AnoHana Anime Sake Launches in Japan This Week

posted on 2011-08-05 09:00 EDT by Egan Loo
1st anime sake in 253-year history of brewery located in anime's model city

The Bukou Brewery in Chichibu, a city northwest of Tokyo, began selling an Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai. (AnoHana) anime sake on Thursday. The AnoHana Special Pure Rice Sake is Bukou's first sake with anime characters since the brewery was founded in 1753. The head of the brewery, Kōichi Hasegawa, explained the anime-labeled sake as an opportunity to target sake at young people.

The Spring 2011 anime followed several childhood friends who try to reconnect in high school after drifting apart due to tragedy. The sake's label features all six main characters (Menma, Jintan, Anaru, Poppo, Tsuruko, Yukiatsu), wrapped 360 degrees around the entire bottle.

Tatsuyuki Nagai (Toradora!, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun) directed off the scripts by Mari Okada (Toradora!, Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler). The anime's setting was modeled after Chichibu, and according to the Tokyo Shimbun paper, the scriptwriter was born in Chichibu.

Several of the city's distinctive locales can be seen in the background of the anime, and many fans have since made "pilgrimages" to the city. The city and its chamber of commerce produced a pamphlet for anime tourism, and character goods such as stickers and postcards are sold in the city. The introduction of the sakes comes just in time for the local celebration of Tanabata star festival this weekend.

Each 720-milliliter (about 24-ounce) bottle of the AnoHana Special Pure Rice Sake costs 1,890 yen (about US$24) at Bukou itself and at the local liquor shops.

Sources: Tokyo Shimbun, Saitama Shimbun

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