TV (12 eps x 13 min)
3.145 out of 5 from 961 votes
Rank #13,150

Takunomi. follows the story of Michiru Amatsuki, a 20-year-old woman who just moved to Tokyo to change jobs. She lives in apartment 101 of Stella House Haruno, an all-female boarding house. There, she meets other women of different ages, jobs, and personalities. They all have something in common though: their love for good food and drinks.

Source: Sentai Filmworks

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Production IMS's 2018 food’n’drink show represents twelve 15-minute endorsements of well-known Japanese alcoholic products. Disarmingly the charms of these intoxicating products is being sold by four good looking young ladies from a house share in Tokyo. They represent the age range 20 thru 27 and consist of Michiru Amatsuki (the naïve country girl), Makoto Kiriyama (University Student), Nao Kiriyama (her older sister) and Kae Midorikawa (wedding planner). There are quite a lot of animes out there that are focussed on the Japanese cultural obsession with food and drink. A lot of them are very good, being either very funny and/or quite educational. They share in common the protagonists’ absolute orgasmic love of the food and drink they are imbibing. They go “wow!”, they blush, they make moaning sounds, their internal thoughts sing the praises of whatever it is they have shoved in their gobs (just as if they have just discovered manna from heaven). It goes with the territory of anime and we are all well used to it. Yet it begs the question. Is Japanese food THAT good or are Japanese taste buds simply tuned for super-bland food? Or maybe it is just more sociably acceptable in Japan to be enthusiastic about food? Who knows? Yet it remains part of the charm of the nation and we have no objections to seeing the Japanese love of food portrayed in animation. Far from it. Some shows, like this one, just take the joke a little too far. Is this one long advert? Every product is real which seems strange in a fictional world where it is quite normal to invent made-up brands so as to avoid referring to real ones. Clearly the commercial entities involved must have endorsed every line of the script. In which case is this really objective? Each show starts with the explicit claim that everyone in the show is over twenty years of age. Therefore, it is OK to show them drinking alcohol. And they drink a lot of alcohol in every variety. Some of them drink to excess and are shown rolling around in quite a merry fashion. One of the women drags one of the girls into bed with her for cuddles. It is meant to be funny. This is billed as a comedy. Yes, really. It really isn’t very funny. The show makes a direct link between drinking alcohol and being sexy. A link that has long since become taboo in such advertising in the West where booze sits alongside nicotine inhalation in our list of undesirable influences. The show title “Takunomi” literally means “Drinking at home”. In this case it is more literally drinking and snacking at home for there is also a lot of good food being enjoyed too. The original manga was written and illustrated by Haruto Hino between 2015 and 2018. Just one of the shows describe Japanese formal drinking-with-colleagues protocols. This was genuinely interesting for anyone outside of Japan. The rest of the show is pretty bleh and formulaic. It is as artificially as bland and tasteless as the product they are promoting. As an insight into the Japanese cultural mindset concerning drinking it is novel but it can hardly be a praiseworthy effort. We just ended up wishing these girls had something better to talk about when they went home other than some new way to get drunk. It really isn’t big or clever. The anime does nothing new or profound with the idea. It is all very nice to watch and workmanlike. Technically it is lovely, even if it seemed super-weird. Nothing happens. The girls drink and worry about their careers. So, they drink a bit more to forget about it. Then they binge eat. How the heck they keep their figures is a miracle. In the real world these girls would be fat and stink of alcohol. They would be social outcasts and unpleasant to look at regardless of gender. Booze and cute do not mix.


The 'cute girls doing stuff' genre offers great informational opportunities.  The world of golf.  Travel via touring bicycles and small versions of motorcycles.  Rock climbing.  Even crafting pottery.  And Takunomi (2018, Production IMS) ... what is this series of twelve short episodes (13 minute shots ... pun intended) contribution to the educational appeal of CGDS? How one can with polished elegance and urbane style get soused? I wouldn't go this far for two reasons.  First, each episode begins with the warning that the consumption of alcoholic beverages for people aged twenty and above.  Surely, the target audience for Takunomi isn't K-8.  Perhaps high schoolers with anticipation of what they will do upon becoming 'adults.'  There is a subtle subplot about finding one's way in the adult lifestyle of Tokyo, so it's not totally about boozing it up. The second reason is, of the four principal characters, only one is a binge drinker.  The other three approach drinking with an intelligent, respectful view of how best to enjoy imbibing.  Drinking need not end in drunkenness (though, many times … it happens)  So, let's meet the four ladies, ages 20-27, who make up the cast.  Michiru (20) is a new resident of Tokyo, a rural lass learning how to become a true metropolitan.  Intimidated by the bigness of Tokyo, she gets guidance on how to best function as a salesperson for a new company.  At the other end of the age spectrum, Kae (27) is a wedding planner with ideas of arrangement and details.  She's the motherly type for Michiru, and when slightly buzzed a little too loving.  The Kiriyama sisters, Makoto (21) and Nao (26), are the bookend positions of drinking.  Makoto does take a social drink, but she is close to a teetotaler when compared to "set 'em up, knock 'em down" Nao.  Makoto is nearing her college experience and will soon be job searching.  Nao works in a dress shop and is grounded in all things fashion.  Each person has reason for the after work need to unwind (clean and refresh .. in the words of the closing theme). Each episode concentrates on some type of liquor, beer, wine, hard liquors.  The facts on these products are well-researched, though I would disagree about the 7 to 3 ratio of beer to head.  In my part of the world, the head is useless foam, so we pour beer into a glass held at a 45-degree angle to minimize the forming of head (just a thin layer at the top ... the rest is what you drink).  The same could be said of the last episode which speaks of drinking etiquette.  Some forms differ, and knowing what goes in Japan will be great to know if I ever find myself there. But the background of each's girl's place in life gives Takunomi substance.  Michiru's adjustment to life in the big city.  Makoto's coming up to that next phase in adulthood beyond academia.  Kae's search for her own wedding.  Nao to be accepted as more than a common lush (her character design which blends a cat-like mouth to a person with feline persona ... anime genius).  The shortness of the episodes never allowed for detailed development of character.  And this is the weakness of Takunomi. But Takunomi has the feel of a stand-alone feature.  By the end of episode twelve, you sense that each girl has advanced adequately so you can say good-bye and farewell to the ladies of  Stella House Haruna.  What we've learned from these four is plenty, and whatever your opinion of 'demon licker,' it just got mildly educated.  For me (69), I can take my once in a while beer or wine and see some reason for these little doses.

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