12 Days of Anime: Flavors of Youth


I’ve been on Netflix more than I’d like to admit. Flavor of Youth is three short films about three different people and their lives. The three short stories go over love, self-doubt, and relationships. I really enjoyed each film for the messages I got from them. The films are Hidamari no Choshoku (The Rice Noodles), Chiisana Fashion Show (A Little Fashion Show), and Shanghai Koi (Love in Shanghai).

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The first film shown is Hidamari no Choshoku (The Rice Noodle). This film is centered around Xiao Ming and his love for San Xian Noodles. Xiao and his Grandmother had a tradition of eating noodles together since he was a child. This film followed Xiao throughout life as he grew older and moved away from home continuing his love for noodles. When Xiao moved away as an adult to Beijing where he hated how they lack the qualities of the noodle from his hometown Hunan.

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The film doesn’t show Xiao continuing his relationship with his grandmother wasn’t mentioned once he became a teen and I thought that was interesting that her presence in his life kind of faded as he got older. Xiao got a call from his parents that his grandmother is on her deathbed and he visits her right before she takes he last breath. After his grandmother’s death, Xiao goes to one of the old noodle shops he visited when he was younger to see that the owner and her family worked on their relationships and started working together at the shop.

The message I got from this film was to value the people you have in your life. Xiao’s grandmother was important in his life but usually, as we grow older sometimes we become too busy to keep in touch. The family that owned the noodles shop was very distant with each other at the beginning of the film and towards the end, they worked their issues out. All the relationships in your life are important and should be valued especially family members you care about. We can’t rewind time so cherish the people you love while they’re here.

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The second film is Chiisana Fashion Show (A Little Fashion Show). This one was about sisters Yi Lin and Lulu and their relationship. They lost their parents when they were younger and Yi Lin took in her little sister once her modeling career started taking off. Yi Lin worked a lot and neglected her relationship with Lulu. Yi Lin didn’t realize this until she overworked herself and needed her sister to take care of her. Lulu was going to school to become a fashion designer.

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Lulu wanted to make clothes that made people happy because their mother used to sew a lot when they were younger. Lulu helped Yi Lin gained her confidence to model again after her incident on the runway. Their relationship was tested and they overcame their issues when Yi Lin started to see she was neglecting her sister. This short film made me think about making time for everything you want in life.

Yi Lin wanted to have her career and sister but didn’t make time to spend with her sister. Make time for people and the things you want to do. Yi Lin thought she had the perfect work and play balance but didn’t put in the time to get to know Lulu. I used to be like Yi Lin and just focus on work and thought my relationships with others were great until we talked and I realized I haven’t talked to them in months or years. My work and play balance is really good now and seeing Yi Lin go through that I understood how she felt when she came to her realization.

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Shanghai Koi (Love in Shanghai) is a love story that took so many turns I didn’t understand why it happened this way. Shanghai Koi started out around 3 friends and 2 were in love with each other. They didn’t tell each other but they shared music on cassette tapes. Xiao Yu and Li Mo grew to like each other over the years of their friendship. Xiao Yu recorded on a cassette tape her love confession to Li Mo but never gave it to him. She gave the tape to their friend instead of Li Mo and the friend gave the tape to Li Mo’s mother.

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I didn’t understand why she didn’t put it in a place she knows he would find it. Instead of going through one person she hoped would do the one thing she asked him to do. Xiao Yu told Li Mo that she was going to study abroad and he was very upset that she was leaving and at that moment they stopped talking for a while. Li Mo and his family moved away before they could get together and talk. Li Mo found the tape Xiao Yu recorded her confession on and listened to it, finally regretting his actions of the past. Time bought them back together at the end and it was a happy ending but it honestly could have been resolved if the tape got to him like it was supposed to.

This film showed me to just act on some of your feelings before its too late. Let people know how you feel about them so it doesn’t feel like a burden. Li Mo felt like he was carrying a weight on his shoulders because he couldn’t tell Xiao Yu how he felt in time before they were separated.

We can’t rewind time and everything can’t work out as an anime. As easy as that would make the life we have to go out and get it on our own. I enjoyed all three films because of the messages I received from each and relating to some of the characters really touched me.


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