I’ve been watching anime for over a decade now. There’s one simple truth when it comes to this form of media. No matter the show. No matter how good or bad the animation. No matter the genre. The food in that anime will look like it was handcrafted by God himself. It can honestly be bizarre how well-drawn and animated the food will be. It’s mouthwatering-worthy. The majority of the time the food looks better in the anime than in real life. So I wanted to talk about why food is such a big thing in anime along with some of my favorite food moments.
Japan’s Food Culture
Well, the basic answer as to why the food looks great is because it’s not the main focus of most shows. Animators who are passionate or just have free time will draw and animate it or it’ll be digitally outlined. So on a technical side, that’s why it almost always looks better than the show it’s in. But there’s more than just that. Take Studio Ghibli for example. One of their famous traits is their animated food. According to sources everything that’s seen in their films has been made by Miyazaki.
It’s always interesting to look into other cultures and what they value versus your own and how that came to. Also how geography and outside influences affect things. In America as a whole, it feels like we just eat and go about out or day. From everything I’ve gathered across the sea in Japan, there’s a fair amount of food etiquette often varying from where you eat. Also, a lot of their dishes revolve around fish, rice, and vegetables. Which just sounds like heaven to me.
It was particularly interspersed to find out how western culture has influenced some of their deserts with their spin on it often sold and eaten with green tea. Surprisingly desert isn’t eaten after dinner but during tea time. Which to me makes a lot of sense and just leaves me wondering who started the desert after diner trend anyways? It seems very gluttonous to eat a full meal then eat something sweet afterward. Are there people who regularly do that anyways? It always seemed more like a special occasion thing if anything. Tangent aside there are some really interesting aspects to Japanese sweets and the culture around it.
My Favorite Food Moments
Off the bat, Studio Ghibli has some of the best-looking food I’ve seen animated. The scene that ways come to mind is the spirit eating all the food in the dining hall in Spirited Away. That scene is iconic and the food looks delicious
A generation of kids where exposed to the greatness of Ramen from Naruto. I’m sad to say that I still haven’t had it but the desire to is still there after watching Naruto constantly consume it on the show.
Dorohedoro has some great-looking food too. The meals that Nikaido cooks up look to die for and the opening being an animated cooking segment with a banging rock song will never not be great.
On the sweet side of things. The sweets in shows like One Piece and Death Note are to die for. Especially their cakes. I have a huge sweet tooth so every cake and parfait that L consumed just got me in the mood to eat. So you could imagine how hard it was for me to watch the Whole Cake Island arc and not yearn for some cake.
On the note of sweets. A while back the company TokyoTreat reached out to me and offered to send me one of their boxes of Japanese treats. I couldn’t say no. They sent me their current September treat box and man was it delicious. Out of everything pictured above. The Fanta, Ice Cream Kitkats, and Shikuwasa Potato Chips were easily my favorites and something I’d see myself coming back to. Overall it was all delicious and an experience in itself. It’s always intersection eating food from different cultures and until TokyoTreat reached out I’d never even been close to Japanese food or treats. Definitely worth a try and they can be found at the link above.
To be Continued
No other form of media makes food look as good as anime does. Just getting a taste for some of their snacks has me wanting to try more food and snacks from Japan and just other places in general. So when I finally do get around to trying more Japanese cuisine, I’ll be sure to update this post in the future. Also, shout out to TokyoTreat for reaching out and sending me a box. I’ll definitely be ordering another one in the future