Yakitate!! Japan, Episodes 53 – 69

US Distributor: Nozomi Entertainment
Production Studio: Sunrise
Was this provided by the publisher? Yes
More Info: Anime News Network

The end is near! Nine battles to decide the final fate of Pantasia.

Yakitate Japan Set 3 Boxart - 20151104Things are at the burning point at the start of Yakitate!! Japan‘s final arc. Pantasia’s been bought out by rival bakery St. Pierre, and the only way to escape a life of corporate slavery is a competition known only as the Yakitate!! Nine. The Yakitate!! Nine is a battle of the breads, so to speak, that will take the Pantasia crew across Japan in a series of heated culinary conflicts. Each location presents a new challenge, as the teams must use regional specialties as their ingredients. With the stakes so high, St. Pierre is stopping at nothing to capture the win. St. Pierre dispatched the greatest culinary artisans in Japan to crush the plucky Pantasia. In this final showdown, nobody is safe.

The Yakitate!! Nine arc is an exciting showcase of bright lights, big cameras, celebrity guests, and secret ingredients. The entire arc has a game show feeling, which permeates every pore, from the glowing titles that buzz above the countertops, to the judges’ flamboyant costumes. The challenges reach far beyond the realms of bread, which keeps the action from getting stale.

Behold, the epic battle between... wait. Isn't this supposed to be a show about bread?
Behold, the epic battle between… wait. Isn’t this supposed to be a show about bread?

The season itself is focused on wrapping things up. While a few new plot points build into a twist with Shigeru Kanmuri, most of the remaining plot points focus on filling in remaining character details and tying off storylines from other arcs. More than anything, the episodes feel like a bittersweet graduation for the Pantasia crew, who’ve overcome unreal rites of passage to grow into great artisans.

The over-the-top reactions are back and better than ever. Nobody is safe this time around, whether it’s Naruto, Luffy D. Monkey, or even Pepsiman! The series goes to the logical singularity, though, when the cast embarks on an epic quest to the very center of a reaction scene. They traverse an epic fantasy realm that could easily be Middle Earth or Narnia, facing a danger never before seen by chefs. (Side Note: For a few laughs, keep an eye on the Inns the characters stay in through the arc!)

Yakitate Japan Set 3 004 - 20151104Yakitate!! Japan is a consistently funny series with a fantastic pace and a wonderful comedic timing. It’s a gem in the rough that has plenty of charm for newcomers and veterans alike. The numerous jokes about titles like Dragon Ball and Fist of the North Star hold up beautifully, and the references feel as fresh as they did during the show’s initial run. From start to finish, Yakitate!! Japan is a satisfying experience that’s good ‘til the last crumb. It’s something you’ll want to slice up and share with the entire family. While the ending is a bit of a let-down, the series, as a whole, is a delightful tale of a man seeking to make the world’s greatest Ja-Pan.


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