Resturant To Another World
Nekoya is a small restaurant closed one day a week. There exists a fantasy world, and on the day of the Satur doors appear in strange locations leading directly to this small restaurant in Japan. Food beyond imagination for its very unusual clientele makes for a very strange work day.
This is an anime that's a little hard to sell in a review. It has good points, but the appeal to Restaurant to Another World isn't the standard stuff you see in anime. I like different, but in this case it gets lost in a charming but somewhat dull formula. For me however, the appeal is more a matter of the curious idea of medieval people experiencing modern food.
First off there the context to consider. Throughout history so much of what we take for granted in food hasn't existed and was beyond comprehension of ancient people. Salt was incredibly valuable and fairly rare, and most spices out of reach for average people. Modern refrigeration, clean preparation, and the ability to transport goods from all over the world to combine them in ways not possible until fairly recently. And of course sugar. Imagine eating the same crappy gruel every day, then having a parfait for the first time.
It's a cool feature, and Restaurant to Another World is well thought out concerning this concept. This focus has drawbacks too though, as the show lingers on the person experiencing the food. And honestly the food itself isn't extravagant (by my standards) which falls in line with my taking it for granted, but also doesn't interest me in describing something I'm well acquainted with.
Restaurant to Another World is fairly episodic, with each episode focusing on a dish, and a person from the fantasy world. Many if not most of these stories are on the dull side. I can't say what I would have done to improve things, and it seems like this anime would be a wonderful book, but it's lacking that good spark of presentation leading to entertainment value.
It's not bad though, and I liked most episodes and characters, with backstories hitting the minimum threshold to keep me watching. To it's credit, the show also tells a bit of history on how the Nekoya restaurant came to be. It's also odd how the central character, the restaurant owner; is mostly a side character. A hinted story point is how he may be falling for a dragon imbued with the power of death (Kuro). Her story was the highlight for me, where she fought with other elder dragons to protect the world, however after emerging victorious, she exiles herself to the moon so her aura doesn't kill everything around her. She's led a lonely isolated existence for thousands of years until a door to Nekoya appears. She takes human form and ends up working at the restaurant. A romance between her and the owner could be a great story if it continues in that direction.
As intriguing as it is boring, I think Restaurant to Another World is worth a shot. Not as great as I've heard some claim, but a good change of pace if in the mood for a more tame anime.
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