Thursday, 26 April 2007

Yakitate!! Japan

Phew! Finally finished this anime! It has been almost 2-3 years since I have been introduced to this anime by my Chea (Big Sis, my godsister, that is), and after all that time I finally have the leisure to watch each and every episode, and enjoy every one. Don't ask me why I took so long to finish it, I just got broadband 2-3 months ago, so downloading via torrent or such methods were not an option then. And I've found a more efficient method to watch them, via Youtube! Yes, people actually upload anime into Youtube for other surfers to enjoy. By the way, to those that are screaming at me right now about copyright issues and intellectual property and how I should not be promoting such stuff, I don't really know if I right, but subbed anime done by fans that are NOT to be sold are not against copyright laws, at least in my country, as I see it. Anyway, Youtube allows me to watch anime without jamming up my hard drives with *.avi files.

Alright then, lets forget about the legal issues here and talk about the anime at hand. Yakitate! Japan is an anime about..... BREAD! Oh es, you got it right the first time, the theme of Yakitate! Japan is bread: the baking of bread, the health benefits of such-and-such ingredients in bread, techniques of bread baking, yadda-yadda-yadda. Huh, puzzled about how such an anime can be interesting? Hehehehe, watch it and you will see!

The main protagonist of Yakitate!! Japan is Azuma Kazuma, a boy just out of middle school, who aspires to become a baker, but not just any baker. You see, he has a dream inspired by a baker who used to stay in his hometown, a dream to create "a bread made by and for the Japanese people, that can be presented to the world proudly!" You see, bread in parts of the world such as Europe has become a symbol of pride and identity to the local populance, thus French bread is different from German bread, for example. Japan, being a nation where the local staple is rice, has no such bread as its national icon. So therefore there is no choice but to create it, and that is what Azuma Kazuma is aiming for, with his Japan. Still it is tough, since bread is not a staple food, but that's where Azuma's love for bread, tenacity, genius (apart from bread, apparently he is a genius at maths too =>) and Solar Hands will get him through.

Alright, a few concepts for those who can't wait to find out for themselves, I won't spoil much, as these concepts will be explained in the very first episode. Solar Hands are hands that are warmer than usual, found only in certain people. It is a very rare gift, and coveted by bakers, as warmth helps fermentation in bread dough, making it rise better. And, more importantly, for your humour appetites, this anime is VERY pun and parody orientated. Take for example, Japan, pronounced Jah-pun (rhymes with fun). Pan is japanese for bread, so the pun in the name is obvious enough, I hope =P. You will see even more of this in this anime, in act in every episode LOLZ. And the parodies often come in forms of reactions, in other words, when the tasters of Azuma's bread are overcome with the taste and start hallucinating or acting weird. The anime makes parodies of some other anime, such as Gundam, Naruto, Dragonball and even the Lord of the Rings! Maybe this makes for some conflicts in the legal world, but just lighten up, will you?

Anyway, this anime ROCKS, seriously. You will be laughing at all the different reactions that the writer has come up with, and at the antics of the characters, in particular Kawachi Kousuke, a baker with the right reasons, but not the right gear for baking whom Azuma befriends. He is constantly going 'Naniatte?' (What?) whenever Azuma pulls something out of his bag of tricks. A Youtuber once commented that if you took a chug of beer everytime Kawachi says that phrase, you would be blitzed after 2 or 3 episodes.=> Mind you, I never tried it myself but I totally agree with that statement. The artwork is superb, too, and the soundtrack as well as the background music is kinda nice. Oh, and there is a tiny segment at the end of nearly every episode that tells you stuff about certain ingredients, bread or techniques used during that episode, called Yakitate! Seed of Knowledge.

Well, what can I say? Definitely on my top 5 list of favorite anime due to its neverending ability to make me laugh myself hoarse and make me feel good. Its highly recommended for those who are yet to be hooked into the realms of anime, and for those that are interested in anime that are non-violent and safe for kids. 14 over 10 for this one. Lolz Oh btw, Cass, good luck on finishing all 69 episodes,if you're reading this. Cheers.

P.S. There seems to be people selling bread licenced by Yakitate!! Japan somewhere in Japan. Cool, huh.

No comments: