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Yakitate!! Japan

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Yakitate!! Japan
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Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 25 minutes
Country: Japan
Release Date: October 12, 2004 – March 14, 2006
Network(s): TV Tokyo
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 69


Yakitate!! Japan is an action, adventure, drama, comedy, Japanese anime series.  It was based on a manga series which was written by Takashi Hashiguchi and published by Shogakukan for the magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday.  It was originally released from 2002 to 2007 and it lasted for 26 volumes in total.  After that came the anime series.  It was directed by Yasunao Aoki, written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa, musically composed by Taku Iwasaki, and produced by Norio Yamakawa, Hideyuki Tomioka, and Studio Sunrise.  It originally aired from October 12, 2004 to March 14, 2006, and it lasted for 69 episodes in total.

Plot

The story focuses on Kazuma Azuma, a boy on his quest to create "Ja-pan", a national bread for Japan itself. He initially heads to Tokyo to expand his horizons at the bread-making chain Pantasia; the story continues with Azuma's exploits with his other coworkers.

The title of this series itself is a play on words; Yakitate translates to "freshly baked", but Ja-pan has a double meaning. Besides referring to the country of Japan, pan is the Japanese word for "bread" (stemming from Portuguese pão[4]). Ja-pan is a pun for this series. This mimics the style of the names of other varieties of bread in Japanese, such as "furansupan" (French Bread), "doitsupan" (German rye-based bread), "itariapan" (Italian bread), etc. The characters cook the bread using sheer anger and the power of their burning passion. This mimics the legendary Kanjitake (河内 恭) cooking style of Hokkaido

Besides the desire to create his Ja-pan, Azuma also possesses the legendary Solar Hands (太陽の手 taiyō no te). These hands are warmer than normal human hand temperature, and allow the dough to ferment faster. This gives him some advantage at the beginning of the series, but his innovation is his greater talent.

Although the story has baking as its main theme, the parts that raise the most interest are the outrageous puns in the story. Especially notable are the "reaction" based puns made by the judges, who go to great lengths to prove a single point about the bread that they had tasted. The series in general also pokes fun at the shōnen genre's tendency to be melodramatic over mundane tasks.

Why It Rocks

  1. Amazing animation.  
  2. Incredible comedy. The series does a fantastic job of making comedy out of the most obsurd situations ever and of cooking, long before Shokugeki no Soma tried it.  
  3. The relatively boring and plain plot, that of cooking bread, only goes to help and make the comedy even more funny.  
  4. Excellent soundtrack.  
  5. Awesome cast of characters.  Each one are quriky, unique, and enhance the already stellar comedy of the show.  
  6. Great voice acting.  
  7. Despite it's premise Yakitate!! Japan is shockingly intense and nerve wracking from start to finish.  It always keeps you on the edge of your seat.  
  8. Good pacing.  
  9. The show does a great job of parodying common tropes and cliches in anime that people have gotten tired of, while also bringing something new and fresh to them.