Isekai Shokudou

February 4, 2018

Another food anime? Well, I suppose there are those who can’t stand the exaggerations of Shokugeki No Souma, Chuuka Ichiban or Yakitate! Japan and all those muscle heads abominations in Toriko. Heck, even Kofuku Graffiti is a little too sexy and distracting to be considered a food anime. But it is. Piace – Watashi No Italian is too short and Amaama To Inazuma is too boring and very down to earth-like. JK Meshi sucks and everyone has forgotten about Ben-To. So how do you please somebody who wants great down to earth food but also a fantasy setting? Yes, you can have that. It’s all in Isekai Shokudou. Imagine a normal western restaurant serving our food to mythical creatures from another world. Yeah, our food must be so good that these creatures become returning customers for life. Is this some sort of subtle? Advertising. Well, let that sink in. I mean your teeth into those juicy delicious foods.

Episode 1A
A samurai, sage, barbarian, beastman and lizardman are eating in a western restaurant, Nekoya. No, this is not a walk-into bar joke. They all argue what dish goes best with their rice. Then they try to steal each other food to taste and see if what they’re saying is true. Could have been an epic bloodshed had not Tenshu (master chef of Nekoya) tells them to stop. Keep this up and he’ll stop cooking for them. That did the trick. A majestic red dragon transforms into her sexy humanoid form to patron Nekoya. Her lair is filled with gold and treasure so I’m sure she can afford anything and everything. But she always orders her favourite beef stew. After she has her fill, she has Tenshu fill up a pot of more beef stew in which she can further enjoy back at her lair.

Episode 1B
Aletta wanders in Nekoya and feeling hungry, she can’t help herself to finish the delicious corn potage and falls asleep after a good meal. Goldilocks? However she is caught red handed by Tenshu. She explains her story she came to the capital to work. She is of the demon race and as proof she has demon horns. However she has no magic skills or super strength. She tried to make an honest living as a waitress but when her horns were found out, she had to quit due to the discrimination against non-humans. Currently she is living impoverished in some ruins and still unemployed. One cold night, a mysterious door appeared before her and she curiously entered. He invites her to eat breakfast with him. Yeah, ham and bacon and eggs taste so good. Tenshu offers her to work here as a waitress, to wait on tables and clear the dishes. She’ll also be able to eat as staff meals. Aletta seizes this chance as she begins her new life as a waitress of Nekoya.

Episode 2A
Sarah Gold the treasure hunter is in another one of her treasure hunting adventures. She sees a strange door before her. She enters and finds herself in Nekoya. She takes up Tenshu’s offer to stay and eat. Suspicious at first, soon she finds the ice lemon water delicious and the prices of many of the menu items cheaper than many places. She enjoys her minced meat cutlet and gets to order refills for her bread and soup. Once done, Tenshu hands her an extra takeout of more minced meat cutlet since she enjoyed her meal a lot. It’s on the house. Apparently Tenshu knows her father, William (Indiana Jones clone?). However he has sadly passed on and his ‘regret’ was he won’t be able to come here anymore. Sarah notes this was his last hidden treasure.

Episode 2B
Tatsugorou the samurai sees Lord Heinrich Seelemann in his castle to return a sword he has long forgotten. Seelemann remembers 3 years ago he was in charge of a fort that was swamped by monsters. As he was an excellent rider, he was chosen to ride to the capital to request for reinforcements. However he did not pack enough food and his horse died along the way and he had to travel the rest of the way by foot. Weakened and hungry, he stumbled upon a cottage with a strange door. He entered Nekoya and is offered friend shrimp. He starts eating the mouth-watering dish and it whets his appetite as he orders 3 more! After licking all of the plates clean, he remembers his mission and realizes he cannot pay him. In order not to be indebted, he left his sword as collateral and promises to come back the next time to pay. He leaves in a hurry and didn’t hear Tenshu’s words that the door only appears once in every 7 days, on the day of Satur. Seelemann was able to reach the capital and sought what he needed and the duchy narrowly escaped doom. When he returned to that cabin, that door is gone. Seelemann wants to know more about Nekoya. Tatsugorou knows there is a similar door close by. On the next day of Satur, Seelemann steps into Nekoya once more and is glad to be back.

Episode 3A
Thomas Alfade is a famous proprietor who deals with various ingredients and seasonings. He has revolutionized the dining table and is dubbed the Genius of Culinary Innovation. He is now retired. Underneath his cellar is a door to Nekoya. He brings his grandson, Sirius along. Sirius is introduced to the various other worldly food. Tenshu then hands him a box containing various gold and currency. It is payment for ingredients Thomas brought for Tenshu’s own consumption. He uses them to research flavours too. Thomas orders his favourite spaghetti with meat sauce. His son also tries the same and is overwhelmed by the taste. Note, in the other world, tomatoes grow in squares?! Thomas then reveals his title is no more than a sham. He comes here to eat Tenshu’s food and merely brings them back to his world for others to try. He leaves it to Sirius to continue his legacy. Yeah, looks like he orders the same food Thomas does every time he visits.

Episode 3B
Adelheid is the granddaughter to the king of a small nation, Wilhelm. Due to her sick condition which has no definite cure, she has to stay at his castle and is always alone. One day he decides to take her to his secret place and must promise not to tell anyone. Adelheid is now all grown up and Wilhelm has passed on as she returns to his castle. She cannot remember much of the place except she ate ‘clouds’. One day while in her room, a strange door pops up. Entering Nekoya brings back a few memories. During that time Tenshu was just an apprentice chef and his grandpa was the main chef who served them. Apparently Tenshu remembers Adelheid. She’s all grown up so beautiful but he still could identify her? Heck, he even remembers serving her chocolate parfait. The ‘clouds’. Adelheid feels a lot better and returns home. It really brighten up her day.

Episode 4A
Why does this feel like a documentary? We take a look at the lives of the lizardmen living in the marshlands in the south. We also take a look at their strongest warrior, Gaganpo. Why the heck do we need to see him bath, clean and arm himself?! Not the fanservice I was expecting! Anyway this is to get ready for a ritual. 30 years ago, a mysterious door popped up at the altar. Gerupa who was the strongest warrior then bravely ventured into Nekoya. He brought back delicious food. And so it has become a ritual that every 7 days, a strong warrior is chosen to enter Nekoya. Today is Gaganpo as he orders omelette rice. Weird seeing a reptile eat this. He brings back 3 takeaways for his tribe. I wonder if that is enough. Yeah, it is carefully divided into small pieces. Better savour it. If you want more, better be the strongest. Because that is what Gaganpo plans to continue being so he can eat more omelette rice for a long time.

Episode 4B
Fardania the elven archer goes out to hunt for food. She stumbles upon the door to Nekoya thinking it is an ancient elf magic. She enters the restaurant and is sceptical of everything. She also looks down on the barbaric human cooking. She challenges if they could serve a dish that contains no meat, fish, milk or eggs. Otherwise she’ll leave. Tenshu says he can make one. Fardania is surprised. Can he? One trace of those ingredients and she’ll reject it. Tenshu makes tofu steak. It’s not a real steak. Made of tofu and seaweed stock. There is also rice to go with it. She tastes it and brings back fond memories of her late mom. She used to go to the human world to bring back dried mushrooms that made the soup tastier that no ordinary mushrooms in their world could. Could this be the same method? As she doesn’t want to lose to a human, Fardania wants to start cooking better dishes. Is she sure she just didn’t make up an excuse to continue dining at Nekoya?

Episode 5A
Lionel the beastman lost his battle to a half-elf hero, Alexander. He is not killed but sold as a gladiator slave. Oddly, the door to Nekoya pops up in his cell. He ventures into it and meets Tenshu’s grandpa who is still a young man then. Feeling hungry, he wants to be fed. Anything as long as it brings him victory. So he is made katsudon. That’s a pun, right? Of course one bowl of those delicious pork cutlets isn’t going to cut it so he eats not 2, not 3 but 5 of them! Man, he is going to be really victorious! No money? No problem. Put it on his tab. He returns invigorated and easily defeats his opponent. He uses the money he wins to eat more katsudon and went on to dominate the arena for more than 20 years. I guess that confirms it. Katsudon = victory!

Episode 5B
Sage Artorius narrates in some eastern continent, a duchy has an eldest princess who remains unwed, Victoria. She is likely to remain so because she is half-elf. Oddly, both her parents are normal humans. Somehow this world discriminates against anyone with elf traits and you know life for them is tough. Their options on what they can do are limited so Victoria walks down the path of mastering sorcery. She has talent in it and in no time her ability was recognized and became the court’s head sorcerer which leads her to become Artorius’ disciple. Under his tutelage, she began researching on magic and is generously funded on a condition that she keeps out of the spotlight. But she isn’t always researching. She takes a break once in 7 days. You’ve guessed it. Nekoya time. She always orders pudding a la mode as she likes sweets. Back then when Tenshu was young, he didn’t know what desserts to add so she helped out by suggesting a few. Her handwriting is still used in his menu. Once done, she heads back to her research and of course having a few more for the road. Aletta realizes if she is half-elf, can she eat egg and milk based food? Well, Victoria isn’t bitter about her half-elf lineage. She is grateful for enabling her to do more research on it.

Episode 6A
We see Aletta’s day at Nekoya. Before the store opens, she starts by washing herself clean. It’s good to be clean, right? After dressing up and eating breakfast, she cleans the place. When Tenshu arrives, he finds there isn’t enough ingredients. So they take the elevator to another floor where he houses the raw ingredients. I understand Aletta has ‘trauma’ on potatoes because this is the food she ate while she was very poor and hence it is a food for survival. Tenshu will teach her how to cook a delicious potato. But first, the store opens and the usuals arrive to dine. There are days when they end up arguing which dish is better. Today is that day. Yeah, this time what goes best with bread. Can meek Aletta tell everyone to pipe down? Well, nobody listens to the waitress unless she is repeating your order, right? Eventually all start suggesting that the best sandwich would be their favourite dish and put it on bread. To solve this, they order that for the other person. My, with this much orders and extra orders, can Aletta keep up with it all? Looks like she can without screwing up. And without writing them down! Impressive!

Episode 6B
After the last customer has left, Tenshu now shows Aletta how to steam a potato. We hear him explain the little science of steaming. Although it took him many years and practice for him to perfect the art of steaming dim sum and the likes, the easiest to steam is the potato. Once it is done, he puts unsalted butter as topping and voila! We have steamed potato with butter. Bon appetite. Aletta eats this delicious dish as it melts away her trauma. Alas what was once a food she feared most has now become her favourite.

Episode 7A
Admiral Alphonse Flugel was once the strongest navy in the duchy, his ship was sunk by a Kraken and presumed missing. But he was washed up on an uninhabited island where he had to fight tooth and nail for his survival. He lived there all alone for 20 years. Then 3 days ago, a passing ship stopped by to repair its damage. Alphonse is spotted and taken back with them but he is reluctant to leave. Apparently there is a door to Nekoya there! No wonder! Now he has to say goodbye to the best curry dish. He hopes to find a door in the duchy since he noticed a countrymen was dining there. Eventually he finds that door at the cabin and is glad to have his curry again. After having his fill, Tenshu wants him to test taste a new curry dish.

Episode 7B
A black dragon sits in solitude on the decimated moon. She narrates how the 7 coloured dragons cooperated to fight some marble-tentacle-monster. It was a brutal fight with the dragons emerging victorious. But the black dragon represents death and weaker beings die in its presence. Feeling she is no better than that monster in this case, the dragons divided their territories and so she ended up on the moon where there is no life. One day, the door to Nekoya pops up. Even on the moon?! She takes a peek into it. Tenshu gives Alphonse taste his new chicken curry dish. Spicier than usual but he loves it. The black dragon also wants to taste it and assumes the form of a naked elf girl. Well, if they’re going to get embarrassed, Tenshu should’ve put up a sign that says, “No shirt, no shoes, no service!”. Haha! Anyway, she can materialize some clothes for herself. Artorius can tell she is no elf but a black dragon. He fears her but chooses to observe her for now. Alphonse orders curry rice for her and puts it on his tabs. Not sure if they’re in some competition because they keep ordering and eating more. Even when Alphonse has reached his limits, she continues to devour plate after plate, hour after hour!!! The red dragon enters for her usual beef stew and notices her. She advises her that she needs money if she wants to continue eating like this. Money? What’s that? She is warned this place is under her jurisdiction and if she tries anything funny, pay with your life. So if she has no money, all she needs to do is work. The red dragon suggests to Tenshu to let Kuro work here even for scraps. While Kuro is okay with that, poor Aletta is in shock as she jumps the gun thinking Tenshu is unhappy with her and is going to fire and replace her! Don’t drop the pot of beef stew…

Episode 8A
Rokei went sailing but a bad storm causes him to get thrown overboard. Luckily Arte the mermaid saved him and even prayed to the gods for a better weather. He is then taken to an uninhabited island to rest and when he wants to repay her and she requests 10 silver coins. Rokei finds it weird because mermaids do not use currency like humans do. To find out why, she wants him to return here in 3 days. Of course we all know there is a door to Nekoya here. Arte can pray to the gods to transform her into a human form as she patrons. She has been a returning customer that Tenshu and Aletta know her and she likes to order Hamburg steak. She lets Rokei tastes it and he likes it. He orders extra but she fears she has not enough money. Don’t worry. He’ll pay. It’s on him. That’s thanks for saving his life. They agree to come back here again on the next day of Satur.

Episode 8B
Aletta has found a steady job as a housekeeper but it is the house of Sarah! Tenshu has also given her assorted baked cookies as gift for this good news. Apparently above Nekoya is a bakery. Aletta has to ‘ration’ her cookies so she doesn’t finish them in one sitting. But it’s hard to eat just 1 each time, right? Oh, they’re quite expensive too so better savour them. When Shia, Sarah’s younger sister visits, Aletta answers the door. Sarah isn’t home at the moment. Shia doesn’t like her sister hiring a demon. An explanation about this family that certain generations get this ‘curse’ to go on a feverish adventure. Many end up paying with their lives. Sarah is one with this and whenever she is back home, Shia visits to check on her. Aletta serves her the cookies and quickly Shia likes them (as well as opening up to Aletta too). Shia wants more although Aletta has served the last of it. She needs to know more and is shown the box. Looks expensive. Shia gives her a gold coin (worth her entire month’s allowance) to buy it for the next time. Yeah, she’s placing her hopes on Aletta to get them. Aletta makes good her promises as she manages to get a few boxes of different sizes and at dirt cheap price of 1 or 2 silver coins! I’m sure they taste as good.

Episode 9A
A couple of dwarves trek up the mountain to a door to Nekoya. One of them is sceptical about his friend bringing him to this place. Yeah, just wait till you taste the food. And like they say, seeing is believing, or rather in this case, tasting is believing. Now the friend is a total covert as they drink and order big glasses of beer. While waiting for their food, they admire the simple beer glass design. Then they dig into the fried seafood plate. Despite being short people, they have enormous appetite and order more. I guess this is considered tiny by dwarven standards. To top it all, they have whiskey. In the aftermath, the dwarves spruce up the cabin for travellers to stay who come to visit their land. But there is a locked room in which they only hold the key to. It’s their ultimate treasure and no surprise the door to Nekoya.

Episode 9B
Prince Shareef from an Arabian-like desert kingdom seems to be frequenting Nekoya because he is smitten over Adelheid. But he is such a shy guy that his step sister, Renner had to lecture to him to be bolder or else he’ll never win her heart. And she doesn’t even mean it on a diplomacy level where both their nations marry to strengthen ties and such. I guess even if you’re a prince of a nation and the guy who created iced coffee that is all the craze now in his kingdom, when it comes to the matters of the heart, it isn’t easy. So on the next visit to Nekoya, while they wait for Adelheid to show up, we see Renner having a go with her melon soda float. When Adelheid finally arrives, Renner invites her to dine with them but Shareef again becomes a shy guy. This is going to take a long time…

Episode 10A
A strange door opens in the land of fairies. Queen Tiana Silvario XVI and her subjects think this is some sort of invasion as they prepare to go through and take up whatever challenge the invaders have in store for them. Of course it is a door to Nekoya as they are surprised by its interior. Tiana then asks Victoria about the place since she could sense some magic aura on her. After explaining about this eatery, Tiana decides to be bold and try a cooking. Victoria considers the kind of food and diet fairies can eat and ends up ordering a mixed fruit crepe for them. As usual, they find it delicious and good. Tiana then asks Tenshu about the door appearing in their land but he isn’t sure about the details. Tiana is grateful to Victoria and gives her a flower seed. Victoria in turn will pay for their bill each time she dines. Many months later, since everything is so good, the subjects are arguing what to order. So they head over to the other side and continue their debate.

Episode 10B
Fardania has found the secret location of Christian who is her parents’ best friend and one who is a gourmand still researching in cooking. She notices rotting smell in his place as he reveals of the cheese he is fermenting from elven beans to eat for himself. When he explains he got this idea from a restaurant from another world, Fardania also knows the place. So at Nekoya, Christian treats her to natto spaghetti. It isn’t a popular dish and apparently only he orders it. After having their fill, Fardania has this idea to try this natto with rice. Christian is shocked that she is daring to try this combination which he never ever thought of. Let’s say it tastes even better. Back home, Christian informs that rice too exist in their world but only in the western continent. He gives her a jar of miso made from his fermented elven beans since he knows she likes it. This is the result of his years of research. He notes despite the elves’ long lifespan, the world out there is still a wide place to explore.

Episode 11A
Kuro narrates one day she felt a strange gaze from Tenshu. Not wanting to pursue it, she ignores and continues to have her chicken curry. She also narrates the deal she made with the red dragon. While Kuro is working at Nekoya, the red dragon told her to protect the place while she works until she arrives. A pair of sirens, Iris and Arius want to find a new island to make their nest but there is one that they feared as the one they nicknamed Chimera Killer lived there. They believe it has been so many years and this monster would be old and week. As they explore the cave supposedly to be the Chimera Killer’s nest, they find a box of gold and silver as well a strange letter. The Chimera Killer is actually Alphonse as he left behind these treasures for those who are shipwrecked here. The letter also states about Nekoya so the sirens go look for it but do not find anything. After a few days waiting, the door finally pops up. They enter and Aletta explains to them about this restaurant. When they see a piano and hear its nice sound, they start singing, causing Tenshu and Aletta to fall into some trance. Kuro quickly shuts them up and warns certain creatures aren’t immune to their songs. She also warns them never to sing again if they want to eat and return in one piece. They wonder if this place has raw fish. Certainly do. It’s called carpaccio. Tastes good as always. They return home and agree to make this place their new nest.

Episode 11B
Tenshu makes curry bun for themselves to eat after work. Kuro being the spicy fan has only praises for it as we hear her compliment and analyse its taste and contents. Then she washes it all down with milk so she can have more of them. When they leave, Aletta wishes her to take care. Kuro notes she is the only one living on the moon and there isn’t many creatures who can actually harm her. But with the recent experiences at Nekoya, I’m sure Kuro is feeling pretty much at home. She also wishes Aletta to take care.

Episode 12A
As narrated, the legendary 4 heroes named Leonard, Artorius, Alexander and Yomi band together and defeated the evil demon lord. However it came with the cost of Yomi’s life. Leonard went on to become a pontiff, Artorius a great sage and magician while Alexander a mercenary. Alexander visits Artorius as he heard from a friend about a door to another world. Artorius agrees to take him there but only later in the evening when no one is around. Because there are a few enemies of his who are dining there. As today is meat day, Tenshu changes the miso soup to pork soup. Since everyone finds it good, they are ordering more of it. Naturally this is depleting their stock faster than usual. But eventually everyone is able to have their fill.

Episode 12B
Once Nekoya is empty, Artorius pops up with Alexander. Immediately Alexander orders croquettes. Alexander could feel something different about Kuro and is scared. He agrees with Artorius not to start any trouble with her. As expected, Alexander finds the croquettes of Nekoya to be much better than those he tried in the Empire. Even much more when he adds the undeniable soy sauce to it. He asks if this sauce can be made in their own world. Artorius says it is impossible. Even Yomi said that. It is then revealed that Yomi is still alive. After their victory over the demon lord 70 years ago, she fell into this world and survived. She has a grandson. Guess who? Alexander finds great comfort that she led a comfortable life and so they drink a toast to this world as thanks for taking her in. Later Alexander visits the grave of his old comrades. It turns out to be the graves of Wilhelm and Adelheid’s great grandmother. Aletta is worried that pork soup costs more than miso soup. Will Nekoya be in the red? Tenshu assures her meat day is only held once a month. The payment from normal meals is enough to cover it. After all, grandpa once said extra service at a restaurant should be provide with food, not money. And with everyone enjoying it, it can’t hurt to do so once in a while.

Good Time, Great Taste! At Nekoya!
Sighs… If only we had eateries that provide such good service and quality food at assumingly reasonable price, the world could have been a much happier place. Don’t laugh. Who knows the reason why this reality of ours has lots of angry people and warring countries is that of the simplest reason that they don’t have good food to eat. When one is full and satisfied, there is no reason to fight, right? Not to say that the other world is entirely living in peace but you can see the happy faces of customers which very much guarantees return patronage. Oh well… The only reason why I regularly return to a handful of eateries is because I have no money and I am still picky on what I eat. Yeah…

Although the foods served at Nekoya are supposed to be the main stars (isn’t that why they name every episode after the featured dish?), what is most interesting is not the foods themselves but rather the back stories of some of the customers that led them to discover this wonderful eatery. And that is what I believe is what keeps this series from being a total bore. Not to say that this series is oh so very interesting and there are certain stories that aren’t as interesting, but a majority of them are. Therefore for a food themed anime, it is quite refreshing and unique in a way that it doesn’t totally focus on the food too much. Despite the staffs at Nekoya are supposed to be the ‘main characters’, the actual main protagonists are those who patron Nekoya. With different races and creatures from all walks of life coming into the restaurant, it is no wonder that many of their backgrounds are quite fascinating to watch. Eventually it is Nekoya that is what ties them all together. Is it me or do all these customers only order the same food? Do they not want to be adventurous to try others? Oh well, you can only come here every 7 days so by that time, you would want to have your favourite food. No wonder Tenshu can remember who orders what. So easy.

Therefore it is a hit and miss if you want to talk about the characters. The customers usually have their one segment of focus especially when they are first introduced. Sometimes, a brief explanation of the land they come from too. After that, they will fade into obscurity and some only will recur as background characters. A few interactions here and there but there is nothing more added to it. So as I’ve said, these customers some have interesting backgrounds and circumstances they come from but that is as far as we know about them. Because it always ends on a happy note. I mean, who would ever complain after being served such great dishes, right? Oddly, this other world houses almost every mythological creature mankind created. It’s like a big mash of fairytale setting all in one world. Just short of zombies…

Even Nekoya’s staffs, Tenshu, Aletta and Kuro do not have much back story to it. Of course we heard about Aletta and Kuro’s case but nothing deeper. Since Aletta and Kuro are only working here part time on the day of Satur, does Tenshu get help from others on other days? Unless there is no crowd… But he can’t be running his restaurant if he doesn’t have business, right? I’m thinking it isn’t about the money that he is thinking about. If it was all about profits, you think he allows certain beings to owe and have tabs? Tenshu is also a big mystery if you want to talk about him because he is just some guy who inherits the place and then puts his heart and soul in his cooking for his customers. That’s all. Heck, you don’t even know his real name. Okay, maybe the last episode’s revelation revealed his blood ties to a legendary hero but that doesn’t mean anything much seeing in this world instead of slaying demons with swords, he slices meat and vegetables with his kitchen knife! Haha! Therefore sometimes this series could be a bit confusing of what it actually is. It’s not really about the characters. It’s not really about the food. Is it just to create awareness that such foods exist?

I won’t say that the foods aren’t interesting but personally they are not as prominent as the stories of the customers. After all, these foods are not made up or created out of creativity as seen in Shokugeki No Souma and Toriko. They are normal dishes in which you can order in decent western restaurants all over the world. So it is sometimes odd to see that these beings from another world being taken in so much by our food. Especially beasts and creatures eating our rice and meat. Fantasy characters eating our normal food? Feels a bit odd. Also, with some characters not having that detailed or long background stories, the focus will be on them describing and praising the food they just tasted. Nothing very exaggerative as they try to keep it down to earth but with some great praises to paint how good it is. Of course it is. You’d think they would come back here if the food tastes horrible? Yeah, it would have been interesting to see a case like that for twist purposes but I guess with Tenshu being so good and dedicated, it isn’t going to happen at all. Not on his watch. Also, this world has a few foods that are similar to ours but slightly and differently named or look. If you’re wondering what the hell is shripe, you’ll understand that it is just shrimp. Marmetts might look a bit different but they taste exactly the same as tomatoes.

Now, throughout watching this series, I am sure this has also crossed the minds of many viewers. The biggest question and mystery of this series is the door itself. With Tenshu once mentioning he doesn’t know how it works sounds like an excuse not to explain it all. Of course knowing how the door works is not what the series is about but as viewers, we would really like to know and the explanation would help make sense of some of the questions bugging us. For example, I would like to start off on why it only appears on the day of Satur (obviously Saturday) and not on other days. Does the door appear elsewhere on other days? I don’t think so because it is day of Satur for all the customers in this other world. And what if the customer in Nekoya misses the door to go back to his/her world? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe he/she got drunk and stayed over a night? Then the next morning comes and you can’t go back anymore. Have to wait till the next day of Satur.

The biggest question of it all is how would the door know which customer to return to his/her spot she came from? As the door appears all over the continent, if there are multiple customers and they arrive and leave at different times, how does the door know which spot to send them back? Has there been a case whereby the customer ended up in the wrong region? I’ll be damned if I ever end up at the arena. Because after I’ve fully eaten, it’s my turn to get eaten! It sucks, dude! Since there are none of such cases, I guess the door must be smart enough. Yeah, maybe the customers’ hands serve like fingerprints and the door automatically knows where you came from. I didn’t know Nekoya is such a sophisticated restaurant despite serving normal but good meals.

The other questions about Nekoya is if Tenshu has ever served normal humans from our own world. I suppose that he does but on other days. That is probably why beings from the other world only arrive on day of Satur. We also don’t see those normal people is probably because, remember the name of this anime? Assuming this is true, then I suppose it is those other days and times when Tenshu stocks up his ingredients. Because it would be damn weird if Nekoya only and solely exists in its own dimensional space. Yeah, it wouldn’t make sense if he had infinite supplies and raw materials to cook. This doesn’t even touch the other stuffs he has to maintain like the gas or the utensils. Who is supplying or fixing them? Unless you say it’s magic… Also, I am assuming that all the different beings in this other world has the same stomach functions and features as our normal humans. Because they don’t seem to have any indigestions or complications whatsoever. Yeah, look at the lizardmen… They can eat omelette rice? I know it’s fantasy stuff, but just saying… Hence, just leave it all to Tenshu! Nobody ever died or even so much as to complain about his cooking.

Art and drawing are pretty standard and nothing much to shout about. The characters and backgrounds do look decent but it is nothing that spectacular. Even the varied locations and terrains of the other world, they just look pretty okay. I have to admit that the food do look delicious because some of them even made my mouth water just by looking at them. I had my dinner already a few hours ago so I think I can consider the way they put some detail into the food as served to the customers as good as it tastes because my only regret is not being able to taste how freaking good it is. That’s the problem with all food themed animes. This series is animated by Silver Link who did Non Non Biyori, Kokoro Connect, Masamune-kun No Revenge, WataMote and Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu.

Due to the nature of this series, there are a lot of seiyuus lending their voice and making cameo appearances. This means a handful of them that I recognize like Junichi Suwabe as Tenshu, Shizuka Itou as the red dragon, Tomokazu Sugita as Seelemann, Yukari Tamura as Victoria, Youko Hikasa as Fardania, Fumihiko Tachiki as Alphonse, Hochuu Ootsuka as Tatsugoro, Hiro Shimono as Sirius, Nobuyuki Hiyama as Lionel, Takahiro Sakurai as Alexander, Nao Touyama as Iris and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Rokei. The rest of the casts are Sumire Uesaka as Aletta (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Saori Oonishi as Kuro (Aiz in DanMachi), Reina Ueda as Adelheid (Mira in Dimension W), Kiyono Yasuno as Sarah (Megumi in Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata), Sumire Morohoshi as Shia (Nina in Shingeki No Bahamut: Virgin Soul), Motomu Kiyokawa as Artorius Yuusaku (Walter in Hellsing), Yara as Thomas (Chin in Toriko), Katsuyuki Konishi as Christian (Laxus in Fairy Tail), Makoto Yasumura as Gaganpo (Akaya in Maken-Ki), Yoshino Aoyama as Tiana (Guri in Renai Boukun), Ayaka Suwa as Arte (Tokaku in Akuma No Riddle), Atsushi Tamaru as Shareef (Shouichi in Seiren) and Shino Shimoji as Renner (Tooru in Seiren). At first I thought it was Rie Kugimiya behind Arius but I was mistaken. It’s Ayaka Asai (Hazuki in Hibike! Euphonium).

I guess this is one of the very few times in which I could instantly recognize which singer sings the theme song. For the opening theme, I was right when One In A Billion was May’N. Well, half right. Wake Up Girls also help sing this piece by providing the support background vocals. They also have a voice acting role here and make their cameo as those fairies. May’N’s powerful vocals was instantly recognizable since this upbeat song has this similar feel to other anime themes that I heard her sing before such as the openers of Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakama-tachi and Hidan No Aria. But not really sure if the lively beat of this song fits the theme of this anime because you see how civilized and calm everyone has their food so if this is to hype (whet) your appetite, I don’t think it quite cuts it. But it’s still a good song nevertheless. The ending song is a very lovely slow ballad, Chiisana Hitotsubu by Kiyono Yasuno. Although this is quite a nice piece, I wonder if it is fitting for a food themed anime. Because it fits better if it was played on a romance or even slice of life drama genre. I mean, after having a satisfying meal and hearing this song, it just doesn’t go together like how some foods don’t go with certain wines. Also to note there are a few slow and easy BGMs but my favourite one is the short and catchy piano piece played during the next episode preview.

Overall, this series isn’t anything that amazing as the only thing unique that separates it from other food themed animes is that instead of fellow humans eating our food, individuals from another world come in to enjoy them. The plot is close to non-existent while the characters are not very deep. If you often eat the foods featured here, you won’t be tempted or inspired at all. But its rather relaxing and calming pace makes it enjoyable in its own right because that is how we should all eat our food, right? No silly competitions to outdo each other to create ‘creative’ foods that would temporarily kill you (because it sends you into some crazy heavenly ecstasy). No food fights to save the world or survival of the fittest. Just your little humble great cooking with heart and soul as its not-so-secret ingredients poured into them. Sniff, sniff. Makes me so envious that I wish I had such great cooking at regular intervals. So when is that damn door going to pop up right at my doorstep?! Yeah, being hungry makes you irritable alright.

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