Food Week: Breadgasms
Can't have a food week without scans from one of the most ridiculous food manga ever drawn, now can we? From Yakitate!! Japan, I give you: A GUY EATING BREAD.
Which in theory should be about as interesting as watching grass grow, (I shouldn't say that, as there is possibly an entire genre of manga devoted to grass-watching, with subgenres involving wacky competitive grass watching and moe grass-watching mangas with loli-girls watching grass grow as they inadvertantly panty-flash the camera. This is JAPAN.) but in Yakitate, the mere act of eating bread is so mind blowing that the vict... I mean, diner, winds up being thrown into spasms, hallucinations, contortions, and bizarre visual puns in their attempt to comprehend and convey the SHEER AWESOMENESS that is THIS F***ING BREAD, RIGHT HERE, HOLY CRAP.
The most frequent and most hilarious victim in the early chapters is Kuroyanagi-san, an examiner and competitive baking judge.
Here he is tasting some of the protagonist's bread for the first time.
As time goes on, Kuroyanagi's reactions become more physical (and he also learns to expect them, and brace himself)...
I love how Kuroyanagi clings to every last scrap of dignity he can muster in that position and soldiers on.
Azuma's bread is the most common instigator of such reactions, but the other characters manage to get some good ones in, too, as in this reaction to a hot dog like concoction made by Azuma's best friend/rival Kawachi...
The dogs are repurposed drug-sniffing dogs who were brought in to inspect the entries in the first round for unlawful artificial preservatives. We take our bread baking SERIOUSLY around here. No, really. SRS BIZNESS.
My personal favourite sequence was the Saga of the Animal Breads. At this stage of the competition, the competitors were required to make fanciful decorative breads shaped like animals. Azuma's competitor was an expert in this particular field, who also wears a koala mask for some reason.
I DON'T KNOW. Anyway, koala-dude created an intricate dragon bread with chocolate-filled scales glazed in orange marmalade oh god I'm hungry. All hope seemed lost...
If you watched the anime instead of reading the manga? You missed SO MUCH AWESOME, right there.
Not that the cartoon doesn't have its moments. I first watched the anime for this at the university anime club. It made us very hungry. One time a member brought her boyfriend along to a showing...
Visting non-otaku: Heh, this is nuts!
Me: Yeah, isn't it great? But I always end up craving bread.
VNO: You know, actually, I work at a bakery...
(ears perk all over room)
VNO: I happen to have some day-old stuff I brought from work, does anyAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH OH GOD!
(VNO disappears under hordes of ravening otaku)
So anyway, Kuroyanagi tries the dragon first, and, um, straps himself to the ceiling, apparently to demonstrate how "high quality" he thought it was, which is why he's hanging from the rafters in the next scene.