One of the great things about the series in all its versions is that it holds back from dumping too much info. It’ll give you your fair portion, sure, but it’s never too much. If anything, it’s just enough to help you fill in the blanks on the parts of the world we don’t get to engage with. Restaurant to Another World 2 does this even more tightly, weaving in tidbits about the denizens of the other world, which gives us a more fully-formed image of the customers the Master deals with.
A lot of the comedy this episode treads familiar territory: Jahy gets kicked in the non-existent pants by life, Druj simps for Jahy, Jingu continues to try to be her best friend, Saurva’s bad luck lands her in painful situations, and the Dark Lord eats a lot of food, though she does mix things up by sneaking into Jingu’s school bag and causing trouble. Familiar territory isn’t bad though, and the jokes still manage to wrangle chuckles out of me. However, it also means that Episode 16 as a whole is just kind of okay despite getting a lot more of the cast together, which does feel like a bit of a lost opportunity.
One of the delights of comparing Restaurant to Another World 2 to its source material novel is that the If you thought watching Aletta and Kuro eat shaved ice was fun, then watching Ilzegant groove on some green tea shaved ice (complete with azuki beans and mochi) is a delight. I suppose that’s really what made them such a neat character, and one of my favorite in the Restaurant to Another World universe. There’s all these textural descriptions that really make the experience feel full-bodied, evoking the texture of finely shaved ice, the delight of experiencing mochi for the first time, and the awe of seeing a new color repurposed in food.
Episode 15 is a somewhat middling episode: not bad, but not necessarily “wow” levels of fun, though the gags are still good and feel fresh. There’s lots of hilarious moments, lots of relatable moments, and lots of intensely “it me” kind of moments where you really connect with Jahy. I suppose what makes this kind of middling is that it just feels like a funny episode with no overarching goal, which… okay, while you could say, “Well Mercedez, that’s what every episode is,” I’d argue that most episodes of The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! have a plot of sorts. Episode 15 just feels like, “Let’s get Jingu into the ensemble cast a bit further”, which is funny, but… doesn’t hit like Jahy finding the Dark Lord or trying to grow a tomato plant.
One of the delights of comparing Restaurant to Another World 2 to its source material novel is that the show heightens my enjoyment of the books. This isn’t a “the light novel is better” kind of series: it’s all good, in all its delightful decadent forms. True, the novel is much more descriptive, but your imagination has to do all the hard work, something a reader with aphantasia may not be able.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw snap, Jahy ’bout to fight the magical girl y’all!
Finally, episode 14, “The Magical Girl Will Not Fight” brings us the much-anticipated showdown between Jahy and her nemesis. and would you know it, the fight itself actually has some solid enough impact! Jahy is back in all her demonic glory, flinging mana crystals and wielding a spear as she and Jingu have a riverside rumble, complete with dramatic music.
Jahy remains an incredibly loveable character who has upended all my assumptions from the premiere. Whether she’s rescuing children at the beach or sitting next to her green-haired underling, Jahy really has stolen my heart this year. I truly lament the fact that our time with her will eventually end. If only I could make The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! go on forever and ever…
If you’ve been on the fence about diving in as a new viewer, come on in: the water’s fine, and better, the food is excellent, often paired with sincere, charming vignettes and making it one of the best ways to spend thirty minutes each week. Come for the food, stay for the food, as well as a peek into a fantastical world of delectable dining and delightful characters.
Restaurant to Another World truly exemplifies what reverse isekai slice-of-life can be, creating an experience that’s the digital, visual version of a mug of hot chocolate. There’s this amazing warmth underlying each of the vignettes that rivals the warmth of the food the Master cooks. Coupled with the charming animation, the atmospheric music, and the solid sound design, you get a show laser-focused at depicting the pleasures that good food can bring, and in that regard, it’s as layered as a crepe cake with all the panache and grandeur of a ten-course feast.
The laughs keep coming and they don’t stop coming when it comes to The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!. Just like a seven-layer dip, there’s so much to this show to enjoy. Whether you’re enjoying the simmering plot of “Jahy getting mana crystals” or, like me, are fully here for the real plot of “Jahy tries to survive being in her late twenties on Earth”, there really is something here. And while the show is quite simple, it excels in its execution, squeezing laughs out of me like the last bit of ketchup in the bottle.