Isekai Shokudou Final Impressions

Season Aired: Summer 2017

Number of Episodes: 12 episodes

Genres: Slice-of life, Fantasy

Thoughts: This anime is centered around a magical restaurant that appears once in a whole week in various countries and worlds through a mysterious door with a single cat as its symbol. Stories of separate characters and the worlds that surround them are told through the eating and experimenting of our world’s food. It’s an interesting premise, but it is definitely not for everyone.

One thing I must state before anything is the obviously gorgeous art. I found myself screenshotting multiple scenic views. From snowy mountainsides to towering cliffs, from the soft lapping waves to the airy desert, Isekai Shokudou made sure to put its all into illustrating every single world the restaurant and the viewers explore.

Yet, at the same time, because the story introduced so many worlds, you were never able to fully explore a single one. Though the characters’ introduction and personal stories are wrapped up in a single episode, sometimes a half episode, there is a disconnect between the viewers and the stories being told. We are not given any actual time to connect closely with any particular character, even with the cute maids that work at the restaurant.

I also wished they could’ve explained the mechanics of the magical restaurant a bit more. Though the focus is actually on the multiple worlds the restaurant effects, one cannot help but wonder how the chef operates. Does the restaurant simply disappear on “Day of Satur” in the real world? Or is time flipped and the chef is forced to work 24 hours without resting once? Though some might consider that to be moot points, others would be thoroughly bothered when watching the anime.

The last episode really stood out from the rest of the anime, but I only wished they had put it into the storyline sooner. Giving actual background to not only the chef but one of the most constant customers that frequent the shop is what the anime desperately needed to hook viewers. Characters are the most powerful weapon to any story, and it is where the anime unfortunately lacks. One can only sit still for so long after being introduced to a single person only to be seen at most in cameo sequences in later episodes. All in all, what I hoped for a grand finale was actually a single line that connected every single character. Even though the last episode came close, it still fell a little short.

I wish I could say more of the anime. It is certainly cute. The characters and art as I stated above are without a doubt, beautiful. But other than that, there is not a definitive plotline that stays throughout the anime. The food, though appearing absolutely delicious, are only used as something for customers to love and nothing more. It’s relaxing to watch on a stressful day, but for a viewer who is looking for actual stories and characters to connect with, it will simply be either boring or disappointing. And in my case, I found myself often disappointed.

Rating

I am planning to rate all my anime based on the anime rating system that Japanese anime critics use. I will have 5 categories, each with the top score of 10, and then a final multiplier of 2.

Plot: 5

Characters: 5

Voice acting: 7

Art/Animation: 9

Soundtrack: 7

Total: 33

Multiplier: 2

FINAL SCORE: 66

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