「エビスビール」 (Ebisubiiru)
“Yebisu Beer”

Takunomi is hitting so many of my buttons. This is about a group of twentysomethings who live together in the shared house Stella House Haruno, and how they unwind with delicious alcohol and food. I’m going to go over the storytelling-type stuff real quick, ’cause after that I’m going to get into some beer-based nerdery, because as I said: buttons! They pressed!

This is a half-length episode, because Takunomi is sharing time with the new season of Dagashi Kashi. Which turns out to be a complementary pairing, because they both talk about some consumable item in informative and funny ways. While Dagashi Kashi is more focused on the zany comedy, this is more slice-of-life, like Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara, only not nearly so short and only one character occasionally chugs her drinks, which I always found unforgivable about Osake wa Fuufu. (How are you supposed to know how it tastes when you’re always chugging it, Shifuku-san!?) The characters are all varied and interact in fun ways, which is another element that elevates this above Osake wa Fuufu, and I like the informational aspect. Probably the most surprising point was when it pivoted into cynicism bordering on despair about the inevitable destruction of dreams upon the jagged rocks of modern working life, which hit just a little close to home, sez the writer who’s older than any of these characters. If they’re jaded at 26 and 27, what does that say of me!? That I understand where they’re coming from, mostly.

“Before long, all we were doing was griping and moaning. We want nothing but happiness, but are not spared even the time to seek it out…”

TOO. REAL. But good real, and the earnestness with which new Stella House resident Amatsuki Michiru (Imamura Ayaka) said she’s already lucky, because she’s met such wonderful people after first arriving in Tokyo, was a nice cherry on top of an episode that decided to rise above its fluffy origins. I approve.

Now, BEER NERD TIME! There’s actually something really correct about the way best girl woman Kiriyama Nao (Anzai Chika) poured that pint—for this style of beer. American-style craft beer is often poured with minimal head as the goal (partially due to a lack of tradition around the head, and partially because the misconception that less foam = less beer is “lost” and thus more liquid is seen as a better value), but agitating the beer in order to pour foam does NOT lose beer, and it has benefits. For one: it releases a lot of carbonation, which means you’ll feel less bloated while drinking the beer! (Also you can drink it quicker, if that’s your thing.) Two: foam is where you taste the sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops. American-style craft beer is designed with FAR more sweetness and bitterness (along with salt, sour, and a myriad of exotic flavors, depending on the style) built into the liquid (in most styles—American craft brewers do lagers not unlike Yebisu as well), so it has far more vivid flavors, and thus can stand up (and in some cases, is preferred) without a heavy head. Lagers of the kind brewed in Europe and all throughout Asia (most Japanese lagers are German-style in tradition) are not like that. If you get an Asahi, or a Kirin, or a Sapporo (I’m talking about their flagship beers; they all make more than the one), and you don’t get a hefty head, you’ve been ripped off—which is true of a nearly all the traditional lagers brewed throughout Europe and the rest of the world as well. Even a Budweiser is better with head, though it’s hampered by having a relatively shit recipe. Go for a Budweiser Budvar instead, if ever given the choice. It’s way better.

But anywho! I also really like how they matched food to beer, which is an under-utilized way to enhance both (and it’s an undeniable strength of American-style craft beer, because there are far more radically different beer experiences to be had, though it’s still criminally under-utilized even with European-style lagers; if we match food with wine, we can do it with beer too—and should!).

Special note also goes to Nao, who Takaii declared as the “cute anime girl version of Stilts” when he was previewing this, and ya wanna know what? HE WASN’T WRONG. She’s not a direct translate to me—I don’t eat a ton, nor do I drink all day on days off (I have relatively bad drinking endurance, so I usually start later in the day—though I’m also usually drinking bigger American beers)—and I definitely know to slow down and savor a beer—but I can put them away when I want to, and I do love me some beer (and talking about beer! As you can tell, haha). Plus, we’re both blond(e), and the :3 would definite be anime-me’s preferred smile. And that jaded cynicism … okay, I’ll cop to having that in me too. But I try to hold it back! Really! *pours another beer*

All of which is to say, I’ve changed my gravatar accordingly and will be thoroughly embracing my new kawaii anime girlu life. Kampai!

Tl;dr – I enjoyed this show a lot. I don’t know if I’ll blog it—I’m about to go on a two-week vacation that will make blogging difficult, and the latecast does not help—but I’ll definitely be watching it. Here’s to more anime with adults doing adult things, and damn you Michiru-chan for being immune to hangovers. Traitor!

Random thoughts:

  • I love that screen wipe. Two beer mugs, awesome!
  • We’re not a drunk, Makoto-chan!! (Wait, am I associating myself with Nao too much? Uh.)

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: The Last Jedi SUPER SPOILERY Review.




  1. Wow, this looks fun! As a millenial, I look forward to watching this and having a midlife crisis about what I’m doing with my life. Really, this looks really fun to watch, and the reviews look fun to read.

  2. Finally, something I can relate to! Always love a good anime about drinking. I’m hoping for an eventual Nomu Joshi adaptation eventually, but Takunomi is lookking amazing so far.

    It is nice to see more shows that can vouch on the fried food & beer combo. It’s also great to see the show teaching viewers the three step pour to make sure the foam doesn’t overwhelm the glass. With all the stout I’ve drunken, I’m so used to hearing it as the only way to pour Guinness, but it works well with all beer.

    I still need to try Yebisu ever since seeing it as Misato’s beer of choice, but Kirin and Sapporo Black are my go-to so far for Japanese beer (I’ve been staring longingly at the Hitachin brews that are nearby, but they’re so pricey). I am impressed that they were able to identify the Yebisu commercial jingle as The Third Man theme song since I’m more familiar with that movie.

    Kae is definitely my favorite in the cast.

    1. You mean Hitachino Nest? They’re pretty interesting, I’d pick up a single of ’em if you’ve got a good bottleshop nearby (or if bottleshops are a thing where you live at all). They inevitably suffer from being more flavor-forward ales that have to travel across the ocean to get to the Americas, but they’re an interesting showcase on the way Japanese brewers tackle styles beyond the traditional German-inspired lager.

      1. Hitachino Nest is the one. They have a red rice and a large white ale bottle available at a store around me. Sadly no bottleshops nearby, but there’s a few breweries by me to get their beer straight from the source.

  3. as an early twenty-something (i consider millenial a term with rather pejorative connotations), this illustrates one of the reasons i’m glad that i chose to go into medicine.

    there is truly never a dull day at work. it is often very pressurised, frequently very stressful and has terrible working hours that usually run over scheduled finishes (often by several hours); but it is always interesting and meaningful.

    i personally couldn’t imagine being stuck in the corporate rat race.

    1. You shouldn’t consider millennial a pejorative. Millennials are just the favorite punching bag of the old geezers at the moment, because they’ve forgotten that their elders said the same things of them when they were younger. Because humans don’t change.

      Meaning can be found in the corporate rat race, though it often isn’t. It certainly isn’t for everyone, though, so more power to you for picking what works for you! Most people don’t manage that early on in their lives, if ever.

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