It is finally happening, I am getting to cover my all time favorite series for a Christmas post!!!! Bakuman has been my favorite manga series since I started reading it in 2009 or 2010. This past year, I was able to finally sit down and watch the anime adaptation, which was really well done. While I was watching it, I realized that episode 11 of the first season takes place during Christmas. Since June, I have been plotting covering this episode and it’s view of Christmas. So without further ado, Bakuman episode 11.
This episode takes place near the beginning of the series. Now, a lot happens in this episode, but I am going to focus on the Christmas elements (which may only be about five minutes or so.) Takagi and Miyoshi go on their first date together to see イルミネーション (illumination aka Christmas lights and displays.) Illumination displays are very popular, especially in Tokyo. Shinjuku Station has a massive one every year and so do many other places, such as theme parks, they put up light displays to attract guests. It’s kind of like a winter version of 花火 or fireworks. Even the little station I live near has a display up. Christmas is a very popular time for couples. December 23rd is the Emperors Birthday, with the 24th and 25th being Christmas Eve and Christmas, this gives a lot of couples the chance to hangout and see the lights together. Even thought it is not an official holiday in Japan, it is widely celebrated. (Also to note, I have been informed that there is a urban myth that if a child is conceived on the Emperors Birthday, it will have a blessed life. This may explain some of why Christmas is a “Romantic Holiday” here.)
After going to look at the Christmas lights, the two go shopping and stop to get hamburgers at a restaurant. Shopping is huge during Christmas. Many stores have massive sales, and marketing for Christmas begins when Halloween finishes. By the beginning of December it is in full force. So much so, that my girlfriend and I got to see a Christmas displays and a light show during a date in the first week of December at Sunshine 60 mall in Ikebukuro. Now, going out to eat is pretty common for a date, but there is something about it on Christmas. The biggest place to get food from is KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken.) After a really massive ad campaign, fried chicken is now the staple for Christmas in Japan. Nearly every major restaurant, convenience store, and grocery store throughout the country allow you to order fried chicken platers especially for Christmas. Most of them also let you order Christmas Cake as well. Even pizza places. In the episode, the characters go to eat burgers, which surprised me a bit, but it isn’t really abnormal. Fried chicken is just really heavily advertised.
Unfortunately, that is about all I have to say relating to the five or so minute clip from the show. Have a wonderful Christmas!!!!
Also to note, later in the series Miho records herself singing a Christmas song for Mashiro. That scene is short, but wonderful.
featured art by あしたばてんぐ | reprinted with permission