Emiya-san Chi No Kyou No Gohan

March 15, 2019

The Fate series and universe has seen a lot of retelling, reboots and spinoffs. You have got to be a real obsessed fan to follow and understand each and every Fate universe there is. And now, here is another ‘alternate universe’ of this Fate series. One whereby there is no killing over the Holy Grail but rather everyone enjoying the delicious cooking of Shirou! Wait! What?! Yup. You read that right. Emiya-san Chi No Kyou No Gohan is about our titular character thinking on how to fill the bellies of everyone with his cooking instead of filling the Holy Grail with blood. I guess it is true that a way to a man’s heart (or in this case, everybody) is through the stomach. And that when you are more inclined to be angry on an empty stomach. Hangry. Yeah. So stop fighting. Let’s enjoy what Shirou is going to cook for us today. And on his menu today is… Itadakimasu!

Episode 1
Shirou and Saber are out doing their shopping errands for the New Year. Of course the streets are packed with people. Saber notices the osechi dish that many are preparing to welcome the New Year as Shirou explains its meaning and significance of people doing so. Back home, Fujimura and Ilya are ‘victims’ of the kotatsu. Too warm to leave. Fujimura claiming she needs to conserve here energy for tomorrow. You mean, snagging a man in her kimono? Okay. When Saber falls ‘victim’ to the kotatsu too, it is now that Shirou begins to cook. He explains the simple steps and tasks he is doing to create the many mini dishes. Eventually he puts them all together for a special shrimp soba AKA toshikoshi soba. Definitely great as you see them enjoying their meal. Also, Shirou explains the significance of making such special soba on today as it represents longevity and health. After done, Saber accompanies to Ryuudou Temple. They hope Issei is alright as they are going to be receiving a lot of people tomorrow. Along the way, Shirou mentions another symbolic meaning of toshikoshi soba: To be near each other forever. Oh my. Shirou you saying that makes you awkward because Saber putting on that confused face. I guess we’ll go with best wishes for next year.

Episode 2
Lancer is working as a fishmonger. I guess he knows how to sell his fish so this makes Shirou feels he wants to eat salmon baked in foil. As he makes his purchase, he notices an extra salmon. It’s not really on the house. Lancer wants to try that salmon dish too. So please cook one for him as he’ll be coming to his place for dinner. He’s serious. I suppose Lancer closed early to hang out at Shirou’s place and even makes himself at home. Signal for Shirou to start cooking. All the while, Saber is on her guard and having her suspicions but Lancer is only here for dinner. Once done, it’s time to get digging. If you think it is delicious, wait till Shirou introduces you to wasabi mayonnaise to add extra oomph to the taste. Lancer loves it so much that he hopes they can do this again sometime. He’s serious. To show his appreciation, he helps to wash the dishes but much to Shirou’s suspicions. That’s because Lancer is staying for tonight and now takes out the alcohol to party. Now he’s singing to Fujimura’s tune. More headache for Shirou…

Episode 3
Ilya heads to Fujimura’s place as per requested. Seems she dresses her up in a real cute kimono. Then she is brought to Shirou’s place where all the other girls are waiting. Ushering her into a room, it seems they want to surprise her with a Hinamatsuri celebration as there are the Hina dolls on display. I guess she’s the only loli in the cast so what better way to wish and celebrate for them to grow up well and healthy. Even though Ilya is literally a foreigner… The gang now bring out the foods they made. Especially this special cake known as spring chirashizushi. Flashback sees how Shirou and Sakura prepared this and with the other girls having their other roles, Rin doesn’t want to be left out and does something to add to this dish. I think it is some mini dish made out of a variety of food to resemble the Hina dolls. I have this conspiracy that everybody is doing this so they could see the cutest satisfaction loli face. Mission accomplished. After thanking them for going through a lot of preparation for this surprise, Ilya then bugs Shirou for his comments on her kimono. An excuse to hug him. Is that a surprise for the rest of the girls?

Episode 4
Shirou helps Neko (Fujimura’s former classmate) at her liquor store. He accompanies her to deliver some liquor to Ryuudou Temple and is greeted by Reikan the monk. After done, Shirou notices some vegetables wrapped together and starts thinking how this would make a good sandwich. Speaking of which, this makes the rest hungry as now they want him to make them that said sandwich. Looks like his part time job just got extended. And so we hear Shirou narrate how to make spring greens and bacon sandwich. I guess he made extras so he gave some to Assassin. Not bad, right? When Issei returns, I think he got jealous that the rest got to taste Shirou’s handmade sandwiches. Don’t rush. There’s more if you want. And Neko thinks they should add this to their menu. Shirou will be making them of course. Does she pay him enough for all this?

Episode 5
Issei hands Shirou some bamboo shoots. They are from Reikan as thanks for the sandwiches. Meanwhile Sakura and Rider are out shopping when they bump into the former’s senior. As she learns she is making gratin for dinner, this gives Sakura an idea to do the same. However making gratin the usual way feels boring. But don’t worry. Luckily Shirou has soaked the bamboo shoots and they can use this fresh new ingredient just in time before the whole thing gets bitter. So we see them prepare the other ingredients they need to make their gratin and voila! The bamboo shoot gratin that you’ve all been waiting for. Sakura makes the same gratin for her jerk brother, Shinji. That guy sounds unappreciative at first but finds it a little different. You know her cooking is so damn good when he finishes the plate clean! Sakura is one happy sister today.

Episode 6
I guess rainy days sometimes bring back certain memories. Like in this case when a young Shirou and Fujimura went out shopping together so they could make their first Hamburg steak. Shirou is the one doing most of the work as Fujimura reads the instructions on how to do so. Finally it is done and they call Kiritsugu to join them. He is impressed they made this and it is also that delicious enough that you can see some life returning into his eyes. Yeah. Shirou hopes to improve and make better food for Kiritsugu so that he doesn’t have to travel and stay here forever. Kiritsugu looks forward to his growth. And now all the girls arrive at Shirou’s place to enjoy his Hamburg steak. You won’t be disappointed definitely.

Episode 7
Rin, Shirou and Saber are having fun at the water amusement park. When they see Rider here, Rin gets an idea to play indoor beach volleyball. Of course Rin-Rider pair dominates since Rider is tall. Before you know it, Shirou-Saber now faces off with Archer-Lancer. Did they hijack this match? Then it becomes a power play that could almost kill Shirou. I’m amazed the ball is still in one piece even though the ground is ‘destroyed’ after all that hard hitting power spikes. Saber won’t lose and that means another round? Oh Shirou… When they return home, they feel their energy zapped so what better way for Shirou to help regain their strength by making a simple ochazuke. So delicious that Rin has a few helpings. Don’t worry, she won’t grow fat, right? With her strength almost regained, there is just one more that Shirou needs to do for her: Massage. Heh. Even if Shirou is not a Servant, he is somewhat their manservant…

Episode 8
Shirou helps clean Rin’s house that is filled with books and letters and whatever. With the clock hitting noon, time for lunch break. Now what shall we have for lunch. For once, we take a break from Shirou cooking as Rin takes the liberty to cook Chinese fried rice with Sakura assisting her. The usual explanations and everything and as expected, everything turns out nice and delicious. Sakura showers Rin with a lot of praises and hopes to learn a lot from her. This has Sakura flushed with embarrassment. But I guess we all need to remember her tsundere specialty and hence the reason she is acting so. Girl, it’s only food. Calm down.

Episode 9
Caster desperately seeks Shirou and finally finds him. Earlier on, she overheard Kuzuki talking to Reikan about eating taro simmered in broth. However she has no idea how to cook it and hence the only ‘saviour’ is you know who. Hence Shirou has her accompany him to buy the ingredients before heading back to begin their cooking lesson. Saber returns and is suspicious of seeing Caster over. But Shirou guarantees she isn’t up to anything fishy and lets her taste her cooking. Now we’re cool? They make the perfect Japanese dish and this gives Caster motivation to make the same for Kuzuki. However back at her place, she followed the instructions but yet it turns out less than perfect. Did something go wrong somewhere? Kuzuki finds out what she is up to but he still eats her ‘failure’. I believe it isn’t whether or not it taste good but rather because she cooked them. He tells her even if she fails, just try again. He’ll always be by her side. And the ‘newlyweds’ continue their happy dinner.

Episode 10
With the cultural festival looming, Issei rejects the track club’s seafood grilling booth. Yeah… With more headache as he goes around inspecting booths and reprimanding those who do not follow the procedure, I guess you can say the entire student council body is working overtime to ensure the smooth flow of this festival. It’s late at night and Shirou heard how they are sick of eating sweet bread and want some meat. Oh well. You know what to do, Shirou. Everyone lights up when they hear Shirou is going to cook for them. You mean he is this famous? I guess we don’t need any approval for this, right? So Shirou gets straight to buy the ingredients and cooks fried chicken. Safe to say the student council members are invigorated with his cooking. Yeah, better than any energy drink. Now they can go on all night. Better than any Energizer battery. Then Shirou realizes he forgot to cook for Saber and rushes home. She knows what is going on but even if she tries to be considerate and says she isn’t hungry, her stomach can’t lie. Here’s some fried chicken. Good for the soul. Damn, Shirou should just make his own fried chicken, SFC.

Episode 11
Archer is supposed to pick up Rin after her shopping. As he waits, he notices Lancer bugging Shirou but the latter doesn’t want to go along and escapes. Archer doesn’t care about this but here comes Lancer bugging him now. He needs his help to cook in the café he works part time since the chef bailed last minute. Archer didn’t want to do it but with Lancer noting he will bug Shirou again since he cooks better, I guess Archer won’t let that slide. And here he is. We see Kuzuki and Caster entering. At first she hates to see such familiar people but Kuzuki tells her it doesn’t matter who is around as long as they’re together. Then Saber comes in. Noticing all the familiar weirdoes and Archer behind the kitchen, she orders omelette rice. Turns out good. Didn’t know he could cook this good. Remember who is his alter ego, right? When the café is closed, Lancer points out a guest wants to see him. Turns out to be Rin in disguise and Archer realizes he has missed the appointed time. So after all his work, he only has coffee on the house? Anyway, Archer feels ashamed but Rin doesn’t think so. She heard from Lancer and understood the situation. She wants him to cook omelette rice for her too. When Saber tells Shirou of Archer’s omelette rice, Shirou is going to put more effort in tonight’s dinner. What’s with this indirect competition?

Episode 12
Ilya hosts a Christmas party. Liz went to fetch the other ladies and due to traffic, they’re running late. Hence Liz takes the shortcut by diving directly up the mountain! Could have been the biggest mishap ever had not Rider taken control. Rider now becomes Driver? Tame this motor beast! I hope they have their appetite once the wild ride is over. Luckily Shirou was there earlier to spare him that nightmare. Otherwise he can’t help finish his cooking at Ilya’s kitchen. Despite the many dishes he cooks, the highlight is his roast beef. He explains how he made it but too bad thanks to budget limitation, it isn’t fillet mignon. But still tastes good nevertheless. Later as Shirou is lost trying to find the toilet, he gets the shock of his life when Berserker returns! Yeah, he is back with a real Christmas tree as Ilya’s servants quickly decorate it. Ilya then gives Berserker her cute cookies she made for him. Aww… How sweet. Even big retard guy gets some loli love.

Episode 13
It’s going to be a cold and wet weather so what better way than for Shirou to make a hotpot nabe for Saber and his guests. Definitely hits the spot. And once the nabe is almost over, Shirou adds some rice with egg into the pot for some zosui goodness. Fujimura almost ‘ruins’ everything by giving everyone tangerines. Finally when everybody has left, we hear Saber give her heartfelt thanks that her life here is interesting because everybody is around. Especially you, Shirou. Here’s to another good year. Yeah, Shirou’s cooking made all the difference, eh? Here’s to another good year of Shirou’s cooking!

Fried/Sautee Nappe: Unlimited Bake, Woks ~ Haute’s Fill
Wow. With such delicious meals, it is no wonder that nobody is going to fight for the Holy Grail anymore. Damn, this is the most peaceful Fate series ever in the history of the Fate universe! Not even that Ilya spinoff series could tops how peaceful this one is. All because of the secret ingredient called food. That’s right, people. Just like how I said in my opening paragraph on how one tend to get hangry when you’re hungry, with everyone’s tummy being filled with the good ol’ cooking of Shirou’s cuisine, screw the Holy Grail! Shirou is God! Thank you for your patronage. See you again tomorrow for the next meal. Wonderful. Peace has been achieved and everybody’s dreams have come true. Thank you, Shirou. People are happy when they are full. XD. Yes, Shirou is the only ‘Master’ in this Fate universe.

Oddly enough, this series didn’t follow the ‘usual format’ of being aired in a particular season. What do I mean? If you have watched another series called Katanagatari, then you will understand how the airing of this show works. Because they only released an episode per month! So yeah, it has been over a year that we can only finish and see what Shirou has to offer us. Like the Chinese often say, slowly eat. But if they’re thinking of making us hungry and worthwhile as we wait for the next food on Shirou’s menu, then I don’t really think it’s working. Because I’m not a big Fate series fan and I had other anime to binge. Besides, me binge watching this series is already proof of it. Uh huh. Oh, this series just ended? Finally. Time to binge watch and see what all the fuzz is about after putting this series on the back burner for a year. Yeah… To be fair, this series was released over the internet instead of the usual TV airwaves.

Although the foods are the highlights and the ‘main stars’, this series isn’t exactly a cooking show or those exaggerated ones such as Shokugeki No Souma, Toriko or Yakitate! Japan. No people dying and going to heaven and then coming back to life after they taste Shirou’s goodness. Nothing of that sort. Therefore, it is sometimes a dilemma if everyone enjoying a good meal makes this series the most ‘boring’ in the Fate series but at the same time the calmest of them all (have you seen Amaama To Inazuma?). You can pretty much guess the outcome of every episode because our characters will definitely enjoy the cooking of Shirou (or any other character behind the knife or pan). No big twist or convolution in the plot. Everything turns out just fine. Sorry to break it to you people. But it looks like Shirou here is the Noah of this Fate series. Uh huh. Noah managed an ark filled with so many meat eaters and none of the animals got eaten. It’s the same for Shirou here. All the Servants are properly fed and hence avoiding any sort of hostile conflict. Now you know why Shirou is God in this series?!

A reason I said this isn’t exactly a cooking show is because even though Shirou does narrate and explain how to make that certain dish in focus, his explanations are still very much bare bones. If you really do want to cook the way he does and turn out to be this perfect, it is better to follow much detailed instructions you can find over the internet or even your grandma or mom’s recipes. I mean, for a person who doesn’t really know how to cook, the way Shirou explains how to prepare and cook everything of course sounds so majestic and magnificent. Pro cooks may find this to be basic knowledge and nothing stimulating. So instead of taking out a pen and paper to note down what Shirou says, you’d be better off finding recipes over the internet or even watch dedicated YouTube videos if you are really serious in trying to cook those foods.

Almost everyone in the original Fate universe showed up here. But I was wondering why they left out Kirei and Gilgamesh. I guess those two are so antagonistic that they would ruin a good meal if they ever showed their faces? I mean, even Kiritsugu at least had an appearance despite it was a flashback and just when I thought they have forgotten about Berserker, here he is at the penultimate episode. So really, maybe nothing good comes out from these two? At least even that Shinji jerk had a short cameo. The most ‘shocking’ character is Lancer because I didn’t really expect him to be seen as one who does odd jobs and part time jobs all over Fuyuki. Like he is the go-to guy if you need some fish or any other sort of delivery. Then you have Rider being so docile and friends with Sakura and she is just so different than the one I remembered her in the original Fate series. What about Caster who is more interested to play Kuzuki’s wife?

The art and animation are fine especially when the food is done. I am not sure because I have seen so many good food themed anime series, I have somewhat become immune to it. They still look yummy but it isn’t to the point where my mouth would start to water and I have this feeling I want to take a chomp out of the monitor. Also, with the animation style being light, bright and sometimes the characters being close to chibi and non-threatening, it really gives an air of peace and calm instead of the usual dark, bloody and gory ones we know. Yeah, you can feel that everybody is having a great time. Everybody is everybody’s friends and not enemies. As this is animated by Ufotable, you can still tell the quality is there despite the lightness of the visuals.

One thing I also like in this series is the very hip hop and catchy opener, Apron Boy by DJ Misoshiru & MC Gohan. Really? Misoshiru & Gohan? Okay. Itadakimasu! Anyway, despite the singer’s voice sounding like as though she wants to copy that out-of-tune Nano Ripe and that her voice sounds a bit out of tune almost going to ruin the song, but as you slowly get into the flow of this piece, it is no big deal. I suppose this song is light enough to make you want to dance or even good for a light disco theme. The ending theme is also not bad. But Collage by Sangatsu No Phantasia sometimes feel like a song for sleeping or preparing to sleep! I don’t know, hearing this piece somehow reminds me of Nichijou’s Zzz! Thankfully I didn’t fall asleep.

So basically if I had to put it in an honest way, it is just a so-so passable cooking themed anime using the characters of the Fate series. It isn’t anything that special or extraordinary but it is just something different than your usual Fate style and execution. Only Fate fans can appreciate this even more like fine wine while everybody else who is just casual might be going, “Uhm… Okay. I guess this doesn’t suck”. At least we can all say that if Shokugeki No Souma and Toriko cook foods that are way beyond our reach and taste buds, we have at least these small time ‘saviours’ who can whet our appetite and stay grounded, looking forward to the next meal. It doesn’t have to be creative and so haute cuisine that it is out of touch of reality. It can be as simple as your mother’s cooking. Putting your heart and soul for others to enjoy is already half the battle won in making a delicious meal. Thank you Shirou for giving us such visual delights. Gochisousama!

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