Yakitate!! Japan Part 1 Anime Review

1Title:Yakitate!! Japan Part 1

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi/Lucky Penny

U. S. Release Date: Mar. 3rd, 2015

Format: DVD / 27 Episodes / 625 minutes

Genre: Comedy, Shonen

Age Rating:

Overall Personal Rating: B


Kazuma Azuma is a 16 year old boy who has spent his life trying to create a bread that is the embodiment of Japan that will become the bread associated with the country just like French bread is for France. He calls his creations Ja-pan, a pun on the Japanese word “pan” which means bread.

In order to further his baking, he travels to the city to get a job at the famous Pantasia bakery. Competition is fierce,  Kazuma has a natural talent but his lack of technical knowledge puts him at a disadvantage. He has always experimented with his bread on instinct.

Kawachi is another young baker who wants to fulfill his father’s un-achieved dream of working at the main Pantasia. Technically he has learned well, but he is restricted in his thinking. His lack of creativity and inventiveness will hold him back.

The pair of young bakers don’t end up where they planned, and find themselves working at the South Tokyo Pantasia bakery with Tsukino, the granddaughter of the company owner, Ken the scary bodybuilder manager and finally, the other employee whom everyone seems to forget.

A competition springs up with a rival bakery, and things are getting out of hand as the whole thing ends up televised.

Next, the Pantasia Rookie competition is taking place. It is huge and only the best of the best can advance.  Azuma and Kawachi maybe competing against one another, but they are also in it to win for their shop.


This was a light and fun series. With a bit of a “can do” attitude, anything is possible if you set your mind to it, giving this comedy heart. It is hard to really categorize it, but it is supposed to be shonen. But I see it more as a family anime equally meant for boys or girls.The action is more like exaggerations in the competitions, and the themes of family and friends are explored, but no romance.

Yakitate has a bit of a strange setting for Japan because it focuses on bread, but I’ve learned that anything can be a setting for anime. With the popularity of cooking and reality shows, this all blends in fine. The repeated base for the show is the competition revolving around bread. They’ve come up with 4 different reasons so far to engage Azuma in competition,  and it looks like this keeps going in Part 2.

Generally, the characters have enough definition for the lightness of the series. They are distinct people, although some are stereotypical. Attempts to make them a little deeper come in their stories. The manager is always filling in the character’s or the plot’s background information. He is the go-to guy for information.

The comedy is a mix of subtle , bad puns and over the top shojo reactions. How people react when they eat amazingly good bread becomes weirder as the series progresses. To me, this was the weakest part of the anime, when they just got strange for the sake of being strange. Weird does not equal clever.

Something I did enjoy was the interaction and mix of the two young bakers, Azuma and Kawachi. Since one had a natural talent and in anime typically can’t lose, it is refreshing to see someone else keep pace with them by their hard work, training and perseverance. It was nice to have that balance.

As a first part only, it still finished satisfactorily. It doesn’t seem to beg us to watch the rest. There is an over series plot building slowly with the heirs to the Pantasia chain. We are given a peek to let us know this is going to escalate in the second half .


Overall grade: B


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