Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan- Anime Review
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 Stars)
Length: 13 Episodes
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 25, 2018 to Jan 1, 2019
This is the point in my reviews where the mask comes off and I cackle madly as lightning cracks and thunder booms, having lulled you into a false sense of security regarding my objective critical eye. You look at this slice of life spin off anime and think to yourself “Well it MUST be good? Jace said so.”. Then you plonk yourself down in front of the couch and witness thirteen episodes of practically nothing, and you feel a vague sense of betrayal. I have wronged you. And I am not sorry.
Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family is a slice of life spin-off from the Fate franchise. It features the cast from the original Fate routes, post grail war, in a world where not only have none of them died, but none of the servants return to the grail. This results in all of them living their day to day lives in the city of Fuyuki. It centres around Shirou, who spends the anime treating Saber to traditional Japanese cuisine now that the potential end of the world is no longer breathing down their necks. Given the proximity of characters to each other in this small city, different servants and masters show up every episode to sample Shirou’s creations. It is wholesome and funny and cute, and a definite departure from it’s source material.
I am secure enough in my taste to admit that this anime is entirely devoid of any stakes, meaning, or critical worth. It’s an easy-going fluff piece that allows you to simply sit back and enjoy the characters from a much more serious show. You could go your entire deep dive into Fate having never learnt of this show and lose nothing from your overall understanding of the series. But high stakes, deep meaning, and critical analysis aren’t why we watch slice of life. After witnessing Shirou glide over the precipice of world-ending death and destruction for 26 episodes, I just wanna watch him make Saber a big pile of Bamboo Shoot Gratin. The characters remain true to themselves after shedding the bravado required to survive in the world of Holy Grail Wars, and you get to enjoy their unique quirks that are normally only possible to see in quiet moments. The humor is funny and the chemistry and dynamics between each character feel incredibly genuine and wholesome. You’ve spent the entirety of Fate/Stay Night getting to know these characters, so it almost feels like hanging out with old friends. No need to spend episodes introducing characters and building up a relationship between them and you, it’s pure emotional payoff from episode one. I literally cannot fault this show, I spent the entire time watching it in giddy bliss.
A massive boon to the anime itself is it’s dedication to the preparation and presentation of each episode’s titular dish. It contains step by step instructions and ingredient lists for every dish created on the show, and every episode left me with my mouth lonely and the local Asian grocer gently crooning from down the street. Watching Shirou effortlessly peel daikon and fry salmon in a comfy, down to earth environment, made me feel like I could do it too. The manga has the added bonus of including a complete recipe for each meal represented in their volumes, so you can recreate it yourself without having to put the book down. It makes me think of Studio Ghibli’s way of drawing and animating mouth-watering 2D dishes, except now you can try them for yourself.
Obviously, I don’t recommend this anime to anyone who isn’t well acquainted with the Fate series. The way everyone jumps into their dynamics and it’s referential humour will leave you lost and confused. However, if you appreciate the series and you’re looking for a wholesome palette cleanse that you can enjoy with your brain off, I couldn’t think of anything better. If you haven’t seen Fate but want something similar in tone and content, I’d probably recommend Koufuku Graffiti or Polar Bear Café.
It is here that I have finally outted myself as SoL loving trash, and I’m proud.
Author - Jace Cowan
Manager - Let's Go Akamaru