The primary a part of this episode, “Rice Burger” (Ebook 4, Chapter 62), is fairly easy: Fardania and Alice come to Nekoya on the hunt for tofu steak, solely to seek out out that the day’s cargo of tofu hasn’t arrived. It is then that the grasp of the restaurant presents to make one thing elves can eat, which launches us right into a little bit of backstory earlier than we get to the proverbial meat and potatoes of the episode. Now, long-time viewers will acknowledge Fardania from Season 1, Episode 4’s “Tofu Steak” as a totally vegan elf who demanded a meal “freed from meat, fish, milk, or eggs”. Solely this time, Fardania has returned with a companion named Alice, which is just about the main focus for this primary half.
One factor the episode simply would not have time for is the supply materials’s exploration of Alice, a half-elf in a world the place half-elf discrimination is widespread, and who I think about probably the most charming characters within the sequence to this point. Very similar to her namesake character in Tales of Symphonia, Alice is stigmatized, however in her private life, it isn’t essentially due to her heritage, as a result of she does have two half-elf mother and father. It is as a result of Alice is, more than likely, autistic (or not less than neurodivergent) although it is by no means explicitly said: as an alternative, there’s point out of her not hitting sure milestones, of her being clumsy, silly, and customarily incapable of being “regular”. Whereas this may occasionally merely be a private studying primarily based alone lived expertise, it does make Alice a way more fascinating character in each supply materials and anime.
The place the episode beats the novel is solely the visualization of downright pleasant Alice’s first style of otherworldly meals is. The inevitable second the place Alice inhales the rice burger – which appears positively divine – is suffused by her pure elation at new meals. The music drops out as she prepares to style the meals, and comes again full-force as she and Fardania dig in. Instantly, you understand they will ask for seconds, like so most of the restaurant’s guests earlier than them. This layered pleasure within the easy act of having fun with a great meal is pleasant, and it is the important thing aspect that retains me on tenterhooks every time I’ve watched an episode. Like I stated, come for the meals, keep for the meals, because the rising motion, twist, climax, and determination across the consumption of every dish is sort of as decadent because the meals itself!
But most significantly on this first vignette is the easy incontrovertible fact that Fardania sees Alice as helpful, which is one thing that is obvious in each present and novel. I will not spoil the novel’s (nor the episode’s) ending, however belief me: it is a story value revisiting if you wish to know what occurs to Alice within the far-flung future.
After all, this swings us to “Pizza” (Ebook 2, Chapter 29), which, whereas not my favourite out of the 2 vignettes, remains to be satisfying as a result of… pizza, which I am truly a fan of (in reality, I ate a mini-pizza as I penned this evaluation). Sirius Alfade, our central character for this vignette, joins me and plenty of others within the pantheon of Pizza is Very Good™ just about instantly, although not earlier than we get a little bit of world-building and setup. The episode is sort of an identical to its supply materials, give or take just a few pages of exposition and character improvement on behalf of Siruius and Jonathan. As such, I truly desire the anime this time: we get proper to the good things, i.e. dropping Jonathan into the restaurant, and showcasing the meals.
One of many delights of evaluating Restaurant to One other World 2 to its supply materials novel is that the present heightens my enjoyment of the books. This is not a “the sunshine novel is best” type of sequence: it is all good, in all its pleasant decadent types. True, the novel is far more descriptive, however your creativeness has to do all of the arduous work, one thing a reader with aphantasia will not be ready. That is the place the anime excels: I can see Fardania and Alice having fun with rice burgers. I can salivate over slices of pizza. I can visually join with the sharp scent of tabasco sauce, with the moreishness of a savory meal, with the crunch of tempura greens. I can see the characters I really like having fun with meals that I additionally like and love too.
And that is why I discover myself, as soon as per week, sitting down to actually sink into Restaurant to One other World 2: it is as a result of regardless of its type, it is actually, actually good, all the way in which to the final second of the present. Episode 6 is not any exception: even with just a few extra noticeable animation hiccups and extra of a “simply okay” again half, this sequence is well one in all Fall 2021’s standouts, bringing some much-needed levity in a time of world unrest and uncertainy. However like I stated earlier than, that is the key sauce of this sequence: the fullfilling mix of consolation, consolation meals, and group, and since it is all so well-executed, you may’t assist however wish to come alongside for the journey.
Subsequent week options Okonomiyaki and Inexperienced Tea Shaved Ice which… sure please. It is giving me summer time vibes, which is ideal as the times develop quick, the daylight grows dim, and we within the Northern Hemisphere look in direction of Winter.
Restaurant to One other World Season 2 is at present streaming on
Mercedez is a JP-EN translation and localization Editor & Proofreader/QA, popular culture critic, and a journalist who, when not writing for ANN, writes for Anime Feminist, the place she’s a employees editor, and for However Why Tho?. She’s additionally a frequent cohost on the Anime Feminist Podcast, Chatty AF. This season, she’s devouring Restaurant to One other World chunk by scrumptious chunk. When she’s not writing and reviewing, you could find her on her Twitter or on her Instagram the place she’s all the time as much as one thing.