Sunday, September 11, 2011

Yakitate!! Ja-pan

Yakitate!! Ja-pan (焼きたて!! ジャぱん?, meaning "Freshly Baked!! Ja-pan", the "pan" also meaning "bread" in Japanese) is a manga, authored by Takashi Hashiguchi, serialized in Shogakukan's Shōnen Sunday, which has been adapted into a television anime series by Sunrise. The manga has spanned 25tankōbon volumes, as of January, 2007, while the weekly serialization of the manga has ended as of January 10, 2007. The anime series, broadcast on TV Tokyo and other local stations from October 2004 to March 2006, spanned a total of 69 episodes. The series won the 2003 Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen manga.[1] The manga series was later licensed by VIZ Media for North American distribution.[2]


The story focuses on Kazuma Azuma, a boy on his quest to create "Ja-pan", a national bread for Japan itself. He initially heads to Tokyo to expand his horizons at the bread-making chain Pantasia; the story continues with Azuma's exploits with his other coworkers.

The title of this series itself is a play on words; Yakitate translates to "freshly baked", but Ja-pan has a double meaning. Besides referring to the country of Japan, pan is the Japanese word for "bread" (stemming from Spanish pan[3]). Ja-pan is a pun for this series. This mimics the style of the names of other varieties of bread in Japanese, such as "furansupan" (French Bread), "doitsupan" (Germanrye-based bread), "itariapan" (Italian bread), etc.

Besides the desire to create his Ja-pan, Azuma also possesses the legendary Solar Hands (太陽の手 taiyō no te?). These hands are warmer than normal human hand temperature, and allow the doughto ferment faster. This gives him some advantage at the beginning of the series, but his innovation is his greater talent.

Although the story has baking as its main theme, the parts that generate the most interest are the outrageous puns in the story. Especially notable are the "reaction" based puns made by the judges, who go to great lengths to prove a single point about the bread that they had tasted. The series in general also pokes fun at the shōnen genre's tendency to be melodramatic over mundane tasks



Originally only a 5 week series, the manga version of Yakitate!! Japan was formally serialized due to the positive fan response. Yakitate!! Japan received comparatively widespread support across various age-groups with notable popularity within the bakery industry. The series was also highly popular with the generation who grew up reading and watching the series Mister Ajikko. Yakitate!! Japan also managed to carry its popularity over to the anime version. A characteristic of the series is the usage and explanations of various technical terms employed in baking, thus providing the series with additional educational value. Another feature of the series is found in the reactions where some popular anime and manga series are parodied. What began as a pure cooking-themed manga, Yakitate!! Japan eventually took on heavy "gag elements" by the end of its run.


Azuma's Non-Ja-pan

  • Vapor Action Margarine Roll
  • Average Temperature Nikuman (A special version of steamed meat bun that's eaten after its cooled down; normally nikuman is to be eaten when freshly steamed)

Kawachi's Bread

  • Baked Hua-Chuan
  • Oat-based French Bread
  • Osaka-style "O-sake" Table Bread
  • "Super Sunrise Crush" Melonpan (made with Pie dough instead of cookie dough)
  • Yakisoba-dog (Yakisoba ground into the shape of a hotdog, then placed in a bun)
  • Crab-shaped chiffon cake made with three times the normal quantity of vegetable oil (it moves upon being pressed)
  • Singing French Bread "Double-crust"
  • Ultimate White Bread "Victory" (with Croissant-layered crust, abnormally wide shape, and antioxidant-high sobayu)

Suwabara's Bread

  • Ultimate 648 layer Super Vapor Action Croissant
  • "Dancing" super-long French Bread
  • Lupan #3: "Mixed Juice with Almonds and Nuts, Giving it a Crisp Consistency, Spicy Bread" (Pain d'épices)
  • Lupan #6: Red Turtle Sports bread (with Snapper Turtle blood and red wine)
  • Lupan #1: Pane d'oro Golden Crown with Shining Honeyed Fruit jewels
  • Ōmagari "Spiral" Lupan: Bent-scallion "Tourner" Blanchir


  • [Yuuichi Kirisaki]Gopan #1: Devil's Gopan.
  • [Shadow White/Yuuichi Kirisaki] Gopan #97: Paella bread with rice flour, seafood, and nutrient extracts
  • [Shadow White/Yuuichi Kirisaki] Gopan #???: Ultimate "Milky Way" Bagel
  • [Yuuichi Kirisaki] Gopan #104: The "Anime Rewriter" (only shown in anime episode #53 that caused Yakitate! Japan to turn into Takitate! Gohan)
  • [Meister Kirisaki] Omanta Gopan made with baked crabmeat

[edit]Other bakers

  • [Tsuyoshi Mokoyama] Kouign Pudding Amann, a super-sweet "butter cake" filled with low-sugar pudding
  • [Mizuno Azusagawa] Melonpan made with an extraordinarily sweet muskmelon
  • [Spencer Henry Hoko "Shachihoko"] Nagoya-style "Kouchinmi" Yakisobapan
  • ["Koala" (Mokoyama)] "Woven Dragon Bread" with Orange Marmalade Coating and Chocolate Chips
  • [Katsuo "Pig-boy" Umino] Sweetbread in the shape of his wife
  • [Shigeru Kanmuri] "Pan au algue" with Kaiyou yeast and "Pan au rustique" with Kaiyou yeast RAS (Resilience Against Salt)
  • [Edward Kayser] Kouglof au Miel
  • [American Team] "Balloon Bread" made with a Dragon Hook mixer
  • [French Team] "Irish Soda Bread" made with yeast instead of baking soda
  • [Gran Kayser] "Blue Lagoon" Sports bread with Blueberry Yogurt, Amacha Hydrangea, and "Kan Kyuu Mo" Pearl powder
  • [Monica Adenauer] "Mother's" Rye Bread, with candy rose and 5 different rye flours
  • [Shachihoko] "Alexandria" Egyptian Bread, with Kodaimai Miso flavoring, baked on a bamboo stick with a special charcoal
  • [Takumi Tsubodzuka] Ōma bread: "Super Toro Aburi" (Toro is fatty tuna sushi, Aburi is "broiled") on Beehive Pastry
  • [CMAP w/o Tsubodzuka] Saito bread: CMAP special Mango Curry Bread
  • [Miki Norihei] Uppurui bread: Remixed Fresh Nori Phyllo Bread
  • ["Panda" (Mokoyama)] "Triple Alpine Steamed Bun"
  • [Yukino Azusagawa]


  • Solar Hands (太陽の手 Taiyō no Te?)

Normally, extremities such as the hands are lower in temperature than the rest of the body, but if one can increase blood flow to the hands, that difference decreases. In France, those that possess this ability are said to have Solar Hands. Note: Gran Kayser has hands that are a combination of the cumulative techniques of Solar Hands and Solar Gauntlets known as the "Solar Hand, Gigantis."

  • Solar Gauntlet (太陽の手甲 taiyō no gantoretto?)

By training the body, particularly the arm muscles, one can promote blood flow to the hands and subsequently increase their temperature to an extent as to be near in skill to the Solar Hands. Note: Kai Suwabara is able to use the body’s natural defenses to increase his blood flow by holding dry ice to cool his hands in what he calls, "Solar Gauntlet, Overcoat."

  • La Main de Deesse (女神の手 megami no te)

Also known as Goddess Hands, the term used to describe the possessor of flexible knuckles and feminine hands. A benefit of possessing this skill is the ability to knead out a bread’s hardness. Note: Gran Kayser uses his hands as feet so they are far more flexible than normal. He calls them "Le Main de Deesse, Ultima."

  • Blizzard Hands (吹雪の手 Fubuki no Te?)

Ability opposite that of the “Solar Hands.” This ability is least suited for making bread due to the unusually cold hand temperatures. However, this ability is best suited to for use in unfermented breads, such as tarts (which use large quantities of butter), because low hand temperature will not melt the butter. So far, Yukino Azusagawa is the only person in the show who possesses this skill.

  • Vapor Action (ベーパーアクション Bēpā Akushon?)

Process whereby bread is baked at 300 °C or above for 3 minutes, instead of the normal 200 °C for 15 minutes. Steam from inside the dough explodes causing the dough to puff out. The greater the difference in temperature between the dough and the oven, the better; however, in the case of dough that is not mixed with chocolate, etc., it is more difficult to get the temperature high enough, quickly enough.

  • Extremely Low Temperature Prolonged Baking (超低温長時間焼成 Chō Teion Chōjikan Shōsei?)

Process whereby bread is baked at a very low temperature of 150 °C for an extended period of time in order to avoid coloring the outside of the bread. However, as flavor and texture are determined by the way moisture leaves the bread, these features can be lost during the process. This defect can be overcome by coating the bread in mizuame during preparation.

  • Vital Gluten (バイタルグルテン Baitaru Guruten?)

Food additive produced from refined vegetable (wheat) protein. Used in breads made from ingredients which do not normally form gluten, but can be used when making bread to create a sticky texture.

  • Tourner (テゥルニュ Turunyu?)

Method of twisting bread dough in one direction whereby difficult to heat portions of dough are created. During the baking process, these areas continue to ferment, thus producing fluffier, plumper bread in the folds. However, over-twisting the bread can cause the gas produced during fermentation to escape, thus creating a poor tasting end product.

  • Creaming Method (クリーミング処理法 Kuriimingu Shori Hō?)

Process whereby whisking butter, thus incorporating air into it, causes bread to become fluffy and plump. Method used mostly in cakes.

  • Remix Method (リミックス法 rimikkuzu hō?)

After the first leavening, the dough is re-kneaded to produce new gluten and a fluffy, plump bread. This causes the gluten structure to re-form, preventing the possibility of creating an extremely hard bread.

  • Old Noodle Method (老麺法 Ramen Hō?)

Process where old dough is mixed with new dough as a substitute for yeast. Mixing in mature dough with new dough creates a light and flavorful bread.


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