Today's Menu for the Emiya Family
Episode 6

by Gabriella Ekens,

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Today's Menu for Emiya Family (ONA) ?

In this month's Today's Menu for the Emiya family, the show has finally delivered what I've wanted most since the beginning: Fate/Zero references. And by that I mean Kiritsugu showed up, since the show hasn't had the decency to bring in either Kirei or Gilgamesh yet. I have simple wants and needs – they just all happen to involve the sad baby men that populate Fate/stay night's popular prequel. Oh well, I'll just have to make do with what we get here. Sad pajama dad Kerry it is!

Due to his presence in both the OP and ED, we've known that Kiritsugu was coming for a while. It was sure to be in the past-tense, since he died prior to Fate/stay night, and he's generally shown in flashback with younger versions of Shirou and Taiga. We've really only ever gotten glimpses of the formative years Shirou spent with his foster father – the ones that turned him into the hero-worshiping, self-sacrificial young man we know and love(?) throughout FSN proper. And as it turns out, these years were also what turned him into a little domestic lad, since cooking represented another way to connect with his unusually tired and gloomy daddy.

The biggest problem with this episode was the lack of Kiritsugu content. If his appearances are going to be sparse, then at least let us dwell on them. He could've easily been present while they were preparing dinner, but they went with another straightforward cooking scene instead. At least I thoroughly enjoyed what we got. On top of acting as Shirou's father, Kiritsugu seems to be playing a paternal role to Taiga, who's taken an unusual liking to this pair inhabiting her family's rental property. Honestly, this makes me wonder what Taiga's home life is like, seeing as she seems to spend so much time with these folks in lieu of her blood family. Maybe they're too busy with whatever business allows them to rent out giant samurai households to spend time with their kid.

Today's food was hamburg steak aka “just eating hamburger patties on a plate like you're in a school cafeteria,” as they're known outside of Japan. I've been craving burgers for a while, but there's no decent place for me to get them near my house, so this made me really hungry. I'll probably get one when I go into the city tomorrow, but for now I'll just have to live with my aching desire for a proper burg.

Visually, this episode of Today's Menu for the Emiya Family was especially effective. I liked the fade effect at the corners of the image to signal its status as a nostalgic memory. The montage of Taiga and Shirou having fun with Kiritsugu – rendered in an even more abstract sketchy style – did a lot of emotional work on its own, helping the sequence pull at my heartstrings. That moment alone is easily the most emotional that the show has made me thus far. So keep up the good work, more Fate/Zero characters next time, and I'm going to go steam some hams.

Grade: A-

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

“Steamed hams” are a regional expression for hamburgers from Gabriella Ekens' native Albany, New York. Despite being quite similar to the ones they have at the Krusty Burger, they're actually an old family recipe. Follow her on Twitter for cooking tips and other fun facts.

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