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The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House


liuzhou
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I took possession of this series today. A Japanese TV series which promises to be full of food. The Guardian gives it a great review (with more information)  here.

 

I'll watch an episode a day (there are nine) and let you know what I think.

 

 

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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The food creeps up on you. At first, you may not notice it. It's not like Eat, Drink, Man, Woman for example, opening with an orgy of food images. Instead it opens quietly with two young girls leaving home for the first time.

It's only later that you realise the food was there all the time - it starts 44 seconds into the pre-credits section. One sight of one of the girls, Kiyo's breakfast and soon after the same girl's brother (?) giving them baked potatoes to eat on their way to wherever they are going.

 

It's a movie about friendship; it's a coming-of-age movie; It's a Japanese culture movie; it's an excellent food movie.

 

I don't want to say much more; too easy to drop a spoiler. But it is beautifully filmed and the two main actors playing Sumire and especially Kiyo are perfect.

 

I've watched two episodes now. Very tempted to watch no. 3 now, but I'll ration myself.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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I've now watched four episodes. The stand out moment so far is where someone (I won't say who) eats some stewed eggplant  that Kiyo has cooked and crumbles into tears at how good it is.

The series is full of little moments like that, which could get mawkish but never does thanks to the excellent acting. You can really feel the delight Kiyo gets from the compliment. It is treading the fineline betwen sentimentality and genuine happiness but sure-footedly landing on the right side every time.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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I'm up to episode 7.

 

I was thinking today, always dangerous, and realised that there are no moments of flashy, showy cooking of expensive, hard-to-source ingredients. Instead there is joy in the simple made with delight. I know she's only acting but there is something full of love in the close ups of her face as Kiyo cooks or learns something new to her in the bonito flake store. We see a pot of udon noodles boiling or her chopping scallions and want to eat them and share that happiness.

 

I have both the original Japanese version and the dubbed version. Usually I hate dubbing but this is cleverly done and even the voices of the two main characters match the real ones. How is it being shown on Netflix - dubbed or subtitled?
 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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1 hour ago, Duvel said:

Subtitled (Netflix Germany).

 

Thanks. I have been able to find the first three episodes subtitled (my preference), but that's all. My Japanese is rudimentary at best; the Japanese version leaves me with many more questions than answers.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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I think I watched 3 episodes or so but started to feel like it was about human domestic friends and family relationships - like normal sitcoms - and not enough focus on food. 

 

When I think about watching another episode, I'm hesitant bc it sounds like another episode of family life in Japan with food in the background sort of. 

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On Netflix in the US, there is the option to choose audio in English, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian) and Spanish. I agree the dubbing seems pretty well done. 


Subtitles are available in English, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese (simplified) and Chinese (traditional)

 

Those options are from the first episode. I didn’t check them all. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, eugenep said:

I think I watched 3 episodes or so but started to feel like it was about human domestic friends and family relationships - like normal sitcoms - and not enough focus on food. 

 

When I think about watching another episode, I'm hesitant bc it sounds like another episode of family life in Japan with food in the background sort of. 

 

It is about friendship; very, very little about family relationships. It is also full of food but not 100% about food. If I want that I'll watch Hell's KItchen. Well, maybe not.

 

Reruns of Julia Childs are available on YouTube.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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I just did a sampling with the English audio and think that will be my option.

"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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Just watched the final episode. Feeling I want more, which echoes Kiyo's cooking. But it had to finish there.

 

Thoroughly enjoyed it and I shall rewatch.

 

I've tried to avoid any spoilers, but the sight of someone peeling a boiled egg then holding the egg up to her face and looking at it with an expression of pure love will remain with me.

 

Ōkini

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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