Japan’s most popular sake is part of ensemble cast.

Dassai, a brand of sake made in Yamaguchi Prefecture, was already pretty popular, thanks to its balanced, refreshing, and flavorful taste. Then it won even more fans last month when the brewer, Asahi Shuzo, took out a full-page ad in one of Japan’s largest national newspapers, begging fans not to overpay for Dassai, since the company isn’t in business just for the money.

And now there’s a whole new way to love Dassai, as the sake has been anthropomorphized as a handsome anime boy.

It’s not just Dassai that’s gotten a 2-D hottie makeover. Bandai Namco Entertainment has announced the production of a new anime series titled Miki no Mikoto (which translates roughly to “lords of the sake offered to the gods”), in which eight renowned types of sake from various brewers have been reimagined as samurai-era dandies.

▼ Koshi no Kandai, from Niigata Prefecture

▼ Tama no Hikari, from Kyoto

In addition to stylish clothing and bedroom eyes, each of the characters has a backstory with references to the region where the sake is produced. For example, Sawa no I, one of the few sake varieties made in Tokyo, is brewed in the Ome City portion of the capital, known for its hiking trails and natural beauty, so the anthropomorphized Sawa no I loves outdoor activities. Meanwhile, Dassai’s hobby is practicing swordsmanship, since Dassai is brewed in Iwakuni, hometown of famed historical swordsman Sasaki Kojiro.

▼ Sawa no I, from Tokyo

▼ Kinkame, from Shiga

Other characters get visual cues based on the kanji that appear in their name or their region of production. Dewazakura, for example, contains the character for sakura/cherry blossoms, as the character’s cloak lining has a flowered pattern (and his favorite pastime is listed as “cherry blossom viewing parties”). Kunimare, who hails from the northern island of Hokkaido, is appropriately dressed in cold-weather gear.

▼ Dewazakura, from Yamagata

▼ Kunimare, from Hokkaido

▼ Reizan, from Kumamoto

As for plot, Miki no Mikoto is set in the fictional Yayoimachi, a pleasure quarter where gods and spirits mingle. The sake boys work at Matsuyoian, a restaurant, where they “learn what true hospitality is.” Matsuyoian lists its three governing precepts as:
● Drink amicably and enjoyably.
● Think of the customer’s feeling while drinking.
● Drink, but do not get drunk.

While that last one gels nicely with Dassai maker Asahi Shuzo’s slogan of “We brew sake for sipping, not sake for drinking, nor sake for selling,” it doesn’t mesh so smoothly with the character quote given for Koshi no Kandai, listed as the unofficial leader of the group, which is…

“I’ll get you drunk.”

Bandai Namco Entertainment plans to release Miko no Mikoto through its &CAast!!! Video streaming service. A premiere date has yet to be set, nor have any announcements been made regarding the virtually inevitable merchandising and mobile game.

Source: Miki no Mikoto official website via Anime News Network/Lynzee Loveridge
Top image: Miko no Mikoto official website
Insert images: Miki no Mikoto official website (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

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