Someone on CR summarized this series as “Howl’s Moving Restaurant” and… that actually seems pretty accurate.

Summary:

There’s a restaurant in Japan which specializes in Western style food. Most days of the week, the restaurant serves regular customers. But every Saturday, special portals form between the restaurant and “the other world”, allowing the inhabitants of the other world–elves, dragons, demons, and more to enter and eat the restaurant’s food.

A red dragon, called the “Red Queen,” considers this special restaurant to be a part of her “treasure.” She always drops by when the restaurant is open to eat the chef’s beef stew.

That’s a fancier breakfast than I have ever had.

One day, the Owner (that’s… literally what he’s called, he isn’t given a proper name) discovers that a young girl from the other world has wandered into the restaurant. The girl is named “Aletta.” Because she is part-demon, she’s shunned by the people in her city. Owner, feeling bad for her, feeds her and gives her a job as a waitress once a week on the day when the restaurant’s magic portals are open. Aletta happily agrees to this.

The Red Queen, discovering that Aletta is now an employee of the restaurant, considers Aletta a part of her “treasure,” and watches over her from afar.

I feel like Aletta will probably be getting a nendoroid somewhere down the line.

My Opinion:

The first half of this episode very nearly made me dismiss the series. We get this really weird, random fight between a bunch of old dudes about what goes best with white rice. I didn’t come here to watch a series about old fantasy dudes fighting over rice! And then we get a bunch of (imo) unnecessary fanservice courtesy of the Red Queen herself. She’s a dragon, but she has a human form that is super busty; because all dragons in anime must have giant boobs for some reason.

Fortunately, the episode got a whole lot better once Aletta showed up. Admittedly, I did find her backstory to be a bit eye-roll worthy. Anime, not every main character needs a sad backstory. Having Aletta basically spew exposition also made her sad backstory feel forced. Despite this, I still do like Aletta’s design and personality enough that I can somewhat forgive that.

Other than the somewhat awkward pacing of this first episode, I did think that the animation was a little weak at times. A lot of times the characters’ faces looked off-model. Sometimes the characters move very stiffly too. But at least the food is (for the most part) pretty nice looking? I mean, I guess it would have to be since this anime focuses so heavily on food.

Overall, I’d say this was a decent episode. Based on how this first episode went, I can already predict that Restaurant to Another World will be a super chill and laid back series. It might not be a perfect series in every aspect, but there’s some kind of undeniable charm to it. I really like that particular background song that plays throughout the episode. It strongly reminded me of the Professor Layton game series. (Let’s just hope that the show doesn’t overuse that track.) But what really made me go “I need to stick around for one more episode” was the end scene–there was something really sweet about the Red Queen offering magical protection to Aletta, simply because she’s now an employee at the restaurant. And, fanservice stuff aside, I think that the Red Queen is actually a really cool person.

Anyway, out of five for this episode, I give:

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If nothing else interests me this season, there’s a strong possibility that I’ll be blogging this.

The ED was super pretty.

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