One of the stars of the current anime season is Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortess), which is basically Attack on Titan meets Sakura Wars with big iron trains. After a mysterious virus turns huge swaths of humanity into zombies known as kabane, humanity builds walled fortress cities which are connected by armored locomotives. The show is great, with plenty of action and exciting characters, especially Mumei, an energetic human/kabane hybrid who gets all the best fighting scenes and lines. I like the show mostly because the character designs were done by Mikimoto Haruhiko, who created such classic series as Macross, Megazone 23 and Gundam 0080. So totally did Mimikoto-sensei rule the mid-to-late 80s that studios had to come up with new distribution methods so they could release over time, such as the way Gunbuster was spaced over six episodes to avoid blowing out fans’ monthly anime budgets. Seeing those classical facial designs — the attention given to the way the shadows fall across different parts of the face, the signature “Mikimoto eyes” and nonexistent elfin noses — in a modern show is really great to see.
One of the staples of Japanese food life are noodles, called men in Japanese. As is usually the case, a few types of Japanese noodles have become famous around the world, though there’s a lot hidden under the surface. The two most common kinds of noodles are soba (gray-colored buckwheat noodles) and udon (fatter noodles made from wheat flour), both of which can be eaten hot or cold. In the summer the Japanese love the angel-hair noodles called soumen, or hiyashi-chuka, cold noodles with cucumber, scrambled egg and ham on top all sitting in a tangy sauce. The most famous noodle dish is ramen, egg-and-flour noodles usually served in a soy or miso soup base, which is a Japanese modification of traditional Chinese noodles. The Japanese also eat a lot of yakisoba, the local version of Chinese chow mein, which is made even more cross-cultural by adding Korean kimchee, yum. If you’re yearning to learn more about Japanese food, browse our lineup of cookbooks and bento books!
Japan loves to amuse us with wacky and random candy items, and J-List loves selling it to you. We’ve got a new Toire no Totto-chan item that holds poop-shaped ramune candies, plus other classics like our Moko Moko Toilet Candy 3, Poop Candy and more. What wacky Japanese candy do you want to try?