Of Hamburgers and Hanbāgus: What the Great Burger Debate Taught Us About the Trash Taste Boiis


P O D C A S T S – A N I M E


Lamia Karim, Adrita Zaima


Otaku69lk: Man, I think Joey was right, steaks are underperforming slabs of meat. One time, my bulky Roblox-player classmate shoved a small sheet of cardboard into my mouth during a recess debate and held it tight until I gulped it down. It was just as if I was eating a steak. 

Otaku00az: The what, the what now?! 

So, if you willingly clicked on the URL to this article, you might be aware that it was only a little over a year ago that the first episode of the Trash Taste podcast aired and brought a major change to the lives of some 980k odd otakus (though for better or for worse, that remains to be decided). Hosted by the Japan-based anitubers Gigguk (a.k.a Grant), The Anime Man (a.k.a Joey), and CDawgVA (a.k.a Connor ), Trash Taste is a podcast where the boiis discuss life in Japan, American food, shitting, and occasionally anime. Essentially, it is the stuff of any avid, self-respecting otaku’s wet dreams.

Two such otakus — who, for the sake of this account, we shall refer to as Otaku69lk and Otaku00az — have been devoted followers of the podcast since its earliest days. And when we say ‘devoted followers’, we mean absolute staying-up-till-three-a.m-to-watch-a-new-episode level of fanatics. These two jolly individuals, who had, it must be said, previously been less than keen towards one another, bonded over the podcast to the extent of sharing turtle bejewelled friendship bands. Thus, when the Annual Trash Taste Awards got announced a few weeks ago, they did not even hesitate before making plans to watch the show together. Little did they know how their shared experience of witnessing The Great Burger debate losing in the Best Argument category to the much, much more inferior Gatcha argument would lead them to back-peddling to re-watch the whole episode of the Great Burger debate to understand how it could have not won and ultimately putting their friendship on the line. 

Before you move on, however, it is advisable that you plug in your headphones and review the debate yourself. This step is to ensure that you understand, and enjoy, the exchange that is to follow. Last but not least, excuse these heated individuals if they start spouting nonsense. It goes by without saying but both of these otakus have utterly trash taste (get it?). 

Otaku00az: Did the voters snort a pint of cocaine or what? The‏‏‎ Gacha debate was, by no ‎‎‏‏‎‎means, better  than The Great Burger debate.

 

Otaku69lk: Agreed! 

 

Otaku00az: Going by the dictionary definition of an argument, it needs to be a passionate car crash. And the only person who was screaming during the Gacha debate was Connor, which isn’t atypical of him. The very essence of an argument, the art of presenting opinions, is lost if both parties don’t tug at the other’s clothes. And no other argument withholds that spirit better than The Great Burger Debate.

 

Otaku69lk: Agreed!!

 

Otaku00az: Man Grant’s hambagu takes were up for the win. But, I guess it’s fine for a few great debates to go unresolved—

 

Otaku69lk: Wait… what?! Definitely not agreeing with you on this one!

 

Otaku00az: Agreeing on what? 

 

Otaku69lk: Have your judgement skills gone down the drain? Did you not witness Connor’s monstrous passion during the argument? I agree that the man is a mere monkey but his opinions are always the ape-x of what humanity stands for. 

 

Otaku00az: Woah! Woah! Woah! Bro, I love you *no homo intended* but I think we might be up for a debate now —

And that’s how the infamous hamburger episode, the 17th one in this great collection of fillers, tossed the apple of discord into these two amiable otakus’ friendship. The episode began with the subtle but ominously insightful opening words of “You good? You good?”, and so did the two confidants’ foray into the second exploration of this episode. Little did these friends, or the Trash Taste boiis know how quickly and perilously their good-natured conversation would escalate… 

Otaku69lk:  I have never had a hanbāgu myself, but hearing Connor prove his points for 8 minutes is enough to make people like me grateful that I never had such an opportunity. And that is one true sign of a great debater.

 

Otaku00az: (wheezes uncontrollably) I cannot accept the fact that you’re defending Connor. A man who can wear the same shirt for the 15th time in 17 episodes on the podcast can NOT have good taste. Bruh, you good? Did your mom beat you up today or something?

A little side-trip to the vast realm of google wisdom would have informed you of the difference between a hamburger and a hanbāgu. But since many of you individuals might not possess the attention span of a full-grown adult pea plant yet, we will break it down for you. A hamburger, as you may or may not know, has nothing to do with ham. A hamburger (also burger for short) is a food consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat placed inside a sliced bread roll or bun. Often served with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, bacon, or chiles; condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, or a “special sauce”, hamburgers are the ultimate fast food.

Trash Taste Animated: The Great Burger Debate

In Japan, hamburgers can be served as just the patties without a bun, known as hanbāgu (ハンバーグ). They are made from minced beef, pork or a blend of the two mixed with minced onions, egg, breadcrumbs, and spices. They are served with brown sauce with vegetable or salad sides, or occasionally in Japanese curries. 

Trash Taste Animated: The Great Burger Debate

Now, if you did your homework and reviewed the Great burger Debate as we had recommended you to, you are informed enough to know that Connor believes hanbāgus are an absolute abomination due to their lack of synergy — the very thing that truly defines a  hamburger. Grant on the other hand believes no one gives two craps about synergy, a true man only cares about patty and not the other accompaniments. The two males go on to debate it out in a heated manner while Joey, sounding little like the Karen that he actually is, bleats like a broken record, “I am gonna have to agree with you” or chooses to sit in un-companionable silence. 

Otaku00az: Grant is the demagogue of this progressive society, a true result of cultural cross-pollination. Just think about it—

 

Otaku69lk: No.

Otaku00az: —Grant is a simple man. He only wants to shatter rigid barriers between different categories of food in order to maximise everyone’s enjoyment. As a liberal, I think you should accept these emerging food trends which only aim to go above and beyond our conventional culinary world. 

 

Otaku69lk: If Grant is a simple man, then Connor is a highly pragmatic man. Just think about it—

 

Otaku00az: No. Connor isn’t a man. He’s a monkey. 

 

Otaku69lk: —classifications exist for a reason. Hamburger and Hambagu can’t sit on the table together and be classified as the same thing. 

And so on their bickering continues parallel to that of Grant and Connor, with Joey lounging in the background and enjoying his stoically blissful state of giggles and silence. On a tangent though, one very odd thing that this debate brought to light is the uncanny resemblance between the boiis’ takes in this debate and their preferred ways of leading life. Conor indulges in the olden things, wishing only to spend away his time with the true and tried delicacies of life. His whole main channel, consisting of him embarrassing himself in trying to discover new things, stands testimony to this. And see that Connor gets lost in his own analogies about steaks but comes out triumphant when talking about soup ingredients? Well, for a man who has spreadsheets for everything, it does show the cruel reality of his nature.

Grant’s calm monk-like approach to life, pierced by his occasional want for adventure and boldness is likewise reflected in his channel. And the brief periods of baleful (or comical, whichever you prefer depending on your perception of the world) quiet that follow random outbursts from Joey perfectly capture the mood of his channel too. But never mind that. Now, back to the episode — sorry, debate!

Otaku00az: Before I refute you though, look at how casually all of them are wearing anime merchandise.

 

Otaku69lk: (silently appreciates the drip) 

And here these hot-headed otakus have taken an intermission to appreciate the boii’s clothing choices. We suggest you do the same because, admit it or not, clothing plays a major part in the Trash Taste character arcs too. Drip personifies their chill, suits their maturity and manliness. And yet, Chris Broad won it all.  

Otaku00az: Anyways, back to where I left. Classification ruins creativity. I have watched a whole 20-minutes-long YouTube video on this topic. Therefore, you cannot talk back on this one. Don’t you dare corner hanbāgu into its own box! They are just hamburgers, with attitude.

 

Otaku69lk: Man, listening to your perspective is worse than listening to Nyan Cat on repeat…

 

Otaku00az: LISTENING TO CONNOR IS WORSE. HE SCREAMS AND SCREECHES. MAKES ME WANT TO PUT HIM AS MY ALARM RING.

 

Otaku69lk: CONNOR IS THE SUPERIOR DEBATER, PERIOD. He provides immaculate examples alongside his argument. Our English composition teacher would pat him on the back and give him a good Double Cheeseburger from McDonald’s for showcasing such skill. 

 

Otaku00az: It’s 4am, bro. I can’t handle you any longer. The umami of your life is so despicably bland. 

 

Otaku69lk: Ok goodbye. Never talk to me again. Ever. Can’t believe I just wasted my time trying to teach a 16-year-old about the importance of Conor’s altruistic movement towards great classifications and equally good and classified dishes. Now I need to call up your mom to complain about you, jeez. 

 

Otaku00az: FAREWELL. 

Now we, as listeners of Trash Taste, live vicariously through their screams and screeches. From discussing college hustles to pooping struggles, they talk about anything and everything and we are totally there for it. It would be hard to imagine how someone could avoid forming parasocial relationships with this chosen trio. And, for many of you, this might be a good thing assuming your immutable state of social seclusion and loneliness.

Another thing you might have noticed, if you possess the inner eye that all otakus invariably do, is how the dissension between our subject matters resembles a dumpster fire only in that they threaten at every second to turn hostile. It is through these squabbles that the synergy, if we may borrow the word from Connor, between the trio is established. Arguments are the basis of Trash Taste, making them relatable to the common person. And it can be said they owe their success to the fact that they are merely three mates talking about things they don’t know.

 


The writers are an odd pair of teenagers who are sure to become afflicted with RSI soon due to the outrageous amount of humourless jokes that they type out to each other over Zoom.

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