Restaurant to Another World Season 2
by Mercedez Clewis,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Restaurant to Another World (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.5
How would you rate episode 5 of
Restaurant to Another World (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.3
Episode 4's first part, “Children's Lunch” (Book 4, Chapter 68), follows twins Alfred (Alf) and Margarette (Mar) as they enter the forbidden “witch's den”, a tower on the West side of the duchy they call home. Yet instead of a witch, they find… their Auntie, which is a unique surprise. And she's not just their father's sister; she's the duchy's former first Princess, Lady Victoria, as well as a half-elf. Victoria promises to show the kids some magic which, of course, is how they get to Nekoya.
What ensues is some very good kid fic, as it's called in the fanfiction world: we get a sweet series of scenes with Victoria, Alf, and Mar just… being family and enjoying one another's company. Victoria takes on a particularly maternal role as she finally gets to spend time with her niece and nephew, and it's all very sweet, promising that further appearances from the trio in future episodes will be a delightful affair.
The episode is pretty true to the novel, though of course, it's a bit truncated: the main story beats are there, but what gets left out is mostly context on the Duchy's history, such as its very overt racism towards half-elves that is part of the reason why Victoria isn't particularly well-liked, as well as some delightful descriptions of the kid's lunch Alf and Mar dine on, though the anime comes through with solid, moving moments of its own. Still, had “Children's Lunch” included that missing context, I think it would have been my favorite this week, and while Victoria is cute as can be, her segment is not as good as the back half of this episode, “Cream Croquette”.
“Cream Croquette” (Book 1, Chapter 9) has a particular place in my heart because it stars Pikke and Pakke, a halfling couple who travel the world selling their cooking – in this case, Knight's stew – every place they go until the Day of Satur (Saturday) when they kick back, relax, and travel to Nekoya for some cream croquettes.
Part of what makes this segment so delightful is the music: it's grand and carries a certain sense of pomp with it, which is perfect for diving into a dish made from “Knight's sauce” – essentially the other world's version of bechamel, one of the four French “mother sauces”. And honestly, all three of the croquettes here look delicious; the kanzer (crab) croquette especially looks divine. I can just taste the flaky crab meat right now…!
In the novel, “Cream Croquette” is a twenty-page story, and the episode stays pretty true to the source, eliding a few details for a more streamlined experience. For example, rather than meeting Pikke and Pakke as they're preparing the stew, we come upon them in medias res as they're selling their food, right before they head out to Nekoya. Additionally, the halfling couple actually gets a taste of stew in the novel; the anime instead has the poor couple dash over to Nekoya to get something in their bellies. You also miss out on the halflings encountering all manner of beings in the restaurant due to episode 4's rather limited perspective. Really, the novel is chock-full of these little worldbuilding details that the anime adaptation simply doesn't have the time for, and if you'd like those extra flavors added to your enjoyment of Restaurant to Another World, I highly recommend checking out the novel.
Overall, episode 4 is yet another delightful entry into an already very enjoyable season of Restaurant to Another World. If you've been on the fence about diving in as a new viewer, come on in: the water's fine, and better, the food is excellent, often paired with sincere, charming vignettes and making it one of the best ways to spend thirty minutes each week. Come for the food, stay for the food, as well as a peek into a fantastical world of delectable dining and delightful characters.
Next week's “Scotch Egg” (Book 3, Chapter 43) and “Mont Blanc” (Book 3, Chapter 42) make for an interesting pair because… they're from the same book! I look forward to pre-reading so I can share all my bookish thoughts next review! Now... go have something good to eat!
As I mentioned in last week's review, Episode 5 is interesting because both “Scotch Egg” and “Mont Blanc” are from the same volume, and what's more, the order in which the stories are presented in the episode is flipped from the novels. That said, we'll be starting with “Scotch Egg” (Book 3, Chapter 43).
The story focuses on two main players: Emilio, an apprentice priest serving the Lord of Red, and Lucia, a seemingly ageless lamia who serves as the Great Priestess for the Lord of Red's religion, with the Lord of Red being the Red Dragon with a penchant for curry that we've seen a few times. We've actually seen Emilio and Lucia a few times before: they're kind of a “blink and you'll miss it” moment during the OP.
Emilio is an interesting character in the novels because he (and I say he despite some of the details surrounding him) lends himself to a deeply queer – and indeed, trans – reading. I say this because right from jump, Emilio is read as being female, which is something of a curse for him because well… it's something that's always assumed of him. It's subtle in the novels and a bit more on the nose in the show, which usually isn't how Japanese media handles non-binary and non-normative gender, but it's there, and while it doesn't factor heavily into the novel, it does play into this episode in terms of visuals and how Emilio is designed outside of the novel, and even voiced. It's not perfect, but that's largely because Emilio's gender isn't really the point of this episode, and it is at least earnest. I know I'm called “ma'am” constantly despite being feminine and not female; I really sympathize with Emilio here.
Now, let's talk food because the front half of this episode is about scotch eggs. I consider “Scotch Egg” (the episode) to be an improvement over the source material due to the simple fact that I finally had a visual for actual scotch eggs, which I'd been mistaking for something similar to like eggs in a basket. True, I could have googled them when I read this story in the novels (and I'm honestly not sure why I didn't), but that doesn't take away from how delightful it is to see them in the actual anime episode itself. And while I can't eat most dishes where eggs are the main thing due to scent sensitivities, oh em gee, I wanted to groove on some scotch eggs.
What's missing from the source material is Lamia's debate about which is the more delicious of the two types of scotch eggs – hard-boiled and soft-boiled. Now, were I a Lamia, I'd definitely say that the soft-boiled scotch eggs are a cut above the rest simply based on their soppability – that is, the ability to “sop”, or wipe, up the yolk with some bread – and the ooziness.
With that out of the way, let's get to “Mont Blanc” (Book 3, Chapter 42). The story follows Thomas the Searcher, an adventurer sent on a quest by Elanor, to find a “certain dessert” that uses marone, an ingredient key to the Mont Blanc (the word "marone" here is likely a play on the Japanese word for chestnut). What Thomas doesn't know, of course, is that Eleanor's manor is home to one of Nekoya's many portals, which is how Elanor's head maid Jazelle once got the fabled sweet. For the sake of brevity, the anime skips most of Thomas' questioning in the novel, dropping him almost instantly into Nekoya via the iconic magical door. Naturally, he can't believe it, but what he can believe is how good the titular Mont Blanc is.
This time, I don't have a favorite out of the two stories; I like both equally, as they are drizzled with the important “secret sauce” that makes this series so enjoyable: the comfy, understated worldbuilding that seasons the world and treats of Restaurant to Another World 2. While there are definitely some missing details here (for example, We Never Learn about the differences between Lamia of different regions, or how many days it takes Thomas to solve just where the Mont Blanc comes from) this is still yet another satisfying episode that's a genuine delight, from the bouncy OP to the end of the ED credits roll.
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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