Chapter 244 - For the Last Five or Six Years, He Had an Extraordinary Craving for Roasted Potatoes

Title

The chapter title is based off a sentence in Akutagawa's story Yam Gruel (芋粥 Imogayu, lit. “potato porridge”). The sentence is "For the past five or six years, he had had an extraordinary craving for yam gruel." (五位は五六年前から芋粥と云ふ物に、異常な執着を持つてゐる goi wa go roku nen mae kara imogayu to iu mono ni, ijou na shuuchaku o motteiru). Kumeta substituted the word "roasted potato" (焼き芋yakiimo) for the word "yam gruel" (芋粥 imogayu).

First published in Shonen Magazine on November 24, 2010.

Opening text

A tone color that calls for nostalgia and nightly ramen.

Page 1

Signs (Panel 5 & 6)

The sign in panel 5 reads "Ono". The sign in panel 6 reads "Imoko". This is a reference to a politician of 6th/7th century Japan, Ono no Imoko, who is also known to history for nearly provoking a major war with the Chinese. The mention of Ono no Imoko also begins a running theme for background jokes, which is to make potato (芋 imo) puns.

Page 2

Newspaper (Panel 1)

The main headline reads "Aika - Love". Aika is a character from Love Plus who happens to like potatoes.

Signs (Panel 5)

  • Isshouan
    • A reference to the manga series "Osen" by Shouta Kikuchi. Isshouan is the name of the traditional restaurant where the series takes place.
  • 0-1000
  • Books
  • Store of the beautiful landlady
  • Kiritei
  • Kumo

Page 3

Signs (Panel 9)

  • School Uniforms and Eyebrows
  • Imoto
    • Both reference to comedienne Ayako Imoto, who on stage wears a school uniform and has her eyebrows painted thicker.

Signs (Panel 10)

  • Books
  • Magazine Potato
    • マガジンイーモ (magajin iimo), a pun on the a special version of Monthy Shonen Magazine, "Magazine E-no" マガジンイーノ (Magajin Iino)
  • Timtato
    • A mashup of TIME and Imo to produce TIMO
  • New Book
  • Onono Potato Can't Be This Cute
    • 小野妹子がこんなにかわいいわけがない (Onono Imoto ga konna ni kawaii wake ga nai); a pun on the novel/anime series: My Little Sister can't be this Cute (俺の妹がこんなに可愛い訳がない ore no imouto ga konna ni kawaii wake ga nai)

Page 4

Sign (Panel 2)

MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

Page 5

Tokyo U.

This refers to a real incident, where a graduate of Tokyo University wasn't hired because he was considered overqualified for the work he was applying for.

Olympics

Refers to Mao Asada, a Japanese figure skater who didn't qualify for the 2006 Olympics because she was too young.

Page 6

Newspaper (Panel 1)

Headline on the news paper reads "Shizuka Minamoto", a character from Doraemon who likes potatoes.

Page 7

Sign (Panel 3)

"Umizaru 36: The Last Message!" is a pun on Umizaru 3: The Last Message.

TV (Panel 8)

"Ridge of Silence" 沈黙の穴 (chinmoku no ana), a general reference to Steven Seagal films in Japan. Most (if not all) have "of Silence" (chinmoku no) in their title, such as "Battle of Silence" 沈黙の戦艦 (Chinmoku no Senkan), better known to US audiences as "Under Siege".

Page 8

Newspaper (Panel 1)

Maiasaurishinbun - "You sure that's enough?" - Potnoch - "I'm taking the opponents from my little brother!" All of these are references to the game “El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron”. “You sure that's enough?” and “I'm taking opponents from my little brother!” are catchphrases of Enoch and Ezekiel, two characters in the game. Potnoch comes from イモック (imokku), a pun on イノック (inokku) for Enoch.

Sign (Panel 7)

Koishikawa Marvel, a reference to this talent agency. Also a pun on "Bell" ('vel' and 'bel' sound very similar in Japanese), referencing back to a time when Chie-sensei took Nozomu to a handbell concert in a previous chapter.

Chie-sensei (Panel 8)

For some odd reason, her name is said here as 智絵 instead of 智恵, which sounds completely the same. May be a reference back to Chapter 225, where Harumi's name is given as 晴海 instead of 晴美, again with no change in pronunciation.

Page 9

Sign (Panel 5)

Tange Kickboxing Gym. Tange is the name of the main character's gym from Ashita no Joe

Signs (Panel 6)

  • Yamashita
  • Iseya
    • Yuusuke Iseya plays his rival Tohru Rikiishi in the same movie.
  • Aoi
    • Teruhiko Aoi is Joe's voice actor in the anime series.
  • Shiro
    • Shiro Kishibe plays Joe's friend Mammoth Nishi in an older movie adaption of the series.

Page 10

Despair List

  • The portrait looks too similar, so you get punched by a friend
    • Happens in the manga “Manga-michi” by Fujiko A. Fujio
  • The mackerel is too great, so it's served steamed.
    • A reference to a common rakugo story. A lord goes to Meguro (a city in Tokyo, known for a mackerel festival they hold once a year) and eats really good, but fatty, Mackerel there. When he's back at his castle, he wants his chef to cook some more for him. The chef, thinking of the lord's health, steams the mackerel instead of cooking it with fat. The lord isn't happy about it. A parody of this same story was told by Jun in chapter 112 with Harumi as a princess craving for BL.
  • The Northern Lake wasn't popular because he was too strong.
    • His last name, Toshimitsu, literally means "Northern Lake".
  • When they're too new, nobody likes them - residences in England
    • The prices for older homes are higher than newer houses in most European countries.
  • If it's too cultural, it gets purged - Chinese culture police
  • When the arguments are too sound, the cabinet minister is barred from becoming Chief Cabinet Secretary.

Uncharitable acts (Panel 9)

Chiri uses a term here for "malicious", おこんじょう (okonjou) that isn't used in Tokyo-dialect. (The term in that dialect is いじわる or いぢわる (ijiwaru)) However, this term is used more frequently in Gunma-dialect. This dialect is more common in the area from which Sensei hails from, Nagano Prefecture. (Gunma Prefecture borders Nagano.)

Page 11

Discriminating positively (Panel 5)

The verb Harumi uses here, はずかしめる (hazukashimeru), can also mean "to rape" O_o

Page 12

Beloved Brother

The word "beloved" 愛しき (itoshiki) is a homonym for Nozomu and Rin's family name.

Ending text

It's almost December, isn't it?

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