Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars) introduced a wider audience to food porn anime. Sure, food is typically given extra special attention even in the poorest of quality shows (like the hot dog in Fukumenkei Noise), but some shows take that level of detail above and beyond. Isekai Shokudou (Restaurant to Another World) is one of those shows, but it’s not just cooking good-looking food!
First Episode Impressions
The Western Neko Cafe is a normal restaurant that serves up Western cuisine throughout the week. People come in, buy their food, hopefully enjoy it and settle their bills properly like any good establishment. However, on Saturdays, the door to the cafe magically connects to another world and anything from wizards, dragons, treasure hunters and others come in to enjoy a meal. Some people are regulars while others are discovering the cafe for the first time.
In the first episode, we meet Aletta. She was born as a mix between a demon and a human. Her only demonic feature are the horns on her head in which she tried desperately to hide. While living in the Capitol, she worked as a server, but one day her hat fell off and it was discovered that she was a demon. She was fired from her job and word of her spread quickly, making it impossible to find work. On the brink of starving to death, the door to the Neko Cafe appeared and she went inside and ate a pot of soup that Tenshu, the cafe’s chef, was making for himself. She passed out on the kitchen floor and was discovered in the morning.
After hearing her story, Tenshu felt sorry for her and offered her a job as a server one day per week. She accepted the job and is now a part of the cafe! The rest of the show deals with the individual customers, their backstories, and the meals that they order and eat. As they eat the food, their descriptions are right on par with something you would hear a fanatic explain on any given Food Network tv show. The eating scenes are designed to make you hungry and I can tell you from first-hand experience, it works!
OP & ED Impressions
The opening is “One in a Billion” by a collaboration between Wake Up Girls and May’n. The opening is a standard upbeat alternative rock song that you would hear with any slice-of-life anime set in a high school setting. In other words, it’s pretty generic and something I would probably pass on when the full version comes out.
The ending is “Chiisana Hitostubu” by Kiyono Yasuno. This song takes a drastic turn from the opening. It’s a very slow and somber song featuring a piano and some string instruments. The female vocals are great and it gives you a vibe of something you would hear playing lightly in the background of an upscale restaurant. I think this fits the show perfectly and while it’s not a song that I would go out of my way to purchase, it’s pretty soothing and pleasant to listen to.
YES – While the eating scenes are pretty generic and, at times, over the top in their descriptions, the characters and their backstories really make Isekai Shokudou interesting to watch. Each full episode is actually two mini episodes stitched together, each being named after the dish that will be served in that mini episode. It keeps things interesting and fresh this way and it allows each character to have a spotlight dedicated to them. It’s a good formula that works and works well! I think people should give this show a chance as I’m sure most people would find it rather pleasant!