Come for the burgers, stay for the poetry session.

Previously on Japan’s Best Home Senbero, Mr. Sato’s protégé Masanuki Sunakoma had gone rogue and eaten the uncooked udon of forbidden knowledge before disappearing mysteriously. However, in Masanuki’s absence Mr. Sato was able to focus on his own training and developed a food and drink combo for about 1,000 yen, known as a “senbero” in Japanese, that could be consumed by both human and dog.

In doing so, he ascended to the rank of Senbero God, and let me tell you; ascension is hungry business. That’s why Mr. Sato decided to celebrate with a feast of burgers for his next senbero project. As luck would have it, Hanamasa Meat, a discount supermarket that specializes in all kinds of carnivorous delights, has a sale on the 29th of every month. This was the perfect opportunity for an especially meaty senbero.

For this senbero’s drink selection, Mr. Sato picked up a can of Nippon Premium Kiwifruit from Fukuoka Prefecture alcopop for 79 yen ($0.71).

He then scored a hefty pack of chicken thigh meat from Iwate Prefecture for only 374 yen ($3.36), which boils down to an impressive 48 yen ($0.43) per 100 grams.

And what better complement for a chicken burger than a pork burger! Mr. Sato was also able to get a pack of ground pork from the USA for 381 yen ($3.43).

Fortunately the buns were on sale too, and our Senbero God could get a four-pack for just 88 yen ($0.79).

A firm believer in a balanced diet, Mr. Sato also decided to get some roughage in the form of a single carrot for 60 yen ($0.54).

Though only five items, it was still a hefty haul that ran right into the ideal senbero range of 982 yen ($8.83) before taxes.

First, Mr. Sato had to thaw the frozen chicken. Actually, he had bought it fresh but accidentally put it in the freezer instead of the fridge, so technically this would be the minus first step.

His plan was to make two chicken burgers and two ground pork burgers, so next he unwrapped his minced meat.

However, an odd thing happened. Even though he took off the wrapper he still couldn’t get at the meat. It was as if a magical barrier was protecting it – a magical barrier made of plastic.

Mr. Sato: “What’s this?!”

Mr. Sato: “It was wrapped twice!”

This truly was an auspicious sign. An old home senbero saying goes: “Meat wrapped once, you’re a big old dunce. Meat wrapped twice, your senbero’ll be nice.”

With all the prep-work out of the way, it was time for Mr. Sato to unleash his newly acquired Senbero God powers. While seasoning the meat, he bent spacetime for added flavor.

And while most people might mold the meat into patties, Senbero God Sato simply cleaved his patties into existence but cutting his meat wad with the scared Knife of Longinus.

Mr. Sato: “Kyaaa!!!”

And when seasoning the chicken, the individual flakes of various spices danced about in the air in whimsical patterns. Unfortunately, it didn’t show up in any photos, but you can probably imagine.

He could also use his supernatural powers to freeze the oil in mid-pour, leaving it suspended in midair. However, since it’s a photograph it just looks like he’s pouring it normally. I guess you just had to be there.

Unfortunately, he still needed to get the hang of time manipulation and had put too much magic oil in his pan. It mercilessly sprinkled him with prickly heat as he laid the chicken thighs.

Knowing this was going to be a meat-heavy senbero, Mr. Sato had two gas stoves set up for all the frying.

However, to ensure all that meat was thoroughly cooked he set them for a slow cook over low heat and waited.

▼ Three minutes later…

▼ Six minutes later…

So… Say, that’s an interesting T-shirt Mr. Sato has on. It seems to be covered in pictures of his past adventures.

▼ Nine minutes later…

▼ 12 minutes later…

Yup… Oh hey, check it out. On the back of the shirt there’s a poem written by Mr. Sato himself titled Light and Darkness.

Light and Darkness: A Poem
Before light, there was darkness.
Before words, there was silence.
Before peace, there was confusion.
Before warmth, there was cold.
Before achievement, there was difficulty.
Before gentleness, there was unfeeling.
Before happiness, there was sadness.
Before choosing, there was nothing chosen.
In the deep darkness, a brilliant light can be seen.
And then we were born.
Mr. Sato

Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?

Hey, meat’s almost ready!!!

Next, Mr. Sato had to prepare the buns.

Buns always must be checked for symmetry first by holding them up to one’s head like Mickey Mouse ears.

Symmetry confirmed! After that, they needed to be cut into halves…

Whoa, be careful there, Mr. Sat-oh!”

Oh, you…

But no time to waste now. Get to the chicken! It needs flipping!

Now hurry, the pork is burning!

And toast those buns already!

We were so absorbed in Mr. Sato’s hauntingly beautiful poetry, we’ve fallen behind on everything.

Alright, let’s get those thighs on some buns, stat!

Good! Now get that pork ready.

Aw, you burned the buns, man!

And we’re done! It was a bit of a whirlwind finish, but the meaty senbero is complete.

Mr. Sato cracked open his can of hard kiwi juice and started the party!

First, the chicken burgers!

They were good, but kind of plain and dry. It seemed that despite the bargains, Mr. Sato had clearly spent too much money on meat and not enough on fixings.

Fair enough, but let’s see how the pork burgers stack up!

They too, were just kind of tasty, but overall pretty bland…and burnt.

The kiwi drink helped, but not much and at only three percent alcohol, it didn’t even get him drunk enough to stop caring about the food. If only he had spent more money for some sauce, but the senbero rules are sacred and cannot be superseded.

Just then, Mr. Sato remembered he had bought a carrot as well!

It wasn’t much, but it represented his last hope in salvaging this lackluster senbero from the depths of flavorlessness.

Employing his full knowledge of the culinary arts, he set about to make this the most delicious carrot in history. First he wrapped it in plastic.

He then placed it in the microwave.

The last but most crucial step of this process was to summon the occult deliciousness of this vegetable with an arcane ritual known only to Senbero Gods.

Mr. Sato: “Come on”

Mr. Sato: “Get more”

Mr. Sato: “Delicious”

Mr. Sato: “You”

Mr. Sato: “Stupid”

Mr. Sato: “Carrot”

But just then the front door of the office creaked open.

Mr. Sato: “Huh?”

A dark figure emerged and peered inside.

It was Masanuki, Mr. Sato’s fallen senbero angel.

Mr. Sato: “Oh hey, man! Sorry I can’t talk right now. This is really important.”

Mr. Sato: “Come on, get delicious…”

Mr. Sato: “You stupid…”

Mr. Sato: “Carr…”

Mr. Sato: “…ot!”

Scorching malice radiated from Masanuki whose heart had become a furnace of spite and jealousy for all that Mr. Sato had accomplished in the senbero world. With a power that he had never before exhibited, Masanuki grabbed Mr. Sato by his personalized T-shirt.

Mr. Sato: “Masanuki! What’s the deal, man? Owwww, that hurts!”

Masanuki: “…”

Without uttering a word, Masanuki thrust his former master into a corner of the office and made him submit.

Mr. Sato: “You want me on all fours like this? We already did the dog thing last week though. Today is chicken burg…”

Masanuki: “GyaaaarrrrrAAAAOOOoorrrrrah!!!”

Masanuki then returned to the microwave and continued the incantation. However, it was some perverse corruption of a proper carrot enhancement spell.

Mr. Sato: “No! Stop! That’s too fast and you need to lock your hips!”

Despite his efforts to reason with Masanuki, Mr. Sato was too late. The microwave dinged and the carrot was finished.

Satisfied with his prize, Masanuki opened the door and left the office, taking with him the one thing that could have saved Mr. Sato’s mildly disastrous senbero.

It was all over.

This senbero, Mr. Sato’s first as a Senbero God, had failed. Even worse, he was defeated by his former pupil Masanuki, who had clearly gotten stronger in the ways of the dark senbero arts at the cost of his soul. Frankly, he never really had a winning personality even with a soul, but this was certainly much worse.

Mr. Sato sat alone among the carnage of burnt buns and shattered dreams, knowing that Japan’s Best Home Senbero could not continue like this.

He would either have to save Masanuki from the path he had chosen, or… Well, Mr. Sato was a Senbero God of peace and didn’t want to consider the alternative.

Will he retrieve the soul of his co-worker, or will the very foundations of Japan’s Best Home Senbero be rent asunder by the clashing of those two senbero-supercharged demigods? Find out next time!

Catch up on all our “Japan’s Best Home Senbero” articles here:
Episode #1 – Lawson Store 100
Episode #2 – Don Quijote
Episode #3 – Costco
Episode #4 – IKEA
Episode #5 – ABS Wholesale Center
Episode #6 – Aeon
Episode #7 – Kaldi
Episode #8 – 7-Eleven
Episode #9 – Milk and Cake for Dogs

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