg mixed with fish cake, the dish is supposed to represent scholarship.), kazunoko (herring roe, representing fertility) and gobo (burdock root which represents strength and stability).

Japanology Plus - Osechi : New Year's Food
How to Make 6 Traditional OSECHI Japanese New Year Dishes

Link of The Month: 7 Ho-Ho-Horrible Santasd

Now that it is safe and Christmas is over we share something scary with you all. Did you know that in anime there are horrible santas? We share a link with you that tells us more about…

7 Ho-Ho-Horrible Santas

You better watch out…

Top Five 2021 anime (AnimeFanatika staff's choice):

2021 had great anime series, a great year for anime and it’s quite difficult to choose a top five, top thirty would have been more fun, but alas we had to keep it short, so here is the choice of our top 5 and a few honourable mentions.

Sonny Boy
TO YOUR ETERNITY (Fumetsu no Anata e)
Peach Boy Riverside
Kyuukyoku Shinka Shita Full Dive RPG ga Genjitsu Yori mo Kusoge Dattara
Isekai Shokudou 2

Honourable Mentions

ODD TAXI
TOKYO REVENGERS

Anime Challenge: The Rising of Shield Hero (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari)

Our challenge for January is the highly popular The Rising of Shield Hero (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari) based on the Light Novel. The anime series was produced by Kinema Citrus and directed by Takao Abo joined by Keigo Koyanagi handling series composition, Masahiro Suwa designing the characters and Kevin Penkin composing the music. The series ran from January to June 2019 and ran for 25 episodes.

Book otaku Iwatani Naofumi discovers a book in the library that summons him to another world. He finds himself joined up with the spear, sword and bow as one of the Four Cardinal heroes, fighting the waves of the Catastrophe as the Shield Hero. Excited by the notion of adventure, he sets off only to be betrayed days later losing all his money, dignity, and respect. What will happen to this young warrior who lost everything?

AMV of the month The Rising of Shield Hero (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari)

Our AMVs this month will set a nice vibe for our anime challenge, The Rising of Shield Hero (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari). Our first AMV is the song ‘Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch as the song and animation for the AMV are perfect. We also urge you to check out the original video of the Five Finger Death Punch song, as it conveys a strong message that is close to all AnimeFanatika’s staff member’s hearts and please support the band’s YouTube channel.

Our second video is the song ‘Rise by ‘State of Mine‘. Enjoy the videos!

Wrong Side of Heaven
Rise

Birthday of the month: Suu (Monster Musume)

Those of you that have watched Monster Musume know by now that it is about a high school student named Kimihito Kurusu that is, sort of, forced into the ‘Inter-species Cultural Exchange’, meaning he has to open up his house to monster girls including Suu, to stay and live with him.

It all started when Ms. Smith (that alias screams federal agent) delivered an embarrassed and scared Miia to his door by mistake. When he saw the beautiful naga (a creature half woman, half snake) he did not have the heart to let her be sent away and they started to live together. Of course, that is when all types of monster girls started to become part of his life and were also forced allowed to live with them. A harpy and a centaur girl, as well as others, join them at Kimihito’s house. One of the monster ladies that join them is Suu (or Sue) the slime girl, whose birthday will be on January 31. (She is the green beauty on the left in the main picture)

Suu snuck into Kimihito’s house without notice while looking for sources of water. She is the fourth girl to move in. She is the only girl not to be brought to Kimihito by Ms. Smith and the only character who did not have a name, she was named by Papi. (Her name, Suu, is derived from her species name, “Slime”). Papi named her after the Japanese onomatopoeic sound slimy objects make “Suu”