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!
- 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.