Yakisoba-pan and the cafeteria wars

An iconic event in school life anime is students rushing towards the cafeteria lunch to buy the ever so popular “yakisoba pan”.

Japanese school lunches are a combination of students bringing their own lunches (bento “弁当”) or school-arranged meals (Kyushoku “給食”), or a cafeteria where students can choose what to eat (Koubai “購買”). What you see in these anime are students rushing towards the Koubai in order to buy their favorite yakisoba-pan and plowing through crowds, sometimes crawling between the feet.
The significance of Yakisoba-pan can be witnessed in several series including Goldfish Warning! or “Kingyo Chuuihou (きんぎょ注意報!) episode 6.

No, these don’t happen in real-life, but is a typical image that people recognize not only in games but can also be found in drama and games such as 13 sentinels where it shapes on of the characters around his affection for this food.

Small episodes revolving around yakisoba-pan and other variations of bread that you can buy at the Kobai are used as a means for students to interact with one another; giving to a friend who forgot to bring lunch with the “Really? You are giving me the legendary Yakisoba-pan?” reaction to the “sorry, I couldn’t get the Yakisoba-pan, so I got you the strawberry cream meatloaf instead” episode.

Real-life Yakisoba-pan

Probably not common outside of Japan, but they really are pretty good. You know what you’re getting on your next trip.

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