"Yakitate Japan" literally means 'Fresh Japan,' the first of numerous puns viewers will find hilarious in the series. While France, Germany, Italy, the U.S. and every other industrialized country in the world have 'national' breads, Japan, a country whose history has been largely dependent on rice for the population's starch needs, does not. The Anime's characters are interested in creating this national bread, one that captures the culture/spirit/essence of Japan. 'Pan' being the word for bread, we are to smile that 'Ja-Pan,' or more to the point 'Japan' is Japanese bread. The story tells us of Azuma Kazuma, a young baker from rural (modern day) Japan who moves to Tokyo to pursue his career. There he meets up with other young bakers and together they pursue what can really only be termed as 'Adventures in Baking.' It sounds ridiculous, and maybe it is, but if your interested in a unique spin on the workplace comedy, or if you're an Anime lover, you'll find this show wonderfully diverse in what it's able to do with animation usually reserved for giant robots, the Meiji-era, or general sci-fi (futuristic or steam punk). The characters are full of passion and wit, the plots are thoughtful and pop-culturally relevant. What's more is that in the renditions I've seen, the stenographers take extra care to ensure that not a single joke is lost on the English peaking world with superb subtitles and cogent super titles when necessary.
The show it seems, is designed to be a delightful diversion from our every day as well as that of Anime's general fare. The bottom line is that if you take some time to check out Yakitate Japan, you'll find it innocently sensual, and comically very tasty.
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