In Japanese subculture, the first appearance of it is considered to be in First Human Giatrus. Manga meat in the series differs slightly from the “manga meat” depicted today. The meat is depicted as that of a mammoth, cut in round slices with hair left on the skin and doesn’t look very appetizing.
After the series, the general conception of manga meat made appearances in many manga and games. They are often used in depictions of primitive times or eaters with prodigious appetites. However, there are similar depictions of meat in the form of meat on a bone before the series, so the actual origin is somewhat vague.
- The main form is a big piece of meat covering a thick bone. Moreover, it has been butchered so that the meat is a single piece.
- The texture of the meat does not usually appear to be soft; people eating it tend to hold it in one or both hands and tear at it with wild abandon. The meat stretches as if it were rubber, but eventually rips.
- The meat comes in various sizes, but the length of bone tends to be anywhere from 40 to 80cm and the meat covers about two-thirds of the bone.
- The meat is cooked by grilling or smoking it.
- The meat is usually seasoned by spices like salt, pepper, and so on, but sometimes it doesn’t seem to have any apparent seasoning.
- While the various portrayals are generally of the same form, there is no historical basis in facts or literature of the portrayal of manga meat. The initial impact of “deliciousness” was originally illustrated, so many readers harbored the idea that such a meat existed; some people even came to have a yearning for “that meat”. For an example of this sentiment, the topic is raised in a yonkoma in the first volume of Yoshida Sensha’s Utsurun Desu. (on a similar note, in the same work there is an example of “cartoon cheese”).
- In reality, animals do not have parts where flesh covers a significant-sized bone cylindrically and uniformly. Thus, the meats as depicted in manga (which can be held in the hands) do not exist. Because of this, some people would like to eat manga meat even more. And to better foster discussion of the subject, “that meat in manga” has come to be called “manga meat”. As characters devour the meat voraciously and viciously, it makes the meat appear very tasty (refer to the principle of Mirroring).
- There are actually restaurants and butcheries and such where cuisine labeled “manga meat” is offered. In these cases, it is the creation of a chef. Minced meat or something like it is wrapped around a bone, and it usually has a texture like hamburger, though it varies between different realizations of the form. Even so, while this has fulfilled some people’s fantasies about actually eating manga meat, it isn’t really very much like the meat portrayed in fiction.
- Nagano Noriko put “Chibita’s Oden (Osomatsu-kun), Matsuba’s ramen (Manga-michi), and Kaizoku Ōji’s meat” in “Three major delicious two-dimensional recipes” along with manga meat.
- In various (Japanese) variety shows, there have been challenges to look for manga meat.
- Because of the unique shape, cushions and keychains can be found on the market; they can be found in crane games as well. These items are usually produced in limited quantities for humor purposes.
- Kebab: when döner kebab is grilled, a hearty portion is roasted on a spit, though by the time it is eaten it does not resemble manga meat.
- Spare ribs, lamb chop: the meat is served with the bone still attached. The bone on a lamb chop is about half the length of the meat itself.
- Ham: in particular, ground round from pork bears somewhat of a resemblance to manga meat prior to processing.
- Fried chicken, roast chicken, and such: as for meat from chicken, while the size is different, the bone is often still attached to the meat.
- Sausage on a bone: a relatively recent trend so far found in Japan and Taiwan in which a sausage is skewered on a chicken bone, perhaps inspired by originally fictional manga meat.
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- Excite Bit “マンガで見た“あの肉”が買えるらしい” (“It seems you can buy ‘that meat’ found in comics”)