For the airheaded Minami Tani, there is nothing more delightful than delicious bread for breakfast. Bonding over a mutual love for the food, Minami meets the dignified Yuu Aizawa and the upbeat Fuyumi Fukagawa. Joining them is Noa Sakura, a pint-sized girl who sees bread as the ultimate weapon of self-defense. Together, the girls strengthen their bonds of friendship, while striving to sample every kind of bread this world has to offer.
Normally I try to not waste my time on sharing my opinion on the internet because its effect is proportionally moot compared to my time wasted. Normally I only view MAL beside other websites through the Google search details to get a rough rundown about what most people think about an anime. Even if my perception of the anime then differs vastly from the average rating of it, there's no reason I should give a shit about adding a rating to some other thousands.
I was really shocked after I saw this bullshit. For instance, living in Germany with all those fascist and left-militant red army
groups arising on the streets who are struggling and cutting themselves in the dark instead of watching anime and becoming weebs I am used to people spreading stupid nonsense because of the confirmation bias regarding their seemingly superior ideology. But I was still shocked when I saw the shit people posted on this bulletin. Don't get me wrong, there are some erudite en337s here that can grasp the awesomeness of this unmatched masterpiece, but I do pity the laymen that weren't able to.
As one may conclude from my name, I created this account solely for the purpose of extolling this gem of an anime. I wanted to name myself "signedupforpandepeace" at first, but it turned out to be too long.
I'll commence with the first thing most weeble face when starting of with a new anime. The title. Already a literary artwork:
"Pan de Peace"
I'm gonna leave two blank lines to not defile this incredible piece of stylistic art. To cut it into bite-sized pieces, let's start off with the language. This title consists of 3 words from 3 different languages. Which three languages? you may ask. Japanese, French and English. However, there is even more to it. "Pan" could also be Spanish and "de" could also be Japanese, not only adding to the artistic value of the title but also render it appealing for an international audience. Contrary to common belief and how it is inscribed in the Japanese version of the title, "de" is meant to be primarily French for a stylistic effect so that the peace and personal liberation through bread is connoted with the French Revolution.
The story is marvelous. The viewer follows a group of anime high school girls who are confronted with everyday high school girl problems like bread, cute lolis and bread. While familiarizing themselves with their new high school, they also learn to find inner and outer peace through the sacred path of the bread. All I can say is that this anime truly changed how I view life and bread in general.
The art is 911/FBI, would lewd. But read me out. To use proper terminology, I should describe it as "kawaii desu af". It is the only anime whose imposing virtuoso artwork prevented me from searching hentai for it before I completed it. After I was done, I kinda felt bad for the girls that I didn't wish to lewd them. So I did it for their sake. And I was yet surprised again. There is very little good content out there. And I'm not writing about the artistic quality here, because obviously it is impossible to compete with the original show, but it appears to me that there is simply a major lack of rule 34. So an invocation to all the hentai artists out there:
DON'T BE INTIMIDATED BY THIS UNMATCHABLE ARTWORK. THINK OF THE SAD FACE OF NOA IF SHE KNEW THAT YOU DON'T DRAW ART OF HER.
Back on topic. Fuck Rem. I love emily.
I am glad that there isn't any anime or any media product in human history that can stand up to
Pan de Peace!
Because if there was, I wouldn't be able to achieve anything productive in my entire life.
I didn't expect to have strong feelings going into Pan de Peace. I expected it to be a simple short that wouldn't take much investment, and indeed, when it did begin to air, I didn't really care about it. However, that feeling of mere apathy didn’t last for long. As it became more and more apparent that the show would not amount to anything, it was quickly replaced by a desperateness to find some modicum of significance in what was essentially a void of nothingness. As such, in this review, in addition to giving an honest evaluation of the show in question, I will also
describe my quest to find meaning in the meaningless.
Upon first inspection, and second inspection, and pretty much every inspection afterwards, Pan de Peace appears to be a disgustingly generic moe show. The characters are cute in their design but have no character development whatsoever. The episodes feature the mildest of problems that always get cleanly resolved, with no lessons learned. A new type of bread is consumed every episode, the girls are happy, and we move on to the next episode. This simple story analysis would conclude that Pan de Peace’s story suffers from both the stagnation and mediocrity of typical slice-of-life anime and the difficulty of creating a worthwhile story with such a short episode runtime.
The average reviewer would right now rate the story 4/10 or so, and move on to discussing the sound or visuals. However, I’m now going to radically diverge and describe my deeply personal interactions with the story.
About 5 episodes into the show, I came to the conclusion presented above. I decided that Pan de Peace was a meaningless show, had no importance, and was worth nobody’s time. Yet for some reason, I kept watching, with newfound determination. It was my job and mine alone to find meaning and value in Pan de Peace, the most seemingly meaningless show.
And once I started thinking, I quickly came up with some purpose. You see, Pan de Peace is actually a brilliant social commentary on feminism. We see this from the very beginning, when Minami is worried that she will be unable to make friends in her new class. Her progressive views have often left her isolated in the past, so when she encounters several fellow bread buddies (read: lesbians), she is ecstatic to have found a community where she can share her views.
When the cast dons maid uniforms during their school's cultural festival, this isn't just some cheap fanservice. Rather, these girls are aware of the cultural practices in place, and are working within the system for their own benefit. After noticing one of their friends becoming overweight, they have a discussion on fat positivity and whether it’s a good thing or not. Another one is is an early episode they discuss the merits of sex-positive feminism and how it divides the Second and Third Waves of the movement. One of my favorites is when the girls collectively agree that Ayn Rand was a hypocrite and hater of strong women (for context, their argument is that Ayn Rand’s objectivism supported free will, but she herself said that homosexuality should be treated as a lesser to heterosexuality, and that women should find men to marry and worship as heroes. These views strip lesbians and independent women of their free will, clashing with Rand’s Objectivist movement).
Mai, the final character to be introduced, is an interesting one. She only shows up for the final 5 episodes, much later to the party than anyone else. While everyone else in the Pan de Peace friend group seemed to have joined over a mutual interest in bread and discourse, Mai seems to be in it for personal interests. She has taken an interest in Noa, but instead of pursuing a healthy relationship, Mai fetishizes her. She spends the next string of episodes manipulating the other characters into liking her, so she can wedge her way into the friend group. She is truly a despicable character that acts against all of the values that the show otherwise displays, and the decision to give her a full story arc is a strange one, especially since all the other episodes stand alone. While some may argue that Mai is meant to be a foil to the rest of the cast, I still can’t get past how much I hate her character and her arc.
And all of that is the gist of Pan de Peace’s story. While you may say “but none of these things are even remotely close to mentioned in the dialogue”, my counter is that it’s all in the subtext! With a deeper reading you understand that the titular bread is actually a metaphor for lesbianism. Whenever one character offers another bread, she is generally either affirming their sexual orientations or signifying a desired or existing relationship with the other. There’s a specific episode where Noa’s sister exclaims “[Noa] eats bread all the time. I wish she’d eat some rice instead.” This is a fantastic example of how the show depicts both feminists and traditionalists. While Noa, like the other main characters, is a woman who is both proud of her sexuality and demands that she be validated and respected as much as anyone else, Noa’s sister is more socially conservative. She wishes that Noa would just settle down with a nice man (as rice is obviously indicative of heterosexuality), and while her views may have been accepted in the social climate of yesterday, she comes off as bigoted more and more as society shifts towards feminist progressivism. What is the takeaway of this moment? That’s up to you to decide.
And pondering takeaways is what I did. Most episodes had at least one fantastic quote like that, which successfully frame the social issue each episode is about. At the end of the episode, you’re left with an expanded viewpoint on the issue in question, and you’re left to your own pondering. And I must say, this quiet time at the end actually did help me become more confident in my viewpoints and opinions.
Pan de Peace helped me realize the true intersectionality of feminism. It’s hard to even call it a single unified movement. Under the banner are a plethora of sub-issues, everything from sex-positivity to transgender rights to wage equality. There are so many issues that it’s impossible for someone to try and take on every single one of them. Under the umbrella of feminism are all sorts of movements and people, but they all share a goal of trying to make the world a better place for women, and by extension, everyone. Anyone can be a feminist, and as long as they’re not being problematic, there’s no reason to call someone out on not being a “true feminist” or something like that. All you have to do is find the issues you are most passionate about and the problems you have the most agency in solving, and get to work. Even just talking to others about feminism and answering their questions is doing great work.
But I digress. It’s time to return to the anime at hand. The biggest issue with Pan de Peace is that nobody else will be able to get the same value and purpose out of it that I did. Most of the conclusions I drew out of Pan de Peace were created by analyzing subtext for themes that I decided to inject into the show because I was so distressed that it had no real meaning. On its own, Pan de Peace has no meaning or purpose. Of course, that makes it a bad show in almost everyone’s eyes, and for that reason I won’t be giving it a good overall score. But interestingly enough, it was that total lack of meaning that caused me to find meaning in Pan de Peace. In an absence of values, I was able to essentially make each episode into an argument with myself. By interpreting the dialogues as discourse over feminism, I was able to come to terms with my internalized progressive views. If there's value in having meaning, then there must also be value in not having meaning, as it creates a void that meaning can be forced upon.
I realize now that if I had written a solely formalist, critical review of this show, it would have just as little value as the show itself. You already know that this show is bad. You saw the low MAL score and you’ve probably read other reviews that start by saying that Pan de Peace is terrible. But by writing this review, I was able to release the value I got from this out into the world. I hope that by reading this, you were able to glean some of that meaning that I found and wrote about.
I don’t really want you to watch Pan de Peace. Maybe you should if you think you can come up with your own valuable interpretations. But if you do decide to watch and reanalyze this show, or if reading this review has left you with newfound viewpoints and thoughts, please share them. Write your own MAL review, comment in the forums or on my profile, I don’t really care what you do or how. But do your best to get it out there. The value you personally find in the media you consume deserves to be shared with others. The world could always use more intelligent yet personally meaningful discourse, and it’s up to you, the reader, to do your part.
I found myself desperate, not knowing where to go or what to do until i found this marvelous anime, it was like a ray of sunlight breaking through a cloudy sky,like a mid-court three pointer to beat the buzzer and tie the game, this anime was hope. It embodied everything any anime fan could look for, cute highschool girls in a slice of life show, great character development, interesting in depth view of the protagonists and antagonists, superb background and a mindblowing animation. The plot may seem simple and banal at first glance but during the development of the show it turns out as an
exciting one. This show's pace is just perfect and i'd say it goes toe to toe with shows like Fullmetal Alchemist or Steins Gate.
In conclusion this show is worth watching and worshipping, 'cause now, we are bread friends.
A perfect show. A flawless masterpiece. I've never seen a show quite like Pan de Peace. Every character is super relatable and also really funny and cute. I'm constantly filled with the desire to research this show again and again because you can finish it in less than an hour. Compared to other anime, this show is so much more enjoyable. The art is simple and pleasant. The music is soft and comforting. This show gets a bad rap for being like other highschool girl anime, and it is indeed very similar. However Pan de Peace succeeds where others fail. It takes the established highschool
girl anime plot and perfects it. There are no distractions from the plot, and every episode has a deep specific meaning that you need to find for yourself. On the surface, this show seems simple, but the truth is that it is actually a perfect show, and it's unfortunate that many people don't seem to understand that.