Episodes: 12 Original airing dates: 2nd October 2021 – 18th December 2021
Studio: OLM Genre: Gourmet, fantasy, slice-of-life
Prequel: Restaurant To Another World
Recommended audience: Food lovers primarily and those for all things fantasy!
Restaurant To Another World 2 also known as Isekai Shokudou 2 is a slice-of-life/fantasy series featuring lots of succulent delights! The second season was released in the autumn 2021 season and unlike season one where the studio was SILVER LINK this one is an OLM work. The prequel to this series originally aired in the summer 2017. If you wish to see my review of season one then check out the link below:
Season One: Restaurant To Another World
As the title of the anime suggests, this series centres around the mysterious restaurant known as Nekoya Restaurant. In many ways this new season runs in a very similar manner to its prequel as we continue to see more great dishes to make us drool and yearn for. As before the range of diners also provides its source of amusement with their tastes and differing opinions that can occasionally spill into a diner brawl but rest assured, everyone loves the fantastic cuisine that is found in Nekoya restaurant!
If you ever saw the first season of Restaurant To Another World then you know what to expect as in many ways this series plays in a similar fashion. Unlike most anime out there, the true rock stars of this show are the drool inducing cuisine that is shown on a frequent basis. The range of food is impressive and the number of recipes shown actually exceed the offerings in season one! So, if you are true gourmet fan or simply want to draw inspiration for your next meal then this show will certainly deliver on that front!
The structure of this series continues to be largely episodic so there is no real need to watch this in any order and unlike season one there is less in the way of character development meaning there is no real loss in starting from the middle or even the end of this anime. This series is easily accessible to all with this being a newcomer friendly series. That means missing the prequel is no hinderance as you won’t be lost even when the old patrons feature as often, they get their reintroductions.
This lack of world building and limited character development does mean that the show is more reliant in the food taking your attention. For the most part this works as many of the meals shown are great but I must admit that by the season’s end there is a sense of repetition as you see scenes play out in largely the same way over and over again. In fairness maybe it is not a fault of this season per say but more the fact the same story narrative has played out in the same manner over two seasons now. On the plus side there is a sudden big moment near the end that results in the series ending in a more upbeat note which was a nice touch.
While the animation remains strong, I am not quite sure it is quite on the same standard as the first season. We still do get some nice scenic shots but it is not in the same frequency as before meaning we could not appreciate the fantasy type setting of this alternative world to the same degree as before. In fairness a lot of this is the result of the subtle change in story structure that is more fixated on the Nekoya restaurant than on world building. Fortunately, the great food close-ups continue to inspire some stomach inducing roars and remain the defining feature of Restaurant To Another World.
In terms of opening and ending sequences season two is an improvement in both fronts. Animation is strong and the music upbeat suiting the overall tone of the series very nicely. I particularly liked the ending song "Samenai Mahou" by Nao Touyama although there was also a lot to be had with the opening "Onnaji Kimochi." by Kiyono Yasuno.
Fortunately, this largely works as the dishes are as good as ever and will consistently make you want to salivate at what you see. With the increased number of meals shown this is a definite plus. Like before this is a series that is good to watch with a meal or even as a source of inspiration in the kitchen.
Restaurant To Another World 2 is a series I would recommend for food lovers, people who like to cook or anyone who was a fan of season one. If you fit any group then this carefree ride will definitely be something you can enjoy and savour. For anime fans who want something a little off the beaten path this is also a good shout and with its easy accessibility this makes it all the more appealing to watch.
Story 6.5 – Largely follows a similar script from its prequel with entertaining backstories on the various Nekoya customers. It is a simple setup that largely works and while predictable manages to inspire the same good feelings on a remarkable number of occasions. Unfortunately, the degree of worldbuilding is not as prominent as before.
Characters 7 – The additions continue to add flavour to the series with their interactions with older cast members in season one that serves as both a reminder or an introduction to veterans and newcomers. It was a feature that is executed well. This larger cast does mean that character development is more limited outside some exceptions. Although that exception is notable!
Animation/music 7 – All things considered this delivers the same quality in the animation/music department when compared to season one. On the plus side the opening/ending sequences are improvements while the Nekoya dishes continues to be a source of delight. On the negative side we do not enjoy the same level of stunning scenic shots meaning the sense of fantasy and wonder is not as prominent as before.
Overall 6.5 – A worthy successor to season one. This continues to be an easy series to watch as no demand is placed on the viewer in watching in any order. No need to watch season one, no need to watch from episode one. You just go where the wind blows knowing you will be entertained. Food lovers, wannabe chefs or those of a quirky deposition will enjoy this. Seeing as the formula is largely the same as before, the impact of Nekoya is lessened somewhat as it is beginning to show signs of staleness. I don’t think another season would work unless some big changes are made to the anime’s storyline.
I you wish to check out the wonders of the Nekoya restaurant please browse the diner and sign the guest book that is contained in the spoilers below!