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I’ve always been a sucker for a cooking show, and this one’s a pretty light one. Split across 24 half-length episodes, this series follows a Japanese bar named Izakaya Nobu, which is connected to another world. Together, the two Japanese characters work to serve a range of customers coming from a completely different culture. It’s a premise very similar to the series Isekai Shokudou, so it’s hard not to compare the two.
I do think that this series does a lot to distinguish itself. From an adaptation standpoint, each episode ends with a return to the real world. A short segment after the credits will feature either a local bar somewhere in Japan or a recipe related to the main dish in the episode. Anime food is fun to watch and all, but seeing real-world food can be pretty appetizing.
While Isekai Shokudou brought with it a wide set of characters, each with vastly different backgrounds, Isekai Izakaya is probably a bit more focused. The series tends to focus more on how the restaurant fits into the society of the other world, and the characters are all local to a particular part of that world. As such, many characters recur, which builds a stronger sense of community within the series.
Additionally, the setting of Isekai Izakaya has more of a Western medieval atmosphere, as opposed to the clear fantasy setting of its counterpart. As a result, I think the series loses out on the clear “other world” feeling when it’s introducing its characters, but the issues that the main characters face feel a lot more relatable as a result. I suppose it’s a matter of preference.
Overall, I personally think that it’s unfortunate that this series aired so soon after Isekai Shokudou, since I think that show takes the same concept and does a better job. That being said, this series has a lot of things going for it, and tends to be more inspiring from a practical standpoint. Many of the items in the show are standard Japanese food, but the episodes end with fun variations that brought new ideas for experimentation in the kitchen.