Isekai Shokudou – 03

This episode was all about grandfathers. We even had three of them featured prominently with Thomas Alfade, Great Emperor Wilhelm, and even Tenshu’s grandfather thrown into the mix. Part of me is curious if this is a theme that will continue on in the series, as by my count we’ve had four grandfathers mentioned in these last couple of episodes.

Now, what I love about Isekai Shokudou is how easy it is just to fall back into the pace of the show. Like the food that it offers, this show leaves me feeling warm and happy, fulfilled after an episode.

The first half of the episode featured Thomas Alfade and his grandson, Sirius. Exposition-wise, theirs was the more interesting aspect. Because he wanted to eat Nekoya’s food, Thomas basically started the fantasy-world equivalent of William Sonoma. His success is no doubt linked to Tenshu, who pays Thomas for ingredients from his world so that he can practice and make things more palatable for the customers who wander in. You gotta applaud that dedication to service, especially considering how Tenshu isn’t doing this for the money, but for the love of the joy his food brings others.

Honestly, as adorable as Adelheid was with her grandfather, I still feel Sirius and his grandfather took the cake in adorable “family outing” feels.

Next time, it looks as though we’ll be getting some lizard man action, so I’m excited. Not to worry, I’ll be doing episode catch up this week, so please be patient.

(Also…tartar sauce pasta? Ewww)

Best wishes!

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Isekai Shokudou – 02

Time flies when you got summer vacation in play. And here I was all pumped to cover this show, and look at me, already three weeks behind. Better get my act together or this is bound to be Sakura Quest all over again!

First half of this episode is dedicated to the Minced Pork Cutlet aspect of the episode, menchi katsu. Our main protagonist is Sarah Gold, a treasure hunter searching for (presumably) her grandfather’s, William Gold dearest treasure, referenced in his journal. In there, William meticulously keeps track of the coming and goings of the Nekoya, much to Sarah’s surprise. Through her discovery of the door to the restaurant, we learn a few things about the world and how the presumed portal function. First things first, there is a common language that everyone can read, so far. Secondly, and most interesting of all, the restaurant is not magic, it’s the door. A customer at the restaurant explained to Tenshu that the door distorts space and time, creating doors in multiple other worlds. I think the door is a Tardis!  Carrying on to the important part, Sarah orders the daily special, which looks absolutely scrumptious. If you have never eaten menchi katsu, please stop what you’re doing and go find a Japanese soul food restaurant. Your life will never be the same. It so happens that William was a previous customer, whose favorite item on the menu was menchi katsu, and was friends with the old bros who were arguing last episode. It goes without saying, the Nekoya has a new regular in Sarah Gold, who not only gets to enjoy delicious food, but honor her lost grandfather by visiting his favorite treasure.

The second half of the episode revolved around Heinrich Steelman, a former knight turned Captain, and his passionate love of fried shrimp. Our story is a rather straight-forward one. A mysterious man, revealed to be the legendary fencing master and Nekoya regular, Tatsugoro, has come to return a sword Steelman left behind. We are given a flashback to three years ago when the Duchy got attacked by evil moth men, and our hero Steelman was ordered to hurry and fetch assistance from the nearby monarchs. As one can imagine, things do not go easy for our man as he runs to save his homeland from certain doom. His horse dies, he runs out of food, and while on the brink of starvation comes across a door to the Nekoya on an abandoned cabin. Might I say, Tenshu is cool as cucumber throughout the whole encounter with Steelman brandishing his sword and making demands. What shit has this man seen that this is just normal behavior for him? Anyway, Steelman orders the fried shrimp on the menu, as it reminds him of the shrimp that his hometown was known for, except boy is he surprised to learn that Tenshu’s shrimp is better than that. The man orders three additional plates! Despite his previous rude behavior (demanding food like an entitled noble), he knows better than to skip on the bill, as such, he leaves his sword as collateral, proof that he will return to pay his tab. As expected, when Steelman attempts to return, his efforts are met with failure, as the restaurant has simply vanished. How lucky is he that not only does Tatsugoro return his sword, but alert him of a door near the fortress? Worry not, Steelman! Your dark days without fried shrimp are over!

See you next time!

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Isekai Shokudo – 01

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Welcome to a restaurant to another world, where they’ve got it all! Moe demon girls, possessive dragon queens, and food porn for daaaaaays. Continue reading

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Sakura Quest – 07

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Well, what do you know, I’m back from that hole I disappeared in! Forgive the delay, I’m back and read for more Sakura Quest. Episode seven starts exactly where we left off in the movie shoot with things looking rather dire. Maki is no longer sitting on the sidelines, and instead chooses to use her know-how in assisting the production! Meanwhile, Yoshino is doing what she can to secure the location of the old house, only to be given some unanticipated news.

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Shiori’s lie has come to light. Interestingly enough, to Shiori, it was not so much about preserving Manoyama, it was about preserving a house that she had some memories in. What I found more interesting though, was the little stab that Yoshino made when confronting her. Burning down the memories of other people is fine, but not when they directly effect Shiori. Ouch. Way to hit Shiori with the hypocrite-stick. Then again, Shiori proves not to be the meek character I thought her to be. There’s some fire in that girl, what with how “this is something a person who abandoned her hometown could never understand.” Daaaaaaaaaang. Shiori didn’t hold back any punches!

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Look, you can tell the exact moment her heart broke!

Not to worry, the friendship mended fairly quick, allowing us to progress into more delicious Maki-development. We got a better look into her childhood as she walked around town, reminiscing about the birth of her love of acting, as well as a glimpse into the relationship with her father. He really saved the gang during one of the director’s brilliant moments of inspiration, using the emergency contact list at the school to call in a mini troop of child zombies; hey, being a vice-principal has it’s perks. Despite being a hard critic, Maki came to the realization that her father had no doubt been one of her biggest fans, even way back towards her first production in her class’s production of Snow White. Despite not getting the leading role, young Maki was the best damn tree that class could have asked for. Knowing that there were many people supporting her, Maki really grew as a character this episode. Don’t shy away from even the smallest opportunities to shine, who knows were they may lead you, right? (Like maybe into a burning building).

Luckily for us, there was closure all around, even though bittersweet. The house Shiori tried to protect wound up in flames anyway, but with some of our lovely Queen’s involvement, the original homeowner was given a dedication in the film. I thought that was an exceptionally nice touch to wrap things up. Despite all the struggles along the way, the film in Manoyama was a success, and word of their hospitality soon spread…albeit a little more generously than they would have liked.

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You know…I think this arc left me a bit rejuvenated in my own goals. Maybe we all need to take the chances we are given and make the most of them. Hopefully, they don’t involve us running into a burning dilapidated house to regain that sense of hopefulness.

Best wishes and see you next time!

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Yuri on Ice – CAFE

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There comes a time in a blogger’s life where she can be productive and actually do a post about the show she’s watching…or she can talk about something far more profound. I had the pleasure of attending the Yuri on Ice … Continue reading

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Sakura Quest – 06

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Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun.

The movie business has arrived in Manoyama, meaning one thing; Maki-centric episode! Our second-rate actress has taken a backseat for most of the show and it’s finally her time to shine. Considering the development Sanae got the past couple of episodes, I was especially excited to see what was in store for “Oden Tante-chan”.

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To sum it up, a small slice-of-life production (*cough*horror movie) was going to be shot on location in the town, providing an excellent opportunity for promotion. While the publicity is great, let me remind you once again that it was going to be small. Small production = small budget, meaning Yoshino and the gang have to step to provide a lot of volunteer hours, sans Maki (who got the short end of the stick in being a stage hand), who wanted no part in it.

We learn a whole lot about Maki’s past, far more than we’ve had the privilege of knowing. For starters, she’s a college dropout, and even more surprising, she quit her theatre group as well. Dang. Maki is struggling to deal with how doing what you love is painful sometimes. Even the third director makes a point of mentioning it. Goodness, this show truly resonates more with me with each passing episode.

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Doing what you love no matter what, huh?

Let’s be real, doing what you love freaking sucks sometimes, okay? There are many creative types in the world who aim to do what they love and be successful at it, but only a small margin get to live that dream. Only a few are so lucky. The fact of the matter is, no matter how good you are, sometimes luck factors in and gives us the winning edge we need, such as the case with Moe, who got discovered by eating a cicada on a game show. There are those bound to struggle, and those who just get lucky. Unfortunately Maki falls into the former category. She wasn’t getting any jobs as an actor and had to support herself through various other part-time jobs…and it was soul-crushing. I don’t blame her for quitting. I know what it’s like to be discouraged like that, don’t you?

This is where the third director plays an interesting role though, by showing us the harder path. He loves the film industry and someday wants to be a proper director, but is stuck being some pompous director’s gofer. Why bother doing it? Why? Because he loves it that much. He loves it to the point that being involved at all is good enough for him, albeit painful. He’s basically waiting for his own “cicada-moment” to pop up, but we all know that he runs the risk of never getting it.

The thing is though…he still has a chance because he carries on. Giving up entirely nixes that tiny chance. Now, I don’t fault Maki for her decision, that takes a whole lot of guts to know when to throw in the towel, but we’re certainly not done with her. Things may look grim for now, but I can definitely say that I’m excited to see the growth she gets from this experience.

To all you out there with creative passions, such as myself; don’t be discouraged. Keep chugging on.

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Guess who else is getting development!

 

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Sakura Quest – 05

We last left Sakura Quest in a position of Sanae giving up and Yoshino not truly understanding the lives of the town she’s attempting to revitalize as Queen; and boy does it parallel real-life struggles. Luckily though, we’re starting the episode on the right foot. Setting her presumptions aside, our pink-haired protagonist sets off to learn about Manoyama sculptures on her own (and luckily not down the fish-carving gimmick route).

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Focusing on ranma once more, Yoshino endeavors to learn as much as she can from different sources, going so far as to go to galleries, museums, and the lumberyards that supply the wood. With this break, all the ladies (minus Sanae) have the opportunity to do their own self-study regarding the matter. As such, they learned the history, not just of ranma, but of woodcarving in Manoyama as a whole. Interestingly enough, the discovered that the wood carvers originally began carving Buddhist statues, and as time went on, the demand for that waned, and so they began to do more commercial items, such as the ranma, leading us to the position to where the town is now. In Manoyama, no doubt including other places, woodcarving changed over specific eras. The current problem facing the town regarding that is that it’s all in a period of transition. What the next era of wood carving will be and the lack of young blood entering the field is what has left it stagnant and dying, the product of an aging generation adverse to change. But bringing around that change is easier said than done.

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Oh Yoshino, you sweet summer child.

And let me tell you…our girl, Yoshino, has some pretty out there ideas. Hate to break it to you, but a wooden Sagrada Familia-style structure seems like a horrible idea.

Meanwhile, Sanae is struggling with her own issues regarding her feelings of running away and inadequacies that Kazushi succeeded in stirring up last episode.  Why is she doing what she’s doing? Does she even like it? If she doesn’t, why continue? Enter Tatsuo, acting as the excellent foil to Kazushi, who continues to labor over a cancelled order that their master left uncompleted in his passing. The customer who ordered the piece died as well, so why bothering continuing? What Tatsuo said kind of shook me.

“Sculpting is just a job. There’s no point in it if you don’t get paid.”

Ouch.

But I have a feeling Sanae does not feel the same, at least not deep in her heart.

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I do believe the wheels in her head are starting to turn.

Who would have thought that the bard I’ve obsessed over for the last few episodes was a nomadic artist with a minute celebrity status!

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Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you, Alexander Cena Davis Celibidache!

The way to bring attention to a project is to have a name with influence attached to it, and the Bard is the ticket. Using his name and influence, Yoshino was able to procure some sponsors and get the poorly-planned Sakura Pond Familia off the ground. With a nice heartfelt conversation with Yoshino, Sanae gets back onto her feet ant working as the Minister of IT once again, solving a bunch of problems at once. If sponsors won’t cut it, turn to crowdfunding as well. Next, Yoshino’s original planned involved a huge renovation of the castle, but why do that when you have the train station? That is the central hub of activity in town and has the most people coming and going. The plan turns to displaying the woodcraft sculptures in the station for the highest amount of visibility. What sealed the deal for me with this episode, bringing Kazushi’s spectacular ranma into the fray. It’s not going to sit around forgotten, it’s going to be enjoyed in a public place for generations to come.

Good job team.

So!

Why do we do what we do if we are so easily replaceable?

What’s the point of it?

This is something that Sanae has also been grappling with, and believe it or not, Yoshino has the answer for her. She doesn’t disagree that people are replaceable, but that everyone does the same thing their own way. Even though someone can replace Sanae at her job in Tokyo, they’re different people and can’t do things the exact same way she did previously. And so what if no one praised her, the silent majority still appreciates it.

I can relate to that. Why do I continue to crank out posts for a blog that five people occasionally like? There are plenty of more popular blogs out there that are far more consistent out there than me, with more followers, more likes, more comments. But…there’s still the people who come to read mine. Even f it’s only just a little glance. And so, I will leave you with that, fair readers.

I do this for me, and I do this for the silent you.

 

 

 

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