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Today's Menu for the Emiya Family
Episode 12

by Gabriella Ekens,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Today's Menu for Emiya Family (ONA) ?
Community score: 4.5

Editor's Note: This review was written under the assumption that the series would be ending with this episode. The final episode 13 will actually air on January 1st. Apologies for the error.

As things began, so do they end – with a winter feast on a chilly night, Shirou and the girls eating together, putting the lid on the old year in order to welcome the new. Also, Medusa gets to drive a jeep up a sheer cliff side, which is totally wicked. I'll give Today's Menu for the Emiya Family this – in spite of its ups and downs, from the beach parties to chicken dinners for unnamed extras, it decided to end on a high note.

Today's Menu for the Emiya Family decides to conclude with a Christmas episode, which was a great choice for riding out the year. It's strange that Archer doesn't appear considering that he is actually, canonically Santa Claus, but he was probably busy delivering presents by this time. At least Sella and Leysritt make cameos as Ilya's hyper-competent (but not hyper-protective) guardians. Sella staring down Shirou in the kitchen was funny, as was Ilya's blasé attitude about being the dame of such a grand estate.

We're then taken to the main course. This month's signature dish is some absolutely delicious-looking steak that made me super-hungry while watching. Other episodes of this show at least had the decency to make me crave affordable foods – I may not be able to splurge on a dinner like this until after Christmas. Anyway, Ilya enjoys her food, and we transition to the new character portion of the episode, featuring Herakles. The Einzbern's pet Goliath has been absent from the proceedings so far, so it's nice to see him get an eleventh hour cameo before the production closes up shop for the year. He even gets a Christmas present! (Although he seems more baffled by it than anything.) I hope that they saved him some steak. I know that I'd become eligible for the Berserker class if somebody finished that sort of meal without me.

For all its ups and downs, it's nice that the show ends on easily one of its best episodes. The recipe for a fun installment of Today's Menu for the Emiya Family is actually quite simple: show the characters that actually people care about spending time with each other in interesting ways. Shirou and the girls at the beach, Archer getting roped into working at Cu's cafe, Ilya's Children's Day party, that's all the good stuff. The majority of episodes succeeded at evoking this comforting tone. The most trouble the show ever ran into was during that profoundly pointless student council episode, but even that was more boring than bad.

For what it is, Today's Menu for the Emiya family has been an impeccable production. You can really trust ufotable on a 10-minutes-per-month schedule to dish out something amazing. I don't want to rehash all this show's specific aesthetic virtues again, but it's amazing how chock-a-block it is with fanservice. Pretty much every single shot of this show contains a neat gag or character detail that'll make a Fate fan squeal. The Fate fandom has been delivered a veritable treasure trove of GIFs this year, and is there any better gift than that?

Grade: A

Today's Menu for the Emiya Family is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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