Pan De Peace

August 19, 2016

Cute girls with cute… Hmm… We’re running out of ideas as themes to insert in to go by with those cute girls. Come on, think of what else we can use as setting for cute girls doing cute things. What’s that? We can use the bread as the theme? Oh what the heck, let’s just do it. Because it doesn’t matter anyway since the viewers would just view this as another cute girls doing cute things bread version. And that my people, is how the short 3 minute anime series, Pan De Peace came to be. At least that is how I think it is.

Episode 1
It is Minami Tani’s first day at high school. You know it will be a good day when mom makes her favourite egg sandwich with strawberry jam. In class, she doesn’t recognize anybody but she notices Yuu Aizawa having mini bread key chains. Since they both love bread, they become bread buddies. Yuu also introduces Fuyumi Fukagawa who is her childhood friend. To commemorate becoming bread buddies, Fuyumi gives Minami some croissants. Minami is so happy that she wants to date her! Wait a minute. Is this a yuri theme series? While Yuu may look jealous, Fuyumi playfully says her heart already belongs to Yuu. Yup, getting yuri already. Minami happily eats the bread. Then she asks if they could teach her baking. What a happy day indeed.

Episode 2
Petite Noa Sakura is so cute that the other girls are hounding her. The she draws her ‘weapon’. A French bread? Luckily Fuyumi takes her away. Noa must have some sort of chuunibyou because she considers her French bread as a special item with 2 attributes: Weapon and food. Minami wonders if Noa is Fuyumi’s sister. She clarifies she is their classmate and went to the same elementary school together. The girls discuss and notice that each drink different number of glasses of milk a day. Perhaps there is some sort of inverse relationship between boobs and milk. Because Noa has been drinking lots of them and is still as flat but Fuyumi drinks the least and is the bustiest. Then they start imagining Noa with big boobs and find her cute too.

Episode 3
Fuyumi’s family runs a bakery and you bet Minami is darn happy to visit. She gets to taste a few of their specialties like red bean bun, red bean bun with cream and green tea melon bread. Definitely heavenly. Minami reveals she tried baking bread once but she failed miserably and they turned out to be cookies instead. So the girls help and teach Minami how to bake together. Minami shows her gratefulness by hugging Fuyumi and then comparing her body’s softness like a bread. I think it’s a compliment. The rest can tell from her looks that she wants to join their ranks. Hasn’t she already? They welcome her to Pan De Peace.

Episode 4
Minami tells her friends about the fabled bread this school sells, ciabatta. It is only limited in stock so they join the mad crowd in trying to grab the Italian bread. The sight of this madness is enough to turn Yuu off but Minami and Fuyumi won’t give up. They’re not going to settle for other bread as they return joining the ‘fight’. Yuu thinks she’ll just go for the chicken curry bread. At the end of the day, they failed to get the bread. They thought they lost Noa in the crowd but she returns with the fabled ciabata in hand! She got it! Like a true friend, she shares it with everybody.

Episode 5
Yuu draws a lot for her manga. When Fuyumi asks about the man seen hanging out with her, Yuu denies whatsoever he is her boyfriend. He is a relative of hers that introduced her to a manga assistant job. Becoming a manga artist is her dream. Fuyumi will support her all the way even if this means they won’t get to be like this again. Yuu assures they’re only at discussion stage and if she took the job, she’ll be sure to tell. She wants to spend them with them now. The girls try to give funny ideas for her story but it just embarrassed her. Hey, where is my bread focus for this episode? No, the consolation chicken curry bread doesn’t count.

Episode 6
Oh no. Fuyumi has gained weight. And you know what that means. Time to go jogging and lose some of it. Unfortunately not even halfway she tires out. She thought she could have some melon bread as reward but her friends resume their jogging and leave her behind. Next day, the friends decide to help make mini versions of it. They ask how Fuyumi’s store gets its named Fuwa Fuyu. It was definitely named after her as she was born in the winter where the bakery was also opened. Once done, they noticed a bread missing. Could the culprit steal a piece? Well, Fuyumi claims she needs to test taste them. The rest don’t mind since she looks so happy. And her face so fluffy… That didn’t stop her to take another one.

Episode 7
The girls visit Noa who is sick. Fuyumi is crying like as though she is going to die! Serious case! They see her sleeping in a cute cornet sleeping bag. They are treated with great hospitality by Noa’s little sister, Ami. Noa is looking so cute that everyone admires her like an idol. Fuyumi gives her drink some strawberry milk drink. She has also made lots of strawberry based bread for them to share. Noa reacts to all those strawberry goodness like as though it is some sort of magical life potion. I’m sure she is feeling much better and will be able to attend school tomorrow.

Episode 8
Noa patrons a newly opened French bakery store, Guillame. Mai Kawai serves her baguette and since she is new in town, she hopes she could be her friend and in return she can have their freshly baked baguette every day. Wow! So when Noa tells this to her friends, the most worried of the lot is of course Fuyumi. So she is now like her mother asking her not to take food from strangers? Next day when Noa brings Fuyumi to Guillame, the showdown between the French bread girls is inevitable. Fuyumi tells Mai to stop giving bread to Noa. Oh, since when is Noa her property? Mai hugs Noa and asserts she will continue to give her bread to deepen their friendship, much to Fuyumi’s ire. She even teases that since Noa has tasted their French bread, there is no need for Fuyumi to supply her anymore. Next day when Noa visits Guillame as usual, Mai is chirpy giving her extra service to put baguette in her bag. But it is filled with baguettes already. What happened to her textbooks? Fuyumi took it. Damn that girl beat her to it.

Episode 9
The girls are dressed in cat maid outfit for their school’s cultural festival. Mai is here to take cute pictures of Noa. She is spending most of her time talking to Noa and ignoring Yuu who is waiting to take her order. Fuyumi is trying to hold in her rage. Let’s hope she doesn’t lose it till the end of the day. Mai surprisingly orders a croissant and finds it good. She praises them as she finds out they were made from Fuwa Fuyu. The other girls invite Mai to drop by Fuwa Fuyu and they would love to talk to her more, much to Fuyumi’s dismay. That sour look on her face… She no like it…

Episode 10
Fuyumi’s worst fear comes true because Mai really did patron Fuwa Fuyu! But how did she find the place? She tailed Noa like a stalker! Mai lets them taste Guillame’s new addition, cod roe French bread. Fuyumi gives good comments about it and suddenly what do you know? They’re talking like good friends? Fuyumi also lets her taste her red bean bread. Good comments too. But eventually it boils down to the fundamental issue that they should be Noa’s French bread provider. Ah… The girls take a public bath and it is a much needed one for Fuyumi who just ended her ‘psychological battle’. Fuyumi admits Mai is a nice girl and they could be friends as they like the same thing. But when it comes to Noa’s French bread privileges, she is not giving in! Always remember the fundamental issue…

Episode 11
Minami is saying how Yuu and Noa are afraid of the swimming pool because they can’t swim. But Noa thinks as long as she has the ‘invincible’ inner tube, she’ll be alright. It is decided to have them get better than swimming. While Minami coaches Yuu, Fuyumi handles Noa. Mai also can’t swim but didn’t tell them. However the chance to snap pictures of cute Noa learning swimming is too good to pass up. As Mai tries to make her way to Noa, her foot suddenly cramps up. She cries for help and Fuyumi is surprisingly fast (like running in water?) to come to her rescue. She even did that with Noa in hand! After Fuyumi massages her feet and tells her not to do the impossible, Mai starts bursting into tears and crying in her bosom while not admitting she is a cry-baby. Again hey, where is my featured bread for this episode?!

Episode 12
The girls are invited to Mai’s summer villa, though she initially only intended to invite Noa only. They meet Mai’s older sister, Mana as she thinks Fuyumi and Noa are mother and daughter respectively! I think Fuyumi will be taking that as a compliment. So as the girls start having fun on the beach, Ami manages to drop by and joins them. Perhaps it is this load of luggage she is carrying. All of them are camera equipment to capture Noa’s moments! Mana has made some bread for them. She also prepares steak as Minami and Fuyumi dance like idiots, cheering their support for meat. No sexual innuendoes here, please. The pain de campagne steak sandwiches are completed and as expected taste like heaven. Probably Yuu has been embarrassed by the acts of Minami that she lost appetite and don’t want second helpings.

Episode 13
All the girls sleep together except for Mai whose pride probably won’t allow it as she sleeps alone. The rest talk about their bread adventures which are basically a very condensed summary of some the, uhm, important bread incidents in this series. All this bread talking makes them hungry. This is when Mai feels like she wants to join them and the rest gladly accepts her. So the bread pyjamas party carries on with the girls eating bread, talking about bread (yes, the mind boggling statement how bread brings peace), their friendship bonding over bread and at the end of it, take a group photo. Peace out!

Panned In Pieces…
Usually food themed animes are pretty decent in my books but very unfortunately this could be the first series ever that actually disappoints. Sad to say that this series is just mediocre and perhaps way below that. There is nothing here that particularly excites me. Not even the breads that are supposed to be the main attraction of the series. Or so I believe. So technically if I don’t really label this series as a food theme anime, would it be okay then? Either way, this series is still bad and instead of whetting my appetite, I would just spit out the bread and walk out of the store. Call the Michelin star food critiques to close this down forever. The only good thing about this entire series is that it just lasts 3 minutes. Short enough so you won’t be tortured further by it unappealing, uhm, everything.

Like I have said, the breads I believe are supposed to be the star of the series, if not the co-stars alongside the characters. It is just sad that they are relegated to something like a cameo and even with their short appearance in already a very short series, it makes it even worse. That isn’t the bad part of it. You know a food themed anime is going to be good when the food itself looks delicious that it makes you salivate and want to take a chomp out of your monitor. This one doesn’t. It doesn’t even look good to dream. So okay, they look pretty normal but that is about it. It doesn’t make it feel any special. Worst of all, some episodes don’t even feature any bread at all. Again, this might be just me having expectations but then if you are going to have bread as your theme, one doesn’t simply exclude bread from any episodes, right?

Failing as much as the bread or even making it worse because they do nothing in enhancing the bread appeal are the characters themselves. They are just generic and boring that I don’t really want to even say anything else. You know, you have the lively one, the emotionless one, the airhead one and the, uhm, other one? Yeah, you can find usually one or more or even all of those in any cute girls doing cute things group. Even if the last episode is meant to be some sort of fanservice because the girls are in their nightgown pyjamas, it is so boring that you wouldn’t even want to ‘eat’ them. Seriously.

I’ll just mention that Minami looks like your typical plain ‘main character’ but I felt that Fuyumi is the one stealing the limelight because of her very eccentric character and her ‘obsession’ with Noa’s bread meals. It gets heated up when a new rivalry in the form of Mai appears. I guess this is the only ‘funniest’ thing ever happening in the entire series. The most ‘happening’ of everything so far. Noa doesn’t pretty much care about their spat as long as she gets to eat their bread. An absolute win-win situation for her as she gets to taste the best of both worlds. Having side characters like Ami and Mana don’t do any better because heck, the series could have been the same and as boring as ever even if they are nameless background characters.

Art and drawing are pretty generic and standard. Like I have implied, they just don’t stand out. Cute, yes. But to a level that is considered a masterpiece? No. This series was animated by Asahi Production who also did short anime series like Himegoto, Orenchi No Furou Jijou, Million Doll, Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan as well as standard length series such as Futari Wa Pretty Cure and both the Medaka Box seasons.

The voice acting is rather okay and nothing distinctive since all of the seiyuus are relative new and/or unknowns. The small casts include Ibuki Kido as Minami (Chinami in Golden Time), Erii Yamazaki as Yuu (Roboko in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Moe Toyota as Fuyumi (Fumi in Jinsei), Nichika Omori as Noa (Yurika in Rokujouma No Shinryakusha), Madoka Asahina as Mai (Maki in Nurse Witch Komugi R), Natsuko Hara as Ami (Rena in JK Meshi) and Yu Shimamura as Mana (Hare in Guilty Crown). This is one of those few series where Petit Milady doesn’t sing and do voice acting. Here, they only sing the opening theme, Seishun Wa Tabemono Desu. Sounds just decent and generic anime pop idol kind of music but even so this wasn’t really enough to wash the bad taste of this anime. Yeah, I figure they even know how to stay away from something this bad…

Overall, although this is not a very bad anime in general because there are a few funny moments and who wouldn’t love seeing cute girls eat bread in a cute way, this series could almost threaten to break your faith in the anime and bread industry. The kind where if the host offers you seconds, you would say no thank you I am already full although deep inside your heart (or rather your stomach) you would feel like you want to throw up a little. Okay, okay. So I exaggerated a little. But bad enough to have me think that had they put in sleazy fanservice and named it Pantsu De Peace, I would have even bought it no matter how cheap and cliché the echhi parts are. But now the bread here doesn’t make me feel at peace and instead feeling some rage and wanting to go to war. In that case I guess nothing really beats pantsu for peace.

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