By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane
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Videographer / director: Keisuke Inagaki
Producer: Shannon Lane, Ellie Winstanley
Editor: Joshua Douglas, Sonia Estal
Japanese chef Keisuke Inagaki has combined his passion for anime and cooking by creating edible Pokemon pancakes.
Inagaki has been a chef at his restaurant La Ricetta in Zama City, Japan, for the last 18 years.
He said: “I call myself an ‘otaku chef’. Otaku are people who are very passionate about anime, manga, special effects and railways.
"I would call myself an otaku, as I love anime and comics.”
The 46-year-old chef began making pancakes in 2011 after the devastating nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.
He said: “After Fukushima I participated in a camp for children to comfort them. I wanted to think of some activities that mothers and children could do together.
"Then I discovered pancake art.
"I saw it for the first time on TV, an American named Nathan Shields making it and thought it was interesting.
"Whilst children were playing, the mothers and I wanted to surprise them.”
Keisuke has previously created many popular anime characters and even realistic pet portraits.
And as a fan of the Nintendo franchise and a player of the global phenomenon, Pokemon Go, he decided to release his own edible Pokemon into the world.
He said: “It takes 5-10 minutes to draw the outlines, and then it takes 5-10 minutes to cook. If there is a lot of detail it takes longer.
“After the pancakes are done they are given to children or friends for free.
"I like Pikachu the best but now everyone is looking for Mew. That's a legendary pokemon which nobody has ever captured.”
However despite the intimacy of his creations, pancake art is not without it’s difficulties.
The chef said: “One of the problems of pancake art is that when I fail to flip the pancake I feel very upset.
“Another problem is that when I serve a warm pancake to customers, they look at it for a long time or hesitate to eat it and then the pancakes have gone cold.”
In the future Keisuke plans to mimic the traditional Japanese woodblock printing style in his pancakes, like the famous Hokusai, and also hopes to be able to exhibit his artworks.
He said: “There’s vacuum packing available, and you can present your work in this way. I think it would be fun to do a gallery show if I create enough pancake art.”