Yakitate!! Japan

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Considering I have watched about 30 episodes of this anime in two days I probably should write something about this show. 

Yakitate is about a 16 year old boy (aren't they all about young boys with super powers, makes you wonder) named Azuma Kazuma.  When Azuma was about 6 he met a baker who taught him about bread and shared with young Azuma a vision.  A vision of Ja-pan (this is show is full of puns, in Japanese pan means bread), a bread that everyone could identify as Japanese just like they do with French Bread, German Bread, and Italian Bread.  Of course, Azuma isn't just any old small boy with a bread fetish.  He is blessed with the legendary "Solar Hands" which apparently means that his hands are extra warm.  The show claims that this lets him make better bread because it can ferment while he is kneading it rather than letting it sit.

Aside from the Solar Hands, Azuma is also a bread making idiot savant.  He has a sixth sense when it comes to making bread, and knows just what to do with out any formal training.  In fact, because he has no formal training he is apparently better than those that are constricted by "common sense".

So that's the basic premise, young boy has special gift for making bread.  He is given a vision of creating a unique bread for Japan and to do so must apparently battle with other awesome bread makers.  And the manager of his store is a Shaft type character complete with afro and butt-kicking abilities.

The intention of this show is to be a parody on the shonen genre (anime for boys, like Dragonball, Inuyasha, or Kenshin).  As such it is pretty good, it pokes fun at shonen for being melodramatic about mundane tasks.  It is funny with clever characters and inventive plots.  Like I said before it is full of puns, some of which are hard to follow because it is in Japanese.  The reactions that people have to eating the bread is usually the best part.  For example, crab bread made people think they were crabs, French bread made them think they were in France and so on.  There are a lot of episodes, but seeing about half of them I think I can say that this anime is probably a 7/10.  Its worth seeing if you are into anime, but not an anime I would recommend to someone who is not.

Name: Yakitate!! Japan

Number of Episodes: 69

Rating: 8/10

 Edit: I have now seen 67 of the 69 episodes of this series.  It got a lot better as it went along and hit its stride with the Monaco Cup Arc (episodes 27 to 52).   

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