Next up is another summer show, Restaurant to Another World. When I first read the premise for this show I was excited. Restaurant to Another World is all about a Western Restaurant Nekoya which every seven days, on Saturday, gets patrons from another world. The door to Nekoya appears all throughout this other world and attracts everyone from humans like you and me to elves, fairies, and other animal men. The show sounded like a good relaxing watch.
And it was, at first. The owner of the restaurant, whose name we never learn, is a pretty simple character who likes to cook and keep the peace between the many regulars that come in. He hires a waitress to work on Saturday after she literally walks in at night and falls asleep on his kitchen floor. Aletta is a demon girl who stumbled upon Nekoya after a door appeared inside the ruined church she was sleeping in. A second waitress is added about halfway in after the door to Nekoya appeared on the moon of the other world. Summing a dragon named Kuro, who develops a taste for chicken curry, the shop operates with just these three employees.
Despite not having a real story it was interesting to watch the customers come into the restaurant and discover the new cuisine. I enjoyed watching Aletta get used to her job and the introduction of Kuro definitely spiced things up and made the show more interesting. But, I have to be honest, the show got boring after awhile. I mean at a certain point you’re just watching people come into the restaurant, be confused, order food, and then be over dramatic and eat it. Now if you like looking at food then this show is perfect for you but if you actually expect something to happen, well don’t.
I’ll admit, normally this type of show would be right up my alley. I mean I tend to really enjoy slice of life shows and use them as a way to calm down and reduce my anxiety during my lunch break but despite how interesting this other world is, I couldn’t help but get bored after a while. There’s only so much ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over food that you can take at a time.
It’s a shame to say this because otherwise Restaurant to Another World has a lot going for it. The art is fantastic and is able to bring out both wonderful people and creatures such as dragons, not to mention how delicious the food looks. The soundtrack is also good. Restaurant to Another World features many memorable songs that I know I’ll remember years from now. The opening theme by Wake Up, Girls! and May’n, is a particularly great song and one of my favorites from the year (plus I’m always happy to see the Wake Up, Girls! succeeding).The English dub was also very enjoyable. The Japanese version slightly better but that doesn’t mean the English version is bad. I think the biggest reason I prefer the Japanese version is that I liked Aletta’s Japanese voice actress better than her English. But both versions are good to watch.
Don’t take my opinion without a grain of salt though. I watched through the dub this week to refresh myself on Restaurant to Another World, and it was a lot better than I remembered. Right after Kuro is introduced the show starts bringing different characters together in unexpected ways and makes the show more about the way food connects people than just about the food itself. I honestly think I had just burned myself out on relaxing shows and Restaurant to Another World was the unfortunate victim that my opinion suffered because of this. For this reason Restaurant to Another World won’t be my first never watch, instead it’s rating is:
Rating Scale: Only Watch If, you enjoy food based shows or relaxing anime that don’t have big plots.