Restaurant to Another World Season 2
by Mercedez Clewis,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Restaurant to Another World (TV 2) ?
“Roast Beef” (Book 5, Chapter 82) feels like the perfect treat for a cold day, which just so happens to be the conditions in which I'm writing this review, though I'm sadly roast beef-less. That said, there's joy in “Roast Beef” as a story, which the first half of episode 8 pretty much matches beat for beat, additional tidbits of context aside. Rorona's ascendance into the Black family as, essentially, a vampire-like being is faithfully adapted, with the main difference being how Rorona gets to Nekoya. In the anime, she goes crashing through a forest during her test flight. In the novel, she successfully flies, senses the Lord of Black's (Kuro's) energy, and finds the door.
Honestly, I think the anime has a leg up here: Rorona having a failed flight adds a fun bit of characterization to her, and hooks into Rorona meeting with some old characters: Romero and Julietta, who we saw enjoying beefsteak during their desperate flight. They, like Rorona, have undergone the same transformation to become part of the Black Brood that Rorona belongs to, and are her vehicle to roast beef heaven. When we finally see Rorona dine on some rather rare roast beef, the flavor of the moment is enhanced thanks to the setup.
It's actually a really simple first half, and that simplicity is something that Restaurant to Another World has turned into a unique strength. One of the great things about the series in all its versions is that it holds back from dumping too much info. It'll give you your fair portion, sure, but it's never too much. If anything, it's just enough to help you fill in the blanks on the parts of the world we don't get to engage with. Restaurant to Another World 2 does this even more tightly, weaving in tidbits about the denizens of the other world, which gives us a more fully-formed image of the customers the Master deals with. I think that's why Rorona and “Roast Beef” stand out so much: there's a lot of understated worldbuilding slotted in around the main event of getting some good second-hand vibes from all the characters dining on delicious dishes.
On the other hand, “Cheesecake Again” is less of a worldbuilding episode and more of a moment spent with Hilda, one of Nekoya's regulars. Only this time, she's not alone: she's got company, and they're all delightful, literal monstrous (in this case, demonic) women. And much like “Roast Beef”, the story is pretty much a one-to-one adaptation, leaving out details that color the world, but don't detract in their absence.
This vignette is as sweet as the cheesecake Hilda, “Poison Viper” Ranija, and Alicia the “Fembear” (god, what a name) dine on. It's simply a pleasant moment between a group of young women who are carving out careers and living as mercenaries in a world where they stand out because of their racial differences, but still have a place in. It's also another moment of getting some tidbits of worldbuilding, though that's not the central focus: their mutual friendship and the three kinds of cheesecake they try – souffle cheesecake, a no-bake (or rare) cheesecake, and a slice of baked cheesecake – are the focus, though the novel's version of this tale builds up to the “main event” rather than dropping us in directly.
Still, this is once again where the anime excels: it cuts out some of the details without losing the heart of the story and what makes it so delightful. Sure, it's nice to get some fleshing out of Hilda and her companions, as well as their trek and the demonic culture of their world, but the anime communicates that well enough through solid animation, scenes of the trio fighting and dungeon-crawling, and ultimately, a return visit to Nekoya that's supported by playful music. The novels are good, but don't discount the show itself: in many ways, it offers a tighter story that's good to the very last bite, er… to the closure of your tab or window.
Overall, episode 8 is another enjoyable entry into the magnificently moreish world of Restaurant to Another World 2. It's the perfect comfort food anime for Fall/Autumn 2021, and remains a great way to spend thirty minutes of your week. Each episode is, at minimum, delightfully delicious, offering up an answer to the question, “Do denizens of otherworlds like Western-style Japanese food?” with a smile and a wink.
Next week: “Macaroni Gratin”, which… yum, I love it: dish me up a heaping plate of it! And… ugh, “Fruit Jelly”, which I'm not a fan of, but certainly won't mind seeing a visitor to Nekoya chow down on. As always, I'm looking forward to the Day of Satur: it can't come soon enough!
Restaurant to Another World Season 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Mercedez is a JP-EN translation and localization Editor & Proofreader/QA, pop culture critic, and a journalist who, when not writing for ANN, writes for Anime Feminist, where she's a staff editor, and for But Why Tho?. She's also a frequent cohost on the Anime Feminist Podcast, Chatty AF. This season, she's devouring Restaurant to Another World bite by delicious bite. When she's not writing and reviewing, you can find her on her Twitter or on her Instagram where she's always up to something.
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