Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Izakaya “Nobu” is a modest establishment, staffed by only two people: master, Nobuyuki Yazawa, and server, Shinobu Senke. Despite its humble appearance, its entrance is mysteriously connected to an ancient city from another world: “Aitheria.” Nobu’s patrons consist of lazy palace guards, incognito clergymen, and the Waterworks Guildmaster – not your average clientele! But once they enter Nobu’s doors, they are greeted with the finest alcohol and dishes the likes of which they’ve never seen. The patrons leave their troubles at the door as they call, “Give me a cold ale, master!” (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: One of the first things that really stands out about Isekai Izakaya is ALL THE TEXT on screen. This includes the logo for the show as well as the episode title, which stay on top of the screen throughout the episode. This could prove to be a real eyesore, but moving on to the actual content, as overdone as the ‘isekai’ angle is in manga and anime may be, in this case it DOES add something to the show. By having these people from another world taste modern delicacies made with ingredients of much higher quality than the medieval period this in show world seems set in, it makes sense that the diners are amazed and in awe of the taste. So all their over the top reactions, while still over the top, do make more sense than other similar shows set in the modern world.
Tom: Everything about Isekai Izakaya is built around generating hype for the food it showcases. As Linny mentioned the Isekai setting helps bolster reasoning for why characters are freaking out over the food, particularly as if speaking directly to foreigners who haven’t yet gotten to experience some of Japan’s best dishes. Characters come in as second class citizens. While they contain some quirks and personality to give the show the minimum amount of actual content, they exist much as the setting and plot do, simply to showcase these food stuffs. Think of the series as more small vignettes to exemplify the kind of food you might find around Tokyo. Heck, the show even ends with live-action pieces predicated on showcasing the food and restaurants of the Tokyo district, Asakusa.
Linny: After the ‘main’ animated portion of the episode is over, the show continues onto what it calls Nobu Plus, which consists of real life footage with real people and all sorts of content centered around food. The first episode had someone cooking a dish with some basic instructions for the viewer to follow along while the second followed an older gentleman and we watched him eat fried chicken at a bar in Asakusa, Japan. The end of the episodes also feature these visual logos for promoting Japan tourism and making reference to what I believe is Japan hosting the Olympics in 2020. So the Nobu Plus content and the after credit logos make me believe this all might be tourism promotional material. While Isekai Izekaya is a food appreciation show, it’s either been developed or co-opted to become a promotion of all the wonderful cuisine of Japan to entice foreigners to come and try it.
Tom: In truth Izakaya really does seem like branding build up/hype for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, trying to drum up interest so that the Olympics ends up becoming a profitable move for the city. Still, as a piece of entertainment, Izakaya isn’t awful, mostly if you’re a foodie, who enjoys the recent trend of anime food porn, or is perhaps looking to learn some recipes of Japanese cooking, as it seems like the live-action pieces will, sometimes, offer up detailed recipes. As traditional entertainment however, Izakaya isn’t worth your time, only offering the bare minimum of characterization and story.
Linny: Yes indeed. Isekai Izakaya falls right into what I have now dubbed food service anime, shows that flaunt and portray amazing imagery of food being prepared and consumed. These shows almost never have any other real content, especially the short form ones. Unless you’re new to anime, you must have watched a show like this at least once before. Combined with the annoying logos on screen and the varied Nobu Plus real world footage content, Isekai Izakaya ends up being a show mainly for the devoted anime foodie.
Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.