So, after ACEN I wrote about how I don't get excited about anime anymore. But man, I miss getting excited about it. I want to enjoy it, but most of the new stuff is cliche and boring, and even the older series that I like make me kinda bored. (Was watching the original Tenchi Muyo episodes at the club today. I used to love that show. I never realized how much of it was ripped off from Dirty Pair and Urusei Yatsura.)
Sigh. If only some brand-new anime would come out that is super-cool and unlike anything I've ever seen before!
As you've probably guessed by now, I'm writing this because my wish was just granted. We have this rotating slot where each of the officers of the anime club gets a chance to show a single episode of a random show of their choice. Tonight Andrew showed us an episode of Yakitate! Japan. This is a brand new show about bread. Yes bread. I know how stupid that sounds, but just listen for a second.
Yakitate! Japan is about a boy named Azuma Kazuma (with a name like that you know the show isn't taking itself entirely seriously) who is moving to Tokyo to become a baker and dedicate his life to creating a new kind of bread which will be uniquely Japanese and will stand proudly alongside the best traditional breads of Europe. He has a rare power called solar hands which basically means that his hands are warmer than most peoples' and therefore dough rises better than normal after he kneads it. Yes, it's an extremely specialized superpower.
He refers to the bread of his dreams as "Ja-pan". This is a pun, you see, because the Japanese word for bread is "pan", and the Japanese word for Japan is "Nihon" but they're sort of vaguely aware that they are called Japan by other countries.
Just judging by the first episode, this is going to be one of those shows which is in the style of a sports anime, but instead of a sport the main character is devoted to perfecting a random skill. You know, kind of like Hikaru no Go. It's a genre with lots of possibilities and it's a good change from killing aliens or whatever. Judging by the first episode it's also going to be full of horrible cross-language puns. And good, cartoony animation, and crazy sight gags, and exaggerated patriotism. The way Azuma Kazuma wants to elevate Japan's cuisine has hilariously nationalistic overtones to it. Finally, there's this whole generation gap thing going on, because the older, more traditional Japanese people are portrayed as closed-minded because they only want to eat rice and not bread. Which is true, but it's hilariously exaggerated. There's this whole subplot in the first episode about how Grandpa will never give up rice and accept the power of bread unless Azuma Kazuma can bake a loaf of bread which goes as well as rice does with nattou and miso soup.
So yeah, Yakitate! Japan has instantaneously become my new favorite anime.