Yakitate!! Japan

Take the recipe for a shounen fighting story and add yeast. XD When this show first started last fall, I downloaded the first episode, then never watched it. I rectified that error this weekend and promptly tore through the next 18 episodes as well. Now I’m caught up to what’s been subtitled and I’m stuck. Lesigh. This show is great. Lots of stupid puns, character designs I can mostly live with, bizarre ED sequences, a guest spot by Hattori-sensei, and, of course, Koyasu. Like most shounen series, the females are not directly involved in the battles, but they manage to hold an interesting spot in the plotline anyway — much better in this respect than PoT, where the female characters, even those in positions of authority, tend to function mainly as cheerleaders. Here, they’re cheerleaders, but cheerleaders with an agenda.

Still adore PoT, of course, but there’s not a lot to be done while waiting for new episodes to be available. It looks like they stopped the anime shortly after the US/Japan Junior tournament arc, which is a real shame. It’s not clear to me why, even if they got ahead of the anime, it was too difficult to predict exactly what would happen and bring the anime through the Nationals, where the manga is inevitably headed. The movie looks interesting but weird.

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