Technically, this ONA started on New Years’ Eve but the simulcast didn’t start on Crunchyroll until a few days ago. I didn’t cover it at the time though so I guess here’s another First Impressions post for Winter 2018.
To be honest, I’m not sure why I even bothered with Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family because I actually really hate the Fate franchise. That’s a story for another day but to sum things up: Fate/zero is pretty great…everything else is just shallow stuff pretending that it has something meaningful to say. Even Ufotable’s version of Fate/stay night, gorgeous as it was, just infuriated me with how asinine its commentary was. But my predisposition aside, I can’t believe this cooking spin-off even exists. There was some iyashikei moments in night but was there really demand for this? What’s next? An anime adaptation based on the Code Geass manga where Lelouch plays guitar?
But you know, never judge a book by its cover and I did at least try it. And all things considered, I thought it was…what you’d expect it to be. It’s set in Fate/stay night, there are Fate characters, one of them cooks…that’s it. There’s no real plot here. It’s just everyone mooching off of Shirou’s cooking. I’d be fine with it with there was some charm but the whole experience was kind of just boring. Most problematic to this premiere is that a good chunk of it is just Shirou narrating his cooking. It’s a pretty dry narration to boot and it also just goes to show how boring Shirou is once you take away all his idealistic ramblings of heroism.
You know what would’ve made this spin-off worthwhile: if this was actually Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma but with Fate characters. That at least would’ve been kind of amazing — watching Masters and Servants team up in cook-offs, using magic spells and Noble Phantasms to up their game. And hey, Fate/stay night was originally an H-game so foodgasms would’ve fit in just fine. I’m usually content with slice of life content but, for once, I would’ve preferred it if this spin-off was Carnival Phantasm levels of ridiculousness.
Perhaps what shocks me the most is the fact that this ONA is being animated by ufotable. It honestly shows that most of the studio’s resources went to the Heaven’s feel movies. Emiya Family looks decent enough but whatever visual polish you’ve come to expecting from ufotable is simply not here.
I’ve admittedly seen worse but this ONA doesn’t really strike to me as particularly interesting and it also doesn’t help me that it’s a spin-off to a series that I don’t even like. If you happen to be a Fate fan, I guess you might like this. Or I don’t know, maybe you’ll think it’s dumb because, well, just look at it.
Thanks for reading!