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Restaurant to Another World combines isekai with the cooking genre as residents of an alternate world typically enjoy the meals and drinks of our reality at a Japanese restaurant every Saturday when a doorway to the restaurant opens up in the other world. The series is largely divided up into two halves per episode focused on a different resident of the other world enjoying a meal prepared by the restaurant's human master. The potential is there for world building with this series given the frequent focus on its characters and the societies they inhabit from the other world, with some episodes focused on developing the master's waitresses, demon girl Aletta and dragon god Kuro. But said focus largely plays second fiddle to the anime's Food Porn with the highly detailed designs of prepared meals and the other world's residents foaming at the mouth with wanting and enjoying their meals. With this focus, your mileage is likely to vary with Restaurant to Another World since there are other titles revolving around food that do better at mixing said focus with solid storytelling and characters like Sweetness and Lightning.
Last updated Tuesday, February 01 2022. Created Monday, January 31 2022.
(Rent- or Watch+)|
(All episodes watched):
This was a curious show. Somehow the door to this restaurant seems to act as a portal to an alternate reality; why or how is never really explained (although we get a partial explanation in the final episode), nor do we even learn the name of the restaurant's owner/cook. For some reason a queen who can transform into a dragon keeps a close eye on this business, but again why is not made clear. Normally it would be easy to become frustrated at the lack of explanation, but this show had a pleasing sentimental tone (as the owner takes pity on a minor demon girl named Aletta and recruits her as a waitress) and at the end of the first episode I didn't mind too much that I knew so little about what was going on. The message I got was that talent had been involved and that this was a truly original work, so I wouldn't complain too much. I just hoped that over time the story would expand rather than every episode leaving us as bewildered as the first one did.
Episodes (or at least some of them) seem to have two subplots which merge somehow at the end, which is kind of neat. There isn't much of an ongoing plot but that's OK since the episodic plots are original and fun. There are the treasure hunting woman who stumbles across the doorway to the restaurant; the lizard men who have created a ritual around sending their champion to the restaurant to bring back samples of the inexplicably delicious human food for them; the elf woman who is a vegetarian and usually frowns on human food; or the soldier who is starving and thirsty as he carries a vital message, but has no money. A little time is spent on the cooking itself and most of it on the odd stories. It's kind of strange how fantasy and cooking are combined fairly effectively, but somehow it works. The show isn't exactly exciting and the stories aren't always all that clever, but it has originality and I was modestly curious what the next odd tale of people from another world interacting with modern cuisine would be. It definitely was not my favorite show of the season, but it's one that I felt I ought to watch. We get a little closure in the final episode, as a surprising link between fantasy and reality is revealed. I'm glad this show ended after one season, but I'm also glad I watched it.
Last updated Saturday, October 14 2017. Created Saturday, July 22 2017.