Anime 
TL;DR
Yakitate!! Ja-pan Season 1
焼きたて!! ジャぱん (Yakitate!! Japan)
YakitateJapan-Header-TV1-600
YakitateJapan-Header-TV1-600

Synopsis

Azuma Kazuma isn’t terribly clever, but he’s got a good heart and great skill – at baking. Since childhood, he’s been on a quest to create the perfect bread to represent Japan internationally. Now, he seeks to enter the famous bakery Pantasia, in hopes of reaching his goal. But plots abound…
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by

Rating

  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Animation

  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Story

  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Overview

Yakitate!! Ja-pan’s television series produced by Sunrise aired on TV Tokyo and other local stations from October 2004 to March 2006, with a total of 69 episodes.

Yakitate means “freshly 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 bread from around the world!

Alternative title

– Amassando Ja-pão
– Baked Fresh!! Ja-Pan
– Fresh Made Japan
– Un pain c’est tout
– ¡¡Amasando!! JA-PAN
– Прямо из печки!! Джапан
– 烘焙王
– 焼きたて!!ジャぱん
– Yakitate!! Japan
– Yakitate!! Ja-pan
– แชมเปี้ยน เจปัง สูตรดังเขย่าโลก!!
– 日式麵包王
– Freshly Baked!! Ja-pan!
– Vua bánh mì
– Свежевыпеченный!! Япония!
– Японская свежая выпечка
– ישר מהתנור! יפן!
– Yakitate!!

TL;DR Review

Yakitate!! Ja-pan (焼きたて!! ジャぱん, meaning “Freshly Baked!! Ja-pan”, the “pan” also meaning “bread” in Japanese) is a manga series, written and illustrated by Takashi Hashiguchi, serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 16, 2002, to January 24, 2007.

The animation is passable and even considered good for the time (2004). Yakitate!! Ja-pan is one of those shows that aren’t reliant on animation quality. It’s a bit goofy in premise, so the animation style matches the series. Surprisingly, there’s actually 3D CGI used, but only for the second ending theme.

The standout pieces of music are the first opening theme “Houkigumo” by RYTHEM and the first ending theme “Sunday” by The Babystars. Oddly, I also dig the second ending theme “To All Tha Dreamers” by SOUL’d OUT. Maybe it was the disco theme video.

Azuma feels annoying at first, being presented as that loud character that seems to know it all. Give it a few episodes and you’ll learn he’s kind of ignorant/gullible but caring. You will begin to like him. Also, due to him being ignorant of other types of bread than what he normally makes, he’s the perfect character to give exposition to about bread knowledge. This makes the show also educational. Now, if any of those “facts” are true or not, I can’t say. But at least we’re learning, right?

This is one of the early cooking anime with crazy food tasting reactions. The reactions can go from goofy cosplay to downright sensual. Please be aware, this anime love puns. The show will constantly try to surprise you with its twisting plot. It’s never a dull moment.

I highly recommend this anime to the fan of cooking anime like Food Wars! After 3 full viewings, I still find this series binge-worthy. Yakitate!! Ja-pan contains some suggestive themes/dialogs and is intended for young teens.

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Music

Opening Theme

– “Houkigumo” by RYTHEM (eps 1-29)
– “Promise” by TiA (eps 30-53)
– “Chiisana Uta” by MARIA (eps 54-68)

Closing Theme

– “Sunday” by The Babystars (eps 01-12)
– “To All Tha Dreamers” by SOUL’d OUT (eps 13-29)
– “Hummingbird” by little by little (eps 30-42)
– “Re: START” by SURFACE (eps 43-53)
– “Merry Go Round” by Mai Hoshimura (eps 54-62)
– “Kokoro Biidama” by RYTHEM (eps 63-68)
– “Houkigumo” by RYTHEM (ep 69)

Credits

Photo

All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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