Hanguk Aeni

Hanguk Aeni Bento Buffet

Discover Korea's Aeni Culture!

This month we visit Korea, the land of K-Dramas and K-Pop to have a look at Aeni. Aeni is Korea’s own version of anime and chances are that you may have watched aeni before and not realized it. The word aeni comes from the English word “animation” as written in Hangeul, 애니메이션 (aenimeisheon) which was was shortened to aeni. Korean anime can also be known as hanguk aeni (Korean: 한국 애니; lit. Korean animation) or guksan aeni (Korean: 국산 애니; lit. domestic animation).

In this bento we examine K-Pop culture and Korean Food, we look at some of the top aeni series, listen to aeni amvs and have a fun aeni challenge as well. We also discover what can only happen in Korea, look at anime news and celebrate our monthly anime birthday, all this and more! Remember we are YOUR monthly source for Asian anime and news! Itadakimasu!!

Monthly News

Burapi and the Bullet Train

Who is Burapi?, you may ask, it is the shortened nickname in Japan for Brad Pitt and the ‘Bullet Train‘ in question is his new movie set in Japan that caused a huge buzz online. The movie is based on the 2010 novel ‘Maria Beetle‘ by Japanese novelist Kotaro Isaka. Maria Beetle is set in Japan with most of the action playing off on a bullet train that is travelling from Tokyo to Morioka in the Iwate Prefecture.

The movie adaptation, Bullet Train, is adapted by screenwriter Zak Olkewicz, and while we don’t know just how much the movie differs from the original novel there is clear proof in the movie’s trailer that it does depart somewhat from the original train route and that liberties were taken in how trains and train stations look in Japan.

For one, the train is moving in the opposite direction in the movie opposed to the route taken in the book, going from Tokyo through to Shin-Osaka instead, which gives the movie a chance to showcase the beautiful Mt.Fuji, a chance any director would not like to pass by. Also, there are no ‘Quiet Cars’ on Japanese trains, carriages in Japan are generally quiet. Another difference is that while Japanese lockers do exist at stations, they are not right on the platforms like in the movie trailer. These are but a few examples.

Japan in the movie is an amped-up, Hollywoodized version of the real thing, but who knows Japan could be similar in the near future, The Japanese reaction to the trailer is very positive and even the original novel’s author Kotaro Isaka gave his stamp of approval:

“What’s this Japan!? Even though I was surprised, I was excited by the gorgeous actors and their energetic, violent scenes! I hope it will be a fun movie that will drive away dark feelings!”

Monkey D. Luffy- receptionist!!!!

The beloved Strawhat Pirate captain, One Piece legend, Monkey D. Luffy is not just in search of the One Piece, no he is also a receptionist at the offices of the manga house, Shueisha! He started working there in late March. This version of Luffy is an AI program developed by the home office company Secom as well as the video game developers DeNa in cooperation with Shueisha, Toei Animation as well as the talented Mayumi Tanaka, Luffy’s voice actress.

And he is thus not a brainless voice with a looping voice saying:’Welcome to Shueisha’, no this Luffy can carry on conversations with human visitors, with no prerecorded scripts, the AI is synthesizing Luffy’s voice, based on voice data provided by Mayumi Tanaka, giving it the ability to create new dialogue if necessary. Here is an example:

Luffy: “Hey! You here on business or pleasure?”

Visitor: “I’m here for work.”

Luffy: “Work, huh? You must be working hard.”

Visitor: “Where is the editorial department?”

Luffy: “The Shonen Jump editorial department is in this building. We need to get you checked in first, so go tell them at the check-in desk.”

Visitor: “Thank you.”

Luffy: “Naw, no prob!”

The Luffy AI will be on duty until April 15th, and the designing team is gathering data through this project to improve the system and hold a public demonstration this summer season!


Sadako now haunts YouTube!

If you are a J-Horror fan you will know Sadako as the vengeful spirit from the brilliant J-Horror movies Ringu and Ringu 2 (the movies which inspire Hollywood to make The Ring movies). Sadako decided that climbing out of wells and TV screens and appearing in Dead by Daylight were not enough, our favourite vengeful spirit is now a YouTuber.

Dead by Daylight

Our horrific femme fatale’s channel Sadako’s Life in a Well launched on March 5th, Sadako Day. (3 and 5 is a Japanese wordplay on her name). This channel is NOT a fan account, it is her official channel! Her debut video showed us a tour of her room, her showing off her TV and the well where she… sleeps…

In a follow-up clip she answered 100 questions from fans, where we learn that her favourite book is Ringu (of course), her favourite movie is Ghostbusters and her favourite manga is Jujutsu Kaisen. Bare in mind that she only communicates in subtitles, gestures accompanied with cheesy sound effects and music.

The mistress of J-horror plans to play video games, eat food, sing and more to entertain us and wishes to do a collab with famous YouTuber Hikakin. We will not be surprised if he agrees since he has been collaborating with artists like Aerosmith, Ne-Yo and Ariana Grande in the past.

Studio Ghibli legend Toshio Suzuki receives lifetime achievement award at Annie awards!!!!

In March this year’s recipients of the Annie awards were announced. This is bestowed by the Hollywood chapter of the International Animated Film Association and one recipient is none other than Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki. Suzuki was the producer of movies such as ‘Princess Mononoke, ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘Whisper of the Heart’ and is also credited as a production committee member for ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’, ‘Castle in the Sky,’ ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ and ‘Grave of the Fireflies.’ He was presented with the Windsor McCay Award as part of Annies’ online ceremony.

Suzuki is, like Hayao Miyazaki far from stopping his career as he is still promoting the ‘Spirited Away’ stage play, the Ghibli Park theme park and other projects such as Miyazaki’s upcoming ‘How Do You Live’ movie project. And how does Suzuki feel about receiving his award?

“I am very happy to receive this prestigious award, as it was also given to Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata”

Only in Korea

Like Japan and China, there are things that can be quite different in Korea that do not apply to the rest of the world, things that make Korea unique in a peculiar way such as:

People age differently in Korea!

Yes, it does not matter if you are 18 and were born on the exact same day or time as a Korean, some Koreans will be older than you are, by one or even two years! You may wonder why this is possible, well, when a South Korean is born he or she is already considered one year old, while we in the rest of the world must wait a year before we are considered a one-year-old baby.

To add to this there is another twist, children age more when the next Lunar New Year occurs, meaning that even if you have the same birth statistics, sometimes Koreans are up to two years older than you are!


Kimchi is a unique dish/side dish that is traditionally Korean. It is a dish of salted and fermented vegetables such as Korean radish and napa cabbage. They use a wide selection of seasonings which may include gochugaru (Korean chili powder), spring onions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood). Kimchi is also used as an ingredient in a variety of stews, soups and even pancakes. It is eaten as a staple in every Korean meal alongside rice and soup. Some say it’s the reason for the Koreans living long, healthy lives.

Mom Teaches Korean Americans How To Make Kimchi

Daebak Culture – Korean Sirens

Nothing is more daebak (cool!) in Korea than its music scene. K-Pop (or Kpop) became a worldwide phenomenon in 2012 when Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ hit the radios all around the globe and we have even seen K-Pop being used in American TV shows like Lucifer (SHINee’s song ‘Lucifer’),

Riding the Hallyu wave

K-pop is part of a phenomenon called Hallyu, which translated means ‘Korean Wave’. It refers to the growing influence that Korean culture is having around the globe. You can see it everywhere, people listening to k-pop, watching Korean shows such as Squid Game, Kingdom and My Holo Love on platforms like Netflix and a vast library of Korean cuisine on Youtube. And that is just the tip of the hallyu wave iceberg.

The Music Evolution

For a long time, South Korean radio and television were censored heavily until it was reformed in 1987 and music influences from around the world seeped into Korea and gave birth to what is popular culture in Korea today. Korean music started to evolve. In 1992 Seo Taiji and Boys played on a talent show on television for the first time, and that quickly pushed them to the top of the music charts. Many Kpop fanatiks consider Seo Taiji and Boys to be the first K-pop band.

Kpop Education

To become a Kpop star is hard work. Most start at childhood, kids that dream of being stars start auditioning at ages 10 to 12, and if the music agency chooses them, they are enrolled in a special school. At these schools they learn so much more than history, maths and science – they get trained in dancing and singing for hours, in the hope to become Kpop stars. Once they are lucky enough part of a band or launch as a solo artist, K-pop artists will sing and record music videos for songs created by their agency. Being a Kpop star is not easy, they often have to sign contracts that control more than their careers, it control their lives, these contracts can have specific requirements for each star’s private, public, and dating life. The lifestyle of these Korean sirens is a hard path filled with hard work and iron dedication. Many will not make it, many will rise and become stars.

How To Become A K-Pop Idol: Life As A Foreign Trainee
Former K-Pop Trainees Answer Most Googled Questions

Top Korean Foods including Kimchi

In this bento we take you on an incredible Korean food journey that will make you salivate, so grab a plate of snacks, chillax, as we show you more kimchi, Korean army burgers, food from Korea Town in L.A, as well as street food and 7-Eleven food straight from Seoul, Korea!

The most popular ways to use Kimchi (5 Kimchi Recipes)
Korea's MANDATORY Military Burger - GUNDERIA!
SPICY SEAFOOD + Kimchi Noodles in Koreatown, LA!!
10 KOREAN FOODS You've Never Seen! UNIQUE Korean 7-Eleven Tour in Seoul
Traditional Korean Street Food Tour at Gwangjang Market in Seoul!

Top Five Aeni Anime

To continue our Korean Fest we bring you our top 5 Aeni (Korean Anime) recommendations. Some of these were released in Japan as well in Japanese such as God of High School, Tower of God and Noblesse. Aeni is fantastic and just as entertaining as anime. We hope you enjoy our recommendation!

God of High School
Tower of God
Ghost Messenger

Link of the Month

If you want to dwell more into the world of Korean animation we have the perfect link for you:

South Korean animation

April Aeni challenge: Bagel Girl

Imagine this, you are a 26 overweight loner who collects the Anime girl figurines as a hobby, plays games when he comes home after a part-time job, and one morning you wake up transformed during your sleep as a Bagel girl (woman with a baby face and glamorous body)! This is what happens to poor Bong Gi. Embarrassed by the sudden change he asks the internet for help and meets a cute and cheerful girl in an online chatroom that offers to help. He falls for her but quickly finds out there is a complication she is the younger sister of his arch-nemesis.

Bagel Girl is a 2019 aeni series based on a web-hosted cartoon strip by Tank Guy. It premiered on B TV, U+ TV, Olleh TV, LAFTEL, Home Choice on December 2019 or January 3, 2020. Studio ANIMAL is the company that made this animation series.

AMV of the month: Aeni version

We have some sick tunes this month all with scenes from aeni series. We have Adam Jensen with Don’t Care showcasing scenes from God of High School, followed by Unlike Pluto with Everything Black (feat. Mike Taylor) featuring scenes from Tower of God and last but not least we rock out with Ashes Remain’s End of Me showcasing scenes from Noblesse. Enjoy the music!

God of High School
Tower of God

Birthday of the month: Mei Misaki (Another) April 27, 1983

Our anime birthday girl is a dark girl from a dark anime, Mei Misaki from the anime series Another. Picture this: Yomiyama North Middle School. A place of mystery. Kōichi Sakakibara has just been transferred to class 3-3 and he notices that everybody ignores Mei Misaki like the plague. To top the mystery off students and their relatives start dying off in sometimes strange and gruesome ways, and even more mysteries unfold relating to an event that happened in 1972. Will Kōichi and Mei figure out how to stop it before it kills any more of their classmates or them?

We will give you no spoilers, you have to see Kōichi and Mei’s adventures for yourself. But here is some trivia to reveal more about the birthday girl.

Mei’s name both means ‘to cry’ and ‘to scream’, very dark, yes? but don’t worry her name also refers to a Japanese ornamental tree with fragrant white or pink blossoms and small yellow fruits.

Her home address is 4-4 Misakicho Yomiyama City.

Her birth name was “Mei Fujioka” before being adopted. The reason Mei was given to Yukiyo is because of her name. If Misaki Fujioka was given to the Misakis, her name would be “Misaki Misaki.”

Mei is the shortest person in class 3-3.

Anime Voice Comparison Mei Misaki (Another)
Misaki Mei Theme