“At the bottom floor of the building with a dog signboard, in the shopping district near the office street, there lies a cafeteria called “Youshoku no Nekoya,” that has an illustration of a cat on the door. It’s been open for fifty years and has satisfied various salarymen from nearby offices. Despite it being called a Western cuisine cafeteria, it also provides other varieties of menus. For the people of this certain world, it’s their one-and-only special cafeteria. There is, however, one secret to “Nekoya.” The cafeteria is closed to the public every Saturday in order to make way for special guests. When a bell rings, customers from different places of birth and races appear who ask for mysterious and delicious dishes. They are actually the same dishes served to the salarymen, but these special guests find them to be more exotic than to what they are used to. As the cafeteria aims to serve masterpieces, it is usually referred as “Isekai Shokudou.” And so, the bell rings again this week.” -MAL News
Besides being a huge anime geek, I’m also a huge foodie. I love anything that deals with food and so Isekai Shokudou was a no-brainer for me to watch.
Rather than having one huge plotline, Isekai Shokudou is much simpler. Essentially, it’s a slice of life with a large number of character backstories. The world of Isekai Shokudou is so vast and meticulous, with each character that visits the restaurant, there’s a guarantee that there is some sort of backstory that they bring along with them. The world outside of Nekoya is focused on fantasy type characters and landscapes. You’ll meet a diverse number of characters: Elves, fairies, wizards, lizardmen, cute demon girls, all-powerful dragons, you name it and they’re in here!
Artwork & Animation:
The animation wasn’t something to look forward to in the show, the real eye catch was the art itself. The presentation of the food was phenomenal and had my stomach growling each episode. The variety of landscapes were breath-taking, it could be anywhere from a lush elven forest to a dragon lair inside of a ten-thousand-year-old volcano. And we can’t forget about the character designs! The character designs are one of my favorites from any show, the diversity of the different races are clear and distinct yet all of the designs together and still creates a harmonious set of characters!
As mentioned in both the STORY section and the ARTWORK & ANIMATION section of the review, the cast of characters is phenomenal. There is never a boring episode because each one has a character that it focuses on the entire time. One episode could be about the Lizardman, while the next could be about an elf. It keeps the anime interesting and seeing their reaction to the modern Japanese cuisine is always something to look forward too!
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
With fantasy world, comes fantasy music! It’s only right to match the music to the world that it accompanies! The opening theme was a little weird for me, I noticed that May’n was performing it, which is fine but it also features Wake Up, Girls!. For those that don’t know who they are, Wake Up, Girls!, or WUG for short, is idol group from the anime of the same name. As a group from another anime, it was strange to see them assist May’n in the performing the opening theme.
From the food to the character stories, Isekai Shokudou amazes with is wonderful artwork and story telling. I find it a great show to watch when you’re marathoning an anime and need a little break.
Overall: Score 9
Isekai Shokudou separates itself from the mainstream shounen type anime where the main plot line of the main character becoming stronger and defeating powerful enemies. As a more laid back and slow type of anime, it’s a lot easier to “digest” (pun intended). It peaks your attention with a large range of characters and stories and amazing you with its fantastic artwork.
Best Girl: Ebi Fry
Yes, you read that right, the best girl of this show is a pair of fried shrimp served on a plate. Jokes aside, it was hard to pick best girl for this show because all of them has great character designs, their personalities and different cultural backgrounds made each girl unique. They’re all best girl but of course, I can’t put that here so enjoy a picture of a beautifully plated pair of fried shrimp!