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.
All of that blends with Kukuru still trying to find her place in Tingaara as she continues an internal – and often external – tug-o-war between settling into her current responsibilities and her desire to continue taking care of sea creatures. And it’s not that Kukuru isn’t serious about her work, which is an accusation leveraged at her about midway in episode 20: it’s that Kukuru still cares deeply about caretaking, and at her core, loves sea creatures enough to always keep them at the forefront of her mind, even to the detriment of her actual staff position.
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.
There’s a gentleness about episode 19 that I found myself loving this week. As the year winds down and we count our successes, it’s easy to look back and see all the paths you didn’t tread. Yet episode 19 is a reminder that just like a penguin going for their first swim, we too can find success in just trying and believing. As I look towards being closer to thirty than not, it’s a story that resonates: I expected to be in a very different life situation than I am right now. All I can do is strive and try my best.
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.
Episode 18 serves as a pleasant reminder that you can find joy in a job well done, even if it’s something that you’re not necessarily passionate about. It’s a poignant message, especially in a time when many of us are haunted by job insecurity and imposter syndrome. It’s okay to not let what you do for a living define you, and others will still see you as valuable even if you’re taking up a spot in what may be someone else’s dream job.
Episode 17 exemplifies all of what makes aquatope great and left a lasting impression on me. It feels like the culmination of weeks of effort, as the strong character foundation that is built up over the past twenty episodes is starting to pay off. Furthermore, all of these beautiful female friendships are framed positively through their tenderness and comfort and femininity, as opposed to cattiness, which The aquatope on white sand has largely avoided.