Today's Menu for the Emiya Family
Episode 8

by Gabriella Ekens,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Today's Menu for Emiya Family (ONA) ?

Eight months into this year-long celebration of fanservice, feasting, and the Fate franchise, and only now does Today's Menu For the Emiya Family give us a dedicated Rin episode. Still nothing substantial between her and Archer (Rin presumably kicked him out of the house so his younger self could come over without being disemboweled), but I won't say no to any content highlighting Fate/stay night's indisputable best heroine. This is especially true when the episode chooses to focus on her relationship with her sister. With not a Shinji in sight, Rin and Sakura being happy together is gomoku fried rice for the soul to me.

So Rin brought Shirou over to help her clean house, as one requires of friends. They start with her basement, where we're reunited with all of her dad's weird old magic crap. (I was particularly excited to see that magical gramophone thing that Tokiomi would use instead of a phone. Can't let anything convenient into the magus cave, after all.) Then Rin practically reenacts March Madness by dunking on Shirou constantly – something that is both incredibly satisfying and extraordinarily easy to do. Eventually, she sends him to lug some shit to her room, which Shirou finds embarrassing because of course he does. When Shirou arrives, he doesn't find piles of dirty underwear (or whatever he thought would be in there) but Sakura, so she's helping out too. It becomes apparent that Rin is setting up her own far less dreary wizard space, as we see from the piles of jewels on her desk.

Honestly, this first half of the episode is mostly scenery porn for the various Tohsaka mansion locales. Some are more characteristic of Zero, and others of Stay night – either way, this show still looks great, and fate's environmental design is strong enough to get feeling nostalgic over ancillary bits of mise-en-scene. It's like hey, I remember that room! That's where Gilgamesh used to stand around looking pissed, and later on Kirei stabbed your dad in there. Ah, memories. Anyway, I can see why Rin doesn't really want to use the office. I wonder if they got all the blood out of the carpet?

The latter half of this episode is the long-awaited “Rin and Sakura bond as sisters” content that I've been yearning for since episode three. Shinji has, I assume, been murdered by now, so the two of them can hang out as much as they want without the risk of his interference. At the end of all this, Rin decides to cook some fried rice for dinner. I can't eat rice right now (just got my wisdom teeth removed), so this scene amounts to forbidden fruit for me. What they're cooking looks really tasty, which makes me hungry, but if I get anything stuck in my molar holes, it could leave me looking like Kariya for another week. So I must, for the sake of survival, look away from the screen. At least their eating noises were cute. Seriously though, it was really nice to see Rin and Sakura bonding as sisters. That content tends to be sorely missing from Fate's canonical works, so my desire for it has built up strongly throughout this series.

As this episode closes out, I've notice the clock begin to tick. Somehow, we're already two-thirds of the way through this year and by extension, this anime. This means we're running short on time for A Certain Priest and his commitment to sacrilegiously spicy sauce to show up. With that in mind, the jury's still out on this show's ultimate quality, as I can't really give it my approval without his heavenly mandate. Still looks great, at least.

Grade: A

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

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