Who knew that there can be an anime series based around something that possibly found in a D&D campaign? I know that Restaurant to Another World is far from a break out hit for a lot of reasons, but that concept blows my mind every time I think about it. It’s also a great way to do some episodic story telling. Getting to know the customers and the a little about the restaurant staff through the food they eat and how it affects their lives is an interesting concept that I haven’t seen in many places. So no, this is not an anime that is full of high art, all action all the time, or endless amounts of addicting character drama, but it is certainly relaxing. It’s something that I missed out in my life ever since Flying Witch ended a year ago or so. Who doesn’t need a show that helps them relieve stress a half an hour at a time. I know I do.
To start off, there is nothing uniquely about the Restaurant the show focuses on when we see it. Looking at it first, the Nekoya is just a western style restaurant in Japan. Something that is comparable to a Denny’s in the United States. The special thing that makes this series happens on Saturdays (or the day of Satur for all of those fantasy world people who are somehow reading this). That’s right, six out of seven days, the restaurant has a normal sort of crowd. All the strange people only appear about for one day. On that day, Various magical doors appear and open up around a fantasy world, which is when the fun begins.
Restaurant to Another World takes place in your average fantasy world. It’s full of humans, lizard folk, Lion folk, elves, half elves, different kingdoms, and how knows what else. Each half episode focuses on a different regions and different species of people focused on how this magical door and the Nekoya changed lives. As you would expect, this fantasy world takes places in a medieval setting, so watching these people get excited over food that the rest of us would consider average. I understand the concept though, this medieval world cannot refine food the same way that our modern society can, so that is something that these restaurant guests would be overly enthusiastic about. Some are even trying to replicate the food from this restaurant in their own areas. I don’t know what it is about this concept, but there is something addicting about it all.
Watching the restaurant guest’s reactions when eating the food is always great to me somehow. I don’t completely know why. I mean, there is a lot of blushing over seemingly delicious food and each character lays out the elements of each piece of food. There is something addicting about it. Maybe I just like watching other people eat. Maybe I like seeing how this restaurant changes these other people’s lives. Entire races of people in a fantasy universe fight over the right to enter this one restaurant, acquire food, and bring it back to their civilization. Or how some food can be a bad pun for victory and why that is important to them in this situation.
If this sounds like boring concept, it kind of is. Especially when it’s almost the same thing one after another. There are some hints that there is something else going on though. Half elves have started to become more important in the show for one reason or another. A race of oppressed people that have no choice but to live with the racism that they never wanted in the first place. Then again, this could be nothing. This is an episodic series in which we learn about the guests at the restaurant. Still, I know that I am going to watch this series every week anyway. If it becomes more and has something great to say, then I welcome it.