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Ephemeral-Garden's Yakitate!! Japan Tv Review

Yakitate!! Japan tv Review

Yakitate looks at the glory that is Bread! 16 year old Azuma Kazuma is a boy with the legendary Solar Hands, and dreams to create ja-pan; a bread that will become a national symbol of the country. In following this dream he becomes employed by Pantasia, one of the higher status bread companies in Japan. Azuma invents mighty breads to prove his strength to the world while at the same time trying to save Pantasia from its over-bearing rival St Pierres.

Written by littlejonny100

Story & Characters

"There's English bread, German bread and France's bread. However, Japanese bread, Japan, does not exist. This story is a serious, biographical ballad of a boy who possesses Solar Hands, Azuma Kazuma, who will create a Japanese bread made by and for the Japanese people, which can be presented to the world, proudly!"

Yakitate! Japan, as the title says, actually has 2 meanings: 1. Which can be directly recognised as Japan, as in, the country of Japan. 2. Ja-pan, pan, in Japanese, is bread, so, Ja-pan, as in Japanese bread, and thus is translated as "Freshly baked! Japan" So basically, Yakitate! Japan is a story of a boy, who possess the legendary Solar Hands, who wants to create a national bread for Japan. Original run from 2004 and completed in 2006 with 69 episodes altogether and was authored by Hashiguchi Takashi.

Yakitate! Japan focuses on bread-making, more precisely, bread-making competition, hence exploiting Azuma's skills and talents in this industry as he constantly makes bread that never cease to amaze judges through their "reactions", something that has to be noted throughout the series. This story contains quite a number of puns, of course, based on Japanese way of making them - words play, a number of exciting parody basically used in most of the judging reactions, and of course, your freshly baked breads presented fresh. Although it's mainly based on bread, the story doesn't actually bore you, it's surpisingly very interesting and refreshing story, with a very entertaining plot, and very wise play on words, which makes the anime very original and enjoyable.

Characters.

Azuma Kazuma - Your 16 year old male protagonist, who possess the legendary Solar Hands which allows yeast to ferment faster and better, thus making it faster for doughs to expand when he's kneading. He quit his studies after Junipr High and heads to Tokyo to enter the Pantansia Entrance Examination so he could expand his Japan. He has a problem in mishearing what somebody is trying to say, and this is shown throughout the series. He's not the happy-go-lucky type of guy, but he's a true genius when it comes to bread, a very optimistic and cheerful young boy who doesn't give up easily, but is easily stirred by emotional tragedies, which, doesn't last long.

Kawachi Kyousuke - A blonde with earring pierced who hails from the Kansai area, most likely Osaka. He was first met in the Pantasia Entrance Examination, alongside Suwabara Kai who were listed in the final 3 of the exam. Initially, Kawachi was portrayed as a baker with superior knowledge compared to Azuma, but eventually as the story progressed, Azuma's ability began to shine more and Kawachi was backed down, and is mostly crying "Nanyate?!" Which means, "What was that?!", picturing his lack of awareness in bread-making competition, and was then sent off by the Pantasia Southern Tokyo Store manager, Matsushiro Ken, to a church to be retrained. Kawachi may seem like a lazy looking guy with no use mostly at the back of the series, but is capable of baking exceptionally good bread at desperate times. He has the Solar Gauntlets, a physical-training acquired Solar Hands. He changed his hairstyle 4 times in the anime.

Suwabara Kai - A serious bread artisan who is said to have left the path of life-killing to follow the path of life-giving bread. Although with that said, there are times where he applied his samurai skill into baking bread, leaving people to doubt whether he's actually focusing on the "life-giving" part of baking. He has the Solar Gauntlets and considered Azuma his rival. He's the winner during the finals of the Pantasia Entrance Examination since Kawachi and Azuma have both pulled out from the exam. His brand of bread is Lupan, which, is a brand "stolen" from all kinds of sources.

Kanmuri Shigeru - A talented Pantasia baker encountered during Pantasia Newcomers' Tournament, and possess the legendary Solar Hands as well. A Harvard graduate like Kuroyanagi, only that he graduated at the age of 16, thus is considered as Harvard Junior Genius. Originally, he was working under Azusagawa Yukino, but then betrayed her and left to join the Pantasia Southern Tokyo branch. He's the son of the Hashiguchi Clan, the biggest yakuza clan in Japan, but he never admitted himself to be one of the yakuzas.

Azusagawa Tsukino - The understudy of Matsushiro Ken of Pantasia Southern Tokyo branch. Although she doesn't actually bake bread throughout the series, she constantly supports Azuma and Kawachi. She is said to be talented baker to have won the Pantasia Newcomers' Tournament 8 years ago while she's still carrying her bag pack during the whole thing. An illegitimate child of the Azusagawa family, she has problems getting along with her half-siblings, but remains dedicated to the Pantasia chains.

Your beloved bread judges.

Kuroyanagi Ryou - Your bread judge for the Pantasia Entrance Exam, Pantasia Newcomers' Tournament and Yakitate! 9. He's the head of the Main Pantasia Branch. At first glance, he looks like the kind of person who's very straight forward and dislikes nonsensical crapping, but his over melodramatic reaction and his seriousness in making a pun for the sake of judging the bread he has eaten truly shows what kind of person he really is. His skill is then fully utilised by Yuiichi Kirisaki in Yakitate! 9.

Pierrot Bolnez/Leonhart XV - Your beloved judge for the Monaco Cup. He's a "Sekai reberu no piero", which translates as world-class clown who's currently working as a bread judge for the Monaco Cup. He explained himself that he's 22 years old, can speak 135 languages and do all kind of amazing and unusual things because he's a world-class clown, which is constantly emphasised throughout the Monaco Cup. In truth, he's actually the sole heir of the King of Monaco, but is said to have been given away to be raised by his ordinary foster parents according to the Monaco tradition. But his foster parents ran away with the money and was left in the Quedam Circus, where he became a world-class clown.

Rating: 9

Art

The art is nothing extraordinary. It's good, not that bad. The character designs are great, and I really love the fact that Kawachi changed his hairstyle 4 times in the anime.

There are no strong fashion influence in this anime, since most of the time they're shown wearing baker's uniform.

The drawing of bread baked throughout the anime is very good and realistic. And I have to admit I really felt like eating one when I see them freshly baked. And the melodramatic reactions really makes you wonder whether such exaggerating thing can actually happen, and it really makes you feel like trying whether you can feel a reaction. It's just awesome.

But overall, it's just good. Can't find anything extraordinarily special.

Rating: 7

Sound

The OSTs featured in the anime are awesome. I can never actually imagined a song that could go well with bread-making competitions. Iwasaki Taku has done a great job composing a variety of music ranging from music used for competition, retro music, intrumental, etc.

As for the voice-acting department, we have your all-time favourite seiyuus like Koyasu Takehiko as Kuroyanagi Ryou, Seki Tomokazu as Pierrot, Sakaguchi Shuhei as Kawachi Kyousuke, Kobayashi Yumiko as Azuma Kazuma and all other seiyuus which have contributed themselves in this anime. They've done an excellent job, but most credits have to go to the judges, which I think, have portrayed both Koyasu Takehito's and Seki Tomokazu's exceptionally amazing skill as a veteran seiyuu.

The overall of the sound is great. We get to see a different side of the seiyuus, and the OSTs are great.

Rating: 8

Presentation

The presentation makes you feel like you're watching Ranma 1/2 - as if there's no end to the anime. It's actually very hard to picture how would Yakitate! Japan actually ended.

Yakitate! Japan, in overall, is great. Moderate music, moderate art, but a huge amount of puns and jokes and useful knowledges on baking bread sum up to how Yakitate! Japan is. The humour is all over the place, we get to see Japan prefectures' special localities, we get to see how to bake all kinds of bread. This anime actually shows how does it feels like to be a baker, and might be a very good use for those who aspires to be a future baker. Well, if you're not, then mostly likely the hilarious puns and parodies will make you fall in love with the anime.

This anime, in overall, is awesome!

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

8.50 (very good)

Reviewed by Ephemeral-Garden, Mar 16, 2007

Comments

  1. shoujoboy Mar 16, 2007

    I had heard about this show once before, might have been Newtype or maybe just word of mouth. It tended to seem like it would be enjoyable but a 9? Not sure I got that from what I'd heard everywhere else. Either way another review that makes all the others on the front page right now look retarded (wait mines there isn't it?) Yea well there ya go.

  2. Akaiken Mar 17, 2007

    Hmm... I agree with you on the soundtrack cuz I got hooked on To All Tha Dreamers of SOUL'd OUT with Ken dancing on the disco, hehehe! XD

    It's really funny cuz there are some anime cross-overs on the show itself (gee... most of it are from Shonen Jumps, hehehe!). Anyways, a good review again, though not really sure if it's worth a 9.

  3. Faytful Mar 18, 2007

    i agree though... I admit, it's nice review there, but a 9? well, I guess there's a reason for it... might it be because of the introduction, or something else... either way, I don't get it why you got a 9... But with "Freshly Baked! Japanese Bread" or should I say "Yakitate! Japan" it is really some anime... since that's one of the few animes that shows about food... like Cooking Master Boy... talking about it brings back memories.....

  4. beyondmeasure Mar 18, 2007

    9? Really?
    I have always thought that though the comedy sometimes goes overboard, Yakitate! Japan still deserves a rating of, say, 7.
    But 9?
    You have to explain that. I am a bit mystified by the rating you gave.

  5. RabbiTuck Mar 25, 2007

    awesome show, the best way to describe it I think is Dragonball Z meets The Iron Chef. A well deserved 9/10. 10/10 if the ending hadn't gotten slow and a little too ridiculous

  6. vatican92 Mar 26, 2007

    Pan actually is bread in many languages.... but probably originated from a european country

    Very well and thoroughly described

  7. MapleRose Retired Moderator Apr 13, 2007

    There's someone I know who likes to advocate for this series too.. A show about bread eh.. XD

    Would you understand (get) those puns if you're not proficient in Japanese? I mean, how well do they translate?

  8. starcraft2 Sep 21, 2008

    This is quite corny for me but you can actually learn how to make breads in this anime so I watch it sometimes(see wikipedia for more info).

  9. nomadikmynd Jan 23, 2009

    Overall very entertaining, but there are a few problems I have with this series:

    1) the protagonist Azuma Kazuma (14-16 years old?) has a very annoying voice, and sounds like he is 9 in sub version
    2) some of the op/end themes talk about "love" and what not... completely unrelated to the series whatsoever (note that this malady is not all that uncommon)
    3) the series has an air of that good ol japanese elitism that we have all come to know and love (the reason why the japanese government tariffs the heck out of foreign rice, because Japanese rice is naturally "better") channeled through the protagonist, who manages to unknowingly have made a "Ja-pan" version of virtually every type of bread imaginable by himself (which somehow turn out to be better than the originals), yet --still-- are not good enough to replace Japanese rice. granted, the other characters do not tarry in pointing out Azuma's ignorance of the world's breads, but to say that none are better than rice (over and over and over) is not simply a matter of stating opinion, it is downright audacious and borderline offensive, and finally....
    4) the biggest problem of all is the same that many slice of life comedies have... the lack of any real conflict whatsoever. yes, there are "baking battles" in practically every episode, but one does not really feel threatened by anything thrown at Azuma's way because it suffers from "godly shounen protagonist" syndrome. it's hard to immerse yourself into the series when you know everything's going turn out alright

    that being said, the good points can't be overlooked. the animation, character designs, and dialogue are superb, particularly the dialogue (quite hilarious). also, it is quite informative and by the end you will have hopefully increased both your knowledge and vocabulary concerning bread. however, i cannot realistically see this series earning more than a 7/10, and those who rate higher perhaps do not have enough series under their belts for comparison's sake

  10. rukasu04 Mute Member Nov 30, 2009

    Nice review

  11. SchRita Jan 15, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

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