In which we do not discuss castles for a post or two to whet your appetite for the glories ahead.

For today, ladies and gentlemen, please meet Anpanman. Red-bean-paste-filled-bread-headed-man. Sounds better in Japanese.  Wikipedia says therefore it should Bean Bun Boy in English to keep up the rhythm.  I’m not sure the face translates any better. He’s kind of an icon in these parts though. Just check out those cheeks.

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Anpanman was born in the early 1970s and has been running in various forms ever since.  The limited pool of Japanese kids I’ve encountered still seem to like him and little did we know we were headed into his lair in Shikoku.

Anpanman himself is not my favorite though, so you’ve got to meet his supporting crew of other-bread-headed-friends.

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The donut on the right is my favorite for sheer Edward Goreyness.  Currypanman’s head is a ball of dough filled with curry and deep fried. Apparently he’s hot headed or something, but I can’t get over the fact that he’s a children’s cartoon whose head was deep fried.

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He seems pretty mellow despite his horrific beginnings.

My second favorite is Shokupanman– Wonderbread Boy.  I’m pretty sure that would taste better than the strangely yellow bread below… As far as I know there’s no French Toast character, though. Mmmm.

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What cartoon world would be complete without a villain, though? What kind of super villain   would dog the steps of Bean Bun Boy and his buddies? (drum roll)

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Baikinman! (i.e. Bacteria Man!)

Fear his splotchy, purple hand of death!  Or mold, I guess, in the case of bread.  One last bit of bizarrity before I desist.

I’ve never heard of this sidekick before but her picture was all over the train stations and Tara’s just too cute:

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