So take the cooking from Sweetness & Lightning, the monster girls from Interviews with Monster Girls, and the peaceful vibe of both shows and you pretty much get Restaurant to Another World. The very premise of this anime alone had me hooked but the execution of said premise nevertheless made me very happy.
I was a little skeptical of the show being yet another isekai show (the damn word is even in the title) but Restaurant to Another World is very different from other shows of the genre. The Owner of the restaurant (Junichi Suwabe), is not an otaku self-insert who dies and reincarnates into a fantasy land but rather is just an experienced cook whose restaurant just so happens to be an inter-dimensional portal. There is also hardly any bells and whistles to the fantasy element. In fact, this show plays things pretty casually for the most part. Just look at how the Owner can deals with a bunch of fantasy characters fighting over each other’s food for example. He acts as if this kind of conflict is something he has had to deal with on a regular basis.
There is definitely a mystery being set up here. We briefly see a picture on the wall showing the Owner and what is presumably his predecessor (maybe his dad) and it’s hard to ignore how the red dragon lady calls the place one of her “treasures”. This mystery is mostly put in the background of this episode but one thing that is clear is that the Owner clearly is not the first owner of the restaurant and he’s been serving food to RPG adventurers for a long time.
I am also curious as to how much of the fantasy world will actually be shown. It’s not really something I absolutely need in this show and it is entirely possible that it’s almost always set in the restaurant. Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing the owner shop for groceries in the other world or seeing his new employee, Aletta (Sumire Uesaka), explore our world.
Speaking of Aletta, I find that her innocent and modest personality adds a huge amount of charm to the show. I just love how she reacts to something as simple as tomatoes and soap as some mystical luxuries. Her background is admittedly told through a lot of exposition but it’s easy to relate with how Aletta struggles maintaining a living due to discrimination. I am curious as to how much her background as a demon will be explored. The Owner clearly has no problem with her being a demon…but even that merits some explanation given how big of a deal demons are to some people in this show.
At the very least, can Aletta just work full-time? It’s hilariously sad that she has to go back to a haystack after a long day of work.
I know I haven’t talked much about the cooking but the truth is that, Restaurant to Another World started things with some pretty basic meals. The second meal is even deliberately something simple for employees to eat during breaks. But you know what? I’m fine that it started that way this episode. Sweetness & Lightning started things simple (admittedly way too simple) and that worked given the slice of life vibe (as well as to show the main character getting better at cooking). Even Food Wars! (easily the most tantalizing cooking anime) saves a lot of exquisite dishes for later. If Restaurant to Another World starts showing more impressive stuff as time goes on, I’m fine with the first episode being a bit low-key in this regard.
On paper, Restaurant to Another World sounded like it’d be right up my alley and this first episode certainly convinced me more that’ll be the case. It’s too early to say this is something I’ll blog weekly but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this show.
OP: “One In a Billion” by Wake Up, May’n!
ED: “Chiiisana Hitotsubu” by Kiyono Yasuno
Thanks for reading!
Restaurant to Another World is officially available on Crunchyroll & Funimation.
For more Restaurant to Another World posts, check out the show’s archive page!
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