Brief thoughts On: Wakako-zake

26-year-old Wakako Murasaki has a passion for food and alcohol. Every day after work she prowls the streets looking for interesting restaurants and she rarely leaves them entirely sober. Wakako-zake is a series of shorts chronicling just some of these culinary/alcoholic adventures.

PHOTO: Wakako about to take a big bite off a skewer.

Each episode has Wakako find a new place to eat at, where she usually orders exotic or otherwise unusual dishes. This makes Wakako-zake quite useful if you ever plan on visiting Japan yourself. Wakako offers plenty of insights; from opinions on how food is best enjoyed to where you can go to find dishes in certain price ranges. All topped off with plenty of comedy.

However, these really are short shorts. Each episode runs for only 2 minutes which includes a lengthy opening song every time. There isn’t much of an overarching story, nor is there much time to go in-depth on any of the featured meals/restaurants. I felt like I learned interesting tidbits about Japan’s food culture, but that just makes me wish there was more to it.

PHOTO: Wakako in a busy restaurant, sipping beer.

Wakako is a very fun character though. She has an antisocial side to her, as she offers multiple reasons for why eating with other people sucks. She hates sharing, for example, and it irks her when people don’t enjoy food the same way as her. I.e. ordering the wrong side-dish or not eating the skin of salmon. It gives her a hint of aloofness, when she is actually quite goofy. Her reactions while eating and drinking are very cute as well. I also liked the few moments where she makes a “mistake” herself and gets all embarrassed over nothing.

I might check out the Wakako-zake manga. Partly because I just like the character that much, but also because I am curious if it handles the storytelling differently. That’s not to imply that the anime is bad, however. I had a great time with Wakako-zake and its short length actually makes it a nice, little snack.

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