Our writers get a new lease on Life.

Previously on Japan’s Best Home Senbero: Normally well-skilled in the art of creating a small meal with alcohol for about 1,000 yen (US$8.91) — known as a “senbero” in Japanese — Mr. Sato was handed a crushing defeat at the hands of his former pupil Masanuki Sunakoma.

Having turned to the dark side of the senbero arts, Masanuki successfully stole Mr. Sato’s microwaved carrot and scoffed at his burnt burger buns.

Not knowing what to do next, our Senbero God Mr. Sato decided the best course of action was to get completely hammered with his booziest senbero yet!

To accomplish this he went to Life, which is a popular chain of supermarkets in the Kanto and Kansai areas. For this episode’s drink selection, the Senbero God chose not one but two tall-boy cans of Strong Chu-Hi at 119 yen ($1.06) a piece, each with a hefty alcohol content of nine percent.

To wash down his booze, he grabbed a pre-assembled Yosenabe hot pot with flying fish soup stock and soy sauce flavoring for 318 yen ($2.83) thanks to a 20 percent discount.

A side of pre-cooked rice was very affordable at 128 yen ($1.14) a pack.

There was also a whole silver bream fish for only 100 yen ($0.89) possibly because it looked like it had a bad attitude.

He was totally cruising in terms of cost, so Mr. Sato grabbed a pack of paella seasoning too for 108 yen ($0.96).

And for dessert he got a three-pack of Chinese dumplings filled with sweet bean paste, known as Anman, for 93 yen ($0.83).

All seven items came to 985 yen ($8.78) before taxes and looked to be a surprisingly full meal for the price.

Mr. Sato had learned some valuable lessons from his last defeat. First, he put on some protective armor in case Masanuki ambushed him again. Then, he made sure to fully season his fish with a blended salt mix so as not to repeat the disappointingly dry and flavorless meat of his last senbero.

He then wrapped the fish in foil and set it in his mini-oven.

Our road warrior then got to work on his hot pot, first unwrapping all the ingredients

Then it was just a matter of adding some water.

Oh! Looks like he got a little over excited.

Thankfully, he was more careful with the soy sauce.

Once everything was set, he just lit the fire and let it all simmer. As Mr. Sato sat and watched the bubbles float to the surface of the hot pot, his mind began to wander…

Mr. Sato: “…”


Mr. Sato: “Huh? A dream….”

Mr. Sato hadn’t been getting much sleep lately with all the drinking and people randomly attacking him. It would seem the Senbero God’s mind has become prone to play tricks on him.

Ah well, no time to worry about that now. The food’s ready!

If Mr. Sato’s brain cells were out to hurt him with illusions, then he felt obliged to return the favor with some Strong Chu-Hi action!

▼ Mr. Sato: “Prepare to die, brain!”

The hot pot was perfectly ready with a welcoming puff of steam emerging from the surface, so Mr. Sato decided to dig right in.

On second thought, it might have been a little too hot, and required a few puffs of his own before eating.

There we go. Mr. Sato was in the zone now. This is what pure senbero satisfaction looks like, folks.

Now it was time for… this thing. Senbero God wasn’t quite sure what that little morsel was, but how could it be bad?

It’s not like they would intentionally put something gross in the hot pot. Unless, that flying old lady had something to do with it.

Even after eating he still wasn’t sure what it was, but it was good. It had a kind of fishy taste, so perhaps it was a piece of fish. There are a lot of fish in the world after all. He couldn’t possibly know them all.

Oh well. That’s enough mystery for one meal. Bottoms up!

Yessir, this was indeed shaping up to be one fine senbero, possibly one of the best ever. It was just what our Senbero God needed to get that last one off his mind.

And what’s this?! There’s still a whole fish for him to devour.

With his fish seasoned to perfection, it would seem as if Mr. Sato could do no wrong this time around.

For those new to Japan’s Best Home Senbero, the word “senbero” is made up of two Japanese words: “sen” meaning “thousand” and referring to the price, and “bero” which means “tipsy” and refers to the aim of getting a buzz on during the meal.

And so, Mr. Sato was in full “bero” mode by this point.

And there was still lots of food left! Showing his true Senbero God prowess, Mr. Sato had a cunning plan about what to do with his remaining items.

The pack of pre-cooked rice would need to be heated first, and what better way to do that than with his leftover hot pot!

Then to give everything a little more flare, he poured in a packet of paella seasoning.

But why add one pack, when you can add two?

Let’s light it up!

Once again, Mr. Sato lost himself in the simmering of his latest creation.

▼ Mr. Sato: “…”


Mr. Sato: “Oh wait. Maybe it was just my imagination again….”

Even the success of this senbero had done little to exorcise the elderly demons who haunted Mr. Sato’s dreams. Still, he could handle a couple senior citizens, just as long as Masanuki didn’t appear this time.

Back in reality, Mr. Sato added the final touch to his hot pot rice paella. He plopped in some leftover pieces of fish and his work was finished.

Not bad for a delusional drunk. Not bad at all.

Before serving to himself, Mr. Sato would perform an ancient senbero ritual to bless his bounty.

Mr. Sato: “Ready!!!”

Mr. Sato: “Sombrero!”

Mr. Sato: “Ranchero!”

Mr. Sato: “Camaro!”

Mr. Sato: “SENBERO!”

Mr. Sato: “Alright. Let’s eat.”

Whatever this thing Mr. Sato had just created was, it was quite hot and had a very bold taste thanks to the two packs of seasoning in an already seasoned broth. He couldn’t really describe it in terms of actual food, but it was pretty good.

And with his first can of Strong Chu-Hi finished off, it tasted even better.

It was time to bring this senbero home with his sweet bean filled Anman Chinese dumplings.

There ought to be no problem with these things, so at this point it was safe to say that Mr. Sato’s senbero was a resounding success. In fact, it may even go down as his best ever!

He was giddy with excitement at the possibility of filing the appropriate paperwork to officially declare this Japan’s Best Home…

…huh? What’s this?

It seemed as if someone had opened the door at some point during this senbero.

Mr. Sato: “It’s him!”

From the dark recesses of the office building, Masanuki slithered through the doorway and slowly approached Mr. Sato.

Masanuki: “…”

Senbero God Sato couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but something seemed different about Masanuki on this day.

Perhaps like Mr. Sato, Masanuki too had been training and developing his skills. However, as a dark senbero lord, Masanuki was becoming increasingly effective at ruining Mr. Sato’s senbero.

Masanuki: “…”

Masanuki: “Grraaaayaaaaooh.”

Mr. Sato couldn’t decipher Masanuki’s ancient demon tongues, but it looked as if the dark senbero lord was trying to show him something. It was almost like he was striking a pose.

However, suddenly one of Masanuki’s buttons popped open. His physique appeared to be swelling with raw vitriol and rage to the point that his dress could no longer contain it.

Mr. Sato: “Hah! Bro, one of your buttons broke!”

Masanuki: “Graoooohraaaaaah!!!”

Mr. Sato: “Alright man, let’s go! I was waiting for this and came prepared! Good luck getting past my armor!”

Just then Masanuki released Mr. Sato, but not for fear of the Senbero God’s armor. He had other plans and took the Anman dumplings from the table. Mr. Sato tried to stop him, but was far too drunk at this point and his reflexes were completely shot.

Mr. Sato: “Aw, come on. Those are my Anman….”

Masanuki then pointed to the package.

Or rather he was pointing to the picture of a Chinese girl on the package.

Apparently there was something about the Chinese girl that Masanuki was trying to communicate but he had lost too much of his humanity to say what it was. However, when Mr. Sato looked back up at his co-worker’s face he was shocked.

For a fleeting moment, it looked as if Masanuki’s true soul had revealed itself. A glimpse of sadness and regret streaked across his face.

But just as fast as it came, Masanuki’s humanity sank back into the twisted creature that entombed it. The dark senbero lord then headed back to the door with the capper to Mr. Sato’s evening of drink and food.

Masanuki: “Hissssssss.”

Masanuki continued to back out of the room, cautious yet also reveling in the ruination of yet another senbero.

Masanuki: “Chkchkchkchk….”

Masanuki gave one last glance into the office…

…and was gone. The pure malice that radiated from his aura had stripped and scratched the paint from our normally beautiful looking front door on his way out.

▼ That tape on the mailbox was there before though. That thing’s been busted for a while.

Mr. Sato watched his exit in deep contemplation. This senbero, possibly his best ever, was once again destroyed by Masanuki. However, rather than disappointed, Senbero God felt a new sense of hope. He had peered into the abyss of his co-worker’s heart and saw something that could be saved: the vibrant heart of a kind Chinese girl.

Can Mr. Sato reach out and grab that fading ember of senbero-love inside Masanuki before it’s too late, or will the darkness consume him completely, corrupting Masanuki into a relentless meal-wrecking machine? Also, what was up with those old people Mr. Sato saw earlier?

The answer to these questions and more will be revealed next time on Japan’s Best Home Senbero!

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

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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