Azuma Kazuma, an energetic and dense young man, was introduced to the art of bread making when he was six. He decides to take the path of bread-making and become a baker right after graduating from middle school. Through his travels, he encounters many rivals and found work at the branch store of the most famous bread maker brand, the Phantasia.
Yakitate Japan is one of those serialised fight comic adventures in the style of Ranma 1/2 or Iron Wok Jan. Each episode a new technique or recipe is explored with some fanciful way that the main characters have uncovered the secret – meditation, steam control and 'solar hands' all feature.
Food analysis & recipes
Each chapter focusses on a single recipe theme for a new bread type drawing on the setting for the chapter to influence the creation of the bread product. Like many Japanese food stories the characters focus on freshness, seasonality and regional specialties. The ability to identify and work with "better" ingredients features frequently. Some of the recipes are bread products that are popular in Japan melon-pan, an-pan, curry-pan, yakisoba-pan some are fictional recipes created during various kitchen battles. There are very few functional recipes in the comic book, the only famous one being a bachelor bread loaf that can be cooked in a rice cooker (similar to a rice cooker pancake)
The comic does focus on cooking techniques and the growing skills of the main characters through each chapter but the majority of the techniques are fantasy rather than something you can use in your kitchen. For example goddess hands (extremely flexible) and solar hands (overly warm) being used to infuse characteristics into the dough during kneading.
Most pictures of the food are highly detailed and realistic
Only 1 or 2 detailed images on the page are supported by rapidly drawn simple pictures of background scenes
Heavy use of patterns and halftone effects fill simple sketches
Content is family friendly and imagery can be silly – especially human reactions to the food
Adaptations & Resources
- Anime TV serial – 69 episodes of 25 mins each
- TV Tokyo's "Yakitate!! Japan" Official Website (Japanese)
- YAKITATE-JAPAN.COM -焼きたて!!ジャぱんコム- (Japanese)
Download & Purchase
- Buy digitally or in Print from Amazon Yakitate!! Japan, Volume 1
- Buy in print from Right Stuf
- Watch the anime on YouTube