Yakitate!! Japan

Title:Yakitate!! Japan
Freshly Baked!! Ja-pan!
Yakitate Japan
焼きたて!! ジャぱん
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - SUNRISE
KOYASU Takehito
TACHIKI Fumihiko
A young six-year-old boy learns the wonders of baking bread and grows up with a desire to create an “bread that will define Japan”. But can this young man, born with gifted golden (or solar) hands, craft the yeasts and sugars of a simple bread dough and create a chewy manna of the heavens succeed? Only a battle of faith and culinary creativity can decide, as a young Kazuma accepts the challenge to create the most ultimate BREAD OF JAPAN!!!

Yakitate means "fresh baked", but the word "Japan" is actually a pun - pan means bread in Japanese, so Kazuma is out to make Japan, a unique Japanese bread to compete with the best breads from around the world!

[TV series, 2004/2005, 69 episodes, 24 min]

1:29min Series Opening #1 - YouTube Video
1:29min Series Opening #2 - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 8 8 9 9 9 ZenGirl [series:863#3016]
hey! Its Azuma Kazuma and the same voice for Gon from Hunter x Hunter! If there ever was an anime to seriously make you burst out laughing, sometimes crying, but always making you encouraging the main characters...its YAKITATE! watch all three story arcs and 69 episodes and you wont be disappointed!

Last updated Friday, September 19 2008. Created Friday, September 19 2008.
Buy 7 8 7 8 8 Alaunus [series:863#2506]
When I first heard about this show, I was pretty sure I was in for some laughs, though it surpassed my expectations really, few things make me laugh out loud, this is show is a definite winner!

The characters themselves were funny due to their little quirks and the jokes which were a riot. The backbone of the humour in this series had to be the reactions from tasting the breads and the parodies. I've seen other animes that central around cooking, but this one made itself different by not being serious.

The 2nd episode should hook most people into the series, as thats where the laughs begin. The explanations in how they made the breads and the health benefits really appealed to me, who knew goat milk was that healthy.

This series was very enjoyable overall and I'd recommend it to alot of people. - It also teaches you how to make on the breads in the show in an episode! That was quite a bonus.

Last updated Thursday, July 26 2007. Created Thursday, July 26 2007.
Buy 7 7 7 7 Kaitou Juliet [series:863#137]
Okay, I can hear everybody's thoughts now: "A shounen fighting show about bread?" Trust me, that's what I thought too, but this show absolutely won me over. It started as a filler over the dinner hour at my anime club's marathon and went on to become a regular part of the club's lineup.

I feel like the numbers I gave this show don't reflect how much fun it is. The storyline is pretty standard for a competition show: young heroes enter various competitions, win a lot of them, meet new people, and solve new challenges. But the fun is in how it's all done. The show is high-spirited and doesn't take itself too seriously. In every round of competition, I can't wait for the judge to taste the bread, because that's where it really goes wild. For example, a particularly good croissant might give him visions of being an astronaut walking on the (crescent) moon. Azuma's very best bread actually sends people to heaven!

One interesting aspect is that the secondary hero, Kawachi, actually comes in for some pretty serious character development. Azuma is a great, self-taught natural baker who almost seems at times like a kind of idiot savant (except that "idiot" is too harsh a word for that cute, naive little guy). Kawachi, on the other hand, goes through serious work and training to improve his baking, and he shows real progress during the course of the show.

The supporting cast of quirky characters is fun as well. There's the bakery manager who thinks an afro is necessary for all real men and tests out his bread on horses. There's his boss, a masked Char Aznable clone with his own personal flock of doves which always manage to take flight artistically just as he appears. There's the brilliant young judge who unsuccessfully tries to keep his dignity in the face of ever-more-delicious bread from Azuma and his competitors. There's the trio of sisters vying to inherit the corporation where our heroes are employed. There's even a surprise, animated guest appearance by Yukio Hattori of Iron Chef fame!

I'm starting on the "Monaco arc" now, where our heroes go to an international baking competition, and it promises to be just as much fun as the rest. If you're open to something wacky and out of the ordinary for the competition genre, give this show a try. Oh, and one last word..."Disco Manager" in the second set of closing credits has to be seen to be believed.

Last updated Sunday, September 10 2006. Created Sunday, September 10 2006.
Buy Forbin [series:863#1573]
Drama : Low / Med
Comedy : High
Action : None
SciFi : Low
Ecchi : None

Episode 37 Fansubed.
What a great little anime to pass the time and just lift up sprits. Azuma Kazuma wants to be the best baker in all of Japan. Once he gets over working at the Smallest bread store in the country. Hehe.

While the first episode is very slow and I almost didn't watch this. It's a fun watch and you learn a lot about bread baking. Now I'm off to eat my Japan #22...err Croissant!

In a way it looks like City Hunter, no surprise, it's done by Sunrise! Each episode shows a particular bread baking style, and it's a Series/Episode Story, you can miss a few episodes and just come back for a laugh. Each Character has their own particular quirk and it's just lovely to see what Azuma comes up. My favorite is still from #2 where he makes Mount Fuji. How? Just watch you will see.

Edit : I'm enjoying this series way too much to keep rating it a rent. This is a keeper.

This show is divded into arcs

1 - Azuma tries out for the Pantasia Store.
2 - Azuma invents a few breads to combat the bakery across the street.
3 - Pantasia Newcomers Battle
4 - Monaco Arc (Currently watching)

Last updated Wednesday, August 31 2005. Created Tuesday, April 19 2005.
Buy Jan-Chan [series:863#967]
(Originally posted April '05)

Mortal combat in the kitchen?? I was married to a professional chef, so I can understand the level of stress and competition that is associated with food and the foodservice industry. But this series is a very fun anime that takes all the attitude and ceremony of a martial arts competition, and brings it into a kitchen setting. While trying to keep ALL THE TENSION of the competitive cooking spirit, it blows all of this series characters over-the-top by exaggerating them to an interesting and entertaining extreme. (Ever heard of the Japanese cooking series Iron-Chef?) And this story works, with a lot of yelling, bravado and comedy!!

When watching this series, I keep wanting to consider it a parody of a martial arts anime series, but it is the innocence and honesty of Azuma-kun, the main character that proves to be the anchor point around which spins all of the over-blown egos and anarchy of the other characters. But as my dear-wife-chef told me repeatedly, the last remaining autocracy in our current civilization is the kitchen, where the CHEF’S word is LAW!! And DON'T even think about questioning or challenging the CHEF!! (They usually have a knife close at hand!)

Kazuma Azuma was first exposed to fresh baked bread by his older sister at the age of five, (granted she had to rope and drag him behind her bike to get him to cooperate.) But he really enjoyed what he tasted, and with the kind help of the baker of the shop, he began to learn about yeasts, flours and the different types of bread that can be made by mixing different ingredients together. His mentor is amazed to find out that Azuma has the gift of “golden hands”, hands so warm that they nurture and hasten the yeasting process that is so crucial to the rising of dough. Azuma was born to a family of rice growers, and his cantankerous old grandfather refuses to eat bread with his breakfast of miso soup and nattou. At least until, Azuma learns that bread can be with soymilk, a natural complement to the nasty nattou that his father loves so much. His grandfather finds himself having to admit that Azuma’s bread is “OK”, and grudgingly accepts to occasionally having bread with his breakfast meal. After several years of working in the bakery, Azuma’s mentor announces that he has to close the shop due to poor sales, but his departure does not stop Azuma from working with and learning about the wonders of bread. Being mostly self taught, he is proud to have created a number of different types of breads which he calls his “Japan type #1” or “Japan #20”, but his ultimate dream is create a BREAD of Japan, a bread that will define Japan on the global marketplace, much like how the “French bread” has made it’s mark for France. And at the age of 16, he leaves his rural village and family to travel to Tokyo to try out in the baker’s entry exam (or competition) at headquarters of the famous Pantasia Bakery Chain. With 34 competing applicants, only the top few winners can hope to be offered a position with the company. Every entrant starts with 20 points, and is scored based on their baking entries, but if they ever reach zero points, they are disqualified. Azuma somehow manages to arrive late, and is docked 5 points before the exam begins. He is almost docked another 5 points for having unrully hair, but another cute female competitor comes to his aid by lending him her support and a hairband. The casual and quirky Azuma might not understand much about the formal names and terms of the yeasts, breads and different baking processes, but he knows his stuff and has a special way of showing his charms and abilities that could easily help him find a collection of good friends or extremely bitter rivals.

I have to call attention to the EXCEPTIONAL! English subtitling that the Anime-Empire fan-sub group is doing for this series. Not only are they translating the Japanese script in English text, but they are also providing an amazing number of cross-cultural/idiomatic translations (which appear as top-of-screen-drop-down-boxes) as well. If you are new to Japanese fan-subbed anime, then you should consider watching this series, if only to get a better understanding of some of the complexities that are confronted when translating Japanese into English, and how deeply infused the Japanese language is with cultural references. (Who has been brave enough to taste Nattou? Who will admit that they actually like it?)

I really enjoy this series and enjoy "foody" types of shows, so pls permit me to tag this series with a fun “tentative” BUY rating.

Last updated Saturday, August 23 2008. Created Tuesday, October 26 2004.

Other Sites
Yakitate Japan Torrents http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/494.html
Web site for anime torrents NOT yet licensed for release in the R1 USA Market
Official Japanese (language) Web site http://www.yakitate-japan.com/
Wiki-entry for series (English Language) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakitate%21%21_Japan

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