Wow, Bread of Happiness just can’t win with anime bloggers, can it? Several people are bashing it because they fell asleep, others bash it because they found it unbelievably insipid and monotonous, and I bash it because I actually enjoyed it and stayed awake throughout the entire thing with no trouble. To many people that may seem like a good thing, but every single one of my post ideas revolved around me hating the impression that this show had made on me. So instead of just typing several Z’s or talking about the joy of replacing bread with various naughty words, most related to phalli, I actually have to think about something good to write. I fucking hate you for making me like you, Bread of Happiness.
Quick, close your eyes and imagine nearly any prologue of any JRPG that isn’t of the Final Fantasy or Breath of Fire series. Most of you probably saw something similar: Lush countryside, vaguely medieval architecture, beginnings as mundane as all hell, and debatably necessary exposition. Usually in games and adaptations like these, the idyllic life of our main character is turned upside down by an encroaching menace that sends (almost always) him on an adventure throughout the land to put a stop to it.
In Bread of Happiness, the dial seems to be firmly stuck on the idyllic beginnings without ever changing, with our protagonist Rick working in a bakery and doing various bakery things around town with his entourage of moeblob bakers. As such, for something that’s supposed to behave like an action series, there’s very little meaningful interaction of any kind until the final third, when Rick and company take an injured critter to elves in a nearby forest. Until then, it’s just going around town doing chores and baking bread in weirdly low resolution ovens.
The closest comparison I can find to the general feel of the anime is the Rune Factory series of games, since that conflict is practically nonexistent for the most part, and the player character could theoretically spend every single day going around and doing various mundane tasks for the townspeople if he really wanted. If just reading that induced exasperated sighs, then this is not the show for you. Unless the second episode has the main town burned to the ground, or suddenly involves an attack from the elf forest or something of the sort, I can see no way that this can pull in more people.
To be fair though, I like what it had on display. The backgrounds were vibrant, none of the characters were particularly annoying, and it had that very ARIA-esque relaxation vibe going on. The bread also looked kind of tasty, and I’ll be damned, I’m actually intrigued by the plot synopsis.
As it stands, Bread of Happiness is an incredibly niche series that will only interest two kinds of people: Those that are in it solely to make a funny by replacing every instance of ‘bread’ with ‘penis’, and those joyless husks that actually enjoy what it is, whose numbers I can unfortunately count myself a part of. I can’t in good faith recommend it to anybody with a pulse or decent taste, but I sure as hell found it enjoyable for what it was, and I don’t know what awful things that says about me.