Today's Menu for the Emiya Family
by Gabriella Ekens,
How would you rate episode 9 of
Today's Menu for Emiya Family (ONA) ?
September marks Caster's turn on the fondue carousal as she asks Shirou to help her cook a meal for her hubby, Mr. Kuzuki. As per Hollow Ataraxia lore, this particular servant/master pair has gotten married (legally? religiously?) and are currently enjoying their blissful newlywed life at Ryuudou Temple. In contrast to her prior demeanor as a cackling, Saber-molesting witch, this Medea is all smiles and hurried housekeeping, working hard to please her profoundly inexpressive partner. Sōichirō, meanwhile, is mostly the same – stoic and in possession of cheekbones that you could use as cheese graters. If Medea ever wants to make some spaghetti parmesan, she knows what to do. I honestly don't think it'd even bother him.
Besides the joy that is getting to see Medea happy, I found this episode pretty dull, to be honest. Besides Caster's long-awaited reappearance, it lacked an overall hook, and while I like her character quite a bit, most of her time onscreen consisted of performing rather mundane cooking tasks. Little of this was particularly expressive of her greater personality, which we now know more about due to Fate/Grand Order. The closest thing I could find to a reference there was a mention of “high-speed chanting,” which is one of her skills in the game. Otherwise you could have done something cuter with her, like foreground her love for pancakes.
There also weren't any good Sōichirō gags. While I like him and Medea as a couple, he's a tough fellow to feel affection for in his own right, more like a placid version of Kirei from Fate/Zero (before he sold his soul to eternal BDSM with Gilgamesh, of course). It's like the guy is exhausted by his own ridiculous backstory (a kamikaze snake assassin cum-high school social studies teacher) and can't find the energy to forge anything else remotely interesting about himself. But it's okay, Medea still loves him – and he's certainly an upgrade over Jason. Anyway, you can make good gags out of stoicism, but the episode didn't really accomplish that, leaving stretches in a gag vacuum. By contrast, Saber remains a joy to watch. As usual, she gets all of the show's best reaction faces and character animation, with the episode's highlight consisting of her reaction to seeing the Witch of Betrayal in Shirou's kitchen. Last time Saber found Medea there, she had a knife to Taiga's throat, and it lead to a rather unpleasant incident for our King of Knights.
In the end, Medea can't cook fish and taro as well as master housewife Shirou, but Souchirou still loves her, and that's cute. It's a shame that she doesn't like interesting men, but after what she experienced in life, maybe that's a blessing. They really should not have kids though.
Today's Menu for the Emiya Family is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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