Restaurant to Another World
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Restaurant to Another World ?
Kuro fans, this is your episode. Well, more or less – it's a Kuro-centric episode in that she narrates the beginning and ending, which take place before the restaurant officially opens and after it closes, with a story about siren siblings of some kind (I think?) filling in the middle. It's a little less than Aletta's gotten in terms of spotlight attention – she had the first episode, the one with Sarah, and some parts in-between as well – but it does give us a chance to get to know Kuro better. (And to wonder if she has a little crush on the owner?) Like her friend Red, Kuro is very serious, and she's particularly determined to keep “her” people safe. She gets to fully demonstrate that this week when the sirens come in and unthinkingly begin to sing, which immediately enchants both the master and Aletta.
The sirens' singing is one of the funnier moments of the series. We see stills of them singing in their new island home, but we don't actually hear them until they spot a piano in the restaurant. No sooner has a key been pressed than we're prepared to hear the beautiful melodies that send sailors to their doom on the rocky shoals—but the female siren begins to bang at the piano like an enthusiastic toddler, screaming out “la la la!” Her brother's no better. It's a great subversion of standard mythology and just funny in its own right, because even though we can hear their cacophonous sound, Aletta and the master are enchanted nonetheless, remembering only that the sound made them feel really nice. Of course, some siren stories say that the sailors hear the voices they most want to hear, not the sirens' actual songs. If these two are anything to go by, that's a good thing.
Apart from the singing, the sirens' story of discovering tuna carpaccio is the same basic tale we've been getting for eleven episodes now. Otherworlders discover door, find restaurant, are immediately enchanted with new food and eat lots of it. The catch here is that the siren siblings are using a door we've seen before – their new island home is the same one where Admiral Flugel was stranded all those years. In fact, they only find the door because of the note the admiral left for anyone else who happened to come by, a nice piece of continuity that I wasn't really expecting. In another nice connection between the two stories, it turns out that the siren community was well aware of the admiral's existence the whole time – but they called him “the Chimera Killer” and thus avoided his island. That's too bad, because singing aside, the sirens seem perfectly harmless, so they could have helped to make his time as Robinson Crusoe a little more bearable.
In an interesting note, it seems that Restaurant to Another World is taking a page out of Monster Musume's book in their depictions of avian mythological creatures. Like Papi the harpy, the sirens appear to be slightly “bird-brained” – they have little attention span and just sort of go where their id takes them. Granted, these two are almost definitely children, despite the fact that they want to make a new nest together, but it's still worth noting this more uncommon cultural interpretation of bird people.
If this series is really meant to have twelve episodes, next week doesn't seem like it will be terribly conclusive, although it does look like a good chance for Kuro to up her curry game with curry croquettes. I'm not sure the series can carry a second full cour unless it starts to do a better job of having the customers interact, which doesn't seem that likely at this point. But whether next week brings a surprise ending or at least a finite ending point, one thing is very clear: I can't wait for the local county fair so I can go eat some fried food myself!
Restaurant to Another World is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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