Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi

Title:Tondemo Skill de Isekai Hourou Meshi
Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - MAPPA
HINO Satoshi
Two young men and two young women have been summoned from Japan to the Kingdom of Reijseger to fight as heroes against the Demon Lord who threatens the nation. But something must have gone wrong, because the only 'unique skill' that 27-year old Masouda Tsuyoshi is appraised to have is his ability to purchase goods from an interdimensional online grocery website. Since he is seemingly of no use in the struggle with the Demon Lord, Masouda is let go with a consolation prize of twenty gold coins to make his own way in this alternate reality.

12 episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
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(All episodes watched):

I was sure that this would be just another isekai anime with a weak gag as its premise and little else. I figured that Masouda's excellent skill as a cook would be rewarded with excellent ratings as a fighter as well, because that's what tends to happen in shows of this sort. But no, I was pleasantly surprised. The plot is genuinely amusing (sort of a parody of Rising of the Shield Hero) and Masouda really has nothing but his ability to order packaged Japan-style foods which are immediately delivered to him via some sort of magic. His cooking does have a strange effect on the strength ratings of the people who eat it. These foods are delicacies to the rough and tumble folks of this medieval-like world, and draws the attention of a fenrir, a terrifying wolf-monster. The actions Masouda and others take both make sense and are funny. So, this looks like fun. A good deal of imagination went into this.

Indeed, 'imaginitive' is perhaps the one word I would use to quickly summarize this show. A fairly complex and interesting plot comes together and the jokes are not bad as well. You might say the plot is a fairly funny joke, unlike most isekai series with strange twists. In those, the basic premise joke is only good for one or two laughs yet we are basically expected to keep laughing at them indefinitely. Or, for all intents and purposes they are quickly discarded and we get generic sword and sorcery fluff from that point onwards. Here what initially seems like a pretty useless talent is put to good use by a likable protagonist, and through his hard work and unexpected luck it comes in quite handy.

I liked the four adventurers that Masouda travelled with in episode one, and the OP sequence suggested that they would return to the story eventually. For now Masouda devises new ways to keep 'Fen' fed with plenty of meat prepared in imaginitive ways. In episode four he dabbles in magic and Fen expects him to learn a little about using it in combat. One of the most memorable things about this show is the way it manages to remain 'fresh' while most isekai series would have gone fairly stale by now. This show is one of my favorites of the Winter 2023 season.

When Fenrir first appeared in episode one, I figured that this was just a silly little joke with a two-dimensional character and he wouldn't be around for long. But on the contrary he has grown a distinct personality--the proud, arrogant (but not cruel), and always hungry creature--and has become the co-star of the show. In episode five the Goddess who bestowed him with his powers takes notice of this human cook that accompanies him and strikes a deal to get herself supplied with exotic sweets in exchange for a little 'blessing' upon Masouda himself. This was amusing and I liked the way this already good plot was expanding with new characters. Fenrir ('Fen'), in turn, undertakes to train Masouda in the use of magic, with a laughably tough regimen. As they travel through a large forest infested with boss level monsters, Fen shows what he can do. Sui, the little slime that has joined him and Masouda, evolves rapidly. The three foil a bandit attack then Masouda must fix a problem with his adventurer license. This show has a sublime humor to it--I don't recall all that many hilarious jokes but the whole thing just has a pleasingly silly tone to it.

While Masouda's skills and courage are modest, those of Fen and Sui are off the scales and as a result Masouda is embarassed by the bounty of rare monsters which he turns in the the Adventurer's Guild for payment. Naturally, the Guild master takes note of him and Masouda is informed that in exchange for certain privledges he and his familiars may be called upon to untertake critical tasks. This show is sort of a blend of the isekai genre and the cooking one. And unlike most Isekai series, it remains fresh and fun as the season nears its end, and I wish it would continue for a second one. Also, while watching episode 11 I noticed several times how amusing and expressive the character designs could be.

I got a very pleasant surprise in episode twelve: I had assumed that this would be a one season show, but no, all the signs are that it will continue for a second one. Most anime are so modest that a second season is more of a liability than an asset, but not this one. However, it looks as if there will be a break of a season or two before the story continues. In the end, this was either my favorite or second favorite anime of the Winter 2023 season.

Last updated Thursday, November 16 2023. Created Monday, January 16 2023.

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