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What's "Pshuu?!" A Small Post About Wakakozake | Koji's Odds & Ends

After a long, busy day at work, I usually find it difficult to concentrate on complicated fantasy stories with big epic battles and large-scale power struggles. That just sounds so… exhausting, especially when all I want to do is snuggle up with a blanket on a cold night and finally relax for an hour or so.

I was during one of these nights that I discovered the food-based Japanese drama “Wakakozake,” the perfect remedy for my daily exhaustion!

Based on a manga of the same name, the show centers around the 26 year-old office worker Wakako, whose greatest joy is visiting restaurants late at night and enjoying a meal with a glass of beer or sake. Every show features a different delicious food and alcohol pairing, each of them making Wakako utter her trademark “pshuu!”

What is “pshuu?” You may not have heard of it before but, deep in your heart, you know pshuu! It’s the feeling you get when you take that first sip of hot coffee in the morning, or when you take a dip in a warm bath on a chilly day.

When Wakako says “pshuu,” it’s as if all of the stress that had been building up throughout her day is escaping all at once.

Anime fans may recognize the name “Wakakozake,” since the show was also adapted into a short anime in 2015. Each anime episode was two minutes in length, and concentrates most of the time on describing the food item each episode is based on.

The drama, however, is full length, and can’t rely on the anime’s unique style of the animation to draw viewers in. Because of this, the drama is almost a different animal altogether. It adds several side characters and explores more of Wakako’s personal life while still centering each episode around food.

My favorite addition made in the drama is the comfortable hole-in-the-wall that serves as Wakako’s regular haunt. Staffed by some friendly, although occasionally silly, young men and and and old grouchy chef who loves when people order off the menu, the scenes that take place here are some of the best in the series.

Speaking of restaurants, another highlight of the show is how it gives the viewer information about the restaurants featured in each episode. This segment, which is placed after the ending credits, features the opening and closing times of the establishments, as well as some shots of their owners (who also occasionally appear in the episodes themselves as extras).

I’d also like to mention is the show’s soundtrack, which features soothing piano, mellow accordion, and twangy guitar. If I’d compare the soundtrack to anything, it would be songs that play when you’re in a friendly city in an JRPG. Even though they might go unnoticed for many viewers, these songs set the relaxing tone for the show perfectly.

Special shout-out to the show's ending theme as well:

Another detail I'd like to note is the camera work in the show. Pay close attention to the wonderful shots of Tokyo's moonlit streets and the beautifully plated dishes that are featured!

If anything I mentioned here sounds appealing to you, I highly recommend checking out both the animated adaptation and the live action one. Wakakozake might just become your new favorite! You could also try out any of the shows I mentioned in my previous article about food-based entertainment.

Speaking of trying new things... If you enjoyed this article, please take a moment to check out my books on my Amazon author page!

You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook, if you want to share my thoughts on Wakakozake (or anything else, really).

As always, thanks for reading!


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