They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of JK Meshi!, Love Kome: We Love Rice, Sushi Police, and more!
50: JK Meshi!
MAL Score: 4.62
Three high school girls have mastered the art of cooking simple, B-class dishes called JK meshi. The three girls — Reina, Ryouka, and Ruriko — are all classmates in their second year of high school. They often get distracted when studying for tests, and when they do, they cook JK meshi.
In short, JK Meshi is a short series about three girls who every week discuss random trivia with each other for a minute or two, have a meal together, and then the episode is over. Nothing more, nothing less. End of story. But unlike your typical plotless slice of life comedy, in JK Meshi’s case I legitimately don’t understand what the purpose of the show is. Like it’s not even a matter of taste really. Case in point: this is NOT a show meant for entertainment. There is ZERO enjoyment value in it. Why? Because it’s an educational program. Literally the only thing it gives you is random trivia to learn. But the trivia is like elementary school level in terms of difficulty, for example “did you know that the capital of Australia is not actually Sydney, but Canberra?” Uhm yeah, I’ve known that since I was like 10 years old or something even if I live on the other side of the globe, thank you very much. Like who is this supposed to be aimed at? Elementary schoolers? Yeah right, good luck finding a 12-year-old who willingly watches lame educational programs on TV in their own spare time, not to mention that this is a late-night anime and thus evidentially not a kids’ show. And adults should already know pretty much all these things given how basic it is. In other words… it’s not just that the show is bad, but *there is no target demographic at all*. I find it sincerely baffling. I have no idea what the writers were thinking when they came up with this script.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s another equally horrendous aspect of this show. To put it bluntly, the animation quality is about 20 years outdated. When watching JK Meshi… if your eyes could puke… they would. The best way I can phrase it is that it looks just like an amateur made it in Flash in an hour or two of their spare time. It’s just *that* bad. I can’t believe something so putrid-looking was aired on TV in the year 2016. Like were they even trying when they made this show? The entire thing just feels like an intentional joke to me. If this is actually the best a studio can come up with, my faith in the anime industry is taking a serious blow here. Granted the producers of JK Meshi are some total unknowns as far as I know but still.
JK Meshi might be worth watching just for the rather… *unique* experience it provides, but otherwise I’d recommend you to stay away. FAR away.
About a minute into the first episode I understood why – JK Meshi fails to execute the bare minimum of what a slice of life anime needs to be loved by at least a portion of the anime community – cute and personable characters. All of the girls have bland, uncreative, forgettable designs. The animation looks like it was done in flash with choppy movements and barely any variance in facial expression or gesture. You’re not gonna find any waifus here nor will you find any cute personality types that will endear a viewer to a character.
This could be somewhat forgiven if the topic explored was well executed – JK Meshi does in part aim to be an educational cooking show of simple meals that anyone can prepare, but because the art is so fugly it makes all of the food look disgusting. It’s the exact opposite of Souma in that respect, or the lesser known Osake wa Fuufu that damn near made me an alcoholic with its appeals to creating adult beverages.
So here you have what is quite possibly the worst attempt at a SOL ever, failing to be likable from a character endearment standpoint and failing to have a topic or a familiar setting that viewers can immerse themselves into (take for instance, school life environments). I suppose it being a short anime does give it some reprieve, as you don’t waste much of your time in efforts of completing it, but even so it’s deservingly placed among the worst anime for sucking at the foundational points of its own genre.
49: Love Kome: We Love Rice
English: Love Rice
Japanese: ラブ米 -WE LOVE RICE-
MAL Score: 4.63
The project anthropomorphizes rice (kome in Japanese) into schoolboys. At the Kokuritsu Inaho Academy (“Rice Ear Academy,” a wordplay on national schools), five new rice-inspired students attempt to supplant bread as the popular grain at the school. The new students form the “Love Rice” unit and challenge themselves to perform at the “Harvest Show” to show the delicious appeal of rice grains. The “heartwarming ‘kome’dy with laughs and passion” promises to let audiences rediscover the virtues of rice (“Japan’s soul food”).
Hinohikari is a boy who knows what he wants & what he wants is to be the HarveStar of the Harvest Show. There’s just one problem: nobody likes rice any more, which is unfortunate enough when you’re a rice-boy (not the car kind) but doubly so when it means the Kokuritsu Inaho Academy he attends is in danger of shutting down. Undeterred, Hinohikari will achieve his dream & save his school the only way he knows how; by joining a cross-dressing idol unit? Okay.
Rice Boys sets out to answer the ultimate question – which is better: bread or rice? After quickly ditching the women’s clothes, the newly christened Love Rice (because they love rice) prepare to do musical battle against their wheaty rivals the Yeast Kings; using as many bad puns, bland songs & homoerotic moments as it takes.
In case you weren’t able to tell, Love Rice is out to promote Japanese rice (white, sticky, short grains only. None of that exotic Indian stuff here) to women. Each character is named after a specific strain & some effort is made to tie their personalities with their namesake, though it’s hard to tell with rice – since it’s rice. Their musical performances take place in golden paddy fields & dammit if they aren’t trying their hardest to be the best rice-boys they can be so the Gourmet Girls will vote for them. It’s a concept silly enough that it could have been a lot of cheesey fun.
But for a concept as silly as pretty rice-boys, Love Rice for the most part plays itself frustratingly straight. Part of this is down to the utterly uninspired production, which makes almost no effort to visually accentuate the humour & often leaves the characters looking like rough drafts rather than finished articles. But even beyond that there isn’t much to it. The story is for the most part bog standard, with the bland songs doing little to improve things. It take a turn for the suitably stupid when Love Rice & the Yeast Kings set aside their differences – because at the end of the day rice & wheat are both grains – to thwart a kidnapping, but it’s so rushed & disjointed that the humour is lost.
When compared to other male idol or anthropomorphic pretty boy series, Love Rice hardly measures. Unlike Sekko Boys, It doesn’t do nearly enough with the ridiculousness of its core concept, relying instead of repetitive agriculture puns & Sasanishiki coughing up more white fluids than Paris Hilton. It barely manages to fill its four minute episodes, even with songs & cooking tutorials padding out the runtime, whereas Miracle Train managed to build an entire regular length series out of sexy male train stations. Or they could have gone in a completely different direction & made Love Rice about actual rice. Worked for The Nameko Families.
Instead, whatever the intentions behind its creation, Love Rice just feels like a half-arsed attempt to ride the male idol & fujoshi waves by combining “attractive” male character designs with a silly gimmick that’s supposed to make you think it’s just a bit of fun, so who cares? It’s certainly no Pillow Boys, but there are plenty of better examples of what Love Rice is trying to do, though you might get some new meal ideas from it. Unless you really love boys…I mean rice, it can be safely ignored.
Love Kome is a psychological thriller anime that exudes a 2000s anime feel that is really hard to replicate nowadays especially when we have 1000 new generic power fantasy isekais with enough plot holes to start a fucking orgy and this is why I feel like Love kome is a new and refreshing experience that many anime can learn from in the future.
If I were to sum the story up into one word it would be Quentin but if I got two words it would be Quentin tarantino. Now many people might disagree with me especially when it comes to the somewhat rushed character arcs however that’s for the character section so fucking wait a bit you impatient cunt. Overall I believe that this story has revolutionised anime as a whole and if we’re patient enough it could lead to a huge wave of wonderful, dynamic and well-structured stories for us to experience.
In conclusion, Love Kome is an anime that challenges all animes, a rice dish that challenges all other rice dishes, a sushi that challenges all sushis, a burger that challenges all burgers with that luscious, juicy and piping hot beef that just hits the right spot at the right time and with some fries and some drink, oh my god will that burger taste so fucking good if anyone could like recommend some good restaurants in whatever I put my location as, please do I am so goddamn hungry man like I’m craving a bit of mexican but its kinda expensive here. anyways yeah one piece is a masterpiece of some good fatty tuna fish oh my god I want some sushi dude but like its so hard to get and I bet it’s way better in Japan than it is in here but I’m so hungry man ,shit, imma chill until lunch but I’m really hungry right now
Yeah, the story is really weird and doesn’t make sense sometimes, but this show is obviously not supposed to be taken seriously, it’s supposed to be funny and entertain you for 4 minutes. For me, it delivered that.
Visually it’s pretty and the characters are cute.
It’s also pretty funny and the puns are awesome.
48: Sushi Police
Japanese: SUSHI POLICE（スシポリス）
MAL Score: 4.64
Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki all comprise the elite ninth unit of the Sushi Police—a task force with the sole objective of sniffing out restaurants serving illicit or non-traditional sushi and eradicating them, no matter how insignificant their offense may be. The Sushi Police travel freely around the world in pursuit of these vile criminals day or night, with their strong sense of justice and the World Food-Culture Conservation Organization backing them. No offenders of Japan’s traditional cuisine can escape their wrath!
During one of their purification missions, the Sushi Police encounter Sara—a hot, young, television reporter out to expose them and the World Food-Culture Conservation Organization for corruption. They interrogate her, but her wiles, skills, and charms allow her to easily escape from their grasp, setting off a chain of events that will lead to the true purpose of the Sushi Police being revealed.
The anime turned the real-world incident into a big, dumb, nonsensical spoof that saw these “Sushi Police” do exactly as this proposed idea would suggest: inspect sushi. This then led to non-comedic hijinks, espionage, and sushi-zilla… or at least that’s what I vaguely remembered when I was picking my nose. Sushi Police desperately try to lampoon Japan’s nationalistic sense of pride but don’t know how to do so without being on-the-nose about everything in the worst way possible. It’s a show that becomes a self-defecating satirical piece with as much integrity as the Korean BBQ that launched its inception.
Do I suggest this? No. Even with those that are aware of the events that surrounded the creation of this anime, the actual product was still drab. It isn’t funny, it isn’t insightful, and it isn’t going to encourage any sort of discussion. However, what it will encourage is a nice 3-minute nap.
It was simply 2deep4me bruh. After I watched it, cried, self-defecated all over my couch, curled up in a fetal position and I rocked myself to sleep.
On the surface, this could be a clever, little satire that mocks the growing wave of Japanese nationalism and calls for rationality through comedy. However, this would have worked better as a 5 minute SNL sketch. At 13 episodes that are 3 minutes, this is 40 minutes of the same fucking joke done OVER and OVER until they pretty much forget the satire and make a Godzilla spoof because even the show writers realized they were trying to stretch too little material over too long a running time.
A defender of Sushi Police could point out that One Punch Man is beloved despite basically being the same joke over and over. However, One Punch Man actually had a massive art budget and fight scenes that aesthetically looked cool. It wasn’t just, “I’m early, better think of a Superman…Superman! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBLspvxgTdQ
The characters are bland with no personalities. They are just stereotypes to go with the story and provide jokes here and there. As far as character development goes, it doesn’t happen a lot but not saying that it is totally out of the anime. Since the episodes are only 3 minutes 30 seconds long, it is hard to cram personalities into a full story with an opening, a plot and an ending. For what it does, the story moves on pretty well, I guess it doesn’t really get boring.
You can also check out my well edited(and funny) review on youtube where I go into more detail. Channel name is MudanTV – Sushi Police Anime Review.
47: Love Kome: We Love Rice Nikisaku
English: Love Rice 2
Japanese: ラブ米 -WE LOVE RICE- 二期作
MAL Score: 4.86
Second season of Love Kome: We Love Rice.
Enjoy the excitement as the HarveStars come up against new challenges to test their millet each week! Watch them serve course after course of rice-y goodness, and let them bowl you over with their shows! I have no sauce for my recommendation other than my own field of enjoyment for this sho, I’m happy it got a second season.
Only disappointment is that they don’t have a recipe at the end of each episode anymore, they always made me hungry!
46: Hakata Mentai! Pirikarako-chan
MAL Score: 5.10
A daily eating life happening at a street that seems like Hakata but not Hakata!? Fairy of Mentaiko “Pirikarako-chan” goes around the street to solve (?)!
Perhaps due to my low expectations, I ended up rather enjoying these shorts, finding the episodes to be silly and fun.
But what is Hakata Mentai about?
Uhh, I’m not entirely sure I can describe the premise properly. From what little information I could find, the show is supposedly based on a shopping district in Fukuoka’s Hakata district. The main character Pirikarako is some kind of … fairy … thing? Who, along with her companions – a red blob and three floating strawberries – goes around and … does weekly weird stuff …… Look, the plot doesn’t matter okay? I’d no clue what the heck was going on at first, but I found it’s easy to move past that and just sit back and enjoy the zany humour. The setup might be strange, but the individual stories are coherent enough to entertain.
Over the course of the series, Hakata Mentai features various food items that I presume the real life Hakata district is well known for. The series can come across as a thinly veiled advert for the local attractions, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I remember when I used to watch traditional TV a long time ago, I often enjoyed some of the adverts shown during the breaks for their creativity and sense of humour … at least for the first five times or so that I watched them. Well, Hakata Mentai is a bit like those. Most of the entertainment value stems from the amusingly random nature of the show and the often well delivered punchlines at the end of each episode. For sure, some of the episodes are significantly funnier than others – in particular, a few of the episodes in the middle were duds – but with such short episodes, there’s barely enough time to be bored before it’s over.
The animation quality is about as cheap and static as you would expect for a series with such short episodes. It has a fittingly bright, childish colour palette, but beyond that there’s not much more to say here.
Having watched it, I’m a bit surprised by the low ratings garnered by the show. It’s true that no sane person’s gonna unironically declare this as the epitome of anime, but I personally found it to be a charming, amusing romp. If you’ve got a few spare minutes, you could do worse than spend it watching an episode of this.
Personal rating: +0.5 (decent).
45: Doamaiger D
MAL Score: 5.30
Kyougoku Daijirou is the 15th generation owner of the Kyoto sweets shop Amashoudou. One day, Daijirou discovers a giant robot named Doamaiger D in his store’s basement. At the same time, enemies called “Mekaijuu” appear in Kyoto and begin wreaking havoc.
Do you harken back to the older, grander days of giant robot anime? Are you fine with running episodic gags involving Japanese sweets? Do you want a simple, but complete satire story experience in the span of 26 minutes? Say no more.
Doamaiger D is a testosterone filled series of shorts that imitate the simpler, testosterone filled mecha storylines of the older days; something like Mazinger Z is a fair comparison. This is reflected in its artistry, story structure, and mecha designs. However, it does have the unique spin of introducing a Japanese confectionary every episode. If you’re having trouble finishing a giant robot robot because it contains more episodes than there are molecules in the universe, Doamaiger D is a perfect in between short to check out.
What impresses me most about Doamaiger D is that it was able to create a conclusive storyline, from beginning to end, better than any 2 minute short anime I’ve ever seen, and maybe will ever see. Of course, much of it is making fun of old mecha tropes, but there’s never an overreliance on doing so; it carves some of its own niche, combining running gags with some periodic one-time jokes.
Sure, the characters may be a little flat and it could get a bit repetitive, but it’s the cream of the crop when it comes to anime with an absolutely blazing two minute runtime per episode. If you’ve watched any older mecha series, you’re likely already familiar with the style present here; in this case, it’s just condensed in pacing.
If you’re looking for a fun play on old giant robot anime with a dessert spin, be sure to check this out.
44: Pan de Peace!
English: Pan de Peace!
MAL Score: 5.63
For the airheaded Minami Tani, there is nothing more delightful than delicious bread for breakfast. Bonding over a mutual love for the food, Minami meets the dignified Yuu Aizawa and the upbeat Fuyumi Fukagawa. Joining them is Noa Sakura, a pint-sized girl who sees bread as the ultimate weapon of self-defense. Together, the girls strengthen their bonds of friendship, while striving to sample every kind of bread this world has to offer.
I was really shocked after I saw this bullshit. For instance, living in Germany with all those fascist and left-militant red army groups arising on the streets who are struggling and cutting themselves in the dark instead of watching anime and becoming weebs I am used to people spreading stupid nonsense because of the confirmation bias regarding their seemingly superior ideology. But I was still shocked when I saw the shit people posted on this bulletin. Don’t get me wrong, there are some erudite en337s here that can grasp the awesomeness of this unmatched masterpiece, but I do pity the laymen that weren’t able to.
As one may conclude from my name, I created this account solely for the purpose of extolling this gem of an anime. I wanted to name myself “signedupforpandepeace” at first, but it turned out to be too long.
I’ll commence with the first thing most weeble face when starting of with a new anime. The title. Already a literary artwork:
“Pan de Peace”
I’m gonna leave two blank lines to not defile this incredible piece of stylistic art. To cut it into bite-sized pieces, let’s start off with the language. This title consists of 3 words from 3 different languages. Which three languages? you may ask. Japanese, French and English. However, there is even more to it. “Pan” could also be Spanish and “de” could also be Japanese, not only adding to the artistic value of the title but also render it appealing for an international audience. Contrary to common belief and how it is inscribed in the Japanese version of the title, “de” is meant to be primarily French for a stylistic effect so that the peace and personal liberation through bread is connoted with the French Revolution.
The story is marvelous. The viewer follows a group of anime high school girls who are confronted with everyday high school girl problems like bread, cute lolis and bread. While familiarizing themselves with their new high school, they also learn to find inner and outer peace through the sacred path of the bread. All I can say is that this anime truly changed how I view life and bread in general.
The art is 911/FBI, would lewd. But read me out. To use proper terminology, I should describe it as “kawaii desu af”. It is the only anime whose imposing virtuoso artwork prevented me from searching hentai for it before I completed it. After I was done, I kinda felt bad for the girls that I didn’t wish to lewd them. So I did it for their sake. And I was yet surprised again. There is very little good content out there. And I’m not writing about the artistic quality here, because obviously it is impossible to compete with the original show, but it appears to me that there is simply a major lack of rule 34. So an invocation to all the hentai artists out there:
DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY THIS UNMATCHABLE ARTWORK. THINK OF THE SAD FACE OF NOA IF SHE KNEW THAT YOU DON’T DRAW ART OF HER.
Back on topic. Fuck Rem. I love emily.
I am glad that there isn’t any anime or any media product in human history that can stand up to
Pan de Peace!
Because if there was, I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything productive in my entire life.
Upon first inspection, and second inspection, and pretty much every inspection afterwards, Pan de Peace appears to be a disgustingly generic moe show. The characters are cute in their design but have no character development whatsoever. The episodes feature the mildest of problems that always get cleanly resolved, with no lessons learned. A new type of bread is consumed every episode, the girls are happy, and we move on to the next episode. This simple story analysis would conclude that Pan de Peace’s story suffers from both the stagnation and mediocrity of typical slice-of-life anime and the difficulty of creating a worthwhile story with such a short episode runtime.
The average reviewer would right now rate the story 4/10 or so, and move on to discussing the sound or visuals. But unfortunately for you, this isn’t an average review.
Thanks to a certain subbing group, we know that Pan de Peace is actually a brilliant social commentary on feminism. We see this from the very beginning, when Minami is worried that she will be unable to make friends in her new class. Her progressive views have often left her isolated in the past, so when she encounters several fellow bread buddies, she is ecstatic to have found a community where she can share her views.
When the cast dons maid uniforms during their school’s cultural festival, this isn’t just some cheap fanservice. Rather, these girls are aware of the cultural practices in place, and are working within the system for their own benefit. After noticing one of their friends becoming overweight, they have a discussion on fat positivity and whether it’s a good thing or not. Another good scene is in an early episode where they discuss the merits of sex-positive feminism and how it divides the generations of feminists. One of my favorites is when the girls collectively agree that Ayn Rand was a hypocrite and hater of strong women (for context, their argument is that Ayn Rand’s objectivism supported free will, but she herself said that homosexuality should be treated as a lesser to heterosexuality, and that women should find men to marry and worship as heroes. These views strip lesbians and independent women of their free will, clashing with Rand’s Objectivist movement).
Pan de Peace helped me realize the true intersectionality of feminism. It’s hard to even call it a single unified movement. Under the banner are a plethora of sub-issues, everything from sex-positivity to lesbian acceptance to wage equality. There are so many issues that it’s impossible for someone to try and take on every single one of them. Under the umbrella of feminism are all sorts of movements and people, but they all share a goal of trying to make the world a better place for women, and by extension, everyone. Anyone can be a feminist, and as long as they’re not being problematic, there’s no reason to call someone out on not being a “true feminist” or something like that. All you have to do is find the issues you are most passionate about and the problems you have the most agency in solving, and get to work. Even just talking to others about feminism and answering their questions is doing great work.
The biggest problem with Pan de Peace is that without the right framing, you might not be able to get these same values out of it.
After all, Pan de Peace is just a stupid slice of life centered around bread.
43: Shokupan Mimi
MAL Score: 5.64
The story is about the daily life of a piece of bread named Mimi, and some of her friends and family. Based on Shimamori Natsuko’s Shokupan Mimi (White Bread Mimi) 4-panel manga.
42: Piace: Watashi no Italian
English: Piacevole: My Italian Cooking
MAL Score: 5.87
While on her summer break, Morina Nanase starts a new part-time job as a waitress at Trattoria Festa, an Italian restaurant. Finding the restaurant adorable and coincidentally close to her house, Morina quickly settles into her new profession.
However, her new job comes with several eccentric co-workers and Italian dishes she has never heard of. The restaurant’s typical fare includes a variety of pasta dishes such as penne arrabbiata, rich dessert such as tiramisu, and even caponata. Join Morina in her restaurant adventures as she gets to know her co-workers and serves the best Italian cuisine to her customers with a smile.
Piacevole is one of the many short anime that have decided to make up for their limited time by speeding up their show. While in some shows like Teekyu this can work, it utterly fails in Paicevole. Why is it so different for these shows? The answer is content. Teekyu is a comedy series that mainly focuses on jokes and the outlandish antics that their cast does. Thusly the rapid-fire jokes don’t feel out of place and can still seem quite funny, even if too fast. It also works well with the craziness that cast as. It adds to the atmosphere of WTFness that it has as there’s even less time to process just what’s going on, and why. However, Piacevole isn’t like that.
Sure it’s funny, but it’s also romantic, and heartwarming, or at the very least it’s trying to be. One of the key focuses of the work is the bonds at the Italian restaurant and the cuisine that they hold so dearly. There were some moments in the anime where the emotional impact was clearly meant to be there. Even when one could see the result of the raw emotions of the characters the execution failed due to it going way too fast.
In my opinion, certain genres or moods have different natural paces they go at. Comedy, as mentioned before is something that works well at most any pace, but usually tends to go fast. Jokes don’t need that much time to sink in, so they can be done in rapid succession and still work. Action also works well fast-paced. If I want some good action I want it to be fast and hit well, not slow and elongated. But just like there are genres or themes that work better fast there are ones that work better slow. Drama, and heartwarming (in other words feelsy material) is exactly that. The way it works for me is I have a specific timing that I need to really feel the emotions of the characters. If a show goes too fast I’m not able to really contextualize the richness of the scene.
The same thing happens with this shows rushed pace. While I like what she did, I need more time to let it sink in. To see the aftermath of what happened but I was never able to feel it. For something based off of emotions it’s important to let those emotions be felt, and due to Piacevole’s pacing I just can’t. I know that Piacevole is supposed to be a comedy as well but it does seem like it was made with the intent to get one to like the characters and scene as well, which due to its pacing it isn’t able to do. The comedy itself isn’t that funny although it isn’t that terrible either.
The pacing makes it harder to dig into the good parts of the characters I do like. Instead, I’m left more with the joke versions of them which, to be honest, aren’t very interesting. Everything else seems more or less standard. It reminds me of a typical shoujo, and that wouldn’t necessarily be bad, the terrible pacing makes it an inferior version.
Really the whole of the show is about average, it’s not terrible but it’s also not good. However, the pacing makes the show a chore to watch and hurts the more emotional parts of it. For that reason I do not recommend this show.
The story is fastinating. I, myself, love Italian food, and having an anime focused on that is more than I could wish for!
As for the art, it is really cute! Kasuga Reiji did an amazing job with his team. The drawings are so light!
The sound is good. It suits the anime very well.
The characters are fair. I think there should have been made a better job around it, even though Nanase Morina is such a good girl.
As of the enjoyment, I gave it a 6, which means, ‘fair’. It’s a good anime to watch when you’re bored and it is really easy to do so.
Overall rating: 6.
41: Kakutou Ryouri Densetsu Bistro Recipe
English: Fighting Foodons
MAL Score: 6.05
An 11-year old boy named Zen bands together with his younger sister, Karen, and a young boy who has a large appetite, Pitan, to battle an evil empire by using their “Foodons”; strange monsters that are created from various foods.
So what is Fighting Foodons? This series is a low budget parody of Pokemon from 2001. Master chefs do battle with magical monsters made of food. Just like in Pokemon, the monsters all repeat their names incessantly and have special moves. In the first episode, the dark chef summons a giant kaiju cow called Beef Steak that has atomic breath for…no reason.
As I mentioned above, this series is a low budget parody made to get some cheap laughs. It’s supposed to be stupid. Unfortunately, this got adapted by 4kids who changed it from a low effort parody to a low effort ripoff. Now instead of Scary Movie, it’s Atlantic Rim. Of course there is some attempted humor in the 4kids dub. That entirely comes in the form of G rated dad jokes. Prepare to cringe yourself to death!
So what’s good about Fighting Foodons? The original voice of Meowth is in it and plays multiple characters. God rest Maddie Blaustein and her glorious Brooklyn Jewish accent. She was taken from us far too soon!
Is there any other reason to watch this? There’s a morbid humor to be found that this exists in the first place and that we got a dub of it in America. Bakemonogatari is one of the most popular anime in the world and we never got a dub. Tatami Galaxy is perhaps the most critically acclaimed anime of the last decade and we never got a dub. Even though a dub of Tatami would vastly improve the viewing experience for anyone who reads at under 700 words per minute. Hell, I might actually be able to show that anime to one of my offline friends! Instead, we got a dub of Fighting Foodons! This anime is still ranked in the bottom 50 worst anime all time over on Anime News Network. Fighting Foodons isn’t ranked quite as low as Kimera, but it’s currently tied with Master of Martial Hearts if that says anything!
Fighting Foodons is an odd batch. A way to describe it is put Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokémon together in a mixing bowl, batter until gooey, sprinkle some Monster Rancher seasoning on top, then put it in the oven for whatever the equivalent of 26 episodes is. You may be noticing there are instructions missing. For one, I’m not a cook and thus am failing to make cooking jokes. Two, what you do with this make-shift recipe depends on how you want it to taste as all of the ingredients are laid out for you. The reason is because it knows what it is, and it just runs with it from there whether you like it or not.
Basically, the story starts with a quick exposition prologue about a king who asked his subjects, “Which is stronger, fried duck or stewed tofu?” A stranger then shows up with an item known as a Meal Ticket, a magical card that brings a recipe to life called a Foodon that battles another Foodon. Then you immediately cut to our main heroes, a boy named Chase and his sister Kayla, busting their father out one of the Gluttons’ prisons. Over time you run into other characters: some join the traveling food cart (which can change appearances if you smack it right), some are the villainous members of the Gluttons, while others just have various episode appearances whenever the plot calls for them. Chase is an aspiring chef who doesn’t appear to have his father’s cooking skills, as evident by the Burnt Meatballs who constantly apologize to him for being useless. However, upon freeing a slave named Oslo, he gives him a Meal Ticket and has him make a recipe for it. His choice of food is fried rice, which becomes his main ‘mon, Fried Ricer. Oslo then becomes his guide and mentor on how to be a Master Chef, and they become rebels fighting against the iron fist of the Gluttons.
Because it wasn’t too popular when it aired and there are no home media copies available, the anime is now a bit obscure (I personally could not find subs), and yet it doesn’t really deserve the obscurity. Which is odd because it’s very obvious this was made for children, what adult will watch this on a whim? While the art and animation can falter at times, and there’s lots and LOTS of stock footage, the colors are bright and the action is frequent. The food actually appears to have the most care to them in terms of detail and presentation, but other than that, the art is passable. Hardly an episode goes by where you don’t see Foodons fighting each other, or are not on the screen. The show may not be very creative in terms of storyline: the characters—while having their own distinct personality—grow a little until they reach a certain point where they just stay there and are the face of that particular cliché; and the world—while big—is rather bland with not much to each own area to distinguish themselves. It’s the Foodons themselves that have the most creativity in the show, and probably where it succeeds the most. The names are so punny, they will either be groan-inducing or something of crazy brilliancy, and yet they all are different. Unless there are multiples of them, no two Foodon are alike, and they show personalities of their own (whether through their voices or actions—normally actions since some of them tend to just shout out their own name). It’s a monster cast of usually one-of-a-kind snowflakes.
Music and sound is passable, you can at least tolerate it even though the show can be loud at times. The theme song WILL get stuck in your head, so listener-beware if you don’t want ear worms. Another listener-beware is the voice-acting that may make you cringe. It’s classic 4KIDS-fare of voices, you’re going to recognize voices throughout the course of 26 episodes. And some of them are a chore to listen to at times, such as that of the main characters Chase, Kayla, and Pie Tin (meanwhile Maddie Blaustein continues to deliver good performances). To be fair, they do get slightly better over time, but that could be because the characters are (for the most part) likeable, so you learn/come to tolerate them. Maybe. Of note are the occasional random song breaks at the end of a few episodes, possibly the result of 4KIDS needing to fill in space of cut-out scenes, but it’s only a guess. The “songs” are performed by the voice actors themselves portraying the character(s) singing, and it varies a lot on how well they were able to pull it off. Chances are you will not like the music breaks, but mercifully they are short, no longer than a couple of minutes each.
So as odd as it may sound, I was genuinely surprised to find this anime entertaining, or at least a good way to waste some time. It helps the anime doesn’t take itself very seriously, so it exploits the goofiness of it all up and out of the atmosphere—literally and figuratively. It really goes out of its way to show that it was made with children in mind while also pandering to some parental bonuses here and there. Personally, I recommend watching it with another chef—I mean person. Chances are the more of you there are, there will be someone who will groan or point-and-laugh at the great amount of cheesy puns and clichés there are. The kitchen is open for personal interpretation.
40: Cookin’ Idol Ai! Mai! Main!
Japanese: クッキンアイドル アイ！マイ！まいん！
MAL Score: 6.24
Cooking Idol teaches children how to cook through instruction of the main character, MAIN. The show itself is divided into an animated segment featuring MAIN, and a live-action segment featuring the voice actor of MAIN, Fukuhara Haruka, as she practices the cooking herself. The live-action segment is not included in the avg episode duration.
39: Eikoku Ikka, Nihon wo Taberu
English: Sushi and Beyond
MAL Score: 6.34
Based on a book by British travel and dining journalist Michael Booth. Follows Booth, his wife Lissen, and two kids Ansger (6) and Emil (4), on their 100-day trip to Japan as they try a wide variety of Japanese foods. Booth was inspired to make the trip by Shizuo Tsuji’s book, Japanese Cooking, A Simple Art.
38: Shin Chuuka Ichiban!
Japanese: 真 中華一番!
MAL Score: 6.41
After passing the Guangzhou Special Chef Trials, Mao decided to travel around China, to learn more about the unique preparation of food. Upon his return, he will learn that the real battle has only just begun. The Underground Cooking Society has already begun to move…
Fast forward 20 years later, we finally got the green-light of the sequel (this time a YES) for Shin Chuuka Ichiban which covers content right after Episode 19 of the OG onward. But if you don’t know what the OG is about, it’s about this boy called Liu Maoxing, after the death of his mother, Pai, who was called the ‘Goddess of Cuisine’, becomes a Super Chef in order to take the title as Master Chef of his mother’s restaurant. Journeying across 19th Century China during the Qing Dynasty, in the fictitious “Era of the Cooking Wars”, split between 4 regions (Beijing, Szechuan, Shanghai, and Guangdong), to not only find rivals and partners to serve as his guidance and stepping stones to be acknowledged as the “youngest chef” to be crowned as Super Chef, but thwarting the evil organization known as the Underground Cooking Society for their own gains to do the same.
Now here’s my problem with the 2019 reboot. NOTHING ever comes close to Nippon Animation’s stunning and amazing 90s visuals that I still remember watching as a kid all those years ago when DVD was a thing (there were as many serialization issues in the past), instead trading it for the generic visuals and art style that you’d see floating around in about 99% of shows made in the modern age. NAS (or Nihon Ad (Amination Development) Systems), a co-founding subsidiary of Animax (alongside Sunrise, Toei Animation and TMS) did most of the work with cooperation from Production I.G. (though mostly minor stuff), and I’d have to say that this 2019 reboot is a disservice and incoherent justice to the manga, albeit both mediums presented in the same shape and form, but the anime just felt like another Shokugeki no Soma to me, using the generic-ness to hype the same way as it did. I truly lamented out aloud: “I’M SORRY, this is the OG! Should it be on a higher pedestal matching the manga and the anime back then?” Apparently not, anime standards 20 years later are different now, so everything has to be low budget cut-outs, and yes I understand that, but to see the manga sequel adapted this way is just sad, NOT TO MENTION that there’s a sequel on the way!? I really wonder what is going on in the production staff’s minds whether did they watch the OG, or just tried their “best” to imitate Ogawa-san’s unique manga art to something of abominable status.
Character-wise, it’s Mao Liuxing and his companions which consists of some of the greatest chefs in their own prowess, so I guess that’s fine. Music-wise too, Qajiff’s OP was obscenely boring though the song was decent (and got old too quick) while Brian the Sun’s ED was surprisingly the best part about the entire reboot, a song that fits the entire nature of the show on its good accord.
The sequel is on its way…meaning that the manga still has a lot to go adapting close to the latter half of the OG, and I’m ready as inclined reading the translated chapters so far (which have paced and caught onto the anime), but I’d really hope that the next time that these people know what they want to do with it.
If you wanna know the greatness of this series, stick to the OG, this reboot you can entirely skip it, unless the sequel really is worth of hype.
The protagonist had some Kenshin vibes and the villain, or the villainous organization in this case is a bunch of evil cooks, so of course I don’t find them menacing in the least. What Shokugeki no Soma did so well is create villains within the confines of its story that felt powerful and scary, I didn’t get that sense from Shin Chuuka. Well, I’d say skip this show unless you have absolutely nothing to do. There’s a season 2 coming out and I’m gonna watch it because I’m weird like that.
MAL Score: 6.43
20-year-old Michiru Amatsuki moved to Tokyo after a career change, and now finds herself living in a woman only share house, Stella House Haruno, with a few other women of varying age and occupation. Every night the girls settle down and have a drink or two (or more) as drama ensues.
Girls and beer has been sorta a small trend of anime shorts as of late as LA writes this review like Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara and Wakako-zake and Takunomi is no different looking at 4 girls and their love of beer.
Takunomi looks at the daily lives of the 4 girls, Michiru Amatsuki voiced by Ayaka Imamura, our main protagonist who transfers to Tokyo and works at a start up company, Makoto Kiriyama voiced by Maaya Uchida, a college student who is the minder to her older sister and clerk to a clothing store Nao voiced by Chika Anzai and finally, wedding planner Kae Midorikawa voiced by Mikako Komatsu.
LA doesn’t need to tell you of this cast’s chemistry and their love of beer with LA’s favourite character being the mood setter Nao in all her drunken genkiness.
Takunomi does get bit informative about the beer of the episode, though LA knows some like Asahi, Sapporo and Kirin Ichiban however LA didn’t know about “Highball”, but Takunomi doesn’t only tackle the beer itself but the culture and ethnic involved in Japanese companies with those late night “meetings” where beer is common and our audience surrogate Michiru goes through the motion as we learn with her.
In terms of animation, Production IMS did pretty well in animating many of elements even for an anime short, as such, the character designs are polished and shiny with some striking detail even though Takunomi tends to go into chibi for informative or comedic moments. the beer and the food is also pretty detail to make LA’s mouth water at times almost akin to Shokugeki no Souma’s animation on their food. Production IMS did pretty well overall for animation.
Voice acting had some surprises for LA, but the typical voice actor roles LA found were Mikako Komatsu as the motherly figure vocals as Kae and Maaya Uchida as Makoto . The two more interesting voice actors in Takunomi LA found were Chika Anzai as Nao mainly for her 100% genkiness and her even doing a half-drunk vocals was VERY surprising, the other would be Ayaka Imamura as Michiru, as she too went full genki but aloof, sorta a balance between the two. Voice acting though minimal was interesting to say the least.
One thing that actually surprised LA was by one cameo from another anime running next to Takunomi and it actually made sense for that cameo both in terms of the episode and it actually made sense for that cameo both in terms of the episode and Takunomi’s scheduled time to that anime. *cough* Dagashi *cough*
Takunomi is one and only relaxing yet informative anime shorts about girls and their love of beer LA has seen from the Winter of 2018.
Expect LOTS of beergasms…
Are you sad? Drink!
Are you hungry? Drink!
Are you afraid? Drink!
Did you get a new job? Drink!
Did you buy new clothes? Drink!
Have you lost weight or gained weight? Drink!
Did you watch an anime about alcoholic drinks? Drink!
Do you want a hug? Hug the beer bottle! (And drink the beer later)
… Are you drunk? DRINK!
Well, what do I have to say about an anime that encourages you to drink to solve or celebrate everything and anything? (If you are over 18/20, of course)
This Anime has a story about 4 women living in a shared house in Tokyo and how they drink for everything that happens.
Michiru Matsuki: A woman extremely worried to fit the standards of Tokyo; Seems to be the main character in the story;
Makoto Kiriyama: The most sober character in the entire anime; Nao’s younger sister.
Nao Kiriyama: The most drunk character in the entire anime; Makoto’s older sister.
Kae Midorikawa: An extremely cute and gentle character most of the time; She is the one who usually tries to impose order before joining the mess.
This Anime is literally about drinks, so if you do not like culinary animes, you’d better look for another Anime to watch. The characters are very funny and drunk, and it is very explicit how much they are loving the drink lol.
This Anime does not have an incredible super mega hyper story, but it does what it promises; an anime about 4 women, drinks and Tokyo XD
Booze, booze, boooooze, too many boooze that goes around this anime, and I don’t even know if I’m watching the slice of life of the 4 girls in a girls sharing Stella House or a series of booze endorsements, so, I’ll have a Vodka Stirred not Shaken:
Poor 3, Story:
When you watch this anime , you’ll be surprise by a lot of info dump about as what appetizer goes well with booze, if you’re a tea toddler , then this is a wtf thing for you, Cu’z you wouldn’t wanna give a shit about what goes well with what. On the other hand, if you’re an otaku boozer then this may be a thing for you, which I kinda doubt, since otaku’s weren’t that cool when it comes to partying and booze is the everything. Let’s face it man, most otaku’s would shy away from such drinking and basically this anime’s plot was just something that contradicts a otaku’s life style.
I’ll have pint of Guinness please and some Cashews.
Decent 4, Art:
Don’t be expecting any panty shots nor any boob flash, the only service you’ll see in here is Kae in her purple underwear in episode 5 and in episode 10 where you’ll see Kae , Nao and Michiru in their bikinis and that’s that.
I have a Bikini Bottom please ( that’s a kind of Cocktail, you Moron).
Fair 6, Sound:
Nothing to say here.
Decent 4, Characters:
Ok so they’re not that bad, they’re just a bunch of drunks, Well if we look at them they basically represent a certain kind of woman that you’ll wanna bang after the partying and boozing, so let’s just forget their info, since it isn’t that of a big deal anyways:
Kae Midorikawa- She is this late twenties kind of MILF representation, that you can have a relationship with as you as your bar partner and then have sex with in the weekends and then leave her when she get’s pregnant. Where she wouldn’t mind since she isn’t a marrying type or is very capable to being a single mom.
Kiriyama Nao- A typical girl whom you can have a one night stand after an all night boozing, in fact she represent a kind of girl where you can continue boozing while banging each other.
Kiriyama makoto- Ok, she basically represent this college lass whom you can have as your mistress like that of Pres Trump with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, she basically a representation of a rich old man’s college bitch that get’s supported through her studies, she is also the type who would serve you drinks and give you a blow job at the same time or someone you can do after the party.
Amatsuki Michiru- She represents this office fling that you meet after work at a bar and then have a threesome with another girl after a round of drinks. She can bang both you and your girl at the same time and can still booze up.
I’ll have a Screwdriver please (that’s a kind of Cocktail dummy).
Poor 3, Enjoyment:
Too me it’s just like watching a TV commercial, where at one point you’ll wanna change channel for a while, cu’z it was sooooo annoying and like I’ve said , this isn’t for tea toddlers like me.
I have a rum cola please and some potato chips.
Poor 3, Overall:
Too many info dump about Japanese booze and appetizer and not lotta body in the anime itself, This is just an anime full of endorsements . And there isn’t a lot of otaku boozers around to enjoy this. too the original creator Haruto Hino, well to him it’s good since he’s a boozer . But it’s different to a lotta otakus whom were tea toddlers and who ever gives thsi anime a 10, 8, 9 or a 7 in the overall , the he or she is one of those rare otaku boozer or just someone who enjoys seeing them eye candy girls…………
OK , BAR IS CLOSE, PAY YOUR TABS AND REMEMBER, DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!!!!!!!!!!
36: Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san
English: Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
MAL Score: 6.53
From standing in the sun for hours to traveling miles away from home, gorgeous high school student Koizumi stops at nothing to fulfill her desire for ramen. But these previously solo trips soon change when Koizumi’s classmate Yuu Oosawa develops an infatuation with her, and begins to join Koizumi uninvitedly on her adventures. As Yuu continues to be shocked by Koizumi’s enormous appetite, she learns about the endless variety of ramen from, arguably, its greatest connoisseur ever!
I state this for a reason. Sometimes in reviews you get people who don’t like the genre coming in and trashing a show that was never made to appeal to their interests. That isn’t the case here. I really enjoy CGDCT, and even a bad one can have moments worth watching.
Or so I thought. Because Ramen Daisuki is completely lacking in anything that makes it worth watching.
It’s terrible from top to bottom. To the point that now whenever I watch a lackluster CGDCT I think to myself: “Well at least it’s not as bad as Ramen Daisuki.”
In my eyes the life blood of a CGDCT show is the characters and their interactions. And here we run into the first major problem of Ramen Daisuki. The chararacters are all extremely one-note. The main girl likes ramen, and that’s all there is to her character. Yuu loves the main girl who likes ramen, and that’s all there is to her character. Then there’s the tsundere, and the bookworm, and.. that’s it. There’s nothing more to any of these characters. They never act outside of their formula. They never get development. They never even get notable moments with each other.
Ramen Daisuki isn’t the only CGDCT to have one-note characters. And while I Don’t like those one-note characters usually most CGDCT are able to recover with the execution of the character interactions. Sure the genki girl and reserved quiet girl pair may be cliche at this point but it works. It’s always nice to see someone will a friend out of their shell with pure love and support. Usually there’s an element of fun and folly that are present in their interactions, which makes them fun to watch even if there isn’t anything that breaks the mold, or develops the characters.
But Ramen Daisuki can’t even manage to do that right. The characters go together like ramen and chocolate: they don’t. While most CGDCT focus on fun or heartwarming interactions Ramen Daisuki doesn’t do either of those. Rather it decides to let ramen be the fore focus. The only thing that they talk about is ramen. And sure I get the show is about ramen but that doens’t mean it should be the only thing that the characters talk about, or experience. Life is not made up of just ramen no matter how much one of the characters may like it. Even their ramen based interactions are lackluster. The stalker girl basically tries to case after the main character over and over again and is constantly rebuked only to be “let in” when the main character has to correct her about some stupid thing she said about ramen. While it’s not the only show that has a push and pull between its main characters, usually there are large signs that the more reserved character is either a tsundere, or shy. They want that love, whether they know it or not and slowly warm up to the other party. This isn’t true in Ramen Daisuki. The only time Ramen lover shows any sort of like towards the stalker is when she makes her ramen. The only characters also have just as lackluster and uninteresting interactions. It’s hard to imagine any of them being friends due to the deficent of friendship bonding that appears in the show.
While character interactions are a huge thing in CGDCT, there is the other option which is winning via worldbuilding and atmosphere. Of which there is none. The only world that exists here is the next ramen shop that they need to get to.
Even on a foodie level this show fails. Sure the ramen looks good but when you spend 12 episodes doing nothing but showing uninteresting flat characters eating ramen it’s bound to fall flat. There’s no variation, it’s only ramen. Most food shows are able to cover an array of food and really bring out the food porn fo the yummy food they’re eating, but ramen daisuki is only focusing on ramen ever. And while they try to spice it up with all sorts of different types when these different types necessitate long spheals explaining what they are, it quickly devolves into uninteresting territory. I’m not sure who thought lectures would be funner to watch than characters interacting with each other but whoever did needs to be questioned.
The OST is also awful. They repeat the same songs over and over again when they already weren’t that good to begin with. On their own they’re already lackluster ut when they appear for the thousandth time it’s noticeably annoying, which is obviously not what a show should be going for. The songs are very simple and are lacking in flavor. So it makes it worse to hear it every single time.
There’s nothing to this show. The characters are flat and uninteresting. It’s as if ramen is the only thing that exists in this world, and on top of that the interactions are straight up bad. With bad characters, interactions, and world this show has nothing to offer unless you really want to see ramen. And then you have to put up with the rest just to get that. I’d say save it and go to a nearby store and by some ramen. It’ll be much tastier and you won’t have to deal with this failure of a show.
Story is Fair (6). There’s nothing fancy about the story. It’s about a girl obsessed with ramen being stalked by her classmate who is obsessed with her. And a ton of useful? facts about ramen, its history and how to enjoy them best.
Art is Very Good (8). I say very good not in the character department but on how they animate ramen in the story. Each ramen dish is distinct from one another from the color and texture of the soup and noodles, to the side dishes that goes along with them.
Sound is Very Good (8). It is due to how it induces the feeling that you are in whatever restaurant Koizumi and here classmates dine for a bowl or two of ramen. Additionally, the sound they make while and after finishing a bowl of ramen is hunger inducing. Moreover, the parts wherein things get a bit emotional, has a very nice melody in it that I love to listen to.
Characters are Good (7). I like the cold and nonchalant character of Koizumi, she was made to really standout in the story as she is the main character who devours those bowls after bowls of ramen. The other characters are just fairly there to decorate and make Koizumi stand out in the show. They are very straightforward.
I enjoyed watching all 12 episodes of Ramen Daisuki Koizumi san, and I always look for anything ramen like to eat while or after watching each episode. So please take this as a warning if you decide to binge watch this anime.
In connection to the statement above, I believe that it has done its purpose well which is to make us crave, learn and love one of the dishes Japan is popular for; Ramen!
7 bowls of shoyo ramen out 10.
I first heard of this anime from watching a short YouTube video called “Cutest German Loli You’ll Ever See Kawaii Overload”. Don’t ask. But it mentioned the anime it came from in the beginning and I was intrigued. I mean, who wouldn’t love an anime about cute girls eating ramen? AND BOY WAS THIS ANIME SOMETHING ELSE.
Story 10: Hojou-chan: “Guys, what if we make an anime with a cute protagonist”. Takade-san: “Sounds SUPER ORIGINAL, what’s the plot?”. Hojou-chan: “…”. The story in RDK is basically RAMEN IS DELICIOUS AF. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an urge to eat ramen from watching only two minutes of an anime. I almost cried in the finale were Koizumi-san returns to her beloved ramen for the first time in two weeks, it is a very emotional moment and I was holding back tears.
Art 10: WHAT IS THIS FACE ANIMATION? THIS IS LIKE RAMEN HENTAI. The faces people make (namely Koizumi-san) when eating ramen are some of the most priceless images I have ever witnessed in any anime to-date. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the food looks super tasty.
Sound 10: The OP and ED are good but the crown jewel here is THE SLURPING SOUNDS. Why does ramen eating sound so sexual in this anime? NOBODY KNOWS. But this is music to my ears and I’m slightly tempted to listen to ramen eating ASMR after writing this review. That jingle is ridiculously catchy as well.
Character 10: You got the stalker, the diva, the ramen yandere, AND ONE NORMAL PERSON. What more could you ask for? The diva and the ramen yandere are super cute and I can barely restrain myself from adding them to favorite characters.
Enjoyment 1: I didn’t anticipate how much ramen I would need to make it through this so I was starving almost the whole way through. Pray for Kallocarina-san
So in conclusion RAMEN IS TASTY. THIS IS A PROFOUND LIFE STATEMENT MADE BY THIS ANIME AND I AM IN LOVE WITH EVERY MOMENT THESE THREE MAGICAL WORDS ARE REINFORCED. Go eat ramen NOW or you will get diabetes.
MAL Score: 6.54
Oishinbo is a drama about newspaper reporters. The main character is a cynical food critic named Yamaoka. Oishinbo is a popular mainstream comic for adults in Japan. It is even mentioned in an episode of “Iron Chef.”
Overall art of this Food anime is crystal clear, beautiful, classic. You can’t expect more from the studio that making top box office movies: Stand By Me. No fan service, oppai, and panty shot
Character and Story 10
Yamaoka and Kurita like befriend everybody, which’s making this anime become episodic-slice of life similar to Natsume Yuujinchou, Dr. Ramune, Kobato, etc. Yamaoka is like a gastronimical Saitama of One Punch Man and Gourmet’s or F&B Professor: as a reporter, he is unremarkable and often outright lazy. Several scenes feature him picking his nose while working. However with food, he is ‘impossible,’ doing CT Scan for sushi’s rice, turning bamboo into sashimi, defeating foie gras, flaking fish with a broken glass when a knife is too dull, or parading enough esoteric information about Japanese cooking to make even an expert jealous.
Seiyuu and sound effect is the typical old anime: people falling whenever shocked, exaggerating laugh, etc. Despite of it, the Op and Ed is special because It will bring you travelling time.
Enjoyment and Overall 10
It’s an anime that you want to watch slowly and curiously, to watch it everytime you want some break from heavy plot anime, to watch it everytime you need to learn and savor food.
Here’s your chance to partake in a truly underappreciated piece of food anime history for free, and with English subs no less! Exclusive to its official YouTube channel https://youtube.com/c/Oishinbo
. Slightly frustratingly, some episodes are taken down, they’re each being uploaded in two parts but considering its free and someone had to shell out for the subtitle translation, who are we to complain?
34: Cooking Papa
MAL Score: 6.62
The story of Mr. Araiwa and his family. He is a model employee in a large enterprise, but becomes a completely different character at home. He is very keen on cooking and lets pass no occasion to cook delicious dishes for his wife, who is frequently occupied by her work as a journalist, or his young son.
33: Dagashi Kashi
English: Dagashi Kashi
MAL Score: 6.62
Out in the countryside stands a sweet shop run by the Shikada family for nine generations: Shikada Dagashi, a small business selling traditional Japanese candy. However, despite his father’s pleas, Kokonotsu Shikada, an aspiring manga artist, adamantly refuses to inherit the family business.
However, this may start to change with the arrival of the eccentric Hotaru Shidare. Hotaru is in search of Kokonotsu’s father, with the goal of bringing him back to work for her family’s company, Shidare Corporation, a world famous sweets manufacturer. Although the senior Shikada initially refuses, he states that he will change his mind on one condition: if Hotaru can convince Kokonotsu to take over the family shop. And so begins Hotaru’s mission to enlighten the boy on the true joy of delicious and nostalgic dagashi!
By Kokonotsu Yen (9 Yen, 50 Cent’s Japanese half cousin)
I’ll take you to the Dagashi shop
I’ll let you lick the watapachi-pop
Go ‘head girl don’t you stop
Keep going ’til you hit the Toppo, whoa
I’ll take you to the Dagashi shop (yeah)
Hotaru, one taste of what I got
I’ll have you spending all you got (come on)
Keep going ’til you hit the Hi-Chew, whoa
You could have it your way, how do you want it?
You gon’ sip that Ramune, or should I put some Pocky on it?
Temperature rising, okay, let’s go to the next level
Shikada-dashi jam-packed, hot as a tea kettle
Yeaaah, so, Dagashi Kashi: a show that serves basically as a 4.5 hour commercial for various Japanese candy manufacturers under the pretense of a slice of life comedy. This show started off as a curiosity to me- it was charming in its simplistic, unassuming stance- as nonthreatening as an anime can possibly be. Yet at the same time, the early episodes had some really strange happenings that I can only describe as “Japan”. This novelty was endearing for a while, and with the backdrop of the candy store- I though this show could be a fun little niche thing for a while, but the novelty soon wore thin. The beginning was amusing, but then quickly fell into a plodding middle- especially given that Dagashi Kashi shows its hand very quickly, and then continues to play the same cards, in a sense. It picked up again around the ending, promising a little more in the way of romantic subplots, but like most shows of one cour in length- ends up going absolutely nowhere.
This show features one of, if not THE smallest cast I’ve ever seen in an anime. 5 characters- and one of them appears in maybe two episodes. There are RARELY even unnamed passers by in this show- it focuses solely on the main 4: Kokonotsu, Hotaru, Saya, and To.
Kokonotsu is our put upon protagonist- charged with running his absentee dad’s candy shop (which apparently is famous, yet has no other customers besides mostly Hotaru, but also Saya and To). He flip flops between being white dwarf-level dense and a go-getter, but ultimately settles for being another trope-guy.
Hotaru is a rich heir to a prominent candy manufacturing family, whose airheaded-ness is surpassed by only her obsession with eating candy. So much so, that she even frequently hallucinates that she is talking to, making out with, or otherwise in ‘actual’ love with candy. She a freak, though.
Saya and To are twins, and the best friends (and possibly only other people in town?) of Kokonotsu. To is the typical good natured perv friend, and Saya happens to be a master of everything she attempts (our perfect human being character), except the ways of love.
One last thing of note is the artwork. The overall design is very minimalistic, but one specific part of the character designs will stick with me- the eyes. The characters in this show have some of the strangest eyes I’ve ever seen. Hotaru has spirals instead of pupils, and most of the other characters have extremely beady eyes or look incredibly sleep deprived. It adds another odd element to an oddity of a show.
Overall, this show is about as interesting as vanilla ice cream- but if learning the names of a bunch of Japanese candy and getting a sales pitch in animated form is exciting to you- by all means, give it a spin.
Many people argue that Dagashi Kashi is nothing more than one big advertisement for Dagashi. This may or may not be true. Perhaps if you are Japanese and had grown up on Dagashi, this series is probably so slice-of-life that it’s boring. As someone genuinely interested in the lifestyles of Japanese citizens beyond anime and pop culture, I found this anime quite educational! Not only had I never heard of Dagashi before watching episode 1, but it also gave me a look into Japanese childhood, and growing up in the Japanese countryside. I also love the silly characters, especially Hotaru. If you are interested in Japanese culture as a whole, and you enjoy your light-hearted series’, then Dagashi Kashi is for you! It helps that I’m also a bit of a foodie.
I was rather confused by the final episode, which almost completely lacked closure. Are they leaving an opening for a second season, or did they really just not know how to wrap up this anime?
Say yes you beta bastard, say yes!
Anyways, Dagashi Kashi! This series was the one I was most interested in before it aired. Why? Because of that busty babe on the picture! And now, after watching it, I can confidently say that Dagashi Kashi was actually the complete opposite of what I thought it would be. I thought it was going to be a story about young Kokonotsu, an aspiring mangaka, and his struggles of dealing with Hotaru, that sweet sexy thang, who wants Kokonotsu to take over his dad’s candy shop instead! Well, sure… that’s kind of what the show is about. But is it really?
Dagashi Kashi is a textbook example of a “nothing happens” show. However, it isn’t by any means boring! It isn’t like Glasslip tier of nothing happens, it’s more of like the things that do happen are borderline irrelevant to any sort of “plot” this show tries to tell.
Did I mention “plot?” Well, I take it back, for there is none. Dagashi Kashi purely consists of skits and character interactions. As entertaining as some of these skits are, they really don’t add up to become some amazing story. Quite the opposite, actually, for they don’t add up at all! They are all their own little equations.
And now most of you guys reading this review must wonder why I still give it a 7, and that is because Dagashi Kashi is by no means a bad show! In fact, it was one of the more enjoyable ones this season! Sure, since a lot of the jokes are about Japanese candy, and not a lot of you people are Japanese, you might think the jokes are incredibly hit or miss. But the extremely colorful and dynamic characters more than makes up for it! Dagashi Kashi is definitely an enjoyment > quality type of anime.
– Great characters! They are all really characteristic and fun, and none of them are hateable.
– Very catchy OP and ED!
– I really like the character designs!
– Character interactions are very humorous.
– Surprisingly good use of flashbacks!
– There’s romantic tension? What….
– Less story than Musaigen.
– While the character interactions are spot on, the jokes themselves are very hit or miss. For most caucasians, you won’t find most, if any of the jokes funny. I’m Chinese, and Chinese candies are close enough. (Not really.)
– No memorable OST.
But Yuni, there is no story? Why not a 1? Well, that’s because the events that actually do happen within this “story” are actually pretty entertaining! Each skit is usually about a type of candy or some event based around candy. It’s a story that focuses A LOT on first world problems. And these first world problems are like ridiculous ones. Whatever happens depends on the candy. Sometimes it’s a history lesson about why that candy exists. Sometimes it’s some competition that connects to the candy. Sometimes it’s a flash back of a memory that was triggered by the candy. These events range from boring, to educational, to entertaining. But at the end of the day, the characters are the same, the plot hasn’t progressed whatsoever, and yeah. NOTHING HAPPENS!!!!
The art is great, although nothing noteworthy or overly impressive. I do like the character designs though! This show does have a pretty unique and interesting character design, and I think it fits the characters well, especially Hotaru, who’s character design makes her look both mature (BOOBIES) and childish.
OP and ED are incredibly catchy! Other than that, sound is average. OST is there but you won’t remember it, and the seiyuus do a good job expressing their characters!
Arguably the best aspect of this series, the characters of Dagashi Kashi are just so enjoyable! Their characteristics aren’t the most unique, but they are just so colorful and hilarious! Hotaru’s little antics and habits are really funny and you can just see the innocence just seep out of her. Saya is your typical flat tsundere, but she still has so much character to the point that she became my favorite character of the series. Also, the interactions between kid Saya and kid Kokonotsu during flashbacks were just adorable. Tou also has a lot of personality, and of course, Kokonotsu’s dad is just hilarious! Kokonotsu himself is pretty generic, but he has his moments as well.
Dagashi Kashi was actually really fun to watch for the most part! Whenever it got entertaining, it got REALLY entertaining. However, there were parts where it got pretty boring, but the entertaining parts completely overshadow the boring ones!
Dagashi Kashi is actually a pretty good show! It’s light hearted and has no serious moments in it whatsoever, and is pretty much there just for fun. If you go in, don’t expect any plot. But you may get some nice “plot” if you know what I mean 😉
TL;DR: Boob ice cream? Take my money.
MAL Score: 6.64
Murasaki Wakako, who is 26 years old, loves going out alone to enjoy eating and drinking, especially when something unpleasant happens at work. This anime follows Wakako through many solitary outings, where she enjoys different combinations of food and drink!
(Source: MangaHelpers, edited)
Overall, it’s a fun anime to watch, leaving no regrets.
There’s not a lot to say about this anime. I actually did really enjoy it and looked forward to it each week. Each episode promised to be an insightful look into food culture done in a calming and reflective manner and it succeeded very well. No drama, relatable main character, and succinct writing made this a success. It also usually made me hungry.
31: Shin Chuuka Ichiban! 2nd Season
Japanese: 真 中華一番!
MAL Score: 6.64
Sequel of Shin Chuuka Ichiban.
But without further ado, it’s just the same as Season 1 with all the same bells and whistles as I remembered how the anime looked in its average decency. The only story plot here is that of the Legendary Utensils: collect them all, and defeat the Underworld Cooking Society with ringleader Kaiyu. Otherwise, it’s a direct copy-and-paste that I’ve gotten used to overtime with acceptance.
A new season comes with new music, and the OST is just OK, nothing that really stands out.
Overall, while this sequel season is fine, just go read the completed manga instead.
During the first arc, there is a profusion of character development and background information; but the first arc is quite long. By cutting out the first part of the arc, leads to a positive for original watchers, but does not allow new watchers to be attached to any of the characters.
Story: 8 For this season(season 2), there is supposed to be a filler arc(the fat emperor’s arc) after the episode 3, but was cut out and continued on the main story line where the original anime left off. I think it is very smart, because the old watchers found the arc to be very boring. Everyone was looking forward to the action between the mc and the top underworld chefs.
Art: 7 I personally think it is weird to make everything too shiny. However, some people may like it. Excluding that, the cooking scenes are pretty good. Not as good as shokugeki though.
Sound: 6, In my opinion, the song and sound effects of the old anime was way better.
Character: 5 many characters were a little dense. The creator didn’t seem to convey enough feelings. For example, Xie Lu must be wayy more energetic and funny. And also, I like Meili form the old anime more. The new look seems very weird.
Enjoyment: 8 After episode 3, it became very enjoyable due to the long wait to see what happens after the old anime!
30: Maiko-san Chi no Makanai-san
English: Kiyo in Kyoto: From the Maiko House
MAL Score: 6.64
Kiyo and Sumire came to Kyoto from Aomori Prefecture, dreaming of becoming maiko. But after an unexpected turn of events, Kiyo starts working as the live-in cook at the Maiko House. Their story unfolds in the Kagai, the Geiko and maiko district in Kyoto, alongside their housemate maikos. Kiyo nourishes them daily with her home-cooked meals, and Sumire strives toward her promising future as the once-in-a-century maiko.
Step into the glamorous Kagai, warm your heart with behind-the-scenes anecdotes and Kiyo’s kitchen episodes. Stay tuned for this touching tale of 2 childhood friends lifting each other up as they grow together.
(Source: NHK World Japan, edited)
The producer of the anime is packaging this as an educational anime, a glimpse into life in the flower district where the maiko reside. Thus, its target audience skews younger.
However, it remains a faithful adaptation to the manga, especially the food. In the manga, the food part is more of a personal chronicle for the author, but in the anime, it is one that strengthens the bond between close friends Kiyo and Sumire. It is also present in the manga, but the personal touch is not.
I rather enjoy this show, but not as much as the manga, but only because the manga has advanced far enough into more interesting storylines. I do enjoy hearing the voices for both Kiyo and Sumire, and it is their voices I hear when I read the manga now.
29: Koufuku Graffiti
English: Gourmet Girl Graffiti
MAL Score: 6.80
The path to becoming a fine wife begins with being an accomplished cook—at least, that is what Ryou Machiko’s late grandmother had led her to believe. For a middle schooler, Ryou’s cooking skills are incomparable; but recently, though Ryou’s food looks appetizing and smells inviting, the taste has not been delicious. Just when the dejected art student comes to terms with the possibility that she might continue living alone for the rest of her life, her aunt tells her that Kirin Morino—Ryou’s second cousin—will begin staying with her every weekend since the younger girl has joined a cram school in Tokyo and aims to attend the same school as Ryou.
Surprisingly, with her cousin’s arrival, Ryou finds that her cooking has vastly improved—apparently, it is not her prowess in the kitchen, but the sharing of the experience with those closest to her that seems to make the flavors shine.
Koufuku Graffiti main subject is about food, incorporated with your average other subjects such as friendship, daily life, and cute characters. The character development will evolve around bonds with food built by our main characters Ryou, Kirin, and Shiina and their time spent together.
The fan service scenes are quite erotic in this anime it isn’t your typical boob and pantie shots. In this they REALLY emphasize eating with close up shots of the mouth, sensual expressions, and blushies while eating the delicate drawn food it has the most well drawn omelet roll I’ve ever seen this anime is literally “food porn” everything revolves around food.
The opening and ending is so enjoyable especially the soundtrack and the scenes it is very appealing and catchy it gives a good vibe and relaxing mind set when about to watch an episode or finishing. Make sure to watch the outro of the outro there is a very catchy song with small chibi characters talking about food giving small tips of information.
Really enjoy the art style and lighting of Koufuku Graffiti with its bright lighting, fluent drawings, vivid colors, and contrast with characters they fit really smoothly together. If you love vivid colors this show has it.
This anime is quite enjoyable to watch when there is nothing else much to do it give me a complete good laughs and smiles while making me extremely hungry due to the fact the food looks way too tasty this anime is food porn. Everything looks delicious and the characters expressions make it even better.
I would recommend Koufuku Graffiti to anyone who is interested in Slice of Life, food, good art, cute characters doing cute things, and anyone who is just looking for a fun enjoyable experience.
You know you’ve stepped waist deep in low-tier storytelling territory when the only highlight of a show is girls eating food. This review will be relatively short, not because I don’t want to write more about the title, but because the show itself lacks any kind of content to warrant any form of discussion or analysis.
It should go without saying that the “cute girls doing cute things” trend has become something of its own entity in the past decade. Due to the overwhelming success of titles like K-On, Hidamari Sketch, Lucky☆Star, Azumanga Daioh and much more, this trend has spawned a quasi-subgenre within the quarters it would usually reside in, regardless of the material being covered. The popularity of the “moe” craze only grows each year, with no sign of slowing down in the foreseeable future, thanks in large part to the increasing demand for more self-indulgent works. With so many infatuated with this niche appeal, it was only a matter of time before opposing viewpoints fought against it. With some even going as far as labeling it as “the cancer of the community.” And while I think that proclamation is a bit overstated, I think my score speaks for itself regarding what side of this feud I stand on.
Now, this isn’t to say “cute girls” anime can’t work, I myself have seen a few that I personally enjoyed. It’s just that the problem with Koufuku Graffiti, and by extension, any other show guilty of this, is that it has nothing outside of one gimmick to support it. Being genre specific or serving a niche audience isn’t an excuse to lack subject matter. Case in point, the Gundam franchise. Had it only been about displaying mecha, the franchise wouldn’t have lasted for so many decades. It serves its niche market with mecha porn to fawn over but still provide content with its themes of political warfare and human ethics to keep it anchored. Even genres with divisive reception, such as ecchi, abide by this common unspoken rule. With titles such as Queen’s Blade and High school DxD understanding that serving “plot” with a plot would allow it a longer shelf-life in the competitive viewer market. Hell, we don’t even have to travel out that far, within this very moe playing field, one of the patriarchs responsible for creating the trend, K-On, even understands this; a show that balances school activities, the girls’ hobbies, and friendships simultaneously to maintain viewer interest.
And where other genres and niche appeals flourish, Koufuku Graffiti falls short of the mark. With nothing else to offer content-wise besides its hyper-sexualized foodgasm shtick, the novelty of this show wanes considerably after just one episode.
The setup for bottom-rung content like this usually follows a cast of girls centered around a particular subject or activity and does nothing else. And when I say nothing else, I mean that quite literally, as nothing of significance ever happens throughout Koufuku Graffiti’s run-time. Each episode follows the same monotonous setup:
Cute girls converse–> some tension-less conflict arises (mostly involving a moeblob being lonely)–> girls make food and have a foodgasm–> rinse and repeat.
With such a simplistic and predictable setup, you can basically just watch the 1st episode and get the same general picture as someone who bothered to sit through all 12. That’s the epitome of lazy writing. This show takes pandering to a whole new level; it doesn’t even try to mask it. It’s mundanity that aims to do nothing. Watching paint dry would be a far more productive activity.
Seeing that everything revolves around girls eating and having foodgasms, you’d at least expect high-quality animation for those scenes, but what we got instead was poorly rendered CGI food that looks plastic, slow motion with above average frame-rate and sparkles… again, THIS is supposed to be the show’s highlight. Everything else fell below normal standards with stiff, often inconsistent animation and very bare-bones presentation. If animated foodgasms are all you want, just watch Food Wars instead. It’s a show that far exceeds Graffiti regarding quality and general entertainment value. Everything about Graffiti just feels flat by comparison to everything else in its playing field. From the cookie cutter characters to the nonexistent storyline, Graffiti is just a lifeless husk masquerading as a show that cares.
Koufuku Graffiti was not made with the general populace in mind. This was an anime made for those still fascinated with the “moe” craze. And you know what? That’s fine. If there’s an audience out there for this, despite what little value I could find in it, so be it. But if after watching the 1st episode you’re not impressed, then skip this one because that’s about as good as the show gets.
Right away, I see one problem. Where is the “Food” in the tags ?
Every anime have one thing that is the base of the history, character development, the base of the conflicts and the light of the solutions. On Kokufu this “thing” is the food. Yeah, you will see a anime talking about a life of a student, but on this life the food will create the friendship, will reveal memories and the past of the characters, will solve the problems and the most important, will make you feel hungry.
And to accompany this main plate (the food), Kofuku brings kawaii characters, a good art, very shining characters, shining ambient, good lights, good traces without contrast between the character traces and the ambient traces (everything in harmony).
Kawaii opening and ending, everything with lyrics and scenes that fits very well with the anime.
The final point that I like to say here is: the fan service is very different here, instead of boobs, paints and asses, you will see a “sensual” way of the eating, who ? Simples, with focuses on the mouth (taking advantage of the brightness of the traces, and the excessive light), on the tasting face of the characters and the discription of all the delicous of the food.
So, I recommend Kofuku if you want to see a slice of life, a good drawing and a good traces, kawaii girls. If you like food this anime is very good to you and for the people who are tired of the classic fan service.
English: Scorched Bread
MAL Score: 6.82
An accident in the bakery’s oven caused a piece of bread to stay in the oven for way too long. Thus Kogepan was born – a piece of burnt bread, having no chance to be sold.
Japan has a culture of fetishising youth to the point that a woman is considered old and past it once they reach the age of around 30. Not that this is solely a trait of Japan or anything, but the concept is definitely more prevalent there. If you’re old, nobody wants you anymore. You are, as Kogepan would put it, a burnt piece of bread. Nobody in the shop wants to buy you anymore, something poor old Kogepan gets supremely jealous about.
This really isn’t a stretch of metaphorical analysis here. The freshly baked breads have squeaky young voices and are described as being young and full of energy and innocence. Meanwhile Kogepan trudges about the shop with a forlorn look on his face. He tries occasionally to make himself look more like the younger breads. He works out, goes jogging, takes baths in milk so his skin looks more fresh. He even at one point tries to slather himself in ridiculous looking makeup (aka icing and sprinkles) after he sees some of the younger breads doing it. That is, until his friend and fellow piece of burnt bread Creampan walks in on him. Imagine you just walked in on your 50-year-old mate slathering himself in fake tan and trying on ladies underwear and you’d have a rough idea of what Creampan’s reaction was.
Ironically, but importantly, all the young beautifully baked breads admire Kogepan. While he may get angry when they jump about with their seemingly unlimited energy, stopping to lecture them about good bread behaviour, the young breads all stop and listen to him. They have huge respect for Kogepan, because behind his crusty (har har) old man behaviour, he genuinely cares about the breads and tries to help them get sold. Also he gives them alcohol (aka milk) and we all know there’s no better way to get on a young person’s side then provide them with alcohol.
It gets to the point where one of the younger breads, in wide-eyed young love, completely falls for Kogepan and tries to be just like him. She covers herself in soot and tries to blend in with the other burnt breads, but just ends up coughing and spluttering and getting soot in her eyes. Kogepan, who had been in grumpy old man mode for the rest of that day because he was chasing away cockroaches that had gotten in to the shop, just helped clean her up and give a soft lecture on finding your own dreams. The next day, she’s happily sold and Kogepan looks on proudly, and yet a bit sadly as another bird leaves the nest.
I really wish there had been more episodes, because every episode managed to introduce something new and interesting to the Kogepan world. I loved the charcoal bread character, who had spent over 3 hours in the oven. Even the other regular burnt breads look up to him in awe. He is basically a war veteran, speaking of his time deep in the oven and how conspiracy theories were flying around down there. Also while Kogepan sticks to his milk, Charcol bread is hardcore and drinks hard liquor (aka coffee milk).
Strawberry bread is pretty great too. She’s the New Hot Thing in Town, which gets Kogepan particularly pissed off because he thinks she’s just getting by on gimmicks, doncha know bread is a staple of the family, people don’t buy it for its looks etc. He actually uses the line “kids these days”, which rather upsets poor little strawberry bread, who puts up a strong and heartfelt defence of her strawberry filling. Kogepan finally sees that, behind the popularity, Strawberry Bread is a bread who works hard to reach where she is, and is actually kinda lonely because she’s always sold so quickly she never gets a chance to make friends.
Then Kogepan gets her drunk and I’m pretty sure sleeps with her…
…but let’s not make this review weird.
Back to the old age metaphor, while Kogepan might not be considered attractive material to be purchased in this day and age, he has fellow Kogepan friends and all the young breads look up to his experience. On the occasions Kogepan breaks out of his not-so-secret wish to be purchased just like all the younger breads, he can see that he lives a truly happy life in his own right.
Basically Kogepan is fucking great and you should watch it.
Caution to sensitive viewers: There is one questionable scene where Kogepan gets the strawberry bread, Ichigopan (so hot! but I swear I am not a panofile) wasted on milk. When she keels over backwards, Kogepan wonders to himself “What should I do”? The question goes unanswered, but in the following scene, Ichigopan glows with bliss. We can only imagine.
Story: 7 – Elements of tragedy, romance, friendship, and the culinary arts. Some arcs remain unresolved (does Sumipan find love?), but not bad for 40 minutes.
Art: – 7 – Some will call it minimalist. Some will call it lazy. I like the way the lines wiggle.
Sound: 8 – Nice bouncy tunes that make you want to eat bread.
Characters: 8 – About as thorough as most full length anime series. It’s amazing what can fit in a 5 minute episode without fight scenes or philosophical monologues.
Enjoyment 9 – Probably would have been a 10 if I had another cup of sake.
Art: This anime has literally ten minute episodes and since it is meant for a younger audience, the art is childish. It is effective though because of the characters which I will explain later.
Sound: The music doesn’t stand out too much. I did find myself laughing at the music a couple of times, but it is still effective because of the intended audience.
Character: The main character is a burnt piece of bread. His story is sad which will withdraw some sympathy from the viewer. At least it did for me. The supporting roles are also cute. I rated the characters 7 because for a childs show, the characters actions and feelings are well done.
Enjoyment: From a childs point of view I can see this anime being very interesting. From a teenagers point of view however, it is simply just cute. I won’t say it was a waste of time however because it only took me an hour or less to watch it.
Overall: Overall I can only explain it with the word cute, which I have used a lot during this review. It was fun to watch. I rated it six overall because it is very simple, and a good thing to watch if you are bored.
27: Dagashi Kashi 2
English: Dagashi Kashi 2
MAL Score: 6.84
Second season of Dagashi Kashi.
I was quite skeptical of the studio change since the previous studio did a fine job and I was with the thought that Tezuka Productions couldn’t manage such a show and couldn’t bring it to greater heights. Let’s just say I couldn’t be more wrong. This season was a positive step up from the last in that we got more jokes, more characters, less focus on the sweets jargon and a reinforced and improved cast that was just as brilliant as they were weird. I just couldn’t stop laughing in this season at everyone compared to the last where I was seen Google searching the sweets for a bit of context or relying on translation notes so I consider this a plus point. Then we had the sudden disappearance of an important character but to be honest I found that disappearance better since that departure led to further introductions of new characters like Owari Hajime and Beniyutaka who were vibrant, cheerful, unique and as mentioned hilarious. Did I mention they were also weird like everyone else?
Owari Hajime’s Character was that of a klutz I had perceived but she too had her amazing moments such as with the 8 candy and the website madness. Although I felt she was slightly more used for fanservice than I expected from last season but thankfully it wasn’t overused to the point that it would deter us from the main point of view, literally. As for Beniyutaka, he was voiced by none other than Sugita Tomokazu and I think I only need to tell you his other roles and you’ll know just how talented this fellow is, he played Gintoki (Gintama) and Kyon (Haruhi Suzumiya). Two very popular and fantastic roles. Apart from Sugita, the other voice actors did brilliant and I enjoyed the exaggerated expressions used in some of the scenes.
Scenes reminds me of the art. Now since this is a studio change as I mentioned before, the art changed as well, although not too drastically on the backgrounds the character designs looked clearly different from last season like for example the way the eyes looked this time. The eyes were more stretched than last time and I don’t think this is a plus or minus since the characters’ eyes were stretched last time as well, although not as much as this season. Apart from that the OP and ED used was unsurprisingly Dagashi themed. They were as playful as before and to be honest I was already addicted to the OP like 3-4 episodes in. As for the ED, well brilliant as always. Thankfully the Background music for the show didn’t change from last time so it wasn’t something that would need to get used to.
Since there’s little to no plot relation from last time I can easily advise others who haven’t watched the previous season to view this first since they won’t lose any context by watching this first. If they find this interesting then I’m sure they’ll like season 1 as well, albeit some may find the Dagashi jargon a bit on the difficult to understand side. Regardless, both seasons were amazing, but personally I find this superior for the aforementioned reason as it’s easy to understand and yet still such a beloved joy to watch.
This season was pretty interesting for me, since we had a different set of anime and I had maybe 2-3 sequels only out of which Saiki Kusuo and Dagashi were included and frankly the sequels this season didn’t disappoint me one bit. Maybe because with sequels you know what is going to happen and if you’re not a masochist you’ll usually watch sequels if you liked the previous one (talking about people planning to watch that Isekai Smartphone sequel because it won’t be good I tell you now).
Do you want a show that makes you laugh and give you a little but of cultural knowledge? How about watch an anime all about sweets? Funny Characters and no plot to worry about? If that’s the case then I give you a guarantee that Dagashi Kashi 2 won’t disappoint you. Sometimes some shows don’t handle endings well since Japanese sources generally are bad at endings from what I’ve experienced and heard (not trying to be racist here but it’s what I’ve seen, it’s like saying the Ancient Greeks loved happy endings or the Romans loved watching people fight in the Colosseum). Point is, if you’re wanting to watch a funny slice of life anime, look no further than Dagashi Kashi because there’s lots to laugh about at Shikada Dagashi!
The story remains the same, there is Kokonotsu, whose dad wants him to take over the dagashi shop, there is Hotaru, who spends most of her time with him while telling him the story of sweets, and there are also Saya and To, who spend a lot of time with them too and, of course, there are japanese sweets (and sometimes toys). The main difference between the story in the first one and the second is that… There is drama in this one. Drama in Dagashi Kashi, yeah.
Kokonotsu fell in love with Hotaru and even forgot that he DIDN’T want to become a shop owner. After Hotaru lefts the town, he gets really depressed and that’s when Kotoyama finally opens the door for the new characters, who are Hajime and Beniyutaka. While the second one doesn’t really have much screen time, Hajime really shines. She is the one character who made this season as funny as it could be. Every scene with her is hilarious and she blends in with other people really well.
The biggest changes in this season are the new art style and shorter episode duration.
At first, I didn’t like the art, but after watching one episode it was proved that I was wrong. All characters (Except for Hotaru, I guess, she was gorgeous in the 1st season) look AMAZINGLY good. Background art is on point too. The art shouldn’t be something that can make this series bad.
As for the episode duration, it… also made the series better. The main point of Dagashi Kashi is promoting sweets while telling you it’s history as you watch characters interact with each other, and some episodes in the first season were boring because this anime does not need to be 20 minutes long to do it’s job.
My only complaint for this series would be TOO much fanservice in the first episodes. I mean, you’re 2 episodes in and you already see Hotaru and Saya in one bath.
As for now, I think that second season is even better than the first one. It is more enjoyable and fun, while also remaining “educative” for those who want to know more about sweets.
The mostly new crew in charge of the second season managed to pretty much capture the same look and feel of the first season barring the addition of two new main characters, and one BIG difference—the episodes are only 12 minutes a piece instead of 24. They ended up getting away with this change easily enough, though, because the first season spent so much more time getting viewers acquainted with the original cast of characters.
There’s a line in the first season that goes something like “…the significance of a dagashi shop. Not only is it a place for relaxation, but also a place where bonds are created by interacting customers. It’s a place that creates connections among people.”
This line represents the very essence of Dagashi Kashi. While the first season moves along at a pretty slow pace, it develops connections¬ between the characters themselves, and also between the characters and the audience. Season two then molds those relationships into something truly entertaining. Together, they combine for a subtly sweet mix of slice-of-life storytelling coated in educational opportunity, then sprinkled with just enough drama to keep it interesting.
26: Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara
English: Love is Like a Cocktail
MAL Score: 6.96
Chisato Mizusawa is a calm and collected assistant office manager who apparently dislikes drinking alcohol. But she actually likes it and has a secret side to her that emerges only when drunk: her cute persona, which she only reveals to her husband, the bartender Sora. Each day when Chisato comes home, Sora takes care of his beloved wife, providing her with a good meal and a fresh drink. These drinks include Plum Splet, Irish Coffee, Orange Breeze, and many more tasty concoctions that she eagerly gulps down. But as much as she likes alcohol, she loves her kindhearted husband more. Together, they share a life that is filled with happiness—and the more-than-occasional cocktail.
While others will disagree with me, I genuinely feel that Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara is one gem of an anime. A sweet take on the everyday life of a couple will make any depressed or grumpy guy happy.
Chistao is a working woman in a company. Pretty, reserved and excellent in her work. Sora, her husband, works in a bar. The anime deals with Chi-chan being welcomed or treated to a drink by her husband everyday, and the cuteness that un-follows thereafter.
There’s not much to think, not much to debate while watching the anime. Just kick back and relax as you see a cute couple still enjoying their days. It’s an overall enjoying package and honestly for a 3 minute short with 13 episodes a critical part by part analysis seems foolish.
Chi-chan and Sora are really couple goals. Chisato is for sure my waifu of the season. Her drunk face, her serious face and her face filled with the love for her husband are too damn cute. If only there were cute girls like that in real life(deep sighs of regret).
Rather than reading the many review, go watch it. You will not be disappointed unless you have made up your mind to hate it.
P.S. About the many alcoholic recipes given in the anime, I tried to make a few. It was hard and didn’t taste right. Something is best left with the professionals I guess.
The worst issues that plague this show:
1. A man gives woman alcohol for the first time, now she’s an alcoholic. (Great influence! Why not marry him!?!)
2. She marries him to have a personal bartender. (a Hilariously misguided example of romance.)
3. Guy buys his wife with alcohol. (There’s more to love than just substance!)
4. She becomes drunk very easily and throws herself at him. (Wow nice life lessons!)
5. A “romance” starring adults is written with all the seriousness you’d expect of Umaru-chan.
(If you wanted to make a goofy romance, then alcohol-fueled relationships was not a good choice. It could have easily been a drama if they didn’t approach a careful subject like alcoholism with so little care for the gentle subject.)
You can’t teach an audience that a relationship works that way. Love doesn’t and shouldn’t work like that. Alcohol doesn’t work like that! When you’re making an anime (watched mostly by kids or young adults) then it’d probably be a good idea to consider your audience.
On top of this show’s egregious issues it also fails to provide a decent watching experience. Despite being only 3 minutes long it is incredibly repetitive, each episode has the same sequence of events and it isn’t funny or entertaining. The show has a simple but kind-hearted intentions that just don’t come across at all. It wants to be cute and heartwarming but instead it borders on insulting.
Every episode a stressed-out businesswoman, Chisato, is comforted by her husband, Sora, with alcohol and/or food he prepares himself. Chisato and Sora have no chemistry, other than she likes the drinks that he makes and he likes feeding her. There is no spark between them. I wouldn’t even believe that they were married if there wasn’t an obligatory backstory episode.
Love is Like a Cocktail is just a cooking show (and not a very good one at that) with a seemingly obligatory romance tacked on. Look no further than their undercooked relationship, there’s no chemistry!
Their relationship is platonic at best, toxic at worse. No one should take their relationship seriously. This isn’t what healthy romance looks like, it’s poison and could never exist this happily in real life. Sure, if there were other qualities that Chisato and Sora loved each other for I could see it being more believable. But there are none. The show does not develop them past, a cute tired woman who likes alcohol, and a bartender who likes cute woman.
Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken this is not.
Story 2/10 What story? +1 for a generously brief length.
Art 6/10 Fine. The food and drinks look… edible I guess?
Sound 6/10 Nice ed. The voice acting is ok.
Character 1/10 +1 for the lemon.
Enjoyment 2/10 The lemon was pretty funny.
It’s bad. Not just for short-form anime. It fails because it doesn’t try to create a convincing romance or realistic characters, instead it just forces overbearing cuteness onto you. Maybe cute lady drinking alcohol is all you need for 3 minutes, but there should be something more.
Perhaps you may get some fleeting enjoyment from it if you are more tolerant of problematic disposable entertainment than I am. But for me 3 minutes a week is far too long to waste on this drivel.
Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara or Love is like a Cocktail is a great anime short about a couple in which the husband is a bartender Masaki Shiraishi voiced by Kenji Akabane that gives her wife Chisato Mizusawa voiced by Eri Kitamura alcohol to soothe her worries away…with a lemon mascot showing us how to make these delicious concoctions.
If that sounded like LA thinks it sounded to you all and LA KNOWS SOME OF YOU WILL…STOP, it’s not like that.
If anything between Masaki and Chisato it’s the cocktails that brought them together and we even get shown this during a backstory about how they met.
The “beergasm” if anything is VERY similar to Shokugeki no Souma’s foodgasms and with Eri Kitamura’s brilliantly done drunk vocals and her great accenting makes the beergasms all the more to look forward to.
The animation done by Creators in Pack did decent enough with this short by showing off some detailed animations on the cocktails as well as the decent enough character designs to make them all distinguishable. Even then, the lemon mascot (that shows up a lot) though he’s expected character design for a mascot isn’t that bad either. Either way the animation is pretty good if only because of the detailed cocktails.
The voice acting….well LA already said it but Eri Kitamura is MVP in this anime short if only because of her great transitioning between strict and focused office lady accenting to delightful drunk.
Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara is FAR from being a horrible anime short, it’s just merely a relationship of a husband and wife with alcohol involved and how they help each other from the worst or best of times and the alcohol in question is NOT brought up in a bad light and THAT is quite something even for an anime short.
So if you wanna see Eri Kitamura beergasm then Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara has your order.
25: Kirakira☆Precure A La Mode
MAL Score: 6.97
Cheerful teenager Ichika Usami has a passion for sweets that is inspired by her mother’s baking. In celebration of her mother’s return from overseas, she tries her hand at making a cake herself. She is interrupted when a dog-like fairy named Pekorin crashes into her kitchen. With Pekorin’s help, Ichika successfully bakes her cake. Only then enters an imp named Gummy who bursts in and attempt to steal the cake’s “kirakiraru”, a magical power that gives sweets the ability to bring happiness.
Though Ichika initially offers her cake to Gummy in order to protect Pekorin, the fairy helps her realize how important the treat is and the love it represents. As the kirakiraru within Ichika’s cake grows, it changes into a set of trinkets that transforms her into Cure Whip, a hero known as a Pretty Cure. Using her newfound powers, she goes on to battle kirakiraru thieves whenever they appear. Ichika fights to protect Ichigozaka’s sweets and finds colorful new allies along the way.
Kirakira Precure A La Mode, the sixth season I’m watching in the Precure franchise. This season definitely took a very out of the box thing as its theme- Desserts. And like desserts, I think this season was bittersweet in both story-wise and quality-wise. Basically, it’s kinda awkward to pinpoint how I feel.
Definitely a bit different from what I’m used to from the first five seasons I’ve watched. We first start out with a whole bunch of smaller villains before moving on to the main ones, which isn’t something I’ve ever seen, so that’s cool.
One thing that makes me feel awkward about giving a lenient score like I always do in this aspect is just how far the season can be divided between the two extremes.
The thing is the following- The main villain in Precure usually has some kind of big goal for what they exactly want to accomplish and sometimes very great motives behind it. This season managed to screw up both parts of having a decent villain. Noir’s motive for his villainous acts was really awkward in comparison to seasons like Heartcatch and Hugtto. And from there, as many other seasons do, he takes advantage of the negativity of his allies, the old stuff. But to be quite honest, their acts to achieve their goals this season were quite weird. How does one plan to spread hatred by getting rid of kirakiraru again? XD
However, on the other side of the spectrum is the amazing KiraPika siblings arc, aka the Cure Parfait arc. This arc was the absolute bomb. It was an intense emotional roller coaster and ended on a heartbreaking note. The development of both this arc and Cure Parfait after that would go on to be excellent.
As for the main Cure storylines, most of them are very pleasant and good. I say good because for real though, it seemed rather simple this time around. This was one of Kirakira’s weaknesses: A 6 Cure Team. We haven’t seen one in almost a decade and it definitely strained the balance of development between Cures.
I originally didn’t exactly like the art style but soon it would grow on me as some other seasons did. I especially love how sometimes the art compliments the mood of the scene. Plus, this season’s Cures probably have some of the most exotic character designs due to their double design theme of Animals and Desserts. Some of them were great, some were… Okay.
Seriously though, can we all agree Cure Whip has the most gigantic twintails of any Precure ever? XD
This season had pretty freaking amazing background music and I love the effort on matching certain scenes with certain tunes. They really bring out the vibes.
This part is a bit more complicated.
Honestly, there’s not much wrong with the characters and they’re very much fine this season. But it’s just that. This season doesn’t exactly bring too many new things to the table in terms of character personalities, so they may get stale. (Heh, the puns!)
Ichika and Himari have pleasant arcs but they have a lot of room for improvement. Their stories are quite smooth and relaxing to sit through, sometimes touching.
Aoi’s arc had an awesome start and her personality and interests were a creative idea. It was nice overall, but of course, it could’ve been more powerful.
Yukari and Akira’s entry in the team makes this season only the second ever time to have senior high Cures (First being Moonlight from Heartcatch.) While Yukari I found and feel a bit out of reach in some cases for the usual fanbase, Akira’s story with the addition of her sister Miku was both sweet and fun to see.
And then we have the highlight: Ciel. Ciel’s story was mixed in with her brother Pikario’s (aka Julio’s) backstory. Her celebrity flair and her level of professionalism stand out amongst the rest and she has a beautiful and bittersweet arc overall. In her arc, she learned what it truly meant to be a patissier despite how great she had already been being one, and I think that’s a nice touch to her character.
Overall, some Cures had better devs than others, and most of them have room to improve.
Meanwhile, the villains seemed to see a falling slope of quality as the season dragged on. Undoubtedly, Julio was the best of them and after his reformation, played a huge role in explaining the Cure Parfait arc and making his sister’s story the more bittersweet.
The others? Not much to touch on.
In truth, since I’ve started to become accustomed to the rhythm of Precure, combine that with how this season didn’t exactly bring too much new stuff to the table, I did enjoy this season a little less, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.
Despite much criticism on the fight scenes, I personally found many hidden gems throughout the season, such as episode 40 and the finale. This was also a season where the Cures seemed to take a more ranged approach as opposed to usual close combat. I think it provided a lot of room for imaginative attacks in that sense and the attacks looked very nice, although again, it could get stale after a while.
The overall pacing was fine, could’ve been faster, and I love some of the character interactions, particularly the KiraPika siblings, Ichika and her mother and Ciel and Bibury (Episode 26), and a few others.
Kirakira Precure A La Mode isn’t as amazing as some of the other seasons I’ve watched. However, on its own, it provides a very nice emotional ride and it’s the kind of show that I really love, where I could sit back and relax, and watch something to brighten up my day.
But don’t take my word for it- Especially with how high my score is! XD
KiraKira is just awful. Back then PreCure fans would fight among themselves on which season was the worst one. Some claimed Suite was awful because it was not as good as the previous two, some that DokiDoki was because the main heroine was the center of the universe, some that HapiCha was worst because Blue sucks and smart ones that it was GoPri because the princess theme was dumb. But now these discussions have stopped since we have the unarguably worst season ever: KiraKira.
There is absolutely nothing redeemable about KiraKira. It’s just bad from beginning to end. The plot never makes any sense, probably because the show has twice as many writers the average season does and too many cooks spoil the soup, and lacks a total sense of direction too. Things happen because simply happen without rhyme or reason but because Jin Tanaka the horrible head writer willed it this way.
Now there are Cure seasons with bad plots, Max Heart and Smile say hello, but those are redeemed with amazing fights or funny episodes. Sadly we have none of that here. The fights for some reason banned melee attacks in spite of being what makes PreCure stand out among magical girl shows. That means now Cures fought via… shooting whipped cream or ice cream, for example. More on the whole dumb nonsense about sweets later. Needless to say that made battlers boring and repetitive which killed much of the appeal of the franchise. The show realizes it sucks though, since the final battle has the Cures cheat the system and give whipped cream kicks and ice cream punches for whatever reason. Says something the people in charge had to say next season brings backs the physical battles.
Anyway like said before the individual episodes aren’t very good. Like the main plot things happen without any logic, and characters barely evolve. And speaking about the characters are terrible and overall among the worst Cure team ever. First as a whole half the team doesn’t even care about sweets which are the main theme, again this comes later, which makes these three girls stand out the bad way. Also the team is really weak, like damn near every important fight has them get bailed out via random Deus Ex Machina from other characters. They even get saved by Cures from different seasons not once but twice. That’s how bad this gets.
The characters as individuals aren’t much better though. Aside from Himari and Ciel nobody grows one bit, and in fact every Aoi and Akira focus episode is the same as their other focus episodes for neither character has much going. Though that’s better than Yukari’s utterly random growth and character focus. Also boo her random haircut. Finally Ichika for a main heroine barely matters for anything and lacks presence, which kinda sucks. Pekorin and the Elder are horrible mascots and deserve zero words. For the villains Pikario and Bibly are great and more likable than half the main characters which just shows how terrible things get. The other villains are terrible, with the final boss being almost unarguably the worst from the franchise.
Finally the theme of the season is sweets and it’s a really bad theme. They barely do anything special with this except shoehorning sweets everywhere and it looks really childish and random. The season overall feels really childish, like this is for little girls but before adults could enjoy the series too but for some reason now adults are excluded. That makes the series look even weaker.
Overall Kirakira is the worst PreCure season easily. Some episodes and characters are alright and little kids might enjoy this, but except for watching every season this isn’t worth the time. Just wait until the incoming Hugtto starts since that one looks better. And if it isn’t then look forward to one more scathing review.
Oh, how it tried. It’s perhaps best seen by splitting the series in two.
The first half starts out ambitious, before loosing steam. The protagonists motivations seem not entirely logical, the enemies aren’t that interesting or even scary, and frankly, not much really happens. Sure, you get to know all the cures, fairies, and their families a little more in depth than the same span of other seasons, but that’s about the best of it.
But oh, the second half! Everything is deeper, louder, stronger, angrier, and even depressing (in a good way.) There’s a much better villain – or, well, villains. There’s genuine threats. There’s character arcs that are not only relevant to the overall arc, but are also genuinely devastating to the characters, and are entirely unique to this series. The end is as joyous as it is heartbreaking. Needless to say, it’s by far the better half, and unfortunately can’t be understood without the first.
This is where Precure shine, and KiraPre is no exception. There’s wonderful and relatable individual arcs, fantastically realistic friendships – especially conscidering there’s a large age gap between the late-teens Macaron and Chocolat and the other tween cures – but with good character and relationship development, it just all fits.
Whip’s motivation – her love for her mother and baking – make her unique. She’s clumsy like Happy, but quicker to stand up, and continues to improve and become stronger throughout the series. She struggles often, but persists, and this makes her a wonderful protagonist to watch.
Gelato breaks many stereotypes for both Blue cures and the ‘tomboy’. Custard manages to be the epitome of shy yellow cures, while also standing up for herself (and staying an introvert at the end, which is wonderful yet sadly rare.) Macaron is fairly typical of purples, but also brings an unusual element of mental health problems to the table. Chocolat will remind many of Sunshine, but in a much more elegant and confident way. They’re a fantastic cast with far more depths than are generally found in children’s anime.
Parfait is an initially painful addition, and takes over the story almost entirely for her own for a short while, but overall she’s an interesting addition and quite unique as far as Precures go.
KiraPre is a VERY mixed bag on the art front.
Their costumes are fantastic and unique. The movement is impressive. The backgrounds are adorable. The food looks actually delicious. The art style, while not as extreme as Heartcatch, is equally unique and quirky.
Unfortunately, they removed the physical battles iconic of Precure, in favour of ‘whipped cream’… weapons? It’s hard to describe, but it’s pretty average to look at, and they end up using more stock footage than most Precure seasons, which is unfortunate.
The transformation sequences are also very mixed, with some looking gorgeous and others being shorter, awkward looking, and generally underwhelming. The group ‘power up’ scenes in particular suffered quite badly, becoming much flatter looking.
As far as music goes, KiraPre hit the nail on the head.
Shubidubi Sweets Time will go down as the catchiest, most sing-along song in Pretty Cure ED history. It’s an absolute gem.
The OP, other ED, and transformation soundtracks are just as fitting, sparkly, and upfliting as they ought to be. They’re unique to KiraPre, always well scored, and just plain enjoyable.
MAL Score: 7.03
Gudetama, an egg that is dead to the world and completely lacks motivation. No matter what cooking method you use, Gudetama remains unmoved.
The joke is the egg is lazy. It’s not really a joke because it’s not funny. No matter the dish Gudetama is cooked in he doesn’t want to do anything because he is lazy.
Story sucks, character sucks, art work whilst simple and reminiscent of a flash animation is pleasing and the music is fine. Gudetamas voice is annoying but the narrator has a cool voice.
Either way it’s not enjoyable in the slightest IMO. But it’s a short anime so it’s not to much of a time waste.
Now, where it gets bit weird – This is a “show” about talking egg. And it’s very powerful in it’s minimalism. And I relate to that character. Just wow. Just like one becomes truly knowledgeable by realising how much there is to learn this show makes you think about how shitty your life is compared to a goddamn mascot egg.
Is this a real life? What is a meaning of it all?
I don’t know. All I know is that I will feel very sorry about getting scrabled eggs for a breakfast from now on.
Also, Sanrio are mental.
23: Seiyou Kottou Yougashiten: Antique
English: Antique Bakery
Japanese: 西洋骨董洋菓子店 ~アンティーク~
MAL Score: 7.04
A high school crush, a world-class pastry chef, a former middle-weight boxing champion… and a whole lot of cake!
Ono has come a long way since the agonizing day in high school when he confessed his love to handsome Tachibana. Now, some 14 years later Ono, a world-class pastry chef and gay playboy has it all. No man can resist Ono’s charms (or his cooking skills!) but he has just found a new position under a man named Tachibana. Can this be the only man who resisted his charms, and if so, will the man who once snubbed the “magically gay” Ono get his just deserts? And how in the heck did a former middleweight boxing champion wind up as Ono’s cake boy?
STORY – The absurdity of the above summary still surprises me sometimes, but if nothing else, I have to give Antique Bakery props for being unique. The bakery element is pretty original in itself, but I was more impressed to see an easygoing comedy/slice of life-ish series involving mostly-ordinary, adult characters in their thirties. That Tachibana has reoccurring nightmares involving cake is very, very laughable to me, but thankfully, even though that could be considered the main plot of the series, it usually takes a backseat to the everyday shenanigans around the bakery, which I find infinitely more entertaining. I don’t really think the series would have lost much if the kidnapping cake trauma had been left out, honestly, but I suppose that’s one of the few things that makes this series stand out a little, and Tachibana needed some weird kind of reason to quit his well-paying job to start a bakery.
A lot of people label this series shounen-ai, but I really don’t think it is. I mean, yeah, there’s a gay character, but there is no romantic center to the story at all. Ono just happens to be gay — he’s a “magical gay,” but whatever; he has a few one-episode subplots (including, unfortunately, the first episode), but it’s nothing consequential to the rest of the story. Tachibana is insistently straight, so it’s really not that important at all. Antique Bakery wouldn’t be all that different if Ono was closeted or hetereosexual instead. I guess that’s another thing that makes the series unique though — a gay character without a gay subplot.
Beyond the cake, the shenanigans themselves aren’t all that original or of a particularly high quality. They’re passable, but that’s about it.
CHARACTERS – Tachibana is the only vaguely interesting character in the entire series. Though I’ll probably always find the source of his nightmares hilarious, the personality that results is entertaining enough. As a privileged son, Tachibana can pretty much do whatever he wants. He gives no reason for wanting to start a bakery, but those around him accept it. Really, even he doesn’t think much about the half-hearted desire to catch the man who kidnapped him; it stems from his frustration at the gaps in his memory more than any want of vengeance or retribution. I think that lack of hatred towards his tormenter and his general easy come, easy go attitude is what makes Tachibana attractive as a character. Then again, his tormenter tormented him by endlessly feeding him cake.
The rest of the cast is pretty stereotypical. Ono is a flamboyant gay man who has the retardedly cheesy talent of making other men fall for him. Eiji is a simple-minded, ex-boxing champion who really, really loves cake. Chikage is the village idiot. All of them have backstory that’s tossed around to spice up a few episodes, but none of it really interested me since they seemed more like excuses for the characters to be situated in the bakery than anything else. None of them have much in the way of lasting conflict, and none of them change, so at the end of the day, I just don’t care.
ARTSTYLE & ANIMATION – The art style’s pretty generic, and I found the occasional transitions to chibi forms rather jarring. There are also random bursts of flowers and other weird shoujo backdrops, but you kind of get used to it after a while.
The opening animation is pretty original and cute, though I wouldn’t think that “cute” really suits Antique Bakery. The ending animation is much more generic and rather unimpressive. The animation in the series itself surprisingly disappointing. All of the cake and fancy desserts and baked goods in the series are gorgeous, which is appropriate, but that’s about all that’s worth praising, sadly. From afar, the backgrounds don’t look so bad, but closer inspection reveals many of them to be computer-generated and very clunky-looking. The character animation is cheap and flat and the shading is absolutely terrible — I shouldn’t be able to see all the Photoshop brush strokes, seriously. It’s not clean at all. The characters and background don’t integrate at all and the whole thing is just a visual mess. The cakes are pretty, but when they don’t look like they belong in the same scene as everything else, something’s wrong.
MUSIC – I’m not particularly fond of the opening theme. The bouncing, upbeat sound is appropriate for the silliness that encompasses much of the series, but I didn’t really feel as if it fit with the accompanying animation for the opening. The end theme is a bit better though and provides a decent, thoughtful tone for the end of each episode. Despite this though, neither songs are very memorable. Maybe I’m just not a fan of CHEMISTRY? The score for the series is comprised mostly of piano and classical music. As a pianist, I suppose I’m biased, but I really loved the piano tracks in Antique Bakery — for the calmer scenes, they’re very soothing, relaxing and just all around nice to listen to; for the more dramatic scenes, they’re loud and accompanied by urgent violins. Everything fits well.
VOICE ACTING – Pretty average, though I was surprised to find yet another credit to Mamoru Miyano, who does the voice of Eiji. The man has quite the impressive range and portrays his character well without invoking thoughts of the other (rather prominent) roles he’s voiced. I was also pretty fond of Keiji Fujiwara as Tachibana, though it’s easier to spot the similarities in the voice to his other roles.
OVERALL – Antique Bakery is not a great series, and it certainly isn’t for everyone, but it isn’t a complete waste of time either. Really, I don’t think there’s much to say beyond that.
Just the OP sequence alone gets a 10! Because watching this series, it’s pretty obvious they were on a tight budget but that didn’t stop them from putting out what has got to be one of the most original and stylish opening credits I’ve ever seen for an anime. Using little “cardboard cut-outs” of the characters and placing them in a tiny rotating model of the Antique Bakery Shop…is just downright innovative and pretty fucking fierce you gotta admit! Watching it always puts me in a good mood. The ED sequence was also pretty good, I love how they played with the various character images, deconstructing and reconstructing them into little jigsaw puzzle pieces. It all matched the music 100%!
But one thing with the art I do have an issue with, and that’s the choice of colors and the shading style. As much as I appreciate how much they have preserved the original character designs from the manga, I truly felt the coloring was a little too subtle and understated, and also, I wasn’t too impressed with the shading which they seem to rely too heavily on smudging the colors. Artistically, you shouldn’t really use smudging as your primary way for blending colors/shadows because if you use it for everything then aesthetically the work looks “smudgy” dirty or untidy. The smudging technique works great for some shadows or “tan-lines” but that’s about it. Besides that, though I though was awesome was that the backgrounds were all CGI. But I’m still giving the art high marks…because I know they did not have the same budget as….say, Naruto or Inuyasha!
The music is great, I love both the OP and the ED theme songs, it could be because it’s the same song, and the same band but sung differently [I thought that was very cool] It also be because of the art sequences used for each of them, I’m not sure, but I liked the music very much. I watched the show in Japanese audio, which was good.
This is one of the few gay anime series [if not, THE ONLY ONE that I’ve seen] out there that actually offers a good story that’s not entirely about just being a gay man and/or dealing with the stereotypical gay issues. Yes, Oro is an openly gay person [I doubt I’d consider him “flamboyant” as he isn’t walking around in stilettos and butt-less chaps or anything…but he’s a little effeminate] and a few of the episodes do deal with the personal aspects of his life but the entire series was not exclusively dedicated to him and his issues. If you have ever watched Gravitation [which I also liked] then you will understand what I meant. Gravitation was very much about just being gay, at least a good chunk of the story is only about Suuichi and Yuki and them being gay men or whatever…and I found it tiresome sometimes. Yuki’s story, about him killing someone when he was a kid [seemed a lot more interesting] and even Suuichi’s singing career all seemed secondary and incidental compared to the OVERWHELIMINGLY gay theme.
With Antique Bakery, the gayness is not the main story,…it’s actually one side story, the main story is revolves around Keichiro Tachibana, his insistence in opening up a pastry shoppe and the surrounding traumas behind his mysterious kidnapping over 23 years ago.
This is a wonderful story that’s being told really well with a lot of humor, the time flies by and you’re never left wondering what is the point of the show…and “why are you watching it?” Which is the way I’ve been feeling about a lot of anime shows lately.
I love a small cast! I love the intimacy between the characters. I like being able to fully appreciate each person that’s introduced to me and you can only get that with a small cast. Especially if it’s a 13 episode series, you can’t afford to have a large cast because you won’t fully develop the characters into believable personalities. Baccano! was a great anime with a very LARGE cast, however each character demonstrated only one side to their personality as if each character represented a particular emotion [and somehow it worked for that anime] but on the average a large cast in a 13 episode series usually spells disaster as far as character development is concerned. With Antique Bakery we get to fully enjoy all for main characters and their histories. With a small 4 person cast like this I can’t pick a favorite because they all held a special importance and they each have something I like very much. The only gripe I have, as I have said in the Art-Section is that I think the designs were fabulous but the color and shading choices were not right. With a cake shoppe you want colors to be vivid [which the did for the desserts and the background] but the characters were washed out looking.
I first came across this title from the movie of the same title…and it was a great movie! Very funny and romantic with very nice F/X. The series is just as funny and endearing and I do like how they play with the backgrounds to convey a character’s emotions. I recommend everyone to check out the movie if they love the anime…the move is awesome!
This, in my opinion, is the best shounen-ai anime title out there by far! It’s two closest competitors “Gravitation” is kinda childish and “Loveless” which seems to have an awesome story but is incomplete. every other shounen-ai title I’ve seen is just very silly and not worth mentioning. Which is sad because there are some pretty good shounen-ai mangas out there.
22: Mister Ajikko
MAL Score: 7.07
Ajiyoshi Yoichi is a culinary prodigy who manages the eating house together with his mother. One day, Murata Genjiro appears in the eating house and is surprised at the delicious taste and delicate culinary skills of the katsu-don prepared by Youichi. Subsequently, Youichi is being invited to the Aji-oh Building in which he is involved in a spaghetti match with the in-house Italian chef, Marui. Youichi’s novel culinary ideas, coupled with his enthusiasm of serving the best for his guests, allow him to defeat Marui in the match. From then on, Youichi begins to compete with other rivals in the race for the best tastes and dishes.
Story: Youichi – a young boy who is an exceptional as well as self-confident cook and takes pride in his cooking – encounters chefs and cooking personalities and competes with them.
The plot in its basic lines is not so different from other well known examples of its genre. Like Mao in Chuuka Ichiban, the protagonist is young and very talented (Also there is a secondary cooking society that is not all that great, like the underground cooking society). He is as intuitive and innovative as Azuma in Yakitate Japan, and he has failures like Ichigo from Yumeiro Patissiere.
What I appreciated the most was that the focus stayed on cooking unlike those. As much as I loved watching all three, cooking respectively baking became a sub plot in second parts of those. There was the legendary cooking wares for Cooking Master Boy, Henri Sensei’s weird baking village for Yumeiro Patissiere and seriously senseless competition for Yakitate Japan.
While there is enough sub-plot going on in Mister Ajikko, it does not overwhelm the main plot-thread of the anime. Cooking. I also appreciated that the anime was not time frozen. Between the beginning and the end of the anime one can visibly discern the physical growth of characters as well as their emotional growth. The cuisine is not limited to Japanese either. Eatery from all over the taste-board comes into play.
Art: The art is easy on the eye but you will not find any Bishounen or Bishoujo here. I can’t exactly explain why, but it reminded me of comic-strips. Maybe because the “Characters” seemed to be drawn according to their characters. Some were adorably drawn, some outright funny. Facit the art is very likable and pays careful attention to characteristic details.
Sound: There is no OST to speak of. The mood makers reminded me of the hits of late 80’s. Especially one. It almost sounded like a rip off “Jeanny” from Falco. The cast is vast, even if we just consider the copious amount of competitors for Youichi, but the seiyuu’s do an excellent job, bringing all these characters into life with their voice acting.
Characters: The characters are very likeable. They are not perfect but their imperfection gives them room for development which helps the story.
Enjoyment: It was thoroughly enjoyable. The characters, the story, the art and not to mention the recipes. You laugh and smile and then there are times you are sad and nostalgic. But the single most amazing thing about this anime is this: The manga ran from 1986 to 1989 and the anime from 1987 to 1989.
-almost 10 years before Chuuka Ichiban,
-almost 20 years before Yakitate Japan
-and more than 20 years before Yumeiro Patissierre.
Just take a second and let this fact sink in.
Yet neither the characters and their mannerisms and dialogs, nor the plot, not even the recipes and equipment seem so much outdated that you think that you are watching a piece of history. Some parts might seem and feel familiar to you because you recognize other anime in them one but this one is THE ORIGINAL that has been ripped off.
If you are fluent in Japanese language, anime gods are smiling down on you. If you are dependent on subtitles to understand it, then the level of your enjoyment is heavily tied to your sense of humor. The following is completely my guess work, so I can’t vouch for anything but I think, this was translated from Chinese dubs via an automatic online translator into English. Just to give you a taste and also prepare you what is waiting for you, if you chose to watch this with subs, here is an excerpt from episode 8 and 9:
-The piquancy disappears, but it’s still delicious…
-The betel succus tastes delicious but it’ll make the beef cool….
-Yeah, the turnip slob is gelid so the cook can bring down a fever quickly
-If Youichi won’t attend, for us,the match isn’t meaning.
-Your heeler is a cat in the pan.
-Yolk also wiped out piquancy of white turnip slurry.
-And just odour could keep. Burdening chestnut…
-Because it has been patched with garlic, so it isn’t sweet bit it is crisp. As long as you put the beef on it, you can eat the reeky beefsteak!
-In order to let the eater can enjoy the reeky meat at last, he made especial efforts! And it moved me consumingly!}
I have to admit, it took me some tries to finally be able to watch it. I couldn’t get past the third episode because the subs drove me almost to insanity. I don’t know when but at some point I realized I was already at episode 23 and the subs -even though, I still detested them – bothered me a lot less than they used to. Please let me assure you, my reason to have kept coming back to this anime despite the subs, wasn’t some otaku-stubbornness, that I just had to watch this anime because I started it or because it was the first cooking anime or anything like it. It’s simply that the anime was just that good, that it made me come back despite the very exhausting, draining and annoying subs.
I sincerely hope a fansub group gives this anime a little love and care because I am certain it will be appreciated my many. But even if not, Mister Ajikko is still worth a try. It is fun and funny to watch with a lot of delicious recipes!
The characters in this anime are very slow at character development, as the mc always comes up with ideas after trying out different ingredients. Basically the show is slow pasted, and character development is trash in this anime. The story is basically Shokugeki, if the dad died instead of the mother.
Since this was the first cooking anime, shokugeki definitely copied the character stories from this anime, as well as making the mc OP at the start.
Similarities in shokugek no Soma:
– Both have a running store
– Cooking ability came from their fathers
– 1 parent dies
– Both characters like experimenting with other ingredients ti make the food taste better
– Exaggeration is used in both anime when food is eaten
– Basically each cook off is a shokugeki. Both participants of the cookoffs always make an agreement if one looses
Overall the anime is alright, and its highly recommended if you either like Shokugeki no Soma or cooking in general
21: Dae Jang Geum: Jang Geum’s Dream 2
MAL Score: 7.19
Second season of Jang Geum’s Dream.
20: Moyashimon Returns
Japanese: もやしもん リターンズ
MAL Score: 7.21
In the second season the story continues exactly where it left off previously. Professor Itsuki’s Fermentation Cellar and laboratory is ready for operation and with Sawaki Tadayasu’s unique gift to see and communicate with microbes to help, Itsuki’s motley group of students begin to process different fermented products like soy sauce and sake.
The first series of Moyashimon took place at an agricultural university and centred around a first year student named Sawaki Tadayasu, after arriving he is taken under the wing of the eccentric professor Itsuki Keizo after he discovers Sawaki has a special gift: that he can see all kinds of microbes, Not only that, but they dont look scientifically accurate but instead like cute chibi creatures with smart mouths. Throw in two degenerate but likeable losers, a cross dressing best friend, a dominatrix like girl and some good writing and you have Moyashimon, a simple and weird yet highly enjoyable anw ime that while not very successful and gathered something of a cult status.
So many years later with the studios all out of new ideas they decided to give it another season, this of course having nothing to do with the massive success of Arakawa Hiromu`s (Full metal alchemist) new manga Gin no saji (silver spoon) which is also set in an agricultural university, yep their completely unrelated, just a coincidence…
So anyway what went so terribly wrong with this sequel you ask, well to understand that you have to know a little of what was so good about the original. The first series was no masterpiece, it was no emotional roller-coaster that took you to far of worlds but what it was, was a quirky, fun imaginative series that was highly original in climate of rip offs and carbon copies. The story knew exactly what it was, a weird and humorous tale of a bunch of losers and rejects learning about microbes from a man who may or may not be insane and all the wacky hijinks that this in-tales. The characters where likeable and given just enough depth to make them relatable and for us to care about them but never so much that it ruined the comedy or messes with the tone of what is a pretty silly series.
Then this series came along and right of the bat I knew something was wrong, for some reason they started this like it was just another episode of the first season, despite the fact that the original aired 5 years ago, they just jumped right in without taking any time to set up what the hells going on or whose who, if your new to this or haven’t seen the original in a while then your fucked plain and simple. Then as the first few episodes go by the problems start to emerge, they somehow thought it would be a good idea to remove the humour from this series and replace it with, well nothing, and then have some stupid sub plot about the professor having a secret room and have one of the female characters try to find it because she doesn’t like it when people keep things from her, for some reason, even though shes keeping things from other people all the while the main character does nothing except utter awkward dialogue but it okay because the story goes nowhere and is devoid of any humour or life, oh wait thats bad. Everything about this series feel rushed and like it was trying to appeal to mainstream audiences by removing all the quirkiness that made the first series so good. Also for some reason Sawaki the main character is ignored for much of this series, I mean I know he wasn’t the strongest main character in the first season but at least the story followed him, as it should hes the main, but in this it follows everyone but him giving him and in turn the story this bland feeling that seems to emulate from the whole series.
Then the dumbest thing ever happens one of the characters Hasegawa is forced to go to Paris by her rich father to wed a child-hood friend against her will, so the guys gather up some money and try to rescue her from her forced marriage. Do I even need to explain whats wrong with this, how did we get from a weird and fun series about microbes to serious drama and running trough france trying to stop a woman from getting married, a women who constantly complains about being a “bird in a cage” while she drives in a limousine through the French country side, yeah life’s really been a bitch to you, watch you dont hit any peasants on your way out, bitch.
Its amazing that they didnt realise that you cant have serious drama mixed with a comedy about a guy who can see microbes , okay writers, those dont mix, they just fuck with the tone and make things awkward, right got it, moving on. So next the even more dumbest thing ever happens they introduce a character called marie who`s father owns a winery, everything about this character is pointless, badly written and just distracts from the story. For some reason it goes to great lengths to tell us about her problems which despite like 3 episodes or something mentioning it I still don’t quite know what the hell she was moaning about, something about her father or wine or who gives a fuck, literally why did they think this would be interesting to people who enjoyed the first season or anyone for that matter. Half this series is wasted in a pointless sub plots and mindbogglingly strange decisions with the story and the other half is just unfunny, rushed and poorly written, damn even the editing was jarring and getting on my nerves did this series do anything right except, with the microbes of course they still fun.
I mean how much more could you possible fuck up the second series than this one did, all the jokes what little there are suck, the characters are flat with the life and uniqueness from the first season sucked out of each, the story is a confused mess that skids all over the place and feels nothing like the light hearted, creative series that I so enjoyed, the main characters does nothing while boring side characters that we dont give a shit about whine and complain about stuff we also don’t give a shit about. It a mess plain and simple, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, fans of the original stay away, everyone else just ignore this and watch the original.
The Moyashimon series is probably one of the most under looked anime out there. I mean if you read the synopsis it basically says it’s a anime about a college student who has the gift to see microbes. I mean who wouldn’t look the other way if it’s about a man who can see microbes and goes to an agricultural school. I see why people look down on this anime because it doesn’t seem very exciting. But I gave it a try and was surprised by the outcome.
It’s about a college student who has the gift to see microbes and he attends a agricultural university, which is just chalk full of microbes. Moyashimon Returns picks up where the 1st season left off. At first glance the story seems bland, but it’s actually pretty funny how these characters get into crazy situations. It certainly is an original story, but it doesn’t really appeal to many people, and is a reason why this anime is under looked.
The art in this anime is basic. There’s nothing to fancy about it either. I do have to say the art from season 1 and season 2 changed, I personally think the 2nd season art had slightly better art quality. Overall, the art doesn’t really stand out, but it’s good enough art to make you keep watching.
There’s not much to say about sound. The anime opening and ending are actually really good! They are simple, calming, and cute to watch. It definitely gives a boost to the score!
The characters of the story are pretty basic, normal everyday college students. The good thing is that they all have their unique personalities that add onto their character persona. When the characters are together, it is really funny and entertaining sometimes seeing the situations they get into.
This show is actually really funny! I definitely enjoyed the comedy a lot! I think the 1st season was funnier than Moyashimon Returns, but this one was pretty hilarious none the less. People say it gets boring sometimes, and sadly yeah it sometimes does. The comedy, characters, originality, the supernatural element and the little bits of drama, are what makes this show enjoyable.
Listen guys, I personally enjoyed this show and a 7 is a relatively high score. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” because honestly this show is worth trying out. If you don’t like it that’s fine, but it can be really enjoyable for someone else. This anime is definitely under estimated and tossed aside just because it isn’t as exciting as some shounen series. Personally, this anime is very enjoyable if you have the time to watch and it’s sad to see a pretty good series overshadowed by other ones.
Thank you for reading till the end. Give me your feedback by liking or disliking, or by even leaving a comment on my profile.
First time reviewing so here it goes:
Continues right where it left off which that in itself seems…off. Sawaki’s focus was taken away and was replaced by I’m not sure what. The story just seemed like two minor stories that just barely ended in a satisfying way. It wasn’t horrible perse, but it was definitely mediocre-feeling in comparison to the 1st season.
Still consistent art style. Saturated coloring and distinguishable character design. Oddly enough, I had trouble distinguishing Mutou though. I didn’t realize she was such a drinker as well. She lost her tan o.o;; Their clothes kept changing as well which in theory can be seen both a good or bad way -shrugs-
Still fun music and all that. Though not in comparison to the 1st season. ClariS was used for the opening. Which I felt was too light-hearted/girly and not suitable for the series…but then again, for a sequel that seems to focus more on the women? Sure. Enjoyed the ending song though. Went great with the series and arguably could go with the 1st season if it wanted to.
Seriously, what happened? What happened to their quirks? If you’re starting off from where you left off, at least stay consistent to their personalities. It needed an OOMPH. It wasn’t exactly there.
Eh, I admit I got somewhat bored in the middle, but I stuck with it. If my attention span was worse, it’ll be debatable if I dropped the series completely. Though I’m not one to drop a series so quickly, especially for a 11-episode one. It’s still fun, but it lost some spark.
I came with expectations for a great series. It sorta fell flat. But I finished and I’m eh, lukewarm about it. Thank gawd for the microbes. They were the most fun of the series. Still the same more or less.
19: Dae Jang Geum: Jang Geum’s Dream
MAL Score: 7.22
Story is about the girl Jang Geum who wants to be a cook. She gets accepted as a palace servant. Clever and cheerful Jang Geum quickly finds friends. But all to soon she encounters intrigue and corruption.
A Korean/Japanese joint production.
Let’s start with the story. JUST LET ME TELL YOU: It’s not all about COOKING, this anime is more than that, and I freely recommend it to boys and girls.
The story is about Jang Geum and her adventures in the Emperor’s Palace, cooking delicious food, and making people happy with it. She’s talented and smart, friendly and cheerful making good friends.
But that’s not all! Jang Geum is a girl with courage and this is a reason for big problems…
As the story goes on, you’ll discover more and more information about the characters – their story and personality. They’re all unique, and I’m sure you’ll love it!
It’s a Korean-Japanese anime, so the art is different. It could be better in my opinion, but it’s very good just the way it is. But the art goes better in the episodes, so you don’t have to worry about it!
I would give it 10, but if it was just the original Korean opening and ending. The Japanese original ending and opening, in my opinion are just pointless.
Every character, as I said is unique! They all have their own story and great personality, and this is a big plus for the show.
I really enjoyed watching Jang Geum’s dream. It has great story, art, sound and most important for me – characters. It was worth watching it!
I think you really have to watch it, because you’ll see great stuff!
This anime is literally a cultural ride through feudal Korea. From the art concepts to the music, the anime allows you to fully immerse into the era in which Janggeum lives.
The story and the character development in this anime are both pretty solid. You definitely see the MC and the other supporting characters grow by the end of the show. Surprisingly enough, there wasn’t a time where I felt that a characteristic of the show was being played out. I would agree though that it seemed like the MC had continuous bad luck when she needed it most but I felt it was tolerable. The plot changed where it was supposed to and for the most part, the show wasn’t totally predictable.
Overall, I enjoyed this anime and would suggest it to someone who was looking for a relaxed, yet good story.
The animation is great too. Although you can tell it differs from the norm anime. It has korean style. Witch isn’t bad, it’s refreshing. I also think the music is adorable. It has a very good story.
Japanese: ベン トー
MAL Score: 7.24
The supermarket is an important building in any city, for they provide a convenient way to purchase a variety of food in a family-friendly, safe environment. However, these stores changes in the blink of an eye once the unsold bento boxes go on their nightly half-off sales! War breaks out and friends become foes as each person fights for honor, pride, and dinner. There are no longer any people in these supermarkets, only Wolves and Dogs?—winners and losers.
High schooler You Satou is painfully introduced to these battles after unknowingly stumbling into the war zone, but instead of choosing to avoid these nightly fights, he wants to join in. After seeing Satou’s lack of fighting skills, upperclassman and Wolf Sen Yarizui invites him and Hana Oshiroi, a girl who enjoys spectating the brawls, to join her Half-Priced Food Lovers Club to show them the distinction between the Dogs and the Wolves. Together, they learn what it truly means to fight for your food.
Now it may sound as though that whole paragraph is nothing more than a flowery representation of Ben-Tou, Asuara’s light novel series (and its anime and manga adaptations), about Satou You, a highschool student who unwittingly becomes embroiled in an all-out brawl between people wanting half-price ready meals, but that’s actually incorrect. Surprisingly, it’s more akin to the reality of discount shopping than most people think, but while there’s generally a lot of shoving, actual combat is … uncommon.
Ben-Tou has a relatively simple storyline that isn’t encumbered with complex philosophical questions or existential uncertainties. The plot is straightforward, but very typically shounen in its repetitiveness and predictability, which may explain why there are attempts towards the end of the series to add a layer of depth to the narrative. Unfortunately it doesn’t really work as the show spends too much time trying to be funny, justifying all out brawls in grocery stores (which never seem to attract the attention of the police), and servicing hormone crazed teenagers.
The sad thing is that Ben-Tou has potential as a concept, but when it comes to execution the author, and then everyone else, seem to have left their artistic sensibilities by the wayside. There are some genuinely good flashes of inspiration in the narrative that come about because of the fact that each territory is “ruled” by the strongest fighter (or “wolf”), in that area. Sadly these sparks of inspiration never really amount to anything, and the anime becomes little more than a parade of characters, brawls, inane comedy and pointless fanservice.
Given that this is supposed to be an action anime, one would assume that the emphasis would be on making the combat scenes look good, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. The characters are decent enough, but the reliance on stereotypes can make some viewers think that the designers lacked imagination. In addition to that, the settings for many of the show’s fight scenes are grocery stores, so it’s remarkable that the post-battle shop floors remain unscathed. The animation quality is fairly reasonable, but it’s not up to the standard that David Production are capable of (they made Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra), and the series can sometimes look like a rush job (which may explain the unusual postures and the odd jumps and glitches).
The opening sequence features the song “Live for Life: Ōkamitachi no Yoru” by Manami, an upbeat rock song set against a backdrop of character introductions, action and fanservice that make a surprisingly accurate presentation of the show’s content. There’s also an additional introduction for episode four that focuses on Shaga Ayame while “Treasure” by Kato Emiri plays out in the background. The melodic ballad used for the ending theme, “Egao no Housoku” by Ise Mariya, serves as a nice counterpoint to each episode, and the rather placid sequence fits well with the idea that it’s a post-battle scene.
As for the rest of the music, although the series is well served in the variety of pieces on offer, the usage of particular tracks can seem a little repetitive.
Ben-Tou likes to wear its shounen heart on its sleeve, so the dialogue is filled with juvenile sentiment and lots of shouting. Like almost every other action/harem/comedy/fanservice anime out there, the script is a little too reliant on familiarity with the genre, but within that there are a few decent little deviations from the norm (mainly about fighting for discounted food). Unfortunately the acting is pretty much what one would expect from this type of show – lots of effort and not much actual skill, but maybe that’s to be expected. The four leads have little experience with serious roles, which isn’t an indictment of their abilities, but rather an observation about the anime industry’s propensity for churning out mediocre titles that cater to the minority of fans.
Seriously, stop wasting talent. It’s too hard to come by.
In true shounen fashion the characters are about as one-dimensional as they come, and there’s very little in the way of refinement throughout the series. That said, the main focus of the story isn’t to develop each person, but rather to put them in situations where the warrior mentality can be prominently displayed. Unfortunately it doesn’t work out that way as Ben-Tou is a veritable who’s who of stereotypes, and pretty much every trait and personality associated with genre are on display, especially the wishy-washy lead male – Satou You. The problem is that viewers may become too familiar with a character’s behaviour outside of combat, so watching them fight can often raise several questions, the main one being why does someone who is supposedly capable keep getting slapped around by Shiraume Ume.
Like many harem lead males, Satou You seems to be a bit of a masochist.
As a concept, Ben-Tou has some merit, but somewhere along the way a decision was made to try and appeal to a specific fanbase, and that’s what ultimately lets the show down. The addition of multiple love-interests, inane comedy, innuendo and fanservice seem tacky at best, and can often feel more like hasty additions to the plot. Although there is some entertainment value in the series, this is mainly due to the fact that audiences can watch this as though it was a half-decent action movie.
The truth is that Ben-Tou could have held up a mirror to the real-life tribulations of discount shopping, but sadly the show fails to realise its potential because it tries too hard to jump on the harem/comedy bandwagon, and this gets in the way of it being a true parody.
How does a show deliver such greatness that cannot be matched by other action shows? The answer is simple: Ben-To knows its place as an over-the-top parody work. Most shows suffer from being blatant copies of each other and turn bland by the time the second episode pops up. However, every single episode of Ben-To is simmered, well-roasted, and served with refreshments.
The show’s main appeal is its dramatic fighting sequences and Production David does well. Do not fear the “absurd” premise. In shopping malls, it is a well-known fact that discounted goods are pretty much fought over; Ben-To just takes it into account and increases the fighting factor. The ridiculous over-the-top action scenes are rendered and always intense; not even a typical pool episode can hinder the awesomeness of punching people’s stomachs for the sake of an unagi don bento. Speed lines are used graciously and the action can be seen easily due to the presentation it is drawn, the OP being a great example.
Do not also be let down by the huge amount of cliches and archetypes; this is a parody of action shows. You have the Rei Ayanami clone, the perverted ordinary high school student, a perverted girl, and more. However, what Ben-To does is something spectacular: it plays with the tropes and archetypes and puts it into the most awesome setting of all, a supermarket. There is a lot of interesting twists into an archetype, trope, and setting that is admirable in creative standards; it is very rare to see a work so understanding and playful of its tropes and Ben-To does it well.
Yet, this work is tainted by the huge amount of fanservice. Most of the characters are females with noticeable cleavage and this can be distracting and sexist to many. I have trouble liking Oshiroi’s character sometimes as all she does is make sexual innuendos. It is problematic that the action clashes with the fanservice in many times.
The OPs are beautifully animated and highlight the show’s distinctive features. “Live for Life” is a catchy, irresistible theme song that I hum every time I remember Ben-To. The background music is pretty wacky and cool at times, showing the effort done in the sound department. All of the seiyuus sound about right, though there isn’t anyone who did a spectacular job.
The reasons that you may not watch this show become the reason you will watch the show. Its ingredient list can be skeptical at first, but it is godly. The show is more addictive than Dr. Pepper and tastier than Kettle potato chips.
Why are you waiting in line at the restaurant? Go to your nearest supermarket today and grab a bento.
As always, my reviews are spoiler free.
But there isn’t a whole lot to spoil here. When I first saw this series on the coming-season chart, I laughed at the ridiculous premise. Just read the description! Teams of high school students fighting over discounted groceries, all while following some sort of highly regarded honor code? “This show has to be absolutely mindless,” I thought. It is. But that’s okay, because Ben-To is completely self-aware. It knows you didn’t come here for the plot. You came to be entertained. And you shall be entertained.
Story – 5/10
As you would expect, the story is an absolute trainwreck. To put it briefly, at certain time in a certain convenience store, a special sticker is placed on food to mark it as discounted. Logically, there are dozens of people, waiting like vultures, to swoop in and beat each other senseless to save a few yen (sounds a bit like Black Friday, but I digress). There are leaders in these battles, such as Sen “Ice Witch” Yarizui, the president of the “Half-Price Food Lover’s Club” that You Satou, the MC, happens to join. These leaders battle it out, claiming the sticker as a trophy of their victory. Those who fight with honor and abide by the rules of bento brawling are given the title of “Wolves.”
This is about as bad as a story can get. The reason it gets an “average” 5 is because it is able to build a complex system around this idiotic premise, a system which happens to be interesting and funny at the same time. The customs, titles, everything about it has been thought out to an unnecessary level of detail. Really, this is as much a comedy as it is an action series.
Animation – 7/10
Ben-to is surprisingly well animated. The fight scenes are choreographed well, and there is a large variety of character models which each get their own style. There is a significant amount of blatant fanservice, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Sound – 4/10
It has a pretty bad sound track consisting of several background convenience store songs and corny action music. I have no complaints about the voice cast. I don’t put much weight into this category anyway.
Characters – 6/10
If you like cheeesy, over the top characters, you came to the right place. While the main character resembles Harem Protagonist #652, nearly every other character is highly entertaining (if shallow). You have the cold, calculating Ice Queen, the formidable “Kyou” sisters, the incredibly violent lesbian Ume who is constantly after Hana, who only joined the Half-Price Food Lover’s Club because she wanted material for her yaoi muscleman fanfics. Lastly we have Shaga, who is one of the main fanservice magnets, and while the other girls were by no means left constantly covered, I felt she was the main source of the series’ tissue material.
Enjoyment – 8/10
Let me compare Ben-to to junk food. It’s bad for you, has no real value, and you know deep down you shouldn’t like it. However, that never stopped me from loving every bite of this anime. If you can sit down and turn off your brain for a bit, I promise it will leave a smile on your drooling, vegetative face.
My brain is too numb for thoughts, but I will leave you with a quote. “To the winners go glory and half-priced bento! — Ayame Shaga”
17: Shokugeki no Souma: Gou no Sara
English: Food Wars! The Fifth Plate
Japanese: 食戟のソーマ 豪ノ皿
MAL Score: 7.33
Thanks to Souma Yukihira, Erina Nakiri, and the rebel forces overthrowing the regime of Azami Nakiri—the previous school director—and the former Elite Ten, Tootsuki Culinary Academy is back in order. However, its students have one more great battle ahead of them: the BLUE, a competition where young chefs seeking world-class fame compete. Faced with new trials and rivals, Souma and his friends will fight to conquer the BLUE and to defeat Asahi Saiba, the leader of an underworld organization of chefs known as Noir, who once defeated Souma and his father in a Shokugeki.
Production wise, you can definitely tell JC staff started to rely on the established name of SnS instead of actually putting a lot of effort into the show. The panning camera shots, off model characters and other quality control issues are not a huge deal to me, because I personally watch things for the story and how they make me feel rather than as an art critic, but they do exist and are noticeable. I also could feel that pacing was very rushed especially in the final half of the season. It felt like the Shokgeki’s were on 2.5x speed and the detail and educational bits that we’re accustomed to seeing were just not there anymore. It felt like they instead transitioned to relying on the girls getting naked as our sole source of entertainment during shokugeki’s. I was able to overlook this because I’m easy to please, you may not be.
Overall, you can definitely see a dip in quality from SnS season 1 to season 5. It’s gradual, it’s painful and it’s pretty sad because of how well done season 1-3 were. But, it is it the sad reality of ongoing shows. You either die the hero or live long enough to see yourself become Food Wars Season 5. The anime original ending wasn’t bad to me, but it wasn’t great like how I felt at the end of Totsuki Train either. I was still left wanting more. Despite all the flaws, I still love the series and enjoyed this a lot even with its issues. Shokugeki no Soma Gou no Sara gets 7 foodgasms out of 10 from me.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
This is the first time I have ever given a 1 to a story, this season of food wars throws out literally everything the series built up and cherished. Soma and his dad’s rivalry being built up? Doesn’t matter since Soma’s father loses off screen to some edge lord teenage version of Nakiri’s dad, who happens to have the cooking equivalent of Sharingan. The competitions being legitimate measures of a student being able to run a restaurant? It’s all about game show theater now with chefs bringing in actual chainsaws, motorcycles and goddam explosives into the kitchen.
Noir as the antagonists pretty much made the entire season unbearable, the moment the black KKK robe wearing gang showed up I genuinely lost any ability to continue taking this show seriously, it was simply too comical, I don’t know how the mangaka actually thought that look was supposed to be cool or intimidating. I don’t care about them, I cant even try to understand their motivations, and the entire concept of criminal cooks seems like poorly written fanfiction. Elite chefs who work for Mafia and such, don’t cook with chainsaws, they cook the way a regular chef would using regular kitchen tools. The author who used to at least try to get his series grounded in reality threw out everything and completely destroyed any suspension of disbelief.
The art style is very basic, in fact it might be the peak JC staff Power Point, even the opening consists of cut out characters, colored manga panels, and recycled movement. Its actually jarring to compare the art in this season to that of the first season, the difference in animation, the gorgeous backgrounds and mental imagery, and the overall change for the worse in even the foodgasms. Absolutely every aspect of the art in this series has faced a decline, there are no redeeming factors, and if not for the fact that I have seen even worse declines this year like Deen taking over the third season of a certain shonen series, I would have given the art a 1 as well.
The sound: 5
Its passable, I would write more but realistically there isn’t much to write here. The sound is extremely forgettable, generic sound effects, generic dramatic background music, reuse of the old soundtrack many times, forgettable OP. Overall its just passable sound, its not bad enough to be remembered, and not good enough to be noteworthy.
Jobbing is a common trope in any battle themed form of entertainment, be it pro wrestling or shonen manga, it occurs to hype up new threats. However there is a good way to job and a poor way to do it, having all the fan favorite characters completely annihilated by Noir with no redemption or come back arc is among the worst ways to go about it. Remember what an amazing chef Yukihira’s dad was? Well he gets beaten off screen even before Asahi managed to get more cooking skills with his food copy ability. Remember the previous seasons top rival chef Tsusaka? He gets unceremoniously beaten without even managing to beat a single noir chef. Tadakoro got some respect but was reduced to her usually damsel role after Asahi tears her apart with ease. Overall the complete ruination and downplay of all the characters built up through the series in the final competition by complete outsiders, have utterly destroyed any enjoyment of the characters I had. It also doesn’t help that the majority of the coolest characters, did not even show up for the competition but just as spectators, and that Erina had all her character progress thrown out the window. Overall, the fans of this series will be very disappointed by the jobbing, the out of character behavior, and the overall cutting out of fan favorite characters in this final season.
I did not enjoy this season, I don’t see fans of the series enjoying this season either. It feels like the prior season is where the series should have ended, and that this season was an unwanted arc written by a mangaka who genuinely wanted to torpedo their own story to end it.
This wasn’t a particularly good show, in fact it was probably among the worst things I have seen this year, a 4 is the lowest score I give to anime. I only give a 4 to animes that I absolutely despise and think are hot trash, the only reason this even gets a generous 4 is because it had some decent cooking reaction scenes and because the show was watchable to the end.
Many have been waiting to see the 5th season and the pandemic made this wait even more impossible to put up with. However, was it worth it? I do not know. It does not feel like Food Wars anymore. Just a season ago, Souma was not the member of the Elite Ten; things were different. The new season could have focused more on the life of the new members of the council; however, the only thing it does is jumping from one event to another, without giving the viewer enough time to enjoy the series, which makes this season somewhat rushed, to say the least.
What I mean is that the anime introduces a group of supposedly French underworld chefs called Noir, which is French for ‘black.’ They immediately become the main ‘villains’ of the 5th season. Do not get me wrong, I have nothing against Noir. The problem, however, is their leader, who is so far one of the worst characters of Food Wars, because it is simply beyond obvious who he is, what he tries to achieve and why. Anyways, I am sorry for destroying your hopes for seeing Yukihira Souma’s father as the last boss. He is no longer shown as one of the best, something that 4 seasons of Food Wars have been doing. Yukihira Jouichirou is not the only problem for me to mention, he, just like many of the supporting characters are quickly forgotten; the new season does not care about giving all the characters, including the supporting characters enough love and this is very easy to notice.
Needless to say, the new season suddenly changes many characters, without explaining anything for the viewer to understand these sudden changes that appear ‘out of nowhere.’ Take for example Erina Nakiri. She suffers the same fate as the father of Souma, she is not that amazing genius that could make a masterpiece out of nothing and a chef from a simple amateur anymore. Funny thing is that Erina is not the only example of this ‘sudden character change’ and there are other reasons for me to say that, but they will be for you to find out.
And there you have it, Food Wars! The Fifth Plate. The season, where everything is simply beyond obvious and it makes this season boring, somewhat lazy, careless and inattentive to the important details. Tsukasa Eishi is an excellent example of how characters should look like, it is visible the moment you see him that Tsukuda Yuuto did everything to make him look like a chef. His passion for cooking is very understandable, because all he can do in life is cooking. Now compare him to Saiba Asahi. It just feels as if Tsukasa Eishi’s character was written within a week and Saiba Asahi within a day.
On this positive note, it does not mean that you will not appreciate the 5th season. If you are a fan, do not listen to what other people have to say, including my review, of course. I am a fan of Food Wars, I loved and still love the first seasons, however, I failed to enjoy the 5th season, because of the fact that it is way too obvious from the very beginning: you know what it is going to be about, you know everything about the main villain of the season the moment you see him and this makes it boring; there is no mystery.
With that being said,
16: Ristorante Paradiso
English: Ristorante Paradiso
MAL Score: 7.35
When Nicoletta was a little girl, her mother, Olga, abandoned her and ran off to Rome to remarry. Now, 15 years later and a young woman, she travels to Rome with the intention of ruining her mother’s life. She tracks Olga down to a restaurant called Casetta dell’Orso, but the second Nicoletta steps through its door, everything changes. It’s a peculiar place staffed entirely by mature gentlemen wearing spectacles, and like their clientele, she is helpless against their wise smiles and warm voices. Before Nicoletta realizes it, her plans for vengeance start to fade, and she’s swept up in the sweet romance of everyday Italian life.
(Source: Right Stuf)
Anyway, if you don’t like slow-paced, quiet shows, and dislike works without much action, then Ristorante Paradiso will surely disappoint you. It’s a story for people who like the quieter, more peaceful side of life and anime.
Ristorante Paradiso is all about a restaurant, somewhere in Rome, with its employess consisting of lots of aged men with glasses. Then, enter Nicoletta into the picture, and the restaurant’s never the same again. Don’t get me wrong though. The show has this quiet atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re at the restaurant as well, eating its delicious delicacies.
Old people ahoy! The anime’s full of the art consisting of old people’s faces. It defies the usual standard that you need a sexy/moe/whatever type of character design for the anime to work. Anyway, the art is okay, with its dreamy-like colors and all. But the food! They drew it well!
Listen to the opening song and agree with me: the music is well-thought of. It meshed well with the overall theme of the anime: slow-paced slice-of-life. The background music gets it right with the scenes.
Ristorante Paradiso’s working point is its characters. Each one of them (from the weird Gigi to the old Luciano) has a story of their own, and it worked well with the overall feel. From the beginning, you’d wonder what kind of people works at the restaurant; don’t worry, everyone will be focused on.
I really enjoyed watching this. The combination of the setting (Rome), characters, and good food, makes this show worthwhile. But, as I’ve said, it’s for people who enjoys quiet anime, so it really depends on your preference if you’ll enjoy this or not.
Can’t say much more; it made my day. Imperfect, yes, but it is a worthy slice-of-life anime, so go try it. Contrary to the common belief, it’s not shoujo; it’s josei, intended for an older, more mature audience. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but you’ll appreciate it more if you’re old enough to understand how elder people’s minds works. And, this anime’s not limited to women. Men can appreciate it as well.
This is not a anime for people who like fast paced action in my opinion, but instead made for simple relaxation and enjoyment.
You learn about the characters as the story continues, and through multiple stories, a bigger picture is created.
I would say that this anime is either a hit or miss with people, ya love it or ya don’t.
To all people out their though I would say to most certainly give this anime a try.
For 11 episodes I was completely satisfied, except for the never ending wish for more.
This anime is for both males and females a like, I don’t believe one group would prefer it over another, its an acquired taste tbh.
The plot revolves around a group of older looking men, who work at a restaurant called “Casetta Dell’orso”. Each worker wears eye glasses when they are on duty. And this in fact is what makes the restaurant stand out from the others in Rome. One day the staff gets greeted by a women from America, who in turn comes to them wanting to train with the crew. As the anime progresses, each member of the cast is brought in the spotlight, and gets there own in depth story as to how they ended up working there, along with other interesting tid-bits. It does stay linear in this aspect, but brings so many different unique twists on everyone’s story, that most shouldn’t mind this fact. Now because this anime is more of a slow paced down to earth story, everything in it’s plot is very realistic. And a lot of the drama that is brought to the table comes in the form of relationships, complicated family issues, to mixed feeling among characters. All of this is knitted very well together to make quite a compelling and deep storyline. Even though Nicolette is the main character of the story, they all get well balanced scenes, which is good as there is nobody in this that will ever leave the viewer with a big black question mark as to who they are. So be prepared for lots of dialog in this. Now not everything in this will please viewers. As mentioned earlier, the story is quite slow paced, and there really is no over all big plot to this anime. Simply put, it’s a story about life in a restaurant, and I actually found it quite dissapointing that the restaurant theme wasn’t used to it’s fullest. So don’t expect to get any kind of explanation as to how certain dishes are prepared, as the story is more character driven than anything else. Which isn’t a bad thing really, since they really do turn out to be the backbone of this anime. The ending is quite fitting, and should satisfy most.
Regarding possible offensive material. Ristorante Paradiso contains very little in this aspect. There are occasional suggestive situations, but they are done in a quite tasteful manner, never for show. The only thing I would say that some viewers might find a bit disturbing, is that the main lead female Nicoletta, shows attraction to men that are old enough to be her father.
The music track really shines in this. You get the traditional tracks one would hear if they were in Paris, Italy and of course…Rome. The opening theme is quite relaxing, as is the ending theme, and actually does mix well with it’s environment’s theme. Voice acting is also quite good. All character voice are done with maturity and calm, and really do bring the characters to life. Overall, it’s quite an endearing soundtrack.
This was the only real thing I didn’t like about the anime, it just didn’t feel like the animation was up to par regarding what it could have been. Quite a bit of the color scheme is pretty bland at times. Some may argue that it was done purposely in order to create a certain style to the anime. Regardless though, it still has a nice amount of detail to it. Case in point: being that the cast is of different style ages right? And the artists really worked over time to make sure that the characters looked their appropriate age. All the male characters look like they really are in their 40s and 50s. While others, such as Nicolette, appear to be in their 20’s. So while the animation is by no means pushing any boundaries, it’s still nice to look at, and detailed in the places you would want it to be..
As mentioned earlier, each member gets his or her own spotlighted episode. Considering that this is only an 11 episode series, you wouldn’t expect this to have much depth to it. Surprisingly though it does, and the best compliment I can give the cast, is that you really are able to get into their heads, and with many you can even read their thoughts. They have a good amount of layers to their personality, and you will want to push on in the show just to see why a certain character acts a certain way, as little tid-bits are explained as things progress. There was one draw back to this category though, and that comes in the form of Nicolette herself. At the beginning I was expecting her to really develop over the course of the series, and while she did have a bit of development to her, it really wasn’t much. As she tended to just remain in the background “observing” the other cast of character’s lives, and ended up feeling more like a prop to the series. Even still, a wonderful memorable cast that feel interesting, yet down to earth at the same time.
If you are looking for a deep and relaxing slice of life anime with a nice pace to it, then you will enjoy Ristorante Paradiso. While it might disappoint some that were expecting a series that centers around food, it still has a lot to offer the viewer who can appreciate it’s plot and themes. So if you were looking for your next anime entree, then your appetite is about to be fed!
15: Isekai Shokudou
English: Restaurant to Another World
MAL Score: 7.35
Western Restaurant Nekoya is a popular eatery located on a street corner in a Tokyo shopping district. Serving both traditional Japanese fare as well as Western dishes, this eating establishment is popular among Tokyo’s residents. But this seemingly ordinary restaurant is also popular with another type of clientele…
While the restaurant is thought to be closed on Saturdays, the truth is that on this special day each week, its doors are instead opened to the inhabitants of other worlds. From dragons and elves to fairies and mages, this restaurant has no shortage of strange customers. Nevertheless, the enigmatic chef known only as “Master” will be waiting to serve up their favorite dishes with a kind smile and keep them coming back for many more Saturdays to come.
Also known as ‘Restaurant to Another World’, the series combines elements of fantasy, slice of life, and cooking. Coming into this show, I didn’t originally have high expectations. I would ask myself, “what’s so special about a show with cooking?” That was originally my first impression anyway as the first few episodes introduces the setting and characters. Make no mistake, the series’ title is what it is. The main setting takes place at a restaurant known as the “Yoshoku no Nekoya” (Western Cuisine Cat Restaurant). From the outside, it looks rather unremarkable. Still, it’s the inside that may surprise you especially with the delicious dishes it serves. More importantly are the characters that visits and work there.
This anime consists of a very small cast of main characters. It all begins when the owner of the shop discovers Aletta, a demon girl eating discreetly at his restaurant. Having being rejected by the human world, she finds work at Nekoya and serves as a valuable asset. Joining them is Kuro, a strange black-horned elf girl who serves as a waitress to pay off her bills. Although the show consists of a small character cast, the Red Queen is one other distinguishing character to take notice as she has her own personal reasons to visit Nekoya. With a cast this small, it feels like the show is taking a daring risk to craft any story. To be honest, this show doesn’t have much of a plot as each episode is like a story of its own. The main premise is how this special restaurant brings otherworldly customers on Saturdays each week. These characters ranges from elves, fairies, animal men, and even dragons. From my perspective, the show doesn’t really need to rely on a concrete plot as it demonstrates the ability to entertain with its slice of life content. It achieves this with character interactions between the staff and patrons. While these patrons usually possesses otherworldly features, they behave just like normal human beings. It also helps that the show takes time to get us to know these characters. Some episodes gives us insight about their background stories, the world they came from, and even their origins. As a show that relies much more on its characters than story, it gives more reasons for the audience to care about them.
Despite the show being very lighthearted, it still has some light drama such as fantasy discrimination. It’s why Aletta is ostracized from the human world in the first place. In addition, noble characters such as the half-elf Victoria forbids themselves to marry. On the other hand, dragons are (particularly the elder ones) are worshipped like Gods. To say the least, the cultural drama of the show is just enough to make it watchable but not enough to brew up a story.
Now, how can we forget about the food? After all, it’s what the patrons are there for in the first place. Believe me, this series really knows how to craft its dishes. There’s all sorts of food introduced ranging from meat cutlets, fried shrimp, spaghetti, tofu steak, sandwiches, curry, buns, etc. As you can see, the cuisine is diverse and often adapts with each episode’s style. Each episode has new types of characters coming so each it introduces new food on the menu. I’m also surprised by the realistic details of the food as it looks very credible. The coloring, texture, and context overall make the food very convincing. Add the patrons’ reactions and you’ll quickly understand why.
Adapted by Silver Link, the anime has a colorful vibe and solid visual quality with its character designs. The fantasy elements is very evident with the otherworldly characters and their different worlds. By character designs, they reflect on high fantasy traits such as with elf’s ears, demon’s horns, animalistic features of the animal men, etc. It’s very stylistic as the show makes them look convincingly as possible. The restaurant itself doesn’t look very remarkable as it has a very simple design, both inside and outside. There’s minimal fan service in this show as it really relies much more on the food to catch a viewer’s attention. Overall though, I think Silver Link got their point across when decorating the colorful style of the anime.
I can’t say for a fact that the soundtrack of the show will be memorable. It’s mostly lighthearted and hardly noticeable most of the time. What did take my notice is the voice acting especially with Kuro. She’s perhaps the most unique character in the show as she communicates telepathically with others. She also has a stoic personality so stepping into the shoes of such a character is never easy. Thankfully, her role in the show is memorable for those traits thanks to the modern talents of Saori Oonishi.
To be fair, Isekai Shokudou really lacks in storytelling and if you’re seeking a colorful plot, then look elsewhere. Almost every episode feels the same and doesn’t make much attempt to change despite different characters being featured. It’s also a show that can hardly make anyone laugh as its comedy side feels stale. However, I would say this show is recommendable especially if you’re more interested in a slice of life-fantasy anime. Every episode itself has a story and brings together characters to create something worth to talk about. The cooking elements is well-detailed and really offer an interesting side to culinary arts. This is a show that I didn’t regret watching as story isn’t always what matters on the menu.
The restaurant “Youshoku no Nekoya” is known for the different dishes from the menu, but in this case, it is also known by the irregular persons that visit it on the Satur day.
A magical door appears every seven days in different fantasy worlds allowing dragons, elf, dwarfs, human heroes and a select diverse group of lucky creatures to vist a restaurant from other world and taste all flavors that can not be found in their lands.
Your first impression could be “the story is weak and lacks action.” However, the story doesn’t need action, fights, war, etc. The story’s strength is in the attention to the details of the dishes, the feelings about the dishes, the taste, the flavors, the texture, and the background of the restaurant visitors.
For me, it was nice seeing how the fantastic characters converged on a simple restaurant and they were able to create a small background of each one with some few minor stories or plot lines.
The story has lots of characters, but they are unique and different. We can see some differences between each other. They like different dishes, they look different, and they came from different worlds. The design of each character varies. For example, there is a lion beast, and you could end seeing some drunk dwarf. The only relation that they have is a restaurant door even if they are from the same world. When they enter it, they are prepared for the worst, but they understand that is a place with fantastic food and different clients. It was excellent seeing that if a character goes to other “areas” or another kingdom, it could meet characters from the restaurant. That attention to the details of the writers is the strength of the show, call me silly, but that’s how a great story is done.
There isn’t a principal character. Perhaps, the human Chef and the two waitresses (demon and dragon) are the most important characters for the story. They received a bit more background than the general characters. They share the same feelings towards the restaurant, the food and they enjoy working there.
The sound mix is good. We aren’t going to complain about it. The OP song “One In A Billion,” is amazing. You will have that rhythm and lyrics inside your head for some hours.
The art is great. I thought with the constant character changes the art could have a degradation of quality but no. The art and design use a vast color palette, lighting, and differs on the locations. The details of each character even if it appears a couple of minutes was outstanding and focus on the origin of the character. Those details, the combination of few plotlines, and a small story creates a character background. (Hope that the people from TROYCA and Re: Creators learn something from this animation. You can build a character with motion and few plot lines, lesson learned).
Finally, the story could be boring to several spectators seeking action, but this anime isn’t for everyone. Also, it isn’t bad changing the genre from time to time and relax a bit while you enjoy some different short stories connected with the restaurant. I will recommend this show but with a small advice, do not expect fights, wars, etc. The animation focuses on the dishes and their description, the feeling from each character towards a different flavor and savor.
isekai shokudo’s cast is, in my opinion, it’s biggest strength and biggest weakness. the setup of each episode is: new character eats food, enjoys, becomes a regular, rinse and repeat. i don’t feel there’s anything wrong with this setup since the characters are varied enough to mix up the episode while still remaining faithful to the formula. the best episode is episode 6 though because it has the entire cast present at that point interacting.
i could do a food comparison about how this show is comfort food, but it isn’t because it’s a television show.
i enjoyed watching isekai shokudou, it’s formulaic, slow paced, and has far too much fanservice for my liking. the world is well built and very generic but the other world in the title being a nice little restaurant is cute. those are my criticisms of isekai shokudou, it’s a nice little show with a varied cast, a great dub, and some very nice direction.
it’s a 9/10 in my timtam book and if i had to make a comparison of any kind, i’d compare it to narnia except the wardrobe goes to a restaurant and there are no christian undertones.
MAL Score: 7.36
Hidden in the backstreets of the Ginza district is Eden Hall, a lone bar operated by Ryuu Sasakura, the prodigy bartender who is said to mix the most incredible cocktails anyone has ever tasted. However, not just anyone can find Eden Hall; rather, it is Eden Hall that must find you. Customers of varying backgrounds, each plagued with their own troubles, wander into this bar. Nevertheless, Ryuu always knows the ideal cocktail to console and guide each distraught soul.
An anime series about a bartender at work might not sound like anything worth paying attention to, but Bartender is a calm, gentle series that might be just what you need. Each episode covers the stories of customers that go into a bar to soothe their souls. Bartender Ryu Sasakura assists them with their problems by making them a cocktail with a history or taste that relates to the customer’s situation. By coming to terms with themselves through their drink, each customer can leave the bar satisfied. Each story is expanded upon not only by what the customer reveals but by narration, often by others that have also been healed by the bar. Each individual story is well-developed, detailed, and brought to a satisfying end. However, there is no plot carried across the full show.
Much of the animation style is abstract, using many unrealistic background effects, quite a few of which are theatrical. For example, a character may be having a conversation at the bar counter, then the scene will cut to a narrator elaborating on what is happening, perhaps in a spotlight or even simply living their own lives. It may not seem realistic, but it’s pulled off quite well. While it may seem that it would be difficult or boring to follow a show narrated like this, it never is thanks to the animation that makes it clear what is happening in reality and what is abstract.
While the background music doesn’t stand out in any particular situation, it also helps to create the atmosphere. The opening song provides a good introduction, and the ending is slow and simple, yet effective.
The characters in each story are very believable. Instead of crazy characters made for the viewer’s excitement, they are developed to be believable people. In addition to each episodic character, the bartender himself is presented very well. Although at first he is the idealized “Glass of the Gods,” the man who can always make the perfect cocktail for a customer, his past is also addressed. By the end of the series, he has become a three-dimensional character with his own history and shortcomings.
Bartender’s true strengths lie not in the technical aspects, but the atmosphere. It’s an incredibly relaxing show and does a great job doing exactly what the creators felt a bar should do: soothe the customers. Watching an episode is a great way to calm down after a bad day; you can sit back and enjoy without shutting down your brain. A word of warning, it’s not as enjoyable in large quantities, save it for when you need it.
Bartender doesn’t try to be big or exciting, but instead appeals to people who want to relax while learning a little bit about alcohol and life. It’s a lovely little series that brings emotion and realism in a way that other, flashier shows can’t achieve.
Even among bars, there is a variety of styles: from seedy dockside dives, to beer halls where there is always a ball game or race being played on a large screen, to the dimly-lit classier cocktail bars…
What, then, is a bar? A place where they serve drinks, sure, but that’s just an element of the whole.
A bar is a social environment safe from the rest of the world where one goes to throw off the worries for a while; the drinks are just aids to relax and let go of tension and inhibitions. If it is a good bar, it’s a place one regrets leaving even to go back home.
In Bartender, we are welcomed with a warm smile to the Eden Hall, a small but cosy cocktail bar. The bartender himself is a confident and therapist to the regulars, well known for his near-magical ability to serve just the right drink to soothe each customer’s soul from their problems. Go talk to him for a while, then ask him to surprise you – he’ll deftly squeeze, blend, shake and mix the contents of a few bottles while sharing bits of trivia about the different ingredients.
You might eventually realize that he’s adding more than spirits into the cocktail, he’s also mixing in tales, history, metaphors and emotions… that what he’s making isn’t simply a drink, but a customized healing potion to which the liquid in the glass is itself only a minor part.
Story & direction: 9.
Bartender is a niche experimental anime, episodic, and although the introduced characters become regulars and appear or even participate in subsequent episodes, in general each episode is dedicated to a patron and his problems.
Instead of following a formal plot, it depends on realistically fleshed-out characters and an excellent direction using advanced techniques such as multilayer superimpositions, juxtapositions, camera angles, flashbacks, using characters as mouthpieces for a omniscient narrative, and seamlessly intermeshing the episode’s theme with documentary elements. While the latter are fundamental for understanding the characters’ thought processes, they sometimes distract from the main theme, which is why I didn’t give a full 10 to this section.
As said before, the characters are realistic and well fleshed out. Sure, we mostly only see what they allow through the metaphorical public masks everybody uses or the tidbits we get from third parties, but isn’t this also part of the realism?
Even the bartender himself, who keeps his professional face throughout the series, gets a significant bit of his past explored by the regular patrons’ chatting and rumoring, bringing him down from the near-deity status his current abilities grant him and back to the human realm.
The one time this realism was broken was when a character behaved irrationally in an emergency, for the sake of setting up the stage for an episode – but the outcome was so satisfactory that I’m unwilling to penalize the series for it.
This is a hit-or-miss series that should be avoided by anybody who either dislikes bars or slow, talky shows; it also requires a modicum of maturity to enjoy properly. If this is not your case, avoid it altogether.
Even then, as with alcoholic drinks, it should be taken with moderation. The best way to enjoy it is one or two episodes at a time, in a dimmed room, and with your favorite drink at hand.
Art & animation: 8
The art is very good; the bar was created with loving detail, with shadows, reflections and detailed settings. The characters are competently drawn, with a wealth of adequately used facial expressions.
There’s not much happening throughout the episodes, most of the time it’s just talking heads – the most fluid animation happens during the preparation of the cocktails; still, the characters smile, frown, gesture, grimace – and blink! – while in the background there’s the occasional patron going to the toilets, blowing smoke or adjusting his chair.
There is the CG that, given its age, is far from photographic; still, it is pretty much limited to the flow of liquids and the sparkle of bubbles in tall glasses, and doesn’t interfere in the enjoyment.
The OP is a nice duet between a female patron and the bartender; it is, however, too upbeat for such slow and intimate series. The ED is a delicious jazz song, played while a real barman prepares and serves us the cocktail featured in the episode… Not once did I feel the urge to skip it, instead I wanted to pick up the glass and sip it.
The rest of the music is ambient soft jazz, jamming in harmony to the scenes and accompanying the mood without ever overwhelming – which, for such a series, is just perfect.
The background sounds are what one should expect from a small bar: glasses and bottles clinking or tapping on the table, chairs dragging, and the such – nothing spectacular, since anything more would actually detract from the experience.
Essence score [3;8]: 7.8
Existence modifier [-2;+2]: +1.7
Overall: 7.8 +1.7 = 9.5 –> 10
The stories to me are real, and relatable. Each episode appeals to the mind and the emotion. There is no cheezy moment that you see in most slice of life anime. The writer of this puts effort into making each episode captivating. Something worth noting is that Bartender is slow paced, but not drawn out. I felt like the timing, conversations and narrations were excellently synchronized. One thing I really enjoyed in the story were the narrations – it was so well placed.
The art is crisp. I also enjoyed the visuals in this. In some instances you feel the life of a bar…thanks to the lighting. The shots of the city at night were lovely. Another thing in the art was how the character flashbacks showing the younger years were so realistic, and when the older character is shown it feels like a real aging process had taken place. The art is lovely in this.
There is nothing extraordinary about the sound. It is well done, and is of the expected quality. One thing I should point out is how nice the ending soundtrack is, I like it a lot. Usually I skip listening to a soundtrack after hearing it once, but in Bartender’s case, I wont mind having a copy of that song!
The characters are well rounded. The bartender at first seems one sided in the stories, more like a prop. But as the series continue, you see how human he is. I love it. There are various narrators in this story, but I particularly enjoyed the (few) scenes when the "NeoBartenders" give history or insight into some topics.
I loved this series, and would recommend it for anyone. It is well paced, and good to enjoy especially on a weekend, or at night after work. Lovely, Lovely Lovely. Thanks for reading this review.
13: Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi
English: Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits
MAL Score: 7.51
Abandoned as a child by her mother, Aoi Tsubaki has always had the ability to see “ayakashi”—spirits from the Hidden Realm. Shirou Tsubaki, her grandfather who shared the same ability, took her under his wing and taught her how to live with the ayakashi in peace. When her grandfather abruptly passes away, the independent Aoi must continue her college career, armed with only her knowledge in cooking as a means of protection against the human-eating spirits. In hopes that the ayakashi will not turn to her or other unknowing humans as a tasty meal, she takes it upon herself to feed the hungry creatures that cross her path.
After giving a mysterious ayakashi her lunch, Aoi is transported to the Hidden Realm, where the ayakashi reveals himself to be an ogre-god known as Oodanna, the “Master Innkeeper.” There, she learns that she was used as collateral for her grandfather’s debt of one hundred million yen, and that she must pay the price for her grandfather’s careless decision by marrying Oodanna. Aoi valiantly refuses and decides to settle things on her own terms: she will pay off the debt herself by opening an eatery at Oodanna’s inn.
Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi follows the journey of Aoi as she proceeds to change and touch the lives of the ayakashi through the one weapon she has against them—her delicious cooking.
I was both right and wrong. The premise was indeed similar, with our girl Aoi Tsubaki having her life changed drastically and are forced to a new life in the Hidden realm, the Japanese folk lore setting, and lots of cute ayakashi guys for a potential reverse harem. Aoi like Nanami looks like your average lead for this kind of show with mouse brown hair and plain features.
But the similarities only go so far. Because, the main theme of the KnY isn´t a reverse harem, or even romance. It´s mainly about food and the importance of food in our lives really. As this can be utterly disappointing for some, I actually grow to highly appreciate KnY for just this reason.
The narrative is mostly episodic with each episode address some kind of problem for Aoi to solve (mostly by cooking delicious food). There is a more overarching plot though, it´s just not the main focus the first half of the show. And those 1-episode stories actually contribute to the overarching plot in the end as well, so the feeling that I wasted my time on filler bs never occurred.
I mentioned that the show focused a lot on food and how it influences our lives. Well, cooking isn´t just a hobby for Aoi, it’s a way of survival. You see, Aoi has a strong spiritual energy and have always been able to see ayakashi. Said strong spiritual energy has attracted hungry ayakashi all her life, and to give her a tool to protect herself her grandfather taught her to cook delicious food that ayakashi like, so she could give them the food instead of getting eaten herself (this isn´t a spoiler, it is established very early in the show). When she gets spirited away by a handsome Ogre spirit and declared as his bride as payment for her grandfather’s debt, she refuses and want to work of the debt instead. And here is where her cooking skills really come to use.
I grow highly interested in the Japanese kitchen during this watch. It´s so different from where I come from, and I really do want to try some of the food she made. But the allure of the food and cooking extended further than just that it looked tasty, it also brought up the spiritual and mental emotions that food can create. Just imagine that you been gone from your home for a long time and then someone cooks a dish that you love from your home town. The nostalgia, the happiness and even safety one can feel at such a moment is really astonishing. Or that you are so bored with food that you pretty much lost your appetite, and then someone places a delightful home cooked meal that surprises all your senses (smell, texture, taste, vision etc.). Or that you just are hangry and get a lovely meal, and what it does for your state of mind. Or how it can connect us, shearing food together and rejoice in the flavours and how satisfied it can make us feel.
KnY brings up all these scenarios and then some. Of course, the show isn´t exclusively about food and cooking, but it is the topic in the spotlight and I aren´t complaining. There is definitely some romance going on but it´s heavily taking the backseat, so don´t expect a full-blown romance to develop fast, because then you only will get disappointed.
The reverse harem theme is also almost absent, even if there are a lot of cute ayakashi guys around. But they have more independent roles than being a harem member, which worked absolutely fine in this case. And there are almost as many female characters present, which many have funny personalities and important roles as well.
Aoi as the female lead does differ a bit from your copy and past persona for this kind of role. She is very ordinary yes, but in the most relatable way, because she has indeed a personality and background as well. She knows her limits and works with what she has – a bone hard determination, a genuine will to understand others and brilliant skills in cooking. She is kind, stubborn, positive and caring, a real goodie good girl but not the least mentally weak. Aoi gets a lot of mean shit thrown at her in the Hidden realm, and copes with it like a boss.
Oodanna (the handsome Ogre spirit) could´ve been portrayed as a real creep, but wasn´t. I have had problems with this type of set up before, the older mystical creature declares young female to be his bride (yes, looking at you The Ancient Magus’ Bride). But besides calling Aoi his wife, he does no creepy things like bathing her as a first thing when she arrives to the Hidden realm. He looks after her from a non-intruding angle, gives her the tools and protection she needs, and lets her find her own way in this new strange situation.
Studio Gonzo has done a good job on the art and animation. Not perfect per say, but over my expectations. Vivid colours, detailed backgrounds and environments, and varied and distinct character designs. The food looks yummy, the ayakashi´s magic looks dramatic, and the atmosphere is spot on.
Honestly, I haven´t paid much attention to the soundtrack, but it´s for sure not bad. The 2 openings however are awesome, especially the second one. Certainly, the best in a long while. Recommend you look them up, even if you´re not going to watch the show itself. Voice acting is also top notch, with veterans such as Noa Touyama and Katsuyuki Konishi as the main leads.
This has been my “feel-good” show during it´s airing time, and I enjoyed it a lot, even if the reasons for said enjoyment originate from completely different sources then I first believed. Which is a bit odd since that I´m not even that into the SoL-genre. The setting is a familiar one in anime, but it´s has its own main themes and feeling. I can warmly recommend KnY to anyone that is looking for a Japanese folk lore setting, cosy atmosphere, and a wee bit of romance. And especially if you enjoy food in any way, eating it, cooking it, exploring new kitchens etc. It was a surprisingly stimulating main theme.
A world where determination, great food, kindness and understanding of others can help promote friendship and understanding that transcends race and worlds.
Based off the popular Light Novel of the same name Kakuriyo No Yadomeshi which is often shortened to just Kakuriyo is a supernatural and romance-themed anime that gives us the opportunity to see what will happen if a teenage girl from the realm of man was to be whisked away and into a parallel world where both spirits and various types of mythical creatures such as Ogre’s, nine-tailed foxes and Yuki-Onna’s exist and most surprisingly be introduced to her future marriage partner that no one has told her about. The idea of being drawn from the human realm to another world is not something that is rare within the anime industry as we can see from the large amounts of anime that make use of the trapped in the game and traveling to another world ideas in the form of renowned series such as Sword Art Online and Log Horizon. However, I felt that Kakuriyo’s premise of being drawn into a parallel world where mythical creatures such as Ogre’s exist and being presented as a bride in order to pay off the debt of a relative was an interesting one as it allowed us as the viewer to see not just how the social standings of the various races work within the world but also allow us to see how a normal human girl like the main character Aoi would react as she enters this world and encounters the various rules and stigma that others view her with. The first episode of the series I felt was an excellent episode that did a great job of not just introducing us to the parallel world within the series but also introduce the two main characters of the series which was Aoi Tsubaki and Oodanna and their strong-willed and conflicting natures that clashed with each other. From this, I was impressed enough in that I decided to watch this series until the very end and I was glad that I did.
Taking place within the parallel world that is called the hidden realm by its inhabitants the hidden realm is a land that resembles a fusion of ancient Japan and a fantasy world. While having many concepts that are recognizable from ancient Japan such as ancient inns, ninja’s and clothing suitable for that era the realm also features many elements of fantasy such as magic, flying ships and of course the various races that inhabit the different realms that make up the hidden realm. It is in this world that is hidden from the realm of human kind that the inhabitants of the realm who call themselves the ayakashi live their lives in a manner that is almost identical to that of normal human beings while co-existing with their fellow ayakashi in an age where conflict is all but unknown and where encounters with beings other than them are rare indeed. The overall story of the series follows the life of Aoi Tsubaki a human college student who while on her way to college one day is kidnapped and brought to a new world called the hidden realm and told that due to her recently deceased grandfathers’ debt Aoi must marry the head of a well-known inn as per an ancient agreement that was agreed between the two of them. Despite the situation facing her the ever so defiant Aoi refuses to obey the contract and instead counters with a proposal of her own in which she would work off her grandfather’s debt by opening up and operating an eatery within the inn.
As Aoi opens up and begins operating her eatery the Moonflower she while overcoming the many hardships and stigma that she faces from the many races that make up the ayakashi would gradually start to realize that preparing delicious and beautiful food would not just allow her to pay off her debt but at the same time allow her to learn about not just the various races that inhabit the realm but also allow her to solve their various problems by listening to them, understanding them and try and devise solutions that will help them overcome such burdens and in the process not just forming strong friendships and bonds with each other but also allow her to come up with solutions to solve the many hidden problems that exist within the realm. Joining Aoi in her quest to use food to forge friendships and understanding between races are a host of characters that while mostly hostile to her at first soon become some of her best friends and most loyal allies. These include the intimidating but surprisingly kind Ogre inn master Oodanna, the kind, and loyal nine-tailed fox Ginji, the arrogant but surprisingly fair young hostess Oryo and the calm but surprisingly perceptive accounting chief Byakuya. Together with her allies Aoi would begin a fantastic adventure that will allow her to not just explore the many different regions that form the hidden realm but also allow her to create many beautiful and delicious food that will be used to not just form friendships but also solve the many problems that exist within the realm.
Aoi voiced by veteran seiyuu singer Nao Touyama of The World God Only Knows and Kancolle fame is one of the main characters of the series and is the main heroine of the series. A college student from the human realm that was brought to the hidden realm through somewhat forceful means Aoi in the beginning of the series while understandably upset at the turn of events was also shown to be a kind and caring person that while getting scared easily was also steadfast in her beliefs even when faced by the most intimidating of ayakashi. While easily scared Aoi was also an intelligent, curious and fast thinking person that thanks to her perceptive skills was not just able to identify sudden shifts to people’s behaviors but also act upon them by using this to further her understanding of both people and events within this new world. While a quiet person by nature Aoi was also someone that was friendly, good-natured and humble and while facing a lot of hostility in the beginning was able to convert these feelings of antagonism and use these to forge bonds and friendship with the staff of the inn something that was helped greatly by her fair and honest nature and her desire to do her best for all of her friends and customers. As a result of her friendly and honest nature Aoi was someone that always believed that one must act based on what their heart tells them and while this choice may not always be the best choice in some situations it can be seen that Aoi is someone that believes firmly in this belief even when the alternative might have been better. This is seen in her attempts to help those in need and her attempts to solve the problems that they are burdened with despite not getting anything back in return showing just how caring she is as a person. While a quiet and calm person by nature Aoi while often hard pressed in the beginning of the series also showed that rather than causing her undue pressure that would cause most normal people to mess up the extra pressure instead had the opposite effect in that it actually helped in allowing her to come up with not just solutions but also new dishes that can be used to handle situations no matter how sudden a trait that I felt took great advantage of Aoi’s ability to not just think outside of the box but also take advantage of her knowledge of dishes from the human realm as well. This trait of being able to use pressure from others as a source of motivation for Aoi to create new dishes I felt was one that suited her personality really well.
A key part of Aoi’s personality that stems from her friendly and caring nature was her skills as a listener that takes advantage of her perception skills which allows her to not just understand the surface problem that someone is burdened with but also the underlying issues that may not be immediately visible due to a need to hide that fact something that I felt matched her image as both a cook and an eatery owner perfectly. While a very capable cook Aoi while loving the opportunity to both discover new recipes and ingredients is someone that can be surprisingly open-minded and honest in that she is willing to take feedback from others regarding her dishes and work hard to improve them showing not just how hardworking she is but also how determined she is to make sure that her dishes are able to fulfill the many promises that she has been bestowed with.
As the series goes on and as Aoi, not just realizes just how vast the hidden realm was but also encounter many different people and situations Aoi’s personality gradually starts to change. From the onset, it can be seen that Aoi while having a great deal of respect for her grandfather didn’t particularly hold him in high regard due to his rather eccentric personality and actions and indeed seem to view him with some amount of dislike. After his passing and seeing the kind of bonds and effects that he had within the hidden realm however this instead is replaced by a sense of regret in that she did not seek to renew their strained bonds even as he neared his end. As a result of this sense of regret Aoi also developed a belief that regrets were something that was very sad and that no one should have any regrets which soon served to become one of Aoi’s most potent sources of motivation as she set about the task of running her eatery. This is shown in Aoi’s development as not just a capable cook but also a person as well as she will by improving her cooking skills also seek to understand her customers and the regrets and needs that they have and create the perfect dish for them that ensures that after having her dish both their physical hunger and their psychological burden has been dealt with. While having few friends at the beginning of the series this gradually changes as the series goes on as Aoi’s friendly and honest nature soon begins to change the views of the people around her. As a result of this Aoi becomes very protective of the bonds of friendship that’s been formed between them and becomes very loyal to her friends and will do her utmost to protect them from harm even if it meant that she must take some daring actions to do so. A trait that I felt was an interesting development since Aoi initially was someone that was used to being alone.
A prominent belief that arose within Aoi as the series progressed was the belief that with her cooking ability she will be able to bridge not just the gap that exists between the human realm and the hidden realm but also between fellow ayakashi whose contrasting ideas often causes disagreements to form between them. A belief that only grows much more important during the second arc of the series as a result of Aoi bonding with the many ayakashi that inhabit the southern lands and the dire situation that the land is in due to past failures of an important ceremony. This belief I felt was an important development for Aoi as it showed the fact that Aoi has not just realized the importance of having loyal and important friends but also that her cooking ability can also be used for a much larger and more important purpose of mending the rifts that result from strained bonds and in the process saving a land from its cruel fate.
The character of Aoi I felt was an interesting one that was both well designed and developed. Aoi’s development from someone that was lonely, scared and had a deep sense of regret to someone that was not just brave but also determined to help those with their own burdens by understanding the underlying issues that plague them and creating a dish that solves it and in the process forming bonds of friendship with them being especially well thought out. I felt that her seiyuu Nao Touyama really did an excellent job at portraying the character of Aoi.
Ginji voiced by new voice actor Shunichi Toki is one of the main characters of the series and is one of Aoi’s allies within the series. An ayakashi that takes the form of a nine-tailed fox that’s silver in color Ginji is also a shapeshifter whose human form is the form that Aoi and the members of the inn encounter the most. The young master of the Tenjin ya inn and effectively part of that inn’s upper management Ginji from initial appearances was a kind, caring and positive being that despite his position was also an honest and modest being that had little ego and helped all those that he met in his duties. A responsible person by nature Ginji was someone that approached each situation in a calm and composed manner and will do his best in everything that he does which is shown in his attempts to help Aoi as her assistant despite the added duties that this entails. This however also means Ginji can be somewhat reluctant in letting others do his job as he feels that it’s his responsibility given his role. Due to his personality its perhaps unsurprising that Ginji was one of Aoi’s first friends as unlike the rest of the inn he did not see Aoi as an enemy and indeed was somewhat intrigued that Aoi’s skills as a cook was that impressive and as a result as their bonds deepened Ginji grows very protective of Aoi and dislikes seeing her being used by others.
As the series goes on and more of Ginji’s character is revealed and expanded upon Ginji’s personality gradually starts to change. Despite his easy-going and friendly nature Ginji is someone that has a surprising lack of confidence in himself and while he has no shortage of acquaintances and fellow staffers that he can call upon it can be seen that Ginji tries to keep distance from them due to his low confidence and the fact that he feels that they do not trust him due his past. In fact, until Aoi’s appearance, Ginji’s best-known friendship was with the inn master Oodanna due to their long association in the past. Perhaps as a result of this Ginji was able to forge an immediate bond with Aoi due to her friendly and honest nature and in the process discover what its really like to have friends that he can count on. As a result of this, it can be seen that Ginji while valuing the fact that he can eat and have fun with his new friends is also very loyal to them and serious about their welfare and can become very distraught when he feels that he has failed them in some way.
The character of Ginji I felt was an interesting one that was both well designed and developed. In a way I felt that Ginji’s inner darkness which served as his development was very similar to how Aoi was in the past before her coming into the hidden realm in that both were lonely and had few people that they could trust and indeed it can be said that Aoi’s development as a character was what opened his heart to the many joys that friendship and trust can bring to someone and in the process liberate him from the darkness that held him back. This shared sense of development between the two of them I thought was pretty well done and illustrated the fact that friendships and bonds can also be used to liberate someone from the darkness that constrained their lives.
Oodanna voiced by veteran voice actor Katsuyuki Konishi of Bleach and Fairy Tail fame is one of the main characters of the series and is one of Aoi’s allies within the series. An ayakashi in the form of an ogre in human form and the master of the Tenjin Ya inn within the hidden realm Oodanna at the start of the series was a calm, composed and self-confident person that while quiet was also very professional and was highly regarded by both customers and his staff who viewed him with a high degree of respect. While appearing seemingly cold at first glance this was far from the truth as he was not just kind and caring but also intelligent and perceptive and treated everything and everyone fairly and is willing to place his trust in his staff something that his staff will do their utmost as to not betray. While a quiet person Oodanna was someone that was very loyal to his friends and while his usual self was normally polite and diplomatic this attitude can change dramatically if his friends are being treated harshly by others and will try to help them when needed. At the beginning of the series, Oodanna’s relationship with his bride Aoi was a tense one given the unique situation and though he is put off by her initial refusal to the proposal his impression of her gradually starts to change after seeing her determination to pay back her debt by working. In the beginning, while taking care to remain neutral to her work at the inn it can be seen that he also shows a great deal of concern for her and tries hard to dissuade her from any dangerous plans that she has thought off.
As the series goes on and Oodanna’s relationship with Aoi improves and as they are confronted with one crisis after another Oodanna’s personality gradually starts to change. While initially not supportive of Aoi’s efforts to open up an eatery as the series goes on and as Oodanna saw with his own eyes just how much effort Aoi was putting in to prove herself this attitude of his eventually changes and Oodanna begins to slowly support her and be willing to come running when she calls. Despite his aloof nature, Oodanna is not someone that will let his station hold him back and indeed when things get busy Oodanna can also willingly let go of his role and work alongside his staff by taking care of guests and cooking for them a side of his character that I felt was surprising. A prominent part of Oodanna’s personality is, without doubt, his motivations both as a person and as an inn master. While having great faith in not just his friends but also in his staff as well Oodanna is someone that encourages them to not just do their best at their duties but also have ambition and dreams as Oodanna believes that without it the ayakashi would not be able to advance themselves. As a result of this Oodanna is someone that hates those that have neither which is one of the reasons why he pushed Aoi to work harder and why he let his staff do actions on their own free will. As a result of this the bonds that he shares with his staff and forges with Aoi can be seen to be a strong one and its easy to see just why Oodanna has so much faith in Aoi not just as a person but also as a cook since he knows that both are trying hard to achieve their dreams. The character of Oodanna I felt was an interesting one that was both well designed and developed with his contrasting personality and his way of motivating both Aoi and the members of his staff being one of the best things about his character. I felt that his voice actor Katsuyuki Konishi did an excellent job of portraying the character of Oodanna.
Byakuya voiced by veteran voice actor Atsushi Tamaru of Asterisk Wars and Seiren fame is one of the main support characters of the series and is one of Aoi’s many allies within the series. The head of Tenjin Ya’s accounting department and thus one of Aoi’s bosses within the series Byakuya on initial appearances is a calm, composed and efficient person by nature that comes off as someone that’s strict and unsociable. A fact that is reinforced by the manner in which he treats Aoi at first as he only saw her as being the owner of a business that was not making a profit. While calm and composed Byakuya is also an intelligent, rational and logical person that while very serious about his job is also someone that’s willing to give people chances if they display the determination to do so. As a result of these qualities, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Byakuya acts as the second in command to Oodanna where both his intellect and rational nature can also be used to locate and deal with threats to both the inn and to his friends and allies including to Aoi herself.
As the series goes on however and Byakuya’s personality is expanded upon it can be seen that while certainly strict and stern at times beneath this Byakuya is actually someone that has a surprisingly caring side to him which is best shown in the fact that he takes care of stray ayakashi in his spare time rather than say hole up in a dark room somewhere crunching numbers as most accountants would. In this state, it can be seen that Byakuya’s alternate personality is one that’s positive, cheerful and caring traits that I felt contrasted greatly with his normal strict self. As a result of this interesting side to his personality, I felt that it was quite funny at seeing him panic when he realizes that his secret has been exposed. At the beginning of the series, Byakuya as a result of his role as the head accountant of the inn had a somewhat antagonist relationship with Aoi due to the fact that despite Moonflower not making any profits at first Aoi was determined to keep it open as she tries to come up with the perfect recipes. However, as the series goes on and Byakuya came to both understand Aoi as a person as well as see the effects that her food has had on her many customers this sense of antagonism gradually disappears and is replaced by a healthy amount of respect for Aoi as both a person and a cook and as a result Byakuya gradually began to see her as a member of the inn. An interesting trait of Byakuya is that despite his calm and composed nature he can still get angry and when that happens his demeanor can be quite menacing which when used in dealing with upstarts like Raiju can be quite entertaining to watch.
Oryou voiced by veteran seiyuu Ai Kakuma of The Asterisk War and Brave Witches fame is one of the main support characters of the series and is one of Aoi’s allies within the series. An ayakashi in the form of a Yuki-onna that had taken on human form Oryou is the Tenjin Ya’s young hostess and as a result is the head of the hostesses that serve the many customers that come to Tenjin Ya. From the onset, it can be seen that Oryou is someone that while confident was also someone that was arrogant and rude to people and as a result while she was respected by the staff for her rank she had very few people that she can call her friends. This isn’t helped by the fact that in addition to being arrogant Oryou is also very rule-bound and would punish any infraction no matter how minor it is. As a result of this from the beginning of the series, Oryou actively viewed Aoi as a rival to her due to a combination of being the inn master’s fiancée and the fact that her hard work is earning her the respect of the staff while Oryou despite being here longer than her was getting nothing.
As the series goes on however and as Oryou gets to interact with Aoi more her personality gradually starts to change. While rule bound to a degree it can be seen that Oryou beneath her arrogant surface personality is actually someone that’s fair and honest with her feelings. Indeed, looking at her past it can be seen that Oryou when she first become a hostess was someone that was not just determined but also worked hard at everything that she did which is similar to how Aoi is within the anime. From this, it can be seen where her pride actually comes from as its obvious that she’s very proud of her status as the young hostess. Despite her confident nature, it can be seen that beneath this Oryou can be surprisingly fragile due in part to her lack of friends and to the fact that she distrusts outsiders to the inn which served to limit the interactions that she could have with Aoi. However, after being taken care off by Aoi after she had collapsed due to overwork Oryou’s attitude towards Aoi began to change after seeing how much effort Aoi put in to help her recover which caused her to realize just how foolish her own actions had been in trying to belittle her. As a result of this, the relationship between the two gradually thawed as Oryou becomes friendlier not just bonding with Aoi but also becoming not just fast friends but also one of Aoi’s most trusted allies. At the same time as a result of this change Oryou while still arrogant and distrustful of others become much friendlier and willing to help others with their problems a notable example being her attempts to help Nene her opposite number at the Orio Ya inn overcome her insecurity by covertly helping her with some tricky customers. While showing her skills as a hostess this I felt also did a great job of showing the kind of contacts that she has across the realm something that is pretty important to a hostess. The character of Oryou I felt was an interesting one that was both well designed and developed with her gradual evolution from an arrogant and condescending hostess to one that was both friendly, caring and willing to help her juniors improve their skills so that they can both help the inn and themselves being especially well done. The manner of how Oryou and Aoi bonded by having them share memories of how they were in the past I felt was pretty interesting. I felt that her seiyuu Ai Kakuma really did an excellent job of portraying the character of Oryou.
In terms of animation, I felt that the character designs for the series many characters were pretty well designed with the many species of ayakashi especially being so. This was helped greatly by the large variety of species that form the ayakashi that Aoi encounters within the series. I felt that the incorporation of species like Ogre’s, nine-tailed foxes, Yuki-Onna’s and the other races that feature prominently within Japanese mythology matched well with the fact that the world of the hidden realm is one that fuses ancient Japan with a fantasy world. The various settings and locations that Aoi and the cast visit I felt was pretty well designed and featured quite an impressive variety of terrain that made great use of the world’s lore. In particular, I felt that the areas around Tenjin Ya and the southern lands that housed Orio ya contrasted well with each other as the former while lacking in beauty and resources was stable and at peace while the southern lands while beautiful were also one plagued by misfortune. While Kakuriyo is a supernatural and romance-themed anime the few combat scenes within the series I felt while short was also well designed as while they showed the ayakashi’s desire to keep peace and avoid conflict with each other the scenes also showed how powerful the ayakashi can be if they were fighting to protect those dear to them.
The music within the series I felt was pretty well done with the OST, in particular, doing a great job of providing a great variety of music to the many kinds of situations that Aoi encounters while exploring the hidden realm. The series in total made use of two opening themes which was Tomoshibi No Manimani by Aoi’s seiyuu Nao Touyama and Utsushiyo no Yume that was sung by Nano. In total the series made use of 10 ending themes which was quite a lot even for a full season anime. I felt that the two opening themes both did a great job at conveying a sense of anticipation for the series with the first one doing a better job at this than the second one. The many ending themes for the series I felt did a great job at conveying the unique emotions and feelings that were attached to the events of each of the episodes in which they were featured in.
In terms of voice acting, I felt that the voice cast did an excellent job at portraying their assigned characters whether they were main ones or supporting ones. In particular, I felt that Nao Touyama, Shunichi Toki, Katsuyuki Konishi, Atsushi Tamaru and Ai Kakuma who portrayed the characters of Aoi, Ginji, Oodanna, Byakuya and Oryou respectively all did an excellent job at portraying their assigned characters. In addition, while I didn’t cover them I felt that Yuma Uchida, Maaya Uchida, Reina Ueda, Mitsuki Nakae, Aoi Yuki, Kaito Ishikawa and Sayaka Kaneko who portrayed the characters of Akatsuki, Suzuran, Shizuna, Kasuga, Ougon Douji, Ranmaru and Nene respectively all did an excellent job at voicing their assigned roles.
In overall Kakuriyo was an anime that I really enjoyed and was one of the few animes that I felt really deserves a full season. I felt that Kakuriyo’s greatest strengths were its interesting premise, excellent story, well designed and developed characters, creative emotional problems that require Aoi to solve, excellent voice acting and a lot of interesting life lessons.
The overall premise of the series which was the kidnapping of Aoi and being told that you have been promised to marry the ogre that you have been brought before and Aoi’s subsequent determination to not just refuse it but also display a desire to pay back the debt by working within the world I felt was an interesting one and certainly one that’s rare within the world of anime. However, while strong this premise won’t be enough if it doesn’t have a good enough story that it marries itself too and in this is another of Kakuriyo’s strengths. As a result of both the fact that Aoi is the fiancée to the inn’s popular master and also of the fact that Aoi is also a human it won’t be an understatement to say that Aoi’s journey to start to work off her debt by first opening her eatery was an easy one as the inn’s staff definitely tried their hardest to stop her. However while these actions were often petty these actions also allowed us to see how Aoi not just withstands these abuse but also start to gradually overcome the innate hatred and distrust that her detractors have for her via her actions that not only help the inn’s but also serve to prove to them that while human Aoi isn’t just a pretty face and has both a kind and caring personality and plenty of skills that easily make her an equal to her detractors. Watching Aoi gradually win over her detractors by not just showing her creativeness but also her excellent ability as both a cook and a listener I felt was something that was really well done and resonated well with the series main theme of forging bonds and friendships with the ayakashi and changing their opinion of humans.
While the story did a great job of showing how Aoi’s attempts to help others and solve their problems managed to win over plenty of ayakashi who formerly disliked her I felt that the reverse is also true as by interacting with the ayakashi and seeing their world Aoi not only realized how similar this world was to her own but gradually came to like it as well something that was the complete opposite of what she thought at first upon her arrival and a good indication that not just the ayakashi but Aoi herself is changing as they both interact with each other.
While the main plot was interesting I felt that the series also made great use of a number of subplots that not just took great advantage of the different lands and species that made up the realm by not just introducing the large variety of support characters that existed within the series but also expand upon them by allowing Aoi to interact with them and understand the issues that they are burdened with. While allowing Aoi to convert them from enemies to allies and friends these subplots also allowed us to see the many unique problems that bother each of the support characters which serve to expand upon their personalities something that I felt was well thought out. Overall Kakuriyo was an anime that I really enjoyed with its main strong points being its unique premise, story, characters, creative problems and excellent voice acting. As a final score I felt that Kakuriyo easily deserves a final score of 10/10.
Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi is an anime about a girl who had the isekai effect ( aka transported to another world ) and then instead of fighting monsters. She instead open a “human” food shop where she makes and sells “human” food. The story’s quite simple and it’s mostly about her helping other yokais as they come and go. And that’s about it.
The reason why I held this anime for so long is because of the fact that I see no progress at all in the romance factor. Okay, I actually already expected this because the anime isn’t categorize as romance. However, I solely started this anime for three things. Food, Kamisama ( God ) and Romance. I got two, but not the last one in which disappointed me incredibly.
Although I am incredibly disappointed. Aside from the trash-ass-slow-paced-romance. The show itself does a pretty good job overall. The food looks delicious, the art style’s good, there are many likable characters and the sounds are not so bad as well.
If I had to describe this anime then I would call it “A Disgrace As A Romance But At least It Has Good Food.” Ah, there’s literally nothing better that could describe this anime. Seriously, if this anime had more romance then I’d probably give it a 9 or so. Very disappointed.
I recommend this anime to anyone who’s looking for something chill + some food. Oh yeah, if you’ve started watching this with the expectations of getting romance. Don’t! Quit right now! You’ll regret watching it!
12: Amaama to Inazuma
English: Sweetness & Lightning
MAL Score: 7.53
Since the death of his wife, Kouhei Inuzuka has been caring for his young daughter Tsumugi to the best of his abilities. However, with his lack of culinary knowledge and his busy job as a teacher, he is left relying on ready-made meals from convenience stores to feed the little girl. Frustrated at his own incapability to provide a fresh, nutritious meal for his daughter, Kouhei takes up an offer from his student, Kotori Iida, to come have dinner at her family’s restaurant. But on their very first visit, the father and daughter discover that the restaurant is often closed due to Kotori’s mother being away for work and that Kotori often eats alone. After much pleading from his pupil, Kouhei decides to continue to go to the restaurant with Tsumugi to cook and share delicious homemade food with Kotori.
Amaama to Inazuma follows the heartwarming story of a caring father trying his hardest to make his adorable little daughter happy, while exploring the meanings and values behind cooking, family, and the warm meals at home that are often taken for granted.
“I told you not to eat all those sweets at once!”
Their words a guilty sentence we don’t even bother fighting against, as they march us off to the restroom to brush away the very thought of potential cavities taking refuge between the crevices of our underdeveloped molars. It’s the right of passage for us kids, for us mischievous sweet-tooth bandits. And if not for the proper guidance by our parents to keep us in line, we’d more than likely be sporting a smile with teeth weathered by decay.
Sweets are good, but overindulging in them tend to lead to this inevitable end result. And as you’ve undoubtedly figured out what’s being alluded to by now, Sweetness and Lightning suffers a similar fate. A show that barrages you with all the cuteness that the namesake would imply—and on that end, it certainly delivers—but doesn’t offer enough levity to let any of it settle in. It’s all dessert without dinner, every child’s wildest dream in theory, but in practice, a very tiresome endeavor that turns sweet-tooths rotten and palates too soaked to ask for more. Sweetness and Lightning shares in our delight for all things sugar-laced, but unlike the reprimanding we received as kids growing up, when this show overindulges, there aren’t any parents around to scold it. And for an anime that centers around parenting, this becomes an issue that even the smile of a bubbly little girl couldn’t dissuade you from taking notice of.
There really isn’t much here to talk about, despite what the premise would have you believe: a man left to cope with the pain of losing a loved one while also raising a daughter, taking on all the motherly duties that he had once taken for granted. And during this adjustment period of serving both parental roles in his daughter’s life, Sweetness used food as a catalyst to catalog his parental growth, as well as a common means for the father and daughter to become closer. With a premise that could serve multifaceted purposes—parental bonding and culinary infotainment—Sweetness and Lightning was practically gift wrapped for the creators. It wouldn’t have had to do much in order to foster a lighthearted show with sobering life lessons sprinkled throughout it. Just simply display the culinary aspect as a vehicle to showcase the parental bonding; it’s almost foolproof. And yet, even with this hand-delivered premise placed right in their laps, very little of it went beyond the occasional reminder of a motherless household and dishes reminiscent of a happier time in the father and daughter’s life. Parenting was placed on the back-burner for food montages, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if that’s all you came looking for, but when you take into consideration what ingredients the anime had at its disposal, the decision to divert from that path felt like an act of complacency than any intentional artistic statement.
But there’s also something else that the show’s setup alluded to. Something that isn’t as important as the themes it skipped over but still a desirable promise nonetheless. And that promise was a cute mascot. And boy, did this anime ever deliver! Tsumugi is, with little dispute, one of the most adorable kid characters to have been conceived in the 2010s since the likes of Naru from Barakamon. She’s cuteness that transcends regulatory standards. Cuteness that bursts past the stratosphere. Cuteness that almost hurts. Tsumugi is cuteness incarnate. And dear I say it, the sole reason for this show’s existence. Without Tsumugi, there wouldn’t be a Sweetness and Lightning worth discussing. Which, quite frankly, became a double-edged sword if you were watching the show for any other reason beyond its flagship character. Because when it comes to everything else that this anime attempted to offer, the act of slouching in disinterest became far too common of a practice.
As far as the rest of the cast goes, there’s really no other character worth mentioning beside Tsumugi. Everyone else was simply introduced to feed off her energy. To say she’s the star attraction would be an understatement. The very foundation of this show’s existences is made impossible without her inclusion. She’s the poster-child of Sweetness and Lightning. The very thing people will remember the show for long after they forget the events of the show itself. It’s the kind of character whose reputation would outlast the source material it’s attached to. She’s the Yuno Gasai, the Haruhi Suzumiya, the Holo, the Major Kusanagi; the very legacy that the source material will leave behind.
This isn’t to say that the cooked meals and other characters introduced weren’t interesting, just that in the backdrop of a show that’s taking things slow and steady, all its efforts are lost in translation to the little girl twerking on the floor, practicing her cooking dance charms to make the food delicious. And when you pair that eccentric personality to that of an unkempt, mild-mannered man lost behind the bushy top hairdo and frame of his glasses that hide his soft-spoken expression… well, what you ended up getting was a recipe for amnesia-inducing content.
If I was placed on the spot to recall the events of any given episode, the best I could come up with would be: “They cooked food, Tsumugi was being cute, they ate, and went back home.” Not really the lasting legacy any creator would want now, is it? Whether premeditated or not, the show became one big blur when it effectively repeated the same scenario every single episode. Which brings us back to the pestering question: why was there no focus on parenting?
It’s an aspect the show seems to hint at on several occasions, but whenever it gets too close to crossing that line between happy-go-lucky to something sobering, it skittishly pulls back and retreats to the kitchen to avoid confronting the elephant in the room. For what I could only surmise as the creators making decision to keep the same bubbly tone throughout, we’re forced to only stand at the edge of parental responsibility. We could see the themes just lying there at the bottom but could never make the plunge due to the show’s refusal to make that leap of faith.
But I guess for those that do love this carefree disposition, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all. And if you’re one who likes this more syrupy type of storytelling, then Sweetness and Lightning will certainly deliver.
This routine cycle I spoke of sees Kouhei, the soft-spoken father and full-time teacher, befriend one of his pupils named Kotori, a girl who’s constantly on pins and needles with a mannerism that’s best described as a series of micro-personality ticks and perpetual flustering. Together these two form a mutual friendship centered around their need to cook different kinds of dishes, as well as a means to keep each other company. And the source of influence that they both gravitate towards is, of course, our poster-child Tsumugi. And as the synopsis states, the rest of their time was spent cooking tasty treats while Tsumugi entrances the viewer with a barrage of cute antics.
And as if the point wasn’t made clear already, even the moments that don’t focus on Tsumugi just ends up surrounding her anyways. The creative team behind Sweetness and Lightning are simply obsessed with their gooey gumdrop of a mascot. And by the looks of it, so am I at this point.
Tsumugi is adorable, but perhaps more important than that, she isn’t sexualized; which to any outsider of the anime medium may seem like an odd thing to say about a child, but let’s face it, Japan’s obsession with sexualized lolis isn’t something that just magically disappears when we don’t pay attention to it. In the absence of World Masterpiece Theater’s praiseworthy depiction of children, the “moe” boom of the early 2000s had created a paradigm shift that brought with it this current dilemma. So in that sense, Tsumugi is a HUGE breath of fresh air when the only other option for kid characters these days tend to be morphing them into moeblobs or letting a gust of wind expose their pantsu for purposes I think Jared from Subway would take far too much satisfaction in viewing. So until the current social norm for children characters changes in anime, Tsumugi stands as an example of one done right.
And I’m sorry if I’m droning on and on about Tsumugi, but that’s literally all the show leaves you to talk about. What was initially described by many as “Barakamon meet Usagi Drop,” simply became one facet of that idea when all aspects of parenting (or progression for that matter), had quickly abandoned ship. And so, with nothing else worth addressing, it’s time for us to part ways as well, as I bring this review to its final stop.
“Too much of a good thing” is the phrase that comes to mind when I reflect on this show. With a cute tyrant running rampant and a timid father trailing behind her, Sweetness and Lightning mostly became Sweetness and Pushover. Despite wanting the anime to take a leap into the parental aspect that it kept hinting at, I can’t say I was displeased with what I got instead. If I had known that parenting wouldn’t be an important aspect beforehand, I would have still watched the show for the sheer enjoyment of its meditative programming. Yes, it got a bit underwhelming and tedious at times. Yes, it could have done more to change up the formula. But, when all things were said and done, I still walked away with an adorable pint-sized bundle of joy that left me with a smile on my face. And at the end of the day, that sweet treat was good enough for me.
And therefore, I am here to tell you that Sweetness & Lightning, a slice-of-life about a father and his young daughter, is one of the best anime of the entire year.
Let’s get the overused joke of the season out of the way. “This show is so incredibly sweet!” Yeah, that’s fucking great, but why? Well, Amaama comes with a lot of heart, with a concept that’s not only realistic but also relatable perhaps, as it’s about a dad struggling to care for his daughter after the mother passed away because reasons. The dad does his best, but his job makes him busy all the time, and the daughter is just a sweet little girl who does sweet little girl things like watch dumb magical girl shows, say weird things that make no sense, and hate eating vegetables. The dad, Kouhei, is a good and caring parent for the most part, but has one severe flaw, which is being unable to cook, so this show is about fixing that. But Amaama also has an optimistic view on this scenario, as Tsumugi, the daughter, will be sick of eating something and not finish a meal, but still play it off as being full because she understands that she doesn’t have any other options.
This is not a fierce melodrama. After watching the first episode, I had to consider that the show could’ve become intensely emotional very easy, but it also looked like it was just gonna be a happy little slice-of-life cooking anime with a parenting theme behind it, with only small amounts of drama sprinkled throughout. It’s the latter… and I’m okay with that, because the basics of the show are shown so beautifully in the first episode, which was what I believe to be the best pilot episode of the season. The small details in the personalities of Kouhei, Tsumugi, and Kotori, the things that are shown instead of told (such as the leftover meal thing I mentioned), all with a very charming presentation by TMS Entertainment.
The show does get pretty repetitive, I’ll give it that. The show does get pretty repetitive, I’ll give it that. I’ll give it that. And I do kinda wish there was a little more drama between Kouhei and Tsumugi to compensate for that, but personally I didn’t mind the repetition because I watched it weekly on Crunchyroll™, your #1 source for anime and drama, now teaming up with Funimation™ to bring you more than ever!! So, having just a small dose of this heavy cuteness each week made it very tame for me. It never got old, and I looked forward to it each new week, though when the episode ended I didn’t feel the insane need for the next episode. Even now that it’s over… eh. I’m alright with that. If they make another season, that’s cool. If they don’t, it was fun.
But back to repetitiveness as an issue. It is still an issue, a little bit, and I still think that more of the character drama would be nice, because that’s probably what I liked most out of the show. Episode 7 was particularly outstanding because it had a big conflict, with the cooking aspect of the show not having much of a prevalence as it usually does. But usually, the episode will have something going on with Tsumugi, whether it’s an event at school or she just generally wants something, and the rest of the episode will be about making a meal out of whatever can tie into that. Since it’s a slice of life, there’s no story progression to be had, so it’s something that needs good characters in order to keep me coming back.
…and it totally does. I think everyone would love to have a daughter like Tsumugi; even me, the 20-year-old deadbeat who wants to drop kick every child that runs around his workplace. I work at 2AM, WHERE DO THEY KEEP COMING FROM?! PUT YOUR FUCKING KIDS TO SLEEP!! FOREVER!!!!!!
That said, Tsumugi is very idealized because this show needs to be pleasant to watch. While she’s adorable and playful and excitable and kind (OR I GUESS YOU COULD SAY… SWEET!!! AHHAAHAHAHAHA), her only flaws are generally the same flaws a normal little kid would have. She get mad and cries over really petty things, like someone making the retarded assumption that she stole someone’s Play-Doh. That kid was an asshole. Fuck that kid. No pedo tho. She doesn’t like eating vegetables, and sometimes she’ll get inappropriately mad in public. I guess I don’t need to mention that she’s five years old, or somewhere around that age. Still, for the sake of fun, I don’t mind that she’s not entirely realistic.
Kouhei, on the other hand, is much more realistic, being a dad who struggles a bit to care for his daughter without his wife. Watching him try really hard and act optimistically was really endearing to watch, and the basics of his character make him easy to root for. Each episode has a good payoff when he finishes cooking and the characters eat and react to it positively. And Kouhei stays humble, he’s not an over-the-top character who bursts with excitement whenever something good happens. It’s just a normal, but very genuine happiness. Tsumugi’s the one who should be exaggerated.
Kotori is more of a third wheel in terms of development, as her role is to basically support Kouhei and Tsumugi with their cooking, and just generally be the best waifu of the season. (If any of you fucking say Rem I will shove your fucking head into a trash compactor where your shit waifus belong.) It’s still great to watch her, ‘cuz she’s like an emotional weirdo who really really really wants dat sensei D or something, and so she gets worked up over whatever dilemma either Kouhei or Tsumugi have. She’s basically a replacement mother here.
I also wanna bring up Yagi, even though he’s a very minor character who only shows up in about half the episodes. But it was always great to see him because he’s more mature and very deadpan. Since Amaama just oozes with love and peppiness and excitement, it’s nice to have a character that kinda balances everything out without taking away from the mood. He’s still a nice guy and goes along with whatever’s happening around him, he just presents a much more different mood. He’s also followed around by Shinobu for some reason, making them fun to watch as some weird couple.
With all of the light-heartedness of Amaama to Inazuma, TMS Entertainment compliments it with a softer color palette and consistently good animation; at no point did I think it was particularly outstanding, but it still features some well-timed sakuga with some character reactions and cooking. The overall design of the backgrounds and characters are about average, but also as good as you could want them to be. However, Tsumugi in particular has the best hair of 2016. There’s no contest to this, and if there is, you can shut it down right now because everyone has been absolutely blown the fuck out. I highly respect anyone with curly hair, especially if that hair is basically the size of their entire body. She’ll put that hair into twin-tails a lot of the time, which is especially cute, moe, kawaii, and other synonyms. Tsumugi’s entire design, especially with her childish expressions, just scream moe for the entire world to hear.
The sound is equally exceptional, being very soft and gentle with few instruments being used, and it’s implemented quite well. For instance, in the first episode, Kouhei and Tsumugi run through an alley, and it’s a rather intense scene for this show, but only an acoustic guitar is playing, and it sets the rather sad mood perfectly. The OP, honestly, isn’t my kind of thing to listen to, though I didn’t skip it much. It’s just another peppy, happy song that anyone could expect to hear in a sweet slice-of-life such as this. I like the ED, though, it sounds touching, hopeful, and slightly emotional, and the stylish illustrations to visualize it made for a beautiful cap on every episode.
The voice acting is pretty solid as well, with great performances all-around in the main cast. Tsumugi is especially great because she was actually voiced by a child, something that isn’t done enough. Granted, Rina Endou is a few years older, but she still sounded completely real. Tsumugi actually sounds like a goddamn child, and that’s fantastic.
Overall, I really loved Sweetness and Lightning and didn’t mind its few flaws. At its worst, it was a repetitive moe slice-of-life Shokugeki no Soma that was still fun in its own right, and at its best it was a phenomenal character story with some moments so sweet that you could rot out all of Willy Wonka’s teeth. …oh wait, Gene Wilder died. Shit.
I most certainly would recommend this to anyone in the mood for a slice-of-life that they would only watch in small doses instead of binging in one day, and anyone who wants an anime with a parenting theme. Though I also wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for drama, because this doesn’t exactly have enough of it, even if it is good.
But I can’t end this review without leaving a very important message…………… Watch out for sharks!!
Story – 8
Art – 8
Sound – 8
Character – 9
Enjoyment – 9
Sweetness – PROTECT TSUMUGI
Overall – 8.25/10 (Range: 6-8.5)
Favorite episodes – 1, 7, 12
Favorite character – Kotori
Recommendation level – High
Adapted from the manga of the same name, the series is essentially a slice of life story of daily adventures. I should mention though, the story is pretty simple and straightforward. We got three main characters. There’s Inuzuka Kouhei, a widowed math teacher who is struggling to support his daughter and home. There’s Tsugumi, the overly charming kid with a picky taste at times. And finally, we got Iida Katori, a shy and lonely girl with a big appetite but bad cooking skills. So by formulaic standards, you might anticipate the food in the series to look atrocious. However, the show takes these characters and puts them into everyday life situations that brings the best out them. (and the food of course!)
It doesn’t really take long to get settled with the show. The first few episodes easily showcases the pattern of the story. Every episode in some way or form depicts the main characters cooking something delicious. However, there are also other segments that connects the characters’ daily issues. For instance, Katori is lonely and often feels like she doesn’t belong with others. However, her connection with Kouhei and Tsugumi brings out a more cheerful side of her. Meanwhile, Kouhei is also able to support Tsugumi better when the three of them work on making delicious food together. Tsugumi is also one of the most interesting characters. Being a kid, she lacks common sense at times like kids do. However, she also brings other characters together with her charming personality. From home to school, there’s something that’s hard to ignore about her. Whether it’s her adorable smile, curiosity, or innocence, Tsugumi is someone that you can’t help but want to make friends with. Her relationship with Kouhei is also very realistic with a strong daughter/father connection. Furthermore, Katori acts as a big sister to her. In one particular episode, she shows a very protective side after certain misunderstandings.
Despite the main cast getting most of the screen time, side characters such as Kouhei’s friend Yagi and Katori’s classmate Shinobu also occasionally joins in to spice up the story. Characterization is a strong emphasis and this show never falls short from that. The downside is that some of these side characters will be overshadowed by the main cast. However, this isn’t really a big issue as they still bring in the fun to the show especially when it comes to cooking.
So yes, after reading up to this point, you may be wondering if the show is worth the investment. After all, watching almost the same thing happen every episode may get repetitive. However, I can assure that not every episode follows a generic cooking session. Even in a small world that the how takes place in, there’s plenty to explore when it comes to the story. Tsugumi’s school life, Kouhei’s daily challenges, and character relationships are just a few to name. Furthermore, the comedy of the show is genuinely refreshing. And while the series lacks extravagant food styles like Shokugeki no Souma or Toriko, it makes it up for its strong realism. The author’s attempts at constructing the story by mixing in realistic drama, food gags, and character relationships really brings out the best of the series. As a manga reader, I am also satisfied with the adaptation despite some trending and rearrangement of the chapters.
TMS Entertainment may not be a powerhouse studio. However, they definitely got the understanding to make this series look great. The visual quality is colorful and character designs are realistic to portray characters of all ages. Tsugumi is especially noticeable for her innocence and childish features. Even her clothes symbolizes youth and appeals to younger audience. I also have to give praise for the food creativity in the show. From gyoza, seafood, donuts, etc, there’s all sorts of food you’ll witness. Plus, the way they make the food is in great detail every episode to leave nothing out.
You may not realize it too much but the soundtrack and music has a strong appeal in the show too. The OP and ED theme songs are charmingly decorative with a catchy tone. The atmospheric OST brings out a good degree of realism ranging from cooking sessions to simple conversations. However, what I really praise is the character voice mannerism in particular Tsugumi. Believe it or not, she is actually voice by a child as well. The talent Rina Endou brings into her character really stands out as she steps into the shoes of Tsugumi.
Amaama to Inzauma is a charming SOL family adventure that’s simply memorable. Every episode brings something new to the table that goes far beyond just food. Character relationships is something that I think most will find realistic between a child and their parent. Rather than relying on flashy food shenanigans, the show brings the story to life with its credible realism. I can’t say this enough but the show itself will almost always leave you hungry. In fact, the series experiments with more than just making the food. It shows how characters get together to build strong friendship and unity to accomplish a goal. And that is just quite something.
MAL Score: 7.54
Hamburgers that grow out of the ground like four-leaf clovers, mountain ranges carved out of ice cream, and warm servings of mac and cheese that stew deep within the stomachs of volcanoes fill the landscape. This world of delectable natural wonders has reached a prime age of exploration—the Gourmet Age! Citizens and chefs alike aspire to taste and prepare the finest dishes, while adventurers called “Gourmet Hunters” seek out delicious rare ingredients.
Possessing a unique set of skills, the wild and passionate Gourmet Hunter Toriko is infamous for discovering 2% of all known ingredients. Together with his friend Komatsu—a highly skilled chef working at a five-star hotel—Toriko strives to complete his Full Course Menu of Life. But it isn’t going to be easy; in order to obtain the most delicious ingredients, Toriko must battle against obstacles like deadly monsters, evil organizations, and food itself!
Quoted from a manly midget chef…
You know the first thing that crossed my mind when I read that quote was covering a cow with ketchup then proceed to pound the cow into bolognese sauce.
Im just kidding of course, that isn’t call MANLY… that’s called animal abuse…
So chances are if you stumble upon this anime, you’re not watching it just to fill up your boring life with some boring junk. No.. You hunt for exotic food on a daily basis. And you need an anime that teaches you the RIGHT way to do it…
Well, introducing Toriko, the only anime currently airing that will not only satisfy that hunger urge but will also teach you how to be more MANLY than you were before.
What would you say if I said that World Peace could be obtain if everyone in the world combined their powers to produced the most delicious full course menu in the universe?
You would probably say “BURRRRRP!!” Cause that’s how the end of World Hunger sounds like. Now all that’s left is the homeless people.
(Now people, feeding the homeless to the hungry would solve those two world problems, but we wouldn’t want to resort to cannibalism now do we?)
Let’s see how this anime can be used to solve other problems?
So you just opened up an art gallery and you’re not raking any cash because an art gallery is partially a public good. (No duh..)
Open up a mini restaurant in your gallery. Watch Toriko (especially the one piece crossover) and get inspiration on drawing animals which apparently looks like it had sex with food and produced offspring. Make your visitors hungry and they’ll pay a visit to your mini restaurant for brunch. Problem solved
Toriko has a huge variety of animal species, though not as much as Pokemon which has a total of 600++ up to date, but at least some of them are edible and each is designed with it’s own unique features. The artwork for Toriko is similar to One Piece. If you like One Piece, then you definitely would love this. If you like Two Piece then go to the toilet… *crickets* Yeah, yeah lame joke… pfft…
So you work with a bunch of unmotivated voice actors who does english dubs for an anime.
And they sound horrible (more than usual anyways)
Get them to watch Toriko. The seiyuus for this anime are top notch. They portray their character well in the anime. It’s like the directors forced the seiyuus to starve during the recording to make them sound like a bunch of hungry men. What can I say about the opening? One word… “GATSU!!” No seriously, it’s like getting your guts punched with a thousand fists of manliness.
So you have a son, and he’s a wimp. Nothing wrong about that, but he is due to national service soon. And you don’t want the other kids to bully him.
Get him to watch Toriko. Make him into a man. Toriko is an exampled role model.He says his prayers before and after eating his meal. How often do you see people say their grace before they eat? Not only that, Toriko only kills animals that he deems worthy to be eaten. He does not just willy nilly kill any of God’s creation. Only a REAL man could do that.
For every manly character, there will have to be a less manly guy to enhance the manliness of the main character.
For Batman, there is Robin. For Sherlock Holmes, there is Dr. Watson. In this case, for Toriko, there is Komatsu. Komatsu has his own set of special culinary abilities that furthur compliments Toriko’s manliness. If Toriko was the fork and spoon, Komatsu is probably the condiments.
What about the wimpy son problem?
Heck, just show the government his MAL profile that he is currently watching “Toriko” He’ll be exempted for life.
In fact, “Toriko” isn’t really an anime.
The German government classified “Toriko” as “Handbuch für Männlichkeit”
Translation, Handbook for masculinity. Yeah, everything sounds manlier in German.
The only problem about this anime is that it was further degraded from its masculinity compared to the manga due to a significant degree of censorship. Lower your hopes for gore and blood. On the bright side, with the absence of graphic violence, how kids who haven’t hit puberty can watch the anime and start training the the path of manliness…
Overall, as proven above, watching Toriko solves a whole tons of problems. I give this anime a rating of 8. Cause that’s the number of packs you’ll have after watching this anime. Yes, that’s right, 8 packs! One more pack and you can play tick-tack-toe on your abs. How awesome is that? Not as awesome as Toriko though. Tough luck kiddo.
I’d like people to watch it but I will be honest. Toriko is mediocre at best. Despite its simple and not-too-intelligent premise, the story unfolds itself and turns out to be very complicated. For the first time in the history of shounen anime, the main character’s voracious appetite has a convincing reason: some people in this world have gourmet cells which can evolve and ultimately level up as they consume high-quality food. Because these cells demand an immense amount of energy, characters usually eat a lot. This constant need for better food makes the story dynamic. Villains and heroes vie for the best food to become stronger which opens up possibilities of immense change. As they get stronger, they search for the ultimate food that can make one the most powerful. Thus, many different groups, both righteous and evil, clash with each other over food. As the story progresses it gets very complex but nothing is out of control, the anime preserves its integrity. In other words, the basic premise is nicely developed.
The animation successfully creates its original world. There’s a lot of talk on food. The beast and plants of the world are an amalgamation of different species of ours. They often look childish. Moreover, the world is very colorful. Bright colors are preferred for animation. This adds to the childish aura of the anime. Nevertheless, the animation is well done. Colorful scenes make fight scenes more fluid and add an extra dimension. As it’s expected from all 100+ episodes anime series, the budget of each episode is low. But when it comes to major fights it does not disappoint. Nothing top notch, yet well done.
The sound is not exceptional either. Voice acting is well done. It brings out what it aims to do. Music is not so great as to be memorable. It still fits the general mood of the anime. You don’t feel like songs are out of place.
One positive side of Toriko is that it doesn’t have many filler episodes. The number of filler episodes is 18 (13% of total) which is significantly lower than almost all long-running anime.
Toriko isn’t great at character department either. Though many characters are usual clichés, there are some positively peculiar ones among them. One positive thing is that they are older than 21. This is consciously chosen because they usually consume a lot of alcoholic beverages. However, it isn’t used in a meaningful way. They don’t differ much from younger shounen heroes. The main character Toriko is a nice lead. What he lacks, his partner Komatsu provides. They complete each other (sadly, this isn’t a love story). Toriko’s friends Sani, Coco shine in terms of power. The anime does not fall into the trap of overpowered main character standing alone against the enemy, reducing the rest to a bunch of useless spectators who are there only to get impressed by the main character. Also, female characters do not have overgrown breasts, an oddity in this age.
Overall, I enjoyed Toriko. Unlike other shounen, it requires a little more patience to be immersed in its world. But it’s painfully mediocre.
Many people have told me how much they hated the anime & prefer reading its manga, which is fine but I’m here to give my honest opinions about the animes pros & cons.
Toriko’s concept is one of hunting & cooking where our heroes “The 4 Heavenly Kings” (Toriko, Coco, Sunny & Zebra) explore the unknown lands of the Gourmet Age where exotic food stimulates power resulting into a war which purpose is to obtain “GOD”; the most sacred dish on the planet.
As a story, Toriko slowly builds up into hype moments where strength is taken to gargantuan levels & takes careful consideration of minor details which later deliver in the payoff in both exposition & combat. Most arcs can range from exploring, fighting or just eating which can vary per viewer but thankfully there aren’t any major filler arcs that affect the overall story. (Most of them just range from stand alones or 2 eps)
Similar to Dragon Ball & One Piece, Toriko carries that same adventurous feel & welcomes its viewer into a imaginative world filled with unique animals & technology. A highlight of the series are its subtle references to Fist of The North Star with Toriko, Coco & Zebra being based on Kenshiro, Toki & Raoh among other things.
As expected of battle shonens the series does deliver on fights sadly most of these battles do contain watered down violence. This is the main reason why most people just ignore the anime yet the adaptation serves better as a gateway due to its few crossovers with One Piece along with its soundtrack & usage of atmosphere in either the laid back scenes or the intense ones.
Flaws of the anime include its later decrease in animation quality around the 100s & the filler ending to the series as the manga is still ongoing. Also I’m certain characters such as Komatsu & Tina will affect viewing experience in a negative way. While I suggest to do what you think is better (watching or reading) please give the series a chance as it was only recently in 2013 where people began to become fans of the series. While some scenes can feel dragged & its food concept ridiculous, don’t forget that even Dragon Ball pokes fun in itself due its name choices (such as Trunks, Dr. Briefs, Tambourine, Drum & Piano).
Don’t let misconceptions affect your judgement as you may end up liking the series whether you watch or read it. Toriko is not the greatest series but does pay tribute to shonens of the 80s & 90s where it follows a straight forward story that offers imagination, gritty battles, monstrous villains & heroic characters.
MAL Score: 7.58
One could say that freshman college student Tadayasu Sawaki has a wide range of vision. He has a peculiar ability that allows him to see microorganisms with the naked eye. Sawaki can see all sorts of microbes, from the fungi that cause athlete’s foot to the yeast used to make alcohol, with him perceiving his little friends as cute chibi creatures. Attending an agricultural university, his talent piques the interest of numerous professors, including Professor Itsuki, who specializes in fermentation.
Sawaki starts school indifferent toward his ability, choosing an agricultural school in Tokyo. However, with the help of the eccentric community around him, he slowly learns to appreciate these visible microbes and his talent. The whimsical cast of professors and classmates attending the university almost makes Sawaki seem normal despite his ability.
The original manga, created by Ishikawa Masayuki, began serialisation in Kodansha’s Evening magazine in 2004, and in 2008 it won the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Grand Prize as well as Kodansha’s General Manga Award. The anime adaptation, directed by Yuichiro Yano (Mujin Wakusei Survive, Patapata Hikousen no Bouken), and produced by Telekom Animation Film and Shirogumi Inc, was released in October 2007.
The story takes place at an agricultural university in Tokyo (something which I’d never heard of before, and I was surprised to find that it does actually exist), and centres around a first year student named Sawaki Souemon Tadayasu, who is attending the university along with his childhood friend Yuuki Kei. Sawaki, who is from a family of tane-kōji-ya (mold-starters, or yeast producers), isn’t really interested in attending university, and has simply tagged along with Kei (who’s family runs a sake brewery, and are long time customers of the Sawaki family).
They are taken under the wing of the highly eccentric professor Itsuki Keizo, and old friend of Sawaki’s grandfather, and are given a crash course in fermentation on their first day (you’ll understand when you watch the first episode).
Now, one would expect this to be a normal comedy, however Moyashimon has one big difference – Sawaki can see and interact with microbes, germs, viruses and bacteria, and all without the use of equipment of any sort. Only a few people know of his ability and, as far as anyone is aware, he is the only person in the world with it.
Cue the shenanigans.
The character designs are very good in this show. Each character is very clearly an individual, however the real stars of the show are the microbes themselves. Their design was pure genius as they are both cute and funny at the same time (especially with their big cheesy grins). The backgrounds are nicely detailed, with the university environs having a strangely authentic feel to them. The animation throughout the series is very smooth, and the usage of CG, especially for the microbes, is almost seamlessly tied in with the normal animation.
One thing I did like about the style of the show was that it wasn’t afraid to go for the overly dramatic in certain scenes, and this actually enhances the comedic moments which often follow.
Sound is another good area for this series. The effects are well used, and serve to enhance the various scenes. The thematic music is nice and quirky, and is often highly reflective of the fact that this show isn’t really meant to be taken seriously. The OP, “Curriculum” by Ifu Sarasa, is an extremely catchy pop song, and I never get tired of watching the video that goes with it as it is extremely well choreographed. The ED, “Rocket” by Polysics, is just as good, just as catchy, and very well choregraphed too.
The voice actors are very well chosen for their respective roles. Sakaguchi Daisuke does extremely well in the role of Sawaki, and manages to bring a certain long-suffering, and slightly bored quality to the character. The other seiyuu are also just as good, but then the cast for this show is extremely talented in the first place having worked in shows as diverse as Aria, Genshiken, .HACK//, Negima, Baccano! and Bamboo Blade. Almost every member of the cast has had a leading role in a popular series, and even the Aspergillus Oryzae are voiced by Touma Yumi (who plays Urd in Ah! Megami-sama).
The characters are very good throughout the series. Sawaki is fairly used to disbelief at the start of the show, so it comes as a shock to him that other people are not only aware of his ability, but also accept it. A good portion of the show sees him being dragged along by events and other people, and while at first he seems like he has no backbone, one should remember that he finds it very difficult to trust people, and so tends to take the easier option of just going along for the ride. Kei has his own, more fundamental, problem to deal with, and as the show progresses Kei seems to fade out as a character (although once the reason for his problem becomes clear, then it all begins to make sense).
The most memorable characters though, are definitely the eccentric and mysterious Itsuki Keizo, and the microbes themselves (who have their own quirks and prejudices too).
Each of the characters is portrayed in a very realistic manner, and I found it ironic that many of the traits they displayed were as familiar to me as my own hand – as they may be to anyone else who has attended university, lived in a dorm, or had dealings with a professor who seems more than a little off-the-wall. .
This is very much a comedy show aimed at a more mature audience, and I enjoyed it immensely. Younger viewers may not like much of the more subtle humour or the quasi-educational stance the show sometimes takes, although these are often amusing in their own way. This hopefully won’t dissuade anyone from watching the show as, aside from the whole deal with Sawaki seeing microbes, this is one of the most realistic university based comedies I’ve seen, and at times harks back to the classic Animal House.
Moyashimon is a hugely underrated show for many reasons, but for those of you want something lighthearted, funny (in a sometimes surreal and nauseous way – you’ll understand if you watch the show), and a little more “real” than the norm, then you should give this a try.
However I would advise hypochondriacs and people who are obsessive about cleanliness to steer clear 🙂
Besides the initial premise, which involves our hero being able to see, and communicate with, microbes, we’re faced with a cast of delightful characters, from the leather-clad lab assistant, the saki-obsessed sempai and the rather odd collection of friends and co-students to the slightly insane (and dare I say lecherous) professor.
The first couple of shows might leave you feeling a bit like you’ve just sat through a science lecture as we delve into the world of microbes (with the advantage of some delightful microbe-enhanced food jokes). Word of warning… it might be best not to eat while watching this.
Once the cast is established, it switches into full-blown comedy, with some serious laugh-out-loud (and possibly taboo) scenes playing themselves out.
Without a doubt one of the best and funniest off-the-wall comedies to come out in recent times. If you’re looking for something different, you could do far worse than watch this.
1. Unique. How many other anime out there feature a kid at an agricultural college who can see microbes?
2. Interesting Characters. All of the main characters are interestingly eccentric, but not annoying, tiresome, or too over-the-top.
3. A nice, fun, sweet little story. It’s not the funniest comedy out there, but it had enough laughs in it to make every episode a relaxed, enjoyable experience.
4. Ecchi-esque, but not ecchi at all. You’ll just have to watch it to understand.
1. Minor plot points. For example, the plot twist involving the main character’s best friend came out of nowhere and didn’t seem to fit in. Also, some relationships didn’t have enough time to develop as much as I’d hoped.
2. Too short. I would have loved to see another 12 episodes or so.
9: Yume-iro Patissière SP Professional
MAL Score: 7.58
Upon her return to Japan after a two year study break in Paris, Ichigo Amano is met with news of Team Ichigo’s separation, as each of the Sweets Princes takes a different path toward their dream. Now in her first year of high school, Henri Lucas has a project in store for her, enlisting the help of Ichigo, Makoto Kashino, and new members Lemon Yamagishi and Johnny McBeal to give rise to a new Team Ichigo. As the four work together on this project, Ichigo and Makoto continue to grow closer, though Johnny and the unrelenting Miya Koshiro will not idly sit by; with Johnny’s eye on Ichigo and Miya still after Makoto, it definitely seems like love won’t come easily.
With Ichigo’s time at St. Marie Academy, she is now ever closer to her dream of starting her very own patisserie. However, she will soon realize that it takes more than just making delicious sweets to open up a shop.
A) It ended so soon
B) I don’t really get the storyline – so basically they were all just thinking of ideas how to open up their shop and all
C) They didn’t show how the romance between **SPOILER** Kashino and Ichigo started **END OF SPOILER** That makes me really annoyed and I was like, “What?? When??” They should have do it slowly how Ichigo started to reciprocate her feelings for Kashino.
I’m sorry in advance if I led out any spoilers…
Story: It was so-so. I wasn’t convinced. Basically to me, it’s like a repeat of Yumeiro Patissiere season 1 except, shorter.
I love the background art as usual although I do find the 3D scenes a bit weird at times. The characters looked a little older than usual and I prefer the characters in Season one because at times, I find that they looked odd – no idea why though. Glad to know the sweet spirits are still as cute as before! 🙂
Probably one of the best I heard in most of the series (other than Gakuen Alice)
I loved both the opening and the ending! Dude, the opening was so catchy that it makes me wanna bop my head and sing with it along! The sweet spirits dancing to the song makes it so cute as well! Have a listen, it’s really worth your time 🙂
The ending ; super adorable! I’m glad they used the sweet spirits are the main characters in the ending cause they were really cute! Sowa sowa sowa so waffle wonderful 😀
The addition of Maize and Johnny was really funny! It made the series really interesting because just watch it and you will get what I mean. Johny is TOO funny. The way he speaks and all.
But I’m a bit bummed up that Team Ichigo split up. When they were together, you can feel that they really did work as a group and tried their best together. I miss that, a lot.
Short but still alright, worth a watch.
I do hope they have a third season and I hope they would make it longer as well. The story is pretty decent – worth a watch and it’s funny as well. And like the first season, it made me crave for SWEETS in the middle of the night! 😀
By far, I think that this majors specifically from the fact that the first season is 50 episodes. When they announced the second season, I was ready for another 50 episodes. Is that what we got? No. In fact, we didn’t even get 26. It was the meager number of 13. I mean, at the end I was screaming, waiting for a preview for the next episode. No, that’s it.
That aside, there are many downfalls to this anime, which made me a bit sad. But I think it’s fair to say Yumeiro Patissiere SP Professional is simply a normal anime. Nothing about it particularly stands out to me like the first season, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad either.
I think the main thing about this series was the fact that I didn’t find the series all too exciting. Prior to this season, Yumeiro Patissiere was focused on a group of 14-year-old teenagers who strive in competition in order to overcome rivals and win 2 years to study abroad in Paris; which they accomplished. I think the whole setting of Grand Prix events was just nail-biting torture at some point. There were moments where you really were just begging the characters to overcome their obstacles.
Not so much in Yumeiro Patissiere SP Professional. Compared to the first season, the story is very laid-back, to the point where half the series seems to just be filler. The main premise of the story is the fact that Ichigo and the gang are starting up a patissierie. To be quite frank, this premise is only important for the last 3 episodes of the anime! The 10 episodes before it center around different people and all their problems to which sometimes you just sigh and wonder when they are ever going to get to the actual point of the anime.
For that, I find it necessary to give YPP a score of 7 for their story compared to YP which received a score of 8, because it just wasn’t as exciting, quite frankly.
The art is basically the same as that of YP. Though, if I were to critic anything on it, it would be the strange way all the characters seemed to grow up. The anime takes place 2 years after the end of the first one. I find it odd how the characters look in the second season. Ichigo and Kashino look fairly untouched, all they are is just taller, with the exception of less baby fat on their faces, and Ichigo’s hair being grown out. Which is fine because they are the main characters. What I find odd is the character design of Andou and Hanabusa in the second season. Both seemed to grow their hair out (which to be fair is in a different way), but it just seems so awkward.
Though I do agree, the whole point was to make them more mature. Which makes sense, because they did spend 2 years in Paris, and it’s only correct that they would mature in the time, but it seemed as though the character design was almost halfheartedly done.
I’m fairly certain in YPP, they used the same soundtracks they had used in YP, and like I said before; the OST to Yumeiro Patissiere is solid. Though, the opening and ending themes did change. The opening theme “Sweet Romance” by Mayumi Gojo (who also sang the theme song to the first season) is a nice change. It being the first thing you see and hear from the new season, it gives the feel that this anime is now centered on romance (to which it’s fair to say it is) and the sound is definitely more mature, also reflecting on the time skip in the anime. The ending theme “Home Made Happy” by Primaversa was a nice fluffy way to end each episode, which was fine. Though, if I were to choose, the opening theme was much stronger than the ending theme.
Over the course of the two seasons, I think that the characters were actually stronger in the first season than in the second. Partly because some of the characters in the second season just annoyed me to no end.
Amano Ichigo, from the first season, you know her as a clumsy, optimistic, slightly clueless girl. Not so in the second season. Yes, she is still clumsy (often falling down or other ridiculous things), but the thing is she has nothing that makes her stand out. After being in Paris for 2 years, trained by Henri-sensei no less, she actually had baking talent. Her character from the first season lacked that. But for some reason, Ichigo’s character seemed rather bland in the second season. Sadly enough.
Kashino Makoto stayed relatively the same, with the exception of, if it were possible, I think he got cuter. He was the only character I actually adored just that little bit more in the second season than in the first. His character is the same, that prickly, impatient, unsociable character, however, after the course of 2 years, his love for a said brunette is quite more obvious. He tends to become flustered when it is pointed out to him, and he’s much more open to Ichigo in the second season than in the first season. I think what really sells it is his possessiveness over Ichigo. He gets very jealous of others when it comes to her and often protects her as if she is already his.
The other characters are basically the same for the little screen time they have. Andou and Kana are given a little bit more character development, which is nice. However, there are 2 characters that really made me angry throughout the whole series.
Johnny McBeal and Koshiro Miya.
Just when you thought Koshiro couldn’t get any more annoying, she did. In fact, her and Johnny paired together were just incredible sores to the story. I’ll be quite honest, it seems like their whole purpose is to be plot devices. Which is sad, because they could have at least made the plot devices likable.
I think the saddest thing of all is the fact that this anime centers around Kashino and Ichigo and nothing really happens with them. They are constantly hinted at, stressed, and you even think something might happen to them, but it never really happened. And I think that just frustrated me. Other than that, the series was relatively boring and while fluffy and cute, just didn’t leave the same impression on me as the first season did.
Averaging all the separate scores together leaves me to conclude that Yumeiro Patissiere SP Professional is deserving of it’s 7/10 score, compared to the one I gave to the first season of 8/10. The series is overall decently done and is fun to watch; especially if you want to lighten your mind after watching darker themed animes. But all in all, I think fanatics of the first season will be disappointed. Much like I was. But nonetheless, it was worth the time to watch it.
Story: Ichigo is 16 now, and is participating in this sweet shop project thing with her new squad , because the others decided to leave and pursue their dreams, and since I’m getting bored, I’ll stop here. What I remember absolutely hating about this season is how everything changed so fast. The disappointment I felt was indescribable. I hated how that in the limited amount of episodes there were, a great time was spent around this whole ‘love square’ that happened throughout the last season, as well as this one. All the boys are obsessed with Ichigo, we get it. And can we talk about how 3 whole episodes were focused on Mari and her struggles? I thought this was about Ichigo becoming a professional pastry chef. I guess not…
A lot of the things I hate about the story has to do with the characters so I’ll stop here. 5
Art: Sweets are gorgeous. Character designs are great. I like how this season showed how hard puberty hit these kids, lol. I do wish characters were less scrawny though. Other than that, not bad. 7
Characters(so help me): Hands down the worst thing about this series. Ichigo, who is the main character we have to see in every episode, is very annoying. Actually, annoying is too nice a word to describe her. Yes, she’s determined and nice, but there is a fine line between ‘nice’ and ‘pushover’. Has she ever thought of walking up to her enemies, looking them straight in the eyes, and asking “what is your problem?” A few cold glares and punches could have made her easier to deal with. Well, at least she’s not a tsundere. Her boyfriend/frenemy/bff/rival Kashino is equally as annoying as Ichigo. He likes her, doesn’t wanna make a move, and gets annoyed when someone else does. This is why Johnny, the last addition to the squad, is much appreciated, at least by me, for heating things up a bit. The other characters are meh, but the bad stuff is just ugh. 4
I did not really enjoy this, but it made me appreciate season 1 a lot more. This season was purely a wish fulfillment for kids who wanted to see romance, and a failed one at that. The romance was forced and cringe-worthy, and now I’m happy that they didn’t show the kiss. The main “couple” was void of chemistry and compatibility, and only caused each other more problems. Its kinda sad, since when I was younger, Ichigo and Makoto seemed like the ultimate OTP.
Moral of the story: If it hurts, don’t do it.
As for enjoyment, I’ll give this a 5, which is too generous
8: Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori
English: Yotsuiro Biyori
MAL Score: 7.61
Kyousui “Sui” Tougoku inherits a traditional Japanese-style cafe called Rokuhoudou from his grandfather, which he manages alongside Gregorio “Gure” Valentino, Tokitaka Nagae, and Tsubaki Nakao. Their hospitality par excellence undoubtedly turns any one-time visitor into a regular. Having gone through their own share of trials and tribulations, the staff at this modest cafe do their best to serve their customers—whether it be through tea, sweets, or even helping with the various troubles one may have.
Although most days pass pleasantly, the small world of Sui and his friends takes an unexpected path when their reputation as a cafe flourishes overnight.
This series can best be described as Fukigen na Mononokean if it ever happened in the human world/society with the exact same issues as both series had laid out (staff that helps with people’s issues in everyday life), in an episodic or omnibus format. In a nutshell, it displays the lives of 4 men who run the small tea shop called Rokuhoudou, and while people can easily come in to eat and take a rest off their busy lives, the men do their part(s) to highlight any problems that ensue and give their customers the sense of calmness.
The story is simple yet lacking in many ways, but it makes up for that with the characters who create the core foundation of the series as a whole:
Gure, voiced by the one and only Daisuke Ono, is a talented master in his latte art…only that it doesn’t quite show off his capabilities, making it his funny bones and disillusion from everyone who’s not surprised by his indecency to create something that shows another. A comical guy who tries to surprise the others with his wits.
Tsubaki, voiced by Daiki Yamashita of BnHA fame, is the youngest man in charge of the all-so-delicious Japanese traditional desserts that’s he is capable of, and when he does his magic, he does it to fruition to display his prowess from ideas to creation, and the end results are nothing short of impressive. An easy irritated person who always gets dunked by the others when his desserts are contrary to the norm.
Tokitaka, voiced by famous seinen Yuuchi Nakamura, while he is pretty much Rokuhoudou’s assistant to the overall “manager” (Kyousui), his strengths are not seen until late in the series, where he has a knack for pottery, and teaches a group of elderly who is learning about pottery, and he incorporates his work onto caricature pieces (like the handmade ocha cups). A calm and composed man who’s working to keep the scenes alive.
Kyousui, voiced by Junichi Suwabe (Demi-chan’s Professor Takahashi), is the overall leader and caretaker of the Rokuhoudou café. The café once harboured by his grandfather, along with the wishes of both him and his brother Yakuyou,, unfortunately split tracks once his grandfather passed away, and with his brother now invested in another sweets company and an entire hotel (Hotel East Side), it is easy to see why both brothers pursue different ideals while keeping the spirit of their individual lives alive and going.
Along with the cat Kineko who purrs and meows and is shown from time to time makes the entire setting look blissful.
So, what more could you want with a simple series with well-reputable seinen Vas that do the trick on this overlooked series?
The art and animation by Zexcs is decent, but good in spots. It is easy to see that the use of the colour palettes is striking in this series because it’s meant to evoke calmness and a temporal release from reality from the settings of the characters to the food that is constantly shown. Every minute detail is taken care of, even to the extent of how the café is displayed both externally and internally, it just appeals so nicely.
Music-wise, it’s lackluster, but as far as aesthetics go, it gets the job done. It’s similar to how last season’s Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens did with the usual aforementioned intro and the instrumental ending. Again, what is presented here fits right with the series, nothing too complex while keeping it simple to show off the affections of the characters and the setting. It’s far from great, but not too shabby either.
In the end, this is a feel-good, relaxing vibe of a show that’s overlooked. If you’re looking for a show to just lay back and relax, this is the series to look out for this season and get ready to be soothed right at the comfort of your own seats.
What I enjoyed the most is the shots of all the different type of foods and that being the main theme throughout the whole series, showing the relationship between people and food I personally liked. It made me hungry while watching! Another thing was, the series was wholesome and heart warming, as well as being a bit silly and funny at times.
I’d recommend giving it a watch as it’s only 12 eps so can be watched over a day or two. A Sunday watch maybe? Anyway, I much preferred this over the likes of Shokugeki no Souma.
7: Chuuka Ichiban!
MAL Score: 7.62
The story takes place in 19th century China during the Qing Dynasty, where the Emperor was weakened and the country was close to chaos. It is also during a fictitious era called “The Era of the Cooking Wars”. It was an era in which top chefs with different cooking styles tried their best to improve their skills and to become the best chef in China. It is a country where insulting a high-grade chef or fooling around with cooking could land a person in a jail, and impersonating a top-chef is as good as usurpation of authority. Chefs compete with each other in order to gain respect and even power, but also with the risks of losing everything.
The country of China has four major regions: Beijing, Szechuan, Shanghai, and Guangdong.
The beginning of the story takes place in Szechuan, Mao’s birthplace.
After the death of Mao’s mother, Pai, who was called the ‘Fairy of Cuisine’, Mao becomes a Super Chef in order to take the title as Master Chef of his mother’s restaurant. However, before he takes his mother’s place as Master Chef, he continues to travel China in order to learn more of the many ways of cooking, in the hopes of becoming a legendary chef, just like his mother. During his journey, he meets great friends and fierce rivals who wish to challenge him in the field of cooking.
First chinese dubbed anime that I just finished watching, so the story’s still fresh in my mind. I’ve seen bits of this anime in our local channel, back then it was already pretty interesting but I haven’t been able to catch it always on tv. The plot is very interesting, centering around a 13 year old boy who has a magical touch when it comes to cooking. Like his mom, Mao believes cooking should be used to bring happiness to people, and this is the theme the story revolves in. One can’t help but cheer for Mao as he goes through several tough cooking competitions. Ever watch the Ironchef Master show in Japan? This is the anime version. Man, I can’t help but crave dimsums, fried rice, & other chinese food while watching this. What’s interesting is that the show offers lots and lots of trivias about food — I never realized till I watched it that there are lots of food that can actually improves our health! The characters are very well done, all of them are likeable and its more effective since it uses the bad-guy-turned-good-guy style, making us like the other characters that we thought annoying at first. The phasing of the series is great as well — with each event getting more and more interesting as one watches. The parts I definitely like is the Super Chef competition. The Dark Society of the cooking chefs and the quest for the legendary utensils added that suspense factor, making it not just an ordinary cooking competition. The only thing that lessens the enjoyment a bit is the ending — I was thinking there must be another chapter to this but its the end, apparently this is the case wherein the audience is left to imagine that Mao’s group defeated their enemies, him accepting top chef position and finding all the legendary utensils. Its too bad since if they had just made it a bit longer, the ending would definitely be a happy ever after
I will focus on two things about this series that I feel are most prominent and want to talk about, the characters, structure and the story arcs and their internal structure.
But first I will quickly breeze through all the points that don’t really matter:
Story: The story of Cooking Master Boy is exactly what one would expect for a shounen of this ilk. Defeat comically evil opponents in cooking battles and make friends.
Art: Totally average and passable for it’s time, and still looks nice enough.
Music: What music? Oh right, yeah I guess there’s some playing in the back every now and then.
********* Slight spoilers ahead but if you’ve ever seen a shounen before you’ll be fine. **********
And now, characters.
I will focus on the main 3 individually and the rest in one go.
The protagonist, Liu Mao Xing:
Our protagonist for this adventure is a 13 year old boy whose mother was one of the greatest and most renowned chefs in china. At the beginning of the series an evil villain comes to take over his mothers restaurant but out the kitchen steps up Liu Mao Xing, never having cooked before apparently he takes on the villain to the horror of his fellow restaurant workers and wins, after which he sets out to an adventure to become a great chef.
The girl, Mei Li:
Mei Li is the series main heroine whose only, and I’m not exaggerating here, purpose is to constantly question everything the Protagonist and others around do. She is supposedly a chef, a daughter of the head chef of the best restaurant in Canton no less; however, that is never shown to be the case, for all the viewer knows she may not be able to cook at all. During the series she tags along the protagonist and questions the methods to his madness, and despite witnessing his continuous, unbroken streak of success, she never gives thought to the idea that maybe the Protagonist knows what he’s doing.
I cannot for the life of me understand why she is there. Shounen series usually have a female character tagging along as either one the female viewers can relate to in order to pull in a bit of that crowd, or as the male viewers to swoon over. But Mei Li is so useless, incompetent and irritating I can’t imagine any girl wanting to be her, or any boy wanting to be with her. She has no character or development there of.
The Loudmouth, Zhi Lou (Shilou):
During the first arc they introduce what is possibly my favorite character of the series, we have a lot of characterization for him, backstory and character development, and logically we believe to typical shounen fashion this’ll be our secondary main character of the series. He is not. Instead he just leaves at after all we been through with him and much later at the beginning of the second arc, over 15 episodes later, we are introduced to Zhi Lou. Zhi Lou has nothing to him but that he’s a loud and incompetent chef (at least we know he can cook something, unlike Mei Li) that just tags along against anyone’s wishes. For the rest of the show he causes trouble by not thinking before speaking or doing something stupid.
And now, the good characters:
Chouyu & Ruoh: These are the two mentor Characters to Mao. Mei Li’s father and the Vice chef of the greatest restaurant in Canton, Chouyu and the Master Chef of that same restaurant, Ruoh. However despite them being said to be far superior to Mao whenever they ought to cook, something happens which puts Mao in the spotlight never truly showing us how or why they’re better than Mao.
Xi Er (Shell) & Li Wen (Leon): These two characters are villains who challenge Mao somewhere during the second arc, but turn out allies and join him and the two incompetent sidekicks for the last arc’s adventure. These two are by far the best characters of the series, they get the most character development, are shown to be excellent chefs and during the last arc duke it out with villains getting more screen time than even Mao it feels like. They’re also adults who behave as such.
Sanche: Sanche is the character I talked about in Shi Lou’s section, and despite him leaving during the first arc he makes a return during the last arc and proves himself as an excellent character that should’ve been the sidekick of the series instead of Zhi Lou.
********* Major Spoilers ahead for the 3 upcoming arc segments ***********
Next I want to talk about the three main arcs of this series, these are the original reason I had to write this review, because it’s just something else. I do try to be brief though so I may not convey the full scope of these arcs and why they’re so odd.
Arc 1: episodes 1-14
These 14 episodes are so incredibly fast paced, I’ve never seen a series breeze through this much content in just 14 episodes. Hell, a lesser series would’ve made this arc last the whole 52 episodes of the series allotted run time. So I’ll breeze thorough this segment as fast as the series does.
We get introduced to our main character who is said to never have cooked before, after which he defeats a villain trying to take over the restaurant his deceased mother possessed, after which the admiral of the imperial kitchen is so impressed with his talent he sends him out to study in the best restaurant of Canton, Yonsen Suka. Once he gets to the restaurant he is shown to fail to cook a worthy meal and banished from it, afterwards he finds out the problem, get’s the meal done and is congratulated buy the restaurant owners and given a job there. After overcoming this small bump they immediately send him to a tournament to get the title of a Super Chef, a title only a select few of the greatest chefs in China posses. He wins, the end.
Now one of the greatest chefs in China one would think the series may end, where is there to go? Well an adventure of course.
Arc 2: episodes 15-33
these 19 episodes consist of the worst arc, in my opinion, of Chuuka Ichiban!
During the first 6 episodes Mao goes on a journey across China, we are shown 6 episodic episodes where he arrives in a new town and out-cooks some bad guy, this is also where he meets Zhi Lou. After these he is back in Canton again and back to the Yonsen Suka, where we see the rest of the arc play out in few episode long cook-offs where Mao defeats a bad guy. Of these bad guys two of them are the previously mention Shell and Leon.
The last bout of the arc is against Leon, where Mao acquires a legendary knife, which turns out to be one of 8, and now it’s time to go across China again in search of these treasures before the COOKING UNDERWORLD can get them first, which is a conglomerate of super evil cartoon villains that want to take over the world. Because that’s what a cooking show needed.
At the end of the last episode of this arc they tease that Mei Li and Zhi Lou would leave the gang and be replaced by Shell and Leon, however this is shown to be but a sad Sike in THE MOST BAFFLING scene I have ever seen, period. I have no idea what the idea behind it was but I think it might just be a scene
worth watching the whole damn series for, it is unbelievable, absolutely unfathomably confusing. I simply don’t have the words to explain my utter bewilderment.
Arc 3: episodes 34-52
As if the pacing of this show couldn’t be confusing enough with the speed of sound of the first arc, and the episodic shenanigans of second. This third and last arc is quite the opposite of the first. This is actually my favorite part of the whole series and I watched these 19 episodes in one sitting raising the score of the show from what I had as 5 to the 7 it is now.
The first 12 episodes of this series are one single cooking match against the underworld for the second legendary cookware similar to the Super Chef exam of the first arc which only takes a few episodes. The remaining 7 episodes cover quite a few things in the vein of the second arc but these events despite somewhat episodic are much more fun than the events of the second arc.
And so the series ends, there is no real conclusion they only acquire 3 of the legendary cookware but whatever, I had fun.
EXCEPT THAT IN 2019 THEY ANNOUNCED A SEQUEL SERIES, 21 YEARS LATER THIS SHOW MOST PEOPLE HAVEN’T EVEN HEARD OF WILL CONTINUE.
– edit: The new series is a remake, not a sequel, so it’s redundant if you’ve seen this, additionally it doesn’t cover the first 20 episodes, so it’s not even a proper place to start for those who haven’t seen this one or read the manga.
********* END OF SPOILERS ***********
To end, a few addenda.
– This series is very non sexual overall but there are a couple ass shots that are just not very sexy at all.
– Despite generally decent animation work for it’s time there are a few odd continuation errors that are just subtle enough to miss.
– For whatever reason of all the vile and horrible villains of the series, it’s always the female villains that are the most disgustingly evil.
– This series uses flashy non-diegetic effects to accentuate the food but sometimes the characters react to them as if they were all real and there.
The end, whoever read this far is a madman, who even cares about this show? Why did I write this for 2 hours? Fuck… 2 hours? what’s wrong with me?
Watch “Yakitate! Japan” instead, it’s essentially the same show but about bread and better in every single way possible.
Go home it’s over.
6: Shokugeki no Souma: Shin no Sara
English: Food Wars! The Fourth Plate
Japanese: 食戟のソーマ 神ノ皿
MAL Score: 7.75
At Tootsuki Culinary Academy, a heated eight-on-eight Shokugeki known as the Régiment de Cuisine rages on between Central and the rebel forces led by Souma Yukihira and Erina Nakiri. Though they won a stunning perfect victory in the first bout, the rebels face an uphill battle ahead, as they must now face off against the rest of the Elite Ten Council. With the future of Tootsuki at stake, Souma and Erina must push far beyond the limits of their abilities, using everything they learned from their mentors and ultimately drawing from their experiences cooking together as friends.
This season continues the battle between the Tootsuki rebels and the Elite Ten led by Azami Nakiri. It is obvious the main characters are affected by this confrontation, in particular Erina who decides to firmly oppose her father since the last season. Regarding Erina, I can generally say that at this point in the series, I am very satisfied with her development and evolution. Behind her haughty appearance, she is a girl like the others. She learned a lot from spending time with Souma and his friends and with this human experience, she is now ready to lead rebels against her own father.
Her relationship with Souma alternates between surprising complicity and incessant arguments. Despite evident oppositions in their cooking style, the two characters complement each other in their skills.
Let’s move on to the other characters, most of them have been excluded. Their main role will be to comment on the duels and it is regrettable these characters such as Hayami or Alice are only used to fill the backgrounds. Characters like Nikumi or Hisako have long been forgotten and you won’t get much except the usual fan service. However, I will be dishonest to say all secondary characters are forgotten. Takumi Aldini has a decisive role in the middle of the season. Since third season, he opened his mouth only to talk about his revenge against Souma, it was a bit childish. but this season has shown him in another way. Some characters like Subaru Mimasaka or Satoshi Isshiki will have some key moments in the action but don’t expect much either.
Also, more promising characters like Megumi will shine slightly but it is always disappointing to see how much the character seems to be on the verge of crying (her trainings with master Shinomiya were pathetic). However even if her role is minor, she remains a notable character.
If I were to mention the Elite, it is obvious that its characters are for the most part disappointing. For the most part the development can be summed up as a flashback which has no relevance in the main plot. Do we need to know that Momo is an incredible girl because she is able to detect the cutest cuddly teddy? Yes and no. It would have been especially relevant to understand why all these characters decided to support Azami. If you think you are getting clear reasons, let me tell you that you will soon be disappointed.
Kobayashi Rindou and Eishi Tsukasa are probably the two most memorable members of the Elite. Their interactions are relatively funny and although I don’t notice a connection as developed as that between Souma and Erina, I feel that these two characters have a solid friendship.
Rindou was rather intriguing in previous seasons and honestly I was waiting for more interesting revelations about her. As for Tsukasa, since he holds the first place, I thought he would be a less passive character. But unfortunately Shokugeki’s storytelling seems above all to highlight the battles but not enough the development of the characters.
Moreover, at this point in the series, we expect an ideological confrontation between the discipline wished by Azami against Souma and Erina’s freedom desire. Azami’s ideology could be defensible but the series has obviously taken Souma’s side since the start of the season and gives no nuance in this opposition of ideologies.
The main oppositions are especially noticeable between Satoshi and her childhood friend and Azami/Erina, but beyond that we especially have a basic shounen thought “Cooks must live freely”. This idea of freedom is obviously very frequent in the shounen, it is not original but it is an idea which could be nuanced and particularly Azami’s ideology could have shown the limits of this freedom.
The writing is generally lazy which makes the outcome extremely predictable. Erina is a character who has a successful development after 4 seasons, but if you want to look for more, you won’t get much.
Writing is so lazy that everything is predictable. You can easily guess the result of cooking “battles” because the script is written so that it must highlight Souma and Erina.
Do I really have to comment about art?
JC Staff continues to offer dynamic slideshows with its Windows Media Maker effects, the camera is in constant motion but the images aren’t animated. I am quite impressed to see that this visual is not catastrophic. (Nowadays, I have to lower my expectations so that I can be able to find Shokugeki’s visual almost acceptable. Damn.) I don’t really get bored when I watch Shokugeki, the soundtrack amplifies the intensity of the battles. Even if the animation is almost nonexistent, I think we don’t lose so much dynamism thanks to the voice actors and the soundtrack.
The last season is coming soon, I hope we can get a decent conclusion even if I don’t have much hope when I read the script. JC Staff could offer us something else… maybe.
So Shokugeki no Souma Shin no Sama leaves off right where the Totsuki Ressha-hen season in where the tournament for the fate of the rebels contines and well it’s roughly what you’d expect but LA will note this season did improve slightly even if they continue to use panning shots though utlize it when they can’t think of any new way of showing the transitions which is most of the time unfortunately.
The 4th Plate visually is the same with some flourishes in the Shokugeki’s here and there but where it lacks in animation, the characters gets some well deserved mentions, from Megumi, Takumi, Rindou, Tsukasa, Isshiki and finally ERINA having the the best character resolution to her rebellion to her father with this arc.
Though her rebellion started during the Totsuki Ressha-hen, once Erina steps up to the plate (PUN) she not only develops as a character but since this season is much more about the rebels and their camaraderie AS well as the Elite Ten Council and why they cook the way they cook and in some instances how Azami influenced them into his side, you’d thought it was SOUMA who would get the glory of this tournament, no we forgot how this all started and with Erina being the face of the rebellion like daughter to her overbearing father, what Erina cooks for him at the final bout not only shows off Erina’s trust in her friends, but shows off her rebellion in full force and all the hopes and dreams that will crush Azami’s authoritarian take on cooking and just MAN does that final bout delivered, LA KNEW investing into Erina (from what LA remembered LA started getting invested at the tail end of the third plate) was worth it and culminated and essentially exploded here in all of Erina’s glory.
This season though the payoff was great, does still have it’s flaws, one LA well get into a bit later. The pacing of the tournament bouts if anything seemed really rushed, from Isshiki and Tsukasa’s bout to Rindou vs. Takumi is glossed upon (showing no prep to give us a hint to hows it’s made etc.) and the thing is most of the bouts this season was or would have been interesting if not for it’s rushed pacing, though the pacing doesn’t ruin Erina’s final bout, but everything leading up to it…LA can’t ignore it and yes does sorta ruin elements of those season much like the previous 2 or 3 seasons before it.
And now for the elephant in the room and that is animation. Well it was done once again by JC Staff and welllllllll yeah the panning shots isn’t going away and admittedly uses it the majority of the time, but where the panning shots are prevalent, the battles and especially the focus on the food (not so much on the prep anyways) is still great and of course the foodgasms were great and expected for Shokugeki no Souma for all manner of reasons. Overall same as Totsuki Ressha-hen, not much has changed for animation which is a damn shame since the plot and it’s characters is now holding this season up while the animation is inbetween lazy to “trying”.
The voice cast is back and LA will give the MVP’s here as there isn’t much to say considering the voice cast is pretty much intact and hasn’t changed “as much”. LA will give out the obvious, being Hisako Kanemoto as Erina, Miniami Takahashi as Megumi, Shizuka Ito as Rindou and Show Hayami as Azami.
The 4th Plate was essentially the payoff season or in culinary terms, the main dish for LA and man besides some messy side dishes of elements, the MEAT of this season was excellent with great character development seasonings, great battles though slightly underpinned by rushing the sauce and the presentation was PANNED as per usual and of course great aftertaste at the end.
There’s another plate?…SIGN LA UP!…
Erina best girl, can’t change LA’s mind.
This season, I truly think J.C Staff didn’t care about this show. With the last three seasons, there were some production issues, but there was at least solid music and some good shots here and there. With this season? If feels like they got out a powerpoint presentation template and just stuck the clips of the show they had into said template. Hell, I can break down a good amount of episodes of this season with bullet points.
– We are introduced to the main competitors
– We see the main ingredient
– Some words from the peanut gallery
-Some trash talk
– A flashback here or there to one of the totsuki ten because the shows forgot to develop literally any of them minus Tsukasa and Rindo, I guess.
– More words from the peanut gallery
– Chefs show off their dishes
– Judges eat and foodgasm
– More words from the peanut gallery about said food and what makes it special
– Judges choose the winner.
– Some more words and repeat the cycle.
The biggest problem with this repetitious cycle is that you slowly see the flaws within it. You realize that no matter what Soma will win his food battles because he’s main protagonist. That would be fine if they spaced out the food battles but they don’t. You’re supposed to watch all of these food battles happen with the same repetitious cycle and it’s just a bore. The show ended up this year as background noise for me. Just like how the peanut gallery was this season
Let’s talk about that peanut gallery because if you wanted any characters like Mito, Ryo, Alice, Hisako, and anyone apart of the dorm anything this season, well that sucks. Literally all these characters do this season is sitting behind literal character jail and spout out stuff about the food they make. It’s probably the worst crime that this season does because the main strength of this show is its characters and them interacting off one another. It’s insanely stupid and for a solid eleven episodes, it’s just sad to watch characters that I love as Hisako do jack for the majority of the season.
This then leads into the actual team rebel squad who consists of Takumi, Soma, Erina, Megumi, Kuga, Isshiki, Mimasaka and some random guy. Yeah, this show decides to use this arc to introduce another new character and instead of giving more interest in any of their other characters. “Yeah Mito and Alice haven’t done much in a while and some characters like Ryo who are rivals to Soma have done zero anything with Soma but who cares! We need more one off characters!” – Some guy that works on Food wars. I also realized that in this show, I don’t believe Megumi has one a single food battle that wasn’t an election. In actual food battles, she has won none. That is stupid and something that pissed me off while watching her getting beat by some girl that uses cat paws as oven mitts.
Yeah, let’s talk about the Ten because they’re all forgettable. The only ones exempt from this are Tsukasa and Rindo, I guess. Thier not funny and Tsukasa’s whole thing is dumb. I only liked Rindo to an extent. Azami is stupidly evil to the point where he ruins the tone of the show and while he does add to one of the more positive things about this season, he’s not that interesting of a villain. Eizan was better.
As much as I have been complaining about this season for its soulless production, for its constant amount of throwing characters into the show without thinking about the characters in literal jail or even the diminishing quality of foodgasms and backgrounds which are generic to letter, there are some positives. Erina’s whole arc is finally done with and it feels satisfying. While Megumi still hasn’t won a single food battle, Takumi has and that was cool. The music stays pretty solid and the OP was solid, though a little samey.
Overall, this season was a big disappointment. Flat production, waste of characters and the constant adding of one-offs and this overall feeling of emptiness. It’s sad for a show that had such solid first and second seasons. While season 3 wasn’t great, it was still fun to an extent. This felt like such a waste of time. It’s a shame. I can’t wait for the fifth season because it apparently gets worse.
5: Yakitate!! Japan
English: Yakitate!! Japan
Japanese: 焼きたて!! ジャぱん
MAL Score: 7.93
While countries such as France, England, and Germany all have their own internationally celebrated bread, Japan simply does not have one that can match in reputation.
Thus after discovering the wonders of breadmaking at a young age, Kazuma Azuma embarks on a quest to create Japan’s own unique national bread. And being blessed with unusually warm hands that allow dough to ferment faster, Azuma is able to bring his baking innovations to another level.
As he begins working at the prestigious Japanese bakery chain, Pantasia, Azuma encounters other talented bakers and experiences firsthand the competitive world of baking. Along with his newfound friends and rivals, Azuma strives to create new and unparalleled bread that will start a baking revolution.
The story’s your basis shounen plotline: rise to the challenge, succeed, face the next challenge.. but all in the confines of competitive bread making. It’s a little silly and repetitive (like a lot of stories in the genre), but if you enjoy the first couple "bread battles," you’ll probably like the rest (like a lot of stories in the genre). 😉 (It’s Pokemon, set in a bakery!)
The art is clean cut and pretty simple. So is the music. It’s not nuanced or original, but it doesn’t really have to be. The style suits the atmosphere of the show. The taste-reactions are elaborate and amusing, but other than that I wouldn’t say there’s much about the way it looks or sounds that stands out in any way.
The main characters are pretty basic once again. Again, you’re probably going to be disappointed if you’re looking for nuance or detail. The good guys, the bad guys… they’re all kind of cardboard cut-outs of cliche shounen roles. And basically, the audience is just expected to accept them as they are without any explanation or even speculation as to why the character is the way he/she is.
Despite the lack of originality, detail or depth to the story, art, sound or characters… you should still watch this show. I gave the show a 9 overall because (1) I really do think the simplicity of the story, art, etc suits the nature of the show and (2) because my enjoyment completely outweighed whatever the series lacked in the other departments. I would have given it a 12 for enjoyment if I could.
The simplicity of it was like a breath of fresh air. It felt like a throwback out of the era of "Leave it to Beaver" or something innocent and uncomplicated like that. There are "darker" story lines later in the show, but they really weren’t that dark. Meanwhile, the characters are all so over-exaggerated and silly that I found it charming, especially in the context of the world of competitive bread making. Kuroyanagi’s crazy reactions were funny, but I really found the way he talked down to inferior bakers hilarious. To take something like bread-making and make it that abusive and have him take it that seriously… it just tickled me. Azuma’s earnest, bleeding-heart sincerity and natural baking genius; the manager’s bad-ass, macho wisdom… it was just so funny to see all these archetypes in a story about baking bread. =) (Kind of like a G-rated BeerFest.)
All in all, I think the show strikes me as child-like. Some of the characters are mean in the way that, frankly, kids are mean. It’s pretty upfront, straightforward and kind of superficial. They show competition, optimism, determination and energy in the same way. It just feels like there’s not very many layers to what’s going on. Maybe that’s what I mean by innocent?
Just to warn you though, I do feel that there was a definite decline in show quality towards the end — most noticeable by the time they get to the third large scale competitive arena. It started feeling less sincere and more mass-manufactured, which was unfortunate. I try not to hold that sort of thing against the show too much, but… it was kind of disappointing.
On the upside, you get all this trivia about bread, bread-making and the regions of Japan from the show, which throws in a little educational frosting on top of an already entertaining show. 😉
Story: 9 (no story but excellent comedy segments)
Art: 6 (unimpressive art style but not bad either)
Sound: 8 (good comedy cant work without good sound)
Character: 7 (cliche characters but classic situations)
Enjoyment: 10 (never laughed so much in 50 episodes)
Overall: 40/50 = 8.0 (i love food i love comedy, instant classic)
Yakitate Japan is a PERFECT example of anything can be made in to a good shounen anime just as long it has the three key ingredients: chemistry, direction, and anticipation. This show turns a somewhat lame idea of an emerging baker and turns it to nonstop laughs and ‘suspense’.
You’re probably thinking, how can a baking anime be suspenseful? Which brings me back to the point of you can make any anime great if its structured great (not necessarily a good story) . Since its practically impossible to have ‘action’ in a baking show, theres a laugh every minute. Throughout the show you’ll encounter the same style of jokes 100’s of times over, but the way they reinvent the jokes every episode and lace a few facts in every episode is what makes this show so fun to watch from beginning to end. I even managed to marathon it and i still had lots of laughs every episode. Not only are there baking jokes and cooking facts, they also manage ALOT of running gags, one-shot gags, play on words, and the star of the show: "the BREAD REACTION." If you have any sense of humor whatsoever, you will LOVE the reactions no matter how many times they play over and over. Also the ‘factual’ information is pretty informative as well… i never knew there was such thing as Bombay Blood or that the legendary japanese sticky rice was a specialty of Sakata city in the Yamagata prefecture. It is true though, the best comedy comes from real life information.
The since its geared toward children, art is standard quality thats very reminiscent to something like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, or Angelic Layer. That doesnt mean it looks terrible but when they want to emphasis something, they make it more detailed, and if something is supposed to be funny you’ll get the ‘flashy’ backgrounds general stuff like that. Of course since they’re parodying all the typical shounen anime, they do things WAAAYYY over the top and thats why i love this show so much as well. Not only do they take the time to make fun of itself, but they manage to make fun of the whole shounen style as much as possible!
The sound reminds me of a mix of Pokemon meets Iron Chef. Overly serious with slapstick everywhere else 🙂 It all works very well. Music is everywhere but its never intrusive. And I love it when an anime isn’t afraid to add a fart joke or two. Sure its not refined, but its a comedy and toilet humor is such a lost art these days.
The characters are also just pure greatness when it comes right down to it. You have a good mix of serious, outrageous, confident, cute, sexy characters that you’re bound to like 3 or 4 of them. Some of them are used simply for joke executions, others are used as support for Azuma, but all of them are definitely going to be used in a joke or two. "NANDATO!!!" and "UMAIIII" will be etched in your mind forever. Mind you that none of them are unique or original in anyway but since they are pretty cliche’ take on the shounen comedy that turns out to be hilarious in its own right.
After watching this show from start to finish, I know some will love it and some will simply hate it just for the fact that its so out of this world. But for those who love it, they’ll have their own reasons in to loving it. As weird at it may seem, I enjoyed the bread reactions and cooking facts more than anything else in this show. But in retrospect, someone might hate the show for the exact same reasons. On top of that, it never stops to take the time to make fun of itself as well 🙂 I only recommend this to someone who absolutely loves a fun comedy anime and has an open mind to the wacky, crazy universe that is Fresh Baked Japan!!
…and yes they make a cannabis bread (so much for children’s show ^_^)
Also watching this you will notice that Black Star of Soul Eater is an exact replica of Azuma Kazuma (not Naruto -_-)
Art: Some episodes looked great, a few were pretty bad. I hate those little black vertical scratches under the characters’ eyes, if those ever make it into an Anime, it’ll force me drop the score for art. They serve no purpose, they just mess up the character’s face… Overall though, the animation was simple but not horrible.
Sound: Nothing worth getting the Ost(s) for, a couple of the tracks are memorable but that’s because they play it so often. A few of the Openings and Endings got my attention. You can find several cool songs here. Voice actors did a fine job, no problems there. However one character called Mizuno, was so annoying to listen to.
Character: Almost a perfect 10 if it wasn’t for what they did to Kawachi. In the beginning he knew what he was doing as a baker but around the last arc and a bit before he was failing big time (Like Kuwabara from Yu Yu Hakusho, but the failures aren’t funny, just pathetic). The last arc pretty much used him as a filler character, he didn’t even get to participate in his team anymore. He was just there to reuse bad jokes.
As for the characters overall, I really liked them and you really feel for them because a few of them have difficult pasts. The characters that receive development did gain some respect from me so I’d say things worked out in that department. Most of the characters are just for jokes though and support Azuma from the sidelines but I still think they’re entertaining to watch.
Enjoyment: I kept watching it episode after episode when I started. I was pretty hooked. Then it got repetitive at the end, I had to force myself to finish the last 5 episodes but for a 69 episode series, me watching consistently for so many episodes is rare which shows how much I liked it.
Overall: It was a fresh take on Shounen Anime and I really enjoyed it. I need to thank the guy who recommended it to me. It’s also interesting to go back and re-watch some of the episodes. It made me want to become a baker because it was so cool to watch them make such amazing creations. I’m sure it has that effect on many people who have seen it.
Thank you for reading my review. Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Hope this helped.
4: Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Tootsuki Ressha-hen
English: Food Wars! The Third Plate: Totsuki Train Arc
Japanese: 食戟のソーマ 餐ノ皿 遠月列車篇
MAL Score: 8.01
A dark age of cooking befalls Tootsuki Culinary Academy. With the Elite Ten’s devastating coup d’état, Azami Nakiri is now the director of the prestigious school. Students must now conform to Azami’s ideology of “true gourmet food” and are forbidden to express creativity, or else face expulsion.
However, Souma Yukihira and the members of the Polar Star Dormitory refuse to accept these changes. Aided by other rebellious first-years, including the tenth seat, Erina Nakiri, Souma and his allies band together to fight off supporters of Azami’s regime. But corrupt instructors and the menacing Central organization stand in their way, and so they must work together, harder than ever before, to survive every underhanded plot designed to banish them from the school.
This season didn’t take long to get straight to the point. We already know that Erina has defected from her Father’s clutches and allied herself with Souma. However, Erina is now in a conflict on whether she truly wants to cook. The season explores her character as we see how Souma can positively influence her as he did to others. Thanks to Souma, Erina regains her confidence and plays an invaluable role for the Polar Star residents. That is to say though, I’m not a big fan of Erina. She debuted in the show with a huge ego and a dogmatic attitude. However, this season shows Erina in a different light. She has changed and is now much easier to make friends with. It actually changed my impression on her as well as she values characters more than just their cooking. On the other hand, I’m not too pleased that some major characters got put on the sidelines to focus on her. I’m looking at you, Megumi.
Watching this season also made me realize that Souma is also improving a lot since the previous seasons. He proves this by going up against one of his archrivals, Akira Hayama. If you remember from the previous seasons, the two went head to head in a previous Shokugeki that ended up with Akira taking the victory. This season pits the two against each other once more in a match to see who the better man is. And once again, it’s not hard to see how Souma positively influences Akira. However, the main conflict in the series isn’t just about winning or losing. It’s about standing up against Azami, someone who holds the academy under an iron fist. For Souma and his friends, they want to prove to the world what cooking really means. To do that, the season chronicles the rivalries between the Polar Star students (aka rebels) against the Elite 10. With only 12 episodes, it soon became obvious that the season isn’t enough to cover everything. It’s too bad really since I was looking forward to some of the more hyped Shokugeki battles. On the other hand, this season puts more value into the characters. It explores their past and almost feel like a character study. Characters that we don’t know too much about such as Nene and Azami gets their own background stories. Furthermore, the season makes us care more about what’s really at stake. Sometimes, it’s not just about being the best.
Like previous seasons, you will witness a lot of exotic food. A short list includes bear meat, salmon, soba, among others. The style of this season is very similar to the previous with the info dump on the food along with the judges’ reactions. To no one’s surprise, this season indulges on foodgasm whenever the opportunity presents itself. And what better way to do that with the Elite 10’s talents? Indeed, expect over exaggerated moments from the best of the best showing why they are so feared and respected.
As a fan of the franchise, I’d say the fourth season is an improvement over the third. It became self-aware with the story’s pacing and decided to pour more value into the characters rather than rushing the plot. It’s a clever move as I’m sure fans doesn’t want to see a half-assed adaptation. While the latest season may not be the best, it still worth the time to indulge yourself into.
If you did not watch S1 or S2 or S3 then go watch them ASAP before reading this!
TL;DR: This season has more exploding clothes and foodgasms by packing some hype, some humour, some fan service, all while having the shittiest animation in all 4 seasons for the longest 24 minutes of your life. What more do you want? Grab a bowl, pull down your pants and start watching!
[Story: 3/10 , Characters: 4/10, Art: 2/10, Sound: 3/10, Enjoyment: 4/10]
“It’s time for you to go. Go figure out what you’ve got” – Yukihira Jouichirou
Shounen genre is great. Shounen genre with food and fan service is even better. But if it can’t execute it well then boy does it suck hard. As a huge fan of SnS, fans of this manga will be so let down this season with their lackluster display of commitment from JC Staff. In short, Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen (boy are the names getting longer as each season getting shittier) was pretty much a train wreck that could not live up to the manga potential and kept derailing from it’s path of what made this series so amazing when it first came out. If the previous season had it’s flaws well this season definitely did their utmost best to further highlight their flaws. Fortunately, SnS somehow manages to make the fans happy albeit it’s crappy plot arcs and dismal animation laziness. I guess if you show enough chibis and titties constantly moaning in foodgasms, people will turn the blind eye and plow through this show.
The story continues off from where it left of last season since this is the second part of that. The Polar Star Rebels are waging war against Azami’s dystopian gourmet food heaven. Azami is trying to kick them out of the academy by hosting shokugeki where the odds are always stacked against them but with the power of plot armour our heroes shall prevail… or will they? Seriously this show isn’t that unpredictable anymore but it does have slight surprises here and there to keep your umami game strong. I guess it’s good they didn’t deviate much from the manga but if only they could amp up the hype before each shokugeki or food exams it would make them really exciting to watch. It almost felt rushed. Atleast the season ends well and sets up better for the upcoming season.
“Don’t think of unnecessary things, just make a dish that suits you!” – Yukihira Souma
The best part about SnS was always the cast. Despite having a huge cast, it always managed to make everyone useful. But since that’s hard and studio was lazy, they just cut it in half. Don’t worry it makes sense the way they did it and those that did get cut weren’t really that useful except for moaning uncontrollably while losing all their clothes in the process. Anyways, the dialogues between casts were spicy and the major cast at display did great to showcase their justifications for their cause but if it keeps getting displayed using chibis it sort of loses value. Like usual, the major villain is of course, Azami. Although, his villainous purpose makes somewhat sense now from last season but a weak villain is still a weak villain. He just wants people to eat gourmet food. Erina was interesting this season. She has more knowledge than half the teachers in the academy it seems. However, the best character is probably Isshiki. The dude was the saving grace this show needed. If you watch it, you will know why.
“Let’s have some quiet, shall we?” – Satoshi Isshiki
Aside from the linear driven plot and stale characters, this show really fell flat in its animation quality again. Atleast last season the show sort of put in effort. This season zero effort. They just kept doing pans and zooms with coloured manga panels. Even the delicious mouth-watering clothes-exploding food felt boring to look at. If the pans and zooms were too much, they just drew chibis because animating background scenes just became that bloody difficult for them. It was just painful to watch. It feels as the season progresses, the budget invested in the quality of animation drops. As usual, compared to the battle scenes of first season to battle scenes in this season, there are significant evidence for animation laziness. Even the fan service is lacking to the point where all people can enjoy are the different stiches for different characters in that show. I mean, you know this show succeeds in exploding clothes and fan service. Give the fans what they want. Regardless of the poor animation quality, at least the opening and ending songs were slightly better but the background music was somewhat decent. Like always, the major saving grace are the seiyuus. Time after time, they are doing a phenomenal job. Azami’s seiyuu really stood out this season. Rest were good as well.
“No matter the hurdle, you face it with a smile. You’ll stare at your own weakness straight into the eye for as long as you have to.” – Saiba Jouichirou
Overall, SnS S3 Part 2 is an ecchi shounen anime about food that is only worth watching since you have committed yourself to watching the other 3 seasons. If you aren’t a dedicated fan of this show, don’t even bother. Just go read the manga. I rather your money go to the mangaka than this pathetic excuse for an anime. There is another season on the way and hopefully if they can redeem themselves from fixing the mistakes they made in season 3 then maybe, just maybe, this show will once again be worth watching. At this point, Naruto fillers had better animation than this anime. Ultimately, it’s not a bad show. Just binge it on the side if you feel like it. Last review I said, “if one were to compare the different seasons to get a better idea of how this season is, then S1 is gourmet food, S2 is home-cooked food and S3 is just street food.” Well, S3 Part 2 is the horrible food your gf makes but you still eat it to make her happy. It’s still enjoyable to eat but we all know why you are eating it. Anyways, check it out & let me know later how you like it as well as share with me your favourite quote from the anime! Osomatsu!!!
P.S. Thank you for reading. I hope you found this short and supaishi review helpful!
Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen continues on from the Third Plate to the Totsuki Ressha-hen where things goes straight up a Hokkaido Tournament arc.
LA does have some small gripes with this arc so LA might just start with that.
The first should be…….the animation, ohh no, no so much as the overall designs and the beautifully made foods or anything, but to it’s animation direction, which Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen’s excessive use of panning, LA didn’t notice but it shows in excess in this arc and ohh boy was it annoying at times, most probably because Yoshitomo Yonetani, the director of this season wanted to make it like your reading the manga considering the amount of panning but man does it grated on LA when it’s been used every time it could. Next would be how rushed this arc was from skipping battles being the most obvious and quickly wanting to get the small bulk of the more serious battles, sure Shokugeki no Souma has done this with it’s previous seasons, but this was in new setting and newer form of tournaments, not to mention higher stakes due to the entire Azami dictatorship in place. Finally would be because of the rushed paced, the ending well..ended abruptly, as LA was expecting this arc to FINISH the Totsuki Ressha-hen arc and ohh LA doesn’t know…FINISH the tournament instead of leaving it hanging, heck LA would be fine if there was another season…to the third season (hmmm the naming of the next season is gonna be crazy long) anyways this feels REALLY similar to Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid’s tournament was cut short and NEVER revealed again what the last half was like, LA just hopes Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen doesn’t do the same.
On the other side of the spectrum, Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen did great in terms of characters, especially when it concerns Erina Nakiri and this is the season where she SHINES, from being the narcissistic tsundere to being the Rebel Queen standing up to her father, she probably gets the most development in this arc and once again proving LA’s best waifu once again and favorite character of the anime (and this season!) for LA along with her father Azami who gets a bit of backstory to how he became how he did alongside Jouchirou Yukihira in the process of it. Now Souma himself gains more development what with Jouchirou’s backstory being told and what the entire Azami deal is with him, but alot of people might once again say that Souma ALWAYS wins his bouts thus no character development, well no, as he learns more and more to be a better chef with the new challenges he faces and he’s also a pillar of support to Erina as well. Erina might get the majority of the development in terms of character this season, but Souma gets more in terms of cooking. Once again, Shokugeki no Souma manages to make the food impressively tasty looking even for animated food and the animation does have certain flourishes when it CAN do it outside of excessive panning, seriously besides the panning, the animation was well pretty detailed for the most part and LA loved it all round EVEN it’s typical comedic moments.
Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen does bring in at the very least some backstory to the Elite Ten mainly Terunori Kuga and Nene Kinokuni this season AND even give Akira Hayama and Satoshi Isshiki something quite outside their typical character to go through. Seriously Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen’s main strength is in it’s characters and how they develop them further.
In terms of voice acting, well it’s still the same voice cast as before and LA has settled with Hisako Kanemoto as Erina Nakiri by this season and this feels like coming full circle but with Hisako Kanemoto going aboard and taking a hiatus does that mean Risa Taneda gets her role BACK as Erina Nakiri? well IF there’s another season…anyways, LA enjoyed the voice cast for the most part with Shizuka Ito as Rindou being a constant pleasure to hear with her witty and genki personality 100% and Kana Hanazawa as Nene with her typical deadpan serious vocals being put on her was fine, but LA would give MVP’s this season to Hisako Kanemoto and Shizuka Ito this season, LA bias as fuck but LA doesn’t care.
LA was expecting Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen to be a 2 cour and expected it ohh LA doesn’t know…complete the tournament it set out to build up but even with this seaosn’s misgivings such as it’s excessive panning, rushed pacing and the finale being just cut off during a freakin’ tournament arc, LA is just a diehard Shokugeki no Souma fan to the point that it’s strengths of beautiful animation when it can bring it out especially in it’s food and eccentric character designs, major character development on countless characters from Erina Nakiri to Azami and Jouchirou and even some development of Souma as a chef AND character as well as some minor characters getting the limelight in a different light altogether just makes up for it.
LA still being an utter fan of this series and bias might come into play for LA’s overall feelings to this season but LA will NOT omit the serious flaws this season actually has and LA hopes that if Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen actually gets another season that it learns from this season, flourish and make it more exciting and maybe even better and make the remaining tournament arc all the more greater!
This train for LA isn’t stopping and LA hopes this train keeps going…………..just refurbished and more exciting.
3: Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara
English: Food Wars! The Third Plate
Japanese: 食戟のソーマ 餐ノ皿
MAL Score: 8.06
The Moon Festival is Tootsuki Academy’s annual gourmet gala, where students compete against each other to earn the most profit through selling their cuisine of choice. But for Souma Yukihira, it is also his first opportunity to challenge the Elite Ten, the supreme council that rules over the academy.
However, this is only the beginning of Souma’s war against the Elite Ten; a nefarious plot is underway that will provide Souma with the challenge he desires but will also shake the very foundations of Tootsuki Academy itself.
If you did not watch S1 or S2 then go watch them ASAP before reading this!
TL;DR: This show has hype, humour, fan service, stakes getting crazy high and unexpected twists and turns all in 20 minutes. What more do you want? Oagariyo!
[Story: 5/10 , Characters: 7/10, Art: 3/10, Sound: 6/10, Enjoyment: 8/10]
“I mean a new wave is coming, you know? Riding it is way more exciting” – Rindo Kobayashi
If there is one genre that can always hype people up time after time, it’s the classic shounen genre in anime. It’s like scrambled eggs. The recipe is very simple yet the execution to get it consistently right day after day is difficult. Fortunately, Shokugeki no Soma – Sana no Sara somehow pulls it together to make it work for the fans albeit it’s crappy plot arcs and dismal animation laziness. I guess over the top fanservice can save any show after all, provided if executed right. It’s also important to note that the anime adaptation does not deviate too far from the source manga. If you enjoyed S1 a lot and felt S2 could’ve been better then you will surely have a table flip moment while watching S3 thinking for a manga that’s widely popular and well funded, why the hell can’t they pour money into it to do justice this show deserves.
The story is alright, not too complicated but just slightly predictable. It’s wise to watch the OVA before watching this so you have a back story on who the Elite 10s are. Although the first arc, Moon Festival, is really well done with it’s pacing and plot development; the second arc, Central, is just one unrealistic & ridiculous plot line where nothing makes sense but it’s enjoyable to watch since it’s a chain of shokugeki after shokugeki tossed in with delicious fanservice to quench viewers’ thirst. However, don’t worry too much. You will always start watching every episode with a big grin and end the episode with even a bigger grin, because, you know why. It is sad that the season ends midway to the central arc with one huge reveal but maybe next season’s plot would be better executed.
“Come at me with all your might you pretentious elite bastard. Or do you want to have a convenient excuse for when you lose?” – Kurokiba Ryou
The best part about SnS is that even though it has a huge cast, it somehow manages to make everyone useful. You actually care about the cast since you know sooner or later they will have screen time along with some purpose, even if it is moaning in pure orgasmic pleasure. Purpose is purpose. The main cast returns once again since no one really dies in the show. Moreover, finding out who the Elite 10 are quite exciting. They presented them in the best way possible. Plus, as the show goes on, you get to see why they really are the Elite 10 through their cooking methods & knowledge of food, they outclass the regulars at the academy, especially, Eishi Tsukasa, the first seat. Despite being the best student with his immaculate cooking and speed, he still has his own insecurities and deals with anxiety like everyone else. Though it is exaggerated at times, but it makes him more human than most characters. The major villain is of course, Azami. Although, his villainous purpose makes no sense. However he is a villain and that’s all that matters. He just wants people to eat gourmet food. Aside from Soma, Erina, Elite 10s and Azami, the side characters get their deserved screen time to showcase how much they have developed over the season. Notably, Alice and Ryou really stands out in this series as their development have the most impact to the plot.
“There is a profound difference between the abilities of those who are the Elite Ten and those who are not” – Eishi Tsukasa
Aside from the linear driven plot and dynamic characters, this show really fell flat in its animation quality. It feels as the season progresses, the budget invested in the quality of animation drops. Compared to the battle scenes of first season to battle scenes in this season, there is significant evidence of animation laziness. Even the fan service is lacking in that oomph that season 1 had with their gregarious cloth explosions to just mere still images of the characters in barely any garments moaning in the background. This isn’t what the viewers want. Give them what they want. Regardless, of the poor animation quality, at least the background music was decent enough with the OP and ED being pretty good like previous seasons. The major saving grace had to be the seiyuus. They did a phenomenal job, especially Erina’s new voice actor. She was able to fill the void left from her previous voice actor.
“You can never achieve such a world of flavour just by slapping on bacon onto salmon!” – Kurokiba Ryou
Overall, SnS S3 is a good enough ecchi shounen anime about food that is worth watching. I think at this point, the people who are watching S3 are the dedicated fans, myself included. So even if they skimp out on the budget and pacing of the plot with subpar character development of a star studded character line, people will still enjoy binging this show. Ultimately, it’s not a bad show. If one were to compare the different seasons to get a better idea of how this season is, then S1 is gourmet food, S2 is home-cooked food and S3 is just street food. It’s still enjoyable to eat but just a bit unhealthy. Also Season 4 has been confirmed. Anyways, check it out & let me know later how you like it as well as share with me your favourite quote from the anime! Osomatsu!!!
P.S. Thank you for reading. I hope you found this short and supaishi review helpful!
J.C.Staff’s adaption of this manga series has never been masterful. For the most part it has been just phoned in. The spottiness of the animation, ugly CGI and off-model characters have always been somewhat present in this series, but the 3rd season marks a turn for the worse even when compared to the previous 2nd season.
Using manga panels directly as a storyboard and making sure the female characters’ boobs look like they are about to burst from their uniforms worked fine for the first season, because that’s when the writing and the plot was immaculate. This isn’t so much the case with 3rd season. Even though the first arc has a very nicely structured conflict with a satisfying resolution, the following major arc that covers the rest of the episodes ramps up the action in a worst way possible, and goes almost full shounentard. As I had read the manga before diving into the animation this time around, I was hoping for J.C.Staff to salvage the plot and place emphasis on the elements which worked – which is the opposite of what they did do.
What made the first season of Shokugeki good, anyway? The characters, and both their *intrapersonal* and interpersonal struggles. Souma’s ability to rise to the challenge and help the people around him do the same made him a superb character. The interactions between him and Megumi were especially crucial, giving the viewers catharsis shockwaves. The people found their inner strength, and the (romantic) tensions between Souma and Erina kept us praying for more development. The slower passages gave the long season a much better flow. (minor spoilers starting now:)
The introduction of a “classical” villain and a conflict which is fought between two factions ruins all these intricacies in the 3rd season. Especially the middle section of this season feels like an endless stream of boring shokugeki. There are too many new bad guys and not enough interest in the stakes from my part. The dramatic tension of the whole series is undermined by the illogical motives of both the villain and the supporting faction. It’s impossible to come up with reasons for as to why half of the top ten seats voted to place Azami as the director of Tootsuki. The fact they did do so pigeonholes these characters and the rest of the supporting forces, as their motivations have to be justified somehow down the line, even though that’s impossible.
Basically, the biggest plot twist of the entire series is a spectacular asspull.
The problems of the manga’s plot are heightened by the fact that all the anime does is ramp up the tension, throwing caution out of the window. The sound design of this season is surprisingly stark. There are a variety of dramatic scores which are played surprisingly loud during shokugeki and otherwise. There are numerous instances where the director has decided to use montages and flashbacks to really try to bring out the feels out of the viewer. I was taken aback by how disconnected I felt from the story, even compared to my reading experience. The anime would have benefitted from downplaying the action and giving the characters more air to breath.
So why is this anime even good, then? The third season has still a lot of momentum and strong characters backing it up. Even though the plot is a little contrived, the development between Erina and her father is still very enjoyable. That’s all that matters and all that the conflict should really be about – resolving Erina’s literal daddy issues. Even though Erina’s payoff scenes were handled without much directional finesse, they still made the show worthwile. Additionally, even though Azami leaves something to be desired as the bad guy for the series, the first seat, Tsukasa Eishi, works much better as an opponent for Souma. If there’s something good to be said about the factions and the entire conflict, it would be the emergence of tension between these two characters.
The final verdict? Well, the animation is spotty, the sound design is crap, the CGI is fugly, directing is unimaginative, and emphasis has been placed on the wrong things. But it’s still god damn Shokugeki no Souma. It’s impossible to ruin the entire franchise at this point. I had fun times watching this season, and I’m hungry for the 2nd cour.
It is unavoidable to watch this!
2: Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara
English: Food Wars! The Second Plate
Japanese: 食戟のソーマ 弍ノ皿
MAL Score: 8.14
The qualifiers of the Autumn Elections are now over, and only eight talented chefs remain. Now, they face off in one-on-one food wars, each with their own unique themes. Met with both new judges and new opponents all with their own specialties, Souma must stay on his toes if he hopes to make it to the top of both the Autumn Elections and Tootsuki Culinary Academy.
First things first, the sequel is a direct continuation from the first and thus, the story connects from established characters and storytelling. Therefore, there’s no reason to watch the second plate without tasting the first. Do note that there’s also no recap so the second season really gets straight to the meat of the story. That’s a good thing anyway. Who wants to listen to boring narrative of recapping? Rather, the second season dives into the main course as the tournament (Fall Elections) gets underway. If you remember, main male protagonist Souma is an inspiring cook chef who wants to follow his father’s footsteps into the culinary world. As a guy who is never afraid of challenges, it’s interesting to see how he fares against his competition. The first of those is Alice Nakiri (Erina’s cousin) and we see how both sides demonstrate their talent.
What’s often interesting about Shokugeki no Souma is often the clash of ideals because characters come from so many different backgrounds. For instance, Erina and Alice were both raised in a high class society so they lack understanding about people from below their class. This also adapts the way how Souma responds. If fans took notice, Souma often uses his own creative ideas to craft food rather than using fancy or stylish ingredients from the start. The point is that with so many ways characters can use to build on their talent, the second season capitalizes on them to make them memorable. Souma’s talents aren’t the only one being highlighted as characters returning from season one such as Megumi, Ryou, Akira, Hisako, and others get their own moments. Every one of these characters has their own cooking style so seeing them demonstrate what they’ve learned shows their strengths and weaknesses. The season does a decent job at that through colorful explanation of the food making process while injecting humorous moments and details. Don’t worry, if you’re starving for some fan service because of the foodgasm, there’s also that too.
As the titular character, Souma is still the face that gets the most highlight. In particular, his personal rivalry against one competitor named Subaru is something to remember. It’s not because of what’s at stake but because of Souma’s willingness to take on the challenge. As I mentioned before, Souma is a daredevil. He likes challenges and often takes them for reasons beyond personal interest. Also do note that Souma isn’t unbeatable and he does take a major loss. However, it’s important that Souma is the type of guy that also learns from his mistakes.
Speaking of mistakes, I guess a season condensed into a single just one cour will result in what people call “rushing”. Yes, the first season ran for 2-cour length of 24 episodes while the second season is only about half the length. What does that mean? It basically means material will be skipped to get straight to the main meat of the show. The first few episodes had me worried me a bit especially in the early stages. However, it doesn’t destroy the storytelling altogether if you look carefully. In essence, the condensing is probably done to get the story flowing more or capture the more important elements of the manga. In particular, the second half of the season really gets intense with high level competition. Of course, there are still lots of room for humor and breathers in between. Just know that season 2 is much more about competition. Some of the final few episodes affirms Souma’s motivation to improve himself and we get more background storytelling about his character.
Once again, J.C. Staff is responsible for the anime production. The visual quality remains more or less the same as fans may remember. There are occasionally awkward camera angles but in most parts works well. It’s noticeable that with the variety of themes offered during the tournament (bento, seafood, ramen, etc), the staff is able to capture the thrill of that. Fan service seems to be tamer compared to the first season especially in the early episodes but they are still there to make the fans droll. Meanwhile, the soundtrack remains somewhat less noticeable. While the theme songs are quite catchy, it just feels like the OST is overshadowed by other factors of the season. Voice mannerism still works quite well though in terms of delivery. One of the more noticeable character is a woman who speaks in broken Japanese which can be quite amusing to listen to.
The gimmick of Shokugeki no Souma has been a clever one. Taking the idea of making food and transforming it into something so colorful is what makes the show special. It’s essentially a satire with characters using their talent to make food better than appear. I’d say, it’s a clever joke and emphasizes more on how characters deliver their talent. The second season offers plenty of moments with these rivalries and moments you’ll have hard time forgetting. We might not appreciate every humorous joke or foodgasm they throw at us. However, it’s still enough to show that Food Wars remains a must-watch on the bucket list.
Shokugeki no Souma 2nd Plate left off where the first season did with the Autumn Election and it really ramps up the tension for Souma to be in the Elite Ten if winning the tournament.
LA’s views on the Shokugeki no Souma of the previous season was nothing but awe as to how cool and awesome the anime franchise which is essentially Iron Chef: The Anime with food porn and gasms which makes it weirdly unique to it and 2nd Plate may still have the same flavor (huhu) as the original season, but it both makes it great and falls under the same problems of the shounen genre and the original season did.
For what a food shounen anime comes in, this season still brings out some form of meaning this tournament and Shokugeki’s this Election as well as the Stagaire has as well as make some of the more main cast members with the little screentime they had and ramps them up to be both badass and develop them further. Easy examples are Megumi Todokoro, the shy chef and Akira Hayama, the spice master and surprisingly enough Souma’s development as a chef.
Before moving onto what’s wrong with this season…the technical features.
For the animation, the animation is overall decent to the vibrantly flashy character designs as well as the tournament aesthetics, where the animation shines once again goes to the food, making you just drool at looking the gorgeously delicious food (by the way…HAVE FOOD WHILE WATCHING SHOKUGEKI…you’ll be hungry if you don’t) and is where most of the detail of the animation comes from. The animation overall is decent on par with the original season.
The voice acting at best can get overly hammy typical from the first season what with the more heated battles and wacky crazy contestants going against one another and really the voice cast were utterly great and added to the atmosphere be it a heated battle or the characters explaining about the food or how good it tasted due to how it was made, LA just can’t put a favourite voice actor as the ENTIRE cast was great!.
Now what’s really wrong with this season?…well just by looking at the episode count in comparison to the original really says it all, 24 to 12…some of the Shokugeki battles gets rather rushed…to be precise, the tournament battles that are not important to the characters are like this, examples as Takumi Aldini vs. Subaru Mimasaka or Souma vs. Alice Nakiri, sure the “meaning or theme” is still shown, but the rushed portion comes in when these battles’ food prep and “how to make” are skimmed over just to finish the battle before the episode ends. Now this comes off as both good and bad as with the season’s episode count, they kinda DO want to hurry it along, but bad as feels rushed. Nonetheless, 2nd Plate even with it’s rushed zigzag pacing isn’t enough for LA to hate this season. The last problem and LA’s own personal opinion is that LA knows that Souma gets the most screentime in this season, but LA wanted more of ERINA NAKIRI!!!, small flaw but LA knows why the focus is on Souma.
Even the character development’s zigzagged pacing gets a pass as even with this huge of a cast and the rushed Shokugeki battles, the combatants are still presented and developed even to the point even Souma’s win record turns his character development even better as even he evolves as a character and not your typical “always win main protagonist” type. In terms of character development like Souma’s screentime compared to the rest, Souma has the majority of the focus especially when it comes to Souma’s battles in the Autumn Election, but he really has the majority of the focus come Stagaire. But for Souma’s opponents as well as other contestants going against on another during the Election, they to during their battles brought up their development as a chef or personal developments again easy examples are Megumi.
The ending which brought to a finish the Stagaire mini arc, and really LA MUST point out that the Stagaire arc was one of thee best arc in Shokugeki no Souma, as it went more into the realistic look at restaurant and trying to be the better chef using new methods they learned. Ni no Sara by all means with it’s strengths and flaws, it was on form, not all the way through but it still had the flavour and intensity of the original season and LA LOVED Ni no Sara for that…what else is there to say but…
LA wanted more…LA wants a 3rd Plate for all LA cares…
Shokugeki no Souma has been one of my favorite series for some time. Why? It’s because it so damn entertaining. Where it might lack in the story, it makes it up for its consistent entertainment found in every single episode. That’s not to say the story is bad however, as I find it quite fun and solid. Don’t like ecchi? Well, as much as others like to say it, the show isn’t ALL about those ridiculous ‘foodgasms’. It also involves a good amount of emotions, fun ‘battle'(cooking) scenes, and decent amount of development. In fact, I’d honestly like it just as much without the foodgasm scenes. The amount of effort and detail they put into the food and cooking is enough to make even the viewers craving for the food. And all things considered, this is how you do a proper cooking anime, making viewers hungry for more and more.
The animation in the 2nd season is just as amazing as the first. Although having a slightly rushed first episode, it manages to pick back up the original pace without too much dragging and rushing. he fast-paced cooking scenes are animated so fluidly and the whole show is just an eye-catcher in terms of the characters and the food.
Unfortunately, it does get rushed a bit in the later episodes again, but not too much. This kind of problem could have been fixed if the anime was 2 cour but unfortunately it isn’t.
Like the first season, the music is one of my favorite aspect of the anime adaptation. Along with the animation, it just adds so much more to the scenes, especially the cooking scenes. Also really liked the fact that they still kept a couple of great osts from the first season as well. OP/ED are worth checking out as well, although I still prefer the 1st season ones.
The voice acting is great, but nothing too amazing i’d say. Each VA’s fit their roles well, and big props to the VA’s who had to do the foodgasms, because they sell it hilariously well.
Moving on, the characters look like your typical shounen stereotypes. However, the thing that makes me actually like these characters are that every single character are just entertaining to watch, as in no annoying characters whatsoever imo. The character interactions are great, and it does have a good amount of developments throughout the story. They have a bit of depth in them, and all of them are just really likable. For me, the best part of the series is the protagonist, Yukihira Souma. He is such a smooth MC: not annoying, boring or anything of that matter. He’s the one that brings all the comedy, entertainment and the intensity of the show together. At times he’s just straight up ridiculous and silly, but he also has this serious/badass side, and that’s when you know shit is about to go down. Overall, the characters might seem like shounen cliches, but the cast makes it up for being very entertaining.
Both seasons of Shokugeki no Souma are a great, entertaining watch for anyone. Unfortunately, since it’s only 13 episodes, some contents from the manga are indeed skipped, and the pacing is a bit inconsistent at times. But even without the skipped parts, the story is still tied well together. Some of you might not like it if you aren’t that into the concept of foodgasms but it’s still worth the watch purely for the entertainment it effortlessly brings on the table.
1: Shokugeki no Souma
English: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
MAL Score: 8.22
Ever since he was a child, fifteen-year-old Souma Yukihira has helped his father by working as the sous chef in the restaurant his father runs and owns. Throughout the years, Souma developed a passion for entertaining his customers with his creative, skilled, and daring culinary creations. His dream is to someday own his family’s restaurant as its head chef.
Yet when his father suddenly decides to close the restaurant to test his cooking abilities in restaurants around the world, he sends Souma to Tootsuki Culinary Academy, an elite cooking school where only 10 percent of the students graduate. The institution is famous for its “Shokugeki” or “food wars,” where students face off in intense, high-stakes cooking showdowns.
As Souma and his new schoolmates struggle to survive the extreme lifestyle of Tootsuki, more and greater challenges await him, putting his years of learning under his father to the test.
Story – 8/10
From the synopsis itself, you must have realized that the anime revolves around Soma Yukihira who wants to become a cook and surpass his father in cooking. Some stuff happens and Soma ends up in Totsuki Academy, which is the best cooking school in Japan. After all this, you must have come to the conclusion that it isn’t unique or special, but that doesn’t make it bad. The story isn’t anything even special to start off with but the other aspects of the show are so well done that it makes you feel that the story is better than it actually is. Not to say that the story’s bad, by any means, it’s pretty good but this is not a story-driven anime, it’s character-driven.
Art and Animation – 9/10
The animation of the show, to be described in one word, is brilliant. While one can say that almost all anime that are released these days have really good animation quality, Shokugeki no Soma’s animation is a level above most others. (while not being as good as something made by ufotable but its still very detailed and fluent). The best thing about Food Wars’s art is the way they display food, it’s just really awesome. The animation is consistent throughout the show and doesn’t get bad at any moment. The openings and ending too are animated nicely.
The character designs, are, for the most part, unique as well, with most characters having different features. However, one can argue that Erina Nakiri(one of the female protagonists) looks pretty darn similar to Asuna Yuuki from SAO.
Sound – 9.5/10
The first opening is amazing; it a treat to the ears. It’s simply beautiful. I am not too good at Japanese so I don’t read the lyrics but just listening to the opening psyches you up for the episode. The ending is pretty good too but it still pales in comparison to the opening. (Says how excellent the opening song is). The second opening is good, but it’s more of an opening for a fighting/action anime. The first opening was very charming and pleasant, which suits the theme of Shokugeki no Soma. However, the second OP’s tone didn’t quite suit it, in my opinion. It can be called pretty decent, nonetheless. The second ending is very good to hear too. (And they used the first OP at the end of the final episode 24 of the anime so that means it was the best of the series)
Now, on to the soundtrack, in my opinion, they lack a couple of battle soundtracks which they could use during shokugekis and stuff. There is only one track which played is over and over again, during food battles or while the characters are cooking something for their tests among other stuff. The track named Shokugeki no Soma Epic soundtrack(so much for a good title) on its own is thrilling to hear and you won’t probably notice how repetitive it is unless you are watching like 8-9 episodes at once. But if you do watch a few episodes at once, there is a chance that you will come to complaint about the limited tracks. The limited amount of soundtrack is the only critic I could have in the sound department. The voice acting is funny when required, serious and tension-building during a shokugeki, which is also another plus to the anime. Simply put, the voice acting is almost flawless.
Characters – 9/10
The cast in this anime is pretty big, which you would expect from a shounen+school anime like this. There are rivals, friends, upperclassmen, etc but most of the relevant characters have gotten pretty good screentime to express their characters.
Our lovely protagonist, Soma Yukihira is just awesome. He can be OP sometimes with his dishes but he is awesome, nonetheless. He is and is not your typical shounen protagonist. When I say he is your typical shounen protag, I look into the fact that he has a goal of surpassing someone, he is pretty determined to do that, etc. When I say he isn’t, the unique features of his characters come out : his confidence, his competence in stuff he does, his arrogance(at times). Now, here his arrogance does a great job because it’s really fun to see the opponent’s reactions after they are brought down by his words. However, most importantly, he entertains us. For an anime like Food Wars, he is the perfect protagonist.
The two main female characters of the show are damn good :
Megumi Tadokoro is your usual clumsy, scared girl from a small village who hopes of making it big here. While there is nothing much unique about her character, she has done her job well so far and is getting development and she does get braver as the anime progresses.
Erina Nakiri is the tsundere who is also known as “God Tongue” because of her ability to only acknowledge the best of foods. She is the daughter of the Director(or something big shot of Totsuki at least.) and her family is one of leads in culinary restaurants and other stuff in the world. She is prideful, arrogant and would destroy anything that could stand in her way of being no. 1 in Totsuki; anyone other than Soma. Erina hates Soma and you’ll understand why she does after watching the first couple of episodes. The interactions between Soma and Erina are fun to watch, really fun to watch. Although, this season isn’t focussed on Erina too much, I am sure she will be getting her time in this coming seasons.
The remaining characters, too, as I said, are entertaining to watch. Some of their interactions are hilarious while some will show you the intensity of the battles happening in Food Wars.
1. Extremely entertaining.
2. Amazing comedy and you’ll jump out of your seat while watching some of them.
3. Great animation and soundtrack.
4. Immensely amusing character interactions.
Comedy can get out of hand sometimes with the ecchi. If you aren’t a fan of ecchi, you might not like the characters’ reactions after they eat the food. They get naked and act and act like they’re having orgasms. A lot of people have enjoyed this but some might not. However, the good thing is that these get less and less as the anime progresses and by around episode 8, these foodgasms are reduced since the anime starts to get more serious and take off to the skies.
Enjoyment : 10/10
This anime is a hell of a ride and the entertainment value of the show is right up there. The first episode is nothing compared to what the next few episodes bring to you. The thing got better and better with each passing episode.
Overall – 9.5/10
In my opinion, Shokugeki no Soma is the best anime released in the year 2015. I guess, the stats it has on MAL speaks for itself.
I would definitely recommend this anime to you, even if you are not a fan of such anime, it’s worth your time and I am almost certain that you won’t regret watching it.
Shokugeki no Souma is a train wreck. And when I say this I don’t say it lightly – what started out glowing with great potential came crashing and burning once the show got a little over half-way into the season.
The biggest and most saddening part of Shokugeki is the very poor (or lack of) character development. By throwing way too many characters into the mix, there is simply not enough screen time for most of the main characters. The only person who I would argue went under the most significant change was Megumi, and even so, her development was incredibly forced – her development was not so much based on her own sheer free will but rather because she wanted to mimic other individuals.
The other disappointing factor about Shokugeki is the over-stretching (if this is even a word, lol) of the plot towards the latter half of the season. This is especially exemplified by the Autumn Elections. Most of the tournament events could have been condensed into two to four episodes, but since the judges kept talking and basically giving the same, predictable reviews and reactions (“oh this doesn’t look good… but it’s so yummy! *insert overly used ecchi animation*), this was easily dragged on and on when it didn’t have to be.
What does Shokugeki get right? Arguably the humor. The humor is quick, witty, and light and never fails to disappoint. The artwork and sound is also decent, albeit the ecchi animations are way too overused.
– Interesting characters, although some were clearly drawn from stereotypical personalities
– Poor plot execution, especially towards the second half of the season
– Poor character development
– Overuse of ecchi scenes – as the saying goes, the same jokes get old fast…
Based on the popular manga written by Yuto Tsukuda, the series is adapted into a 2 cour (24 episodes) of the same name. What started off as a one-shot has now transformed into this series that essentially makes food look like an exotic beauty. And it all starts with a young boy named Souma Yukihara. Like many young people, he has a dream and in this case, to become a professional chef. In fact, he actually hope to surpass his father and to do that, enlists at an elite culinary school. More precisely known as Totsuki Culinary Academy, it’s here where Souma finds his true challenge and misadventures.
I’ll be honest here. This show feels like a classic. And although it doesn’t involve any super powers like some other battle shounen series, Shokugeki no Souma does carry on with similar elements. The main course of the show consists of Souma’s progress at the academy and proving himself as a candidate to becoming a professional chef. Throughout the journey, we also witness him build meaningful relationships with others ranging from friendship and rivalries. The first few episodes clearly establishes that Souma has a strong degree of confidence in his own abilities. His skill is shown first hand when he cooks a meal to overly satisfy Yaeko Minegasaki, an urban life planner who initially threatened to demolish the restaurant he worked at. It’s here where the audience gets a taste of what the show tries appeal through the sexual metaphors and sensation of tasting food. It doesn’t take long for the show to take Soma to a place where he faces off against powerful adversaries including high level chef, Erina Nakiri.
Shokugeki no Souma accomplishes with entertainment not just by the storytelling but also through its characters. It has a colorful cast with a diverse range of personalities. From the prideful Erina Nakiri to shy Megumi Tadokoro, we see how their roles are played out through the series. What’s most important is how they interact with others especially in the case of Souma. Because this way, it brings out the best and worst of characters. For Erina, she brings sheer antagonism and rivalry that against Souma. From the first moment they meet, there’s a seemingly bitterness between them. Although Souma takes it more casually, it’s Erina that acts arrogant because of her status and ability. On the other hand, there’s Megumi who is more like the antithesis of Erina. Although she has decent skills of the culinary arts, there’s a lack of confidence in her abilities. Thankfully, Souma slowly brings out her confidence throughout the show. Her partnership with Souma not only bring up Megumi’s confidence but also shows that she does have a place to belong at Totsuki Culinary Academy. At the apex of the mid-season, we see exactly how much she improves herself through experience, confidence, and a willingness to succeed.
Of course, there are many other characters that Soma meets along the way while at the academy. The staff members in particular have shown a particular interest in him such as Kojiro Shinomiya, Fumio Daimido, Senzemon Nakiri, and among others. This establishes the fact that Souma begins to earn the respect that he seemingly deserves. Throughout the show, we also see other characters that challenges him to disapprove of his ego. And this is also sometimes a fault for Souma. While he isn’t overly arrogant, Soma displays a bit of overconfidence when he faces off against certain rivals. This occasionally doesn’t work out as Soma does feels a taste of bitter defeat. The primary example is perhaps with his father as he has a long losing streak against him. Still, a good amount of focus on Souma can also be emphasized on his willingness to help others such as Megumi. He wants others to succeed and seeing them do so motivates himself to make his dream into a reality. At the best of his character, Souma demonstrates superior sportsmanship that deserves utmost respect.
As a show about culinary arts, you’d all expect a lot of the food cooked in the show to be an eye candy. After all, food is like art that can be treated as beautiful. What the show emphasizes perhaps is a bit of over exaggeration on the reaction when the food is eaten. Just a warning but you’re not a fan of sexual metaphor and satire, then this may not be a show for you. It’s clearly shown that the characters’ reactions can sometimes go overboard. The sheer effort put into the imaginations of the characters upon digesting the food is highly sensational with eroticism. While it isn’t full on nudity, it does satires the food to a point where it becomes naughty. However, I would say that the reaction is appropriate in the case of this series for several reasons. First, it makes the craftsmanship of the various food products into a wonder. It tells (through the explanations of making the food), shows (with carefully crafted visuals), and then reacts with a way that you can expect the food to be. From the moment the first ingredient is set on the table to the last gulp of food down the throat, each episode carefully articulates the way the food is handled. And that is something to really think about. Plus, the show itself also does a neat job with the working mechanics. We get the making of various food dishes explained well through visuals, symbolism, and metaphors. There’s also well timed comedy to make the process less dull. I mean, no one wants to watch every food making process like an instruction manual right?
Despite the series being well done on most respects, it tries perhaps too much on its food war mechanics. Sometimes, it almost feels like the show is advertising itself like a sexualized commercial. There’s good amount of characterization in the series but some of the side characters may easily be forgotten once you finish the show. Plus, the characters you may remember may not be of your taste. These may include Erina whose attitude can almost feel intolerable to get accustomed to. Megumi’s shy behavior also isn’t a strong trait. Even Souma has faults too when he shows weakness. Also, don’t expect romance to develop much in this series. The show is not about Souma finding love but for him to find out if he is truly able to become a professional chef and surpass his father. Finally, the show does omit some parts of the manga. Overall though, it’s still faithful for the fans of the manga that long awaited for the adaptation.
Essentially, I wasn’t sure which studio would handle this series’ artwork. At first, Madhouse and Production I.G. came to mind with their quality. However, J.C. Staff became the engine to make this show’s artwork running. And to be quite frank, it’s fabulously well done. The character designs gives characters unique appearances that makes the most prominent ones stand out. This is especially true for the main leads. Erina is perhaps the girl that stands out the most because of her elegant ouju-sama like presence. Souma also attracts attention as well with his fiery hair that matches with his personality. The school and staff uniforms aren’t designed to look decorate but rather to show their status at the school, as it should be. However, what really stands out about the artwork and visual of the series is the food. They look extravagantly well crafted. Combining elements of delusional fantasy and sensational appeal, each episode highly emphasizes on their design. And of course, do expect fan service as result of the reactions. Outside of the foodgasm, there is also fan service with the characters – both male and female. These include the eyebrow rising camera angles, alluring clothes of some of the female characters, and in general, something to really service the fans.
In general, soundtrack is well done although not regarded as a prominent feature of the series. There are two OP/ED theme songs with a decent amount of focus on its coordination. It’s not a technical genius as there’s not much more to draw from the songs themselves besides some of the obvious fan service, symbolism, and foreshadowing. However, the OST delivers a good momentum that carries on each episode. This is especially highlighted during moments when food wars are initiated by certain characters. The thrilling moments of the soundtrack serves up to what the audience anticipates and ultimately makes the show connect itself. The voice mannerism can be a hit or miss although mostly adapts well for characters like Souma with his confidence or Megumi with her increasing confidence level. But you know what really catches the attention of the viewer? Probably the moans and reactions again from tasting the food. It’s not just “oh this is delicious!” but more like the moans you hear when someone is having a lot “fun”.
By the time you started or finish this show, you may look at food in a different way than before. As a show that adapts battle shounen with food dishes, Shokugeki no Souma offers a glorious feast to the eye and ear. This is a tasty tale about a guy who cooks not just to show off but to make others happy. And while he is at it, his dream of becoming a professional chef is a journey that’s hard to take eyes off of. I have to also mention that the character cast offers a little of almost everything to the audience. The food itself is irresistible when it comes to the way each episode handles itself. The series may be animated but the sensational feel is a majestic beauty. Sure, it does over exaggerates itself at times. However at the end of the day, it will reach a level of experience that you want to see over and over again.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Shokugeki no Souma
2. Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara
3. Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara
4. Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Tootsuki Ressha-hen
5. Yakitate!! Japan
6. Shokugeki no Souma: Shin no Sara
7. Chuuka Ichiban!
8. Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori
10. Yume-iro Patissière SP Professional
12. Amaama to Inazuma
13. Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi
15. Ristorante Paradiso
16. Isekai Shokudou
17. Shokugeki no Souma: Gou no Sara
19. Dae Jang Geum: Jang Geum’s Dream
20. Moyashimon Returns
21. Dae Jang Geum: Jang Geum’s Dream 2
22. Mister Ajikko
23. Seiyou Kottou Yougashiten: Antique
25. Kirakira☆Precure A La Mode
26. Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara
27. Dagashi Kashi 2
29. Koufuku Graffiti
31. Shin Chuuka Ichiban! 2nd Season
32. Maiko-san Chi no Makanai-san
33. Cooking Papa
34. Dagashi Kashi
36. Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san
38. Shin Chuuka Ichiban!
39. Eikoku Ikka, Nihon wo Taberu
40. Cookin’ Idol Ai! Mai! Main!
41. Kakutou Ryouri Densetsu Bistro Recipe
42. Piace: Watashi no Italian
43. Shokupan Mimi
44. Pan de Peace!
45. Doamaiger D
46. Hakata Mentai! Pirikarako-chan
47. Love Kome: We Love Rice Nikisaku
48. Sushi Police
49. Love Kome: We Love Rice
50. JK Meshi!