Monthly Archives: September 2017

#149 – Isekai Shokudo Guest Note 8P: Onishi Saori

Part 8 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features Onishi Saori, voice of Kuro.

I feel like spitting out my lines but it’s telepathy so I’ve got to hold back

Q: Reflecting on episode 7 – what are your thoughts? Please name the highlights as well.

A: It’s the episode where Kuro makes her first appearance and much of her background was explained through the narration – I was really nervous during recording. Watching the show on air, seeing Kuro devour plate after plate of chicken curry; it was really cute (laughs).

Gotta mention that final smile of hers too! Kuro isn’t like the other characters, talking passionately about food, but she put everything into that smile of hers. Ah, the amount of love Kuro has for chicken curry!!

Q: What are your impressions of the series after reading the original novels, and now that you’re actually acting in the anime?

A: The character in the spotlight changes depending on the episode. I think it’s really interesting to see how the series chooses to express a character’s personality through food. As the dishes are illustrated in a very realistic way, I was asked to make my ‘eating performance’ as realistic as possible – that left an impression on me!! I also like the idea of the door only materializing once a week.

Q: What are your impressions of the character you play?

A: Kuro is a dragon. I had the notion that someone of such few words would be unflappable on the inside as well but surprisingly, she turned out to be a rather timid character. As a result she chooses to communicate through telepathy and that makes her extremely endearing! When I was voicing the role, I tried to stick to [her disposition of] ‘ignoring personal space’. It’s kind of a reflex thing; I do feel like spitting out my dialogue a lot of the time but since I use telepathy, I’ve got to hold back a bit (laughs).

Q: What do you think of Master?

A: I think to myself, ‘What a thankless job he has!’. When an episode features guest characters he does not end up saying much – what the Master does is make delicious food so the story can move forward. He’s got the power to draw out lively expressions from the other characters! But I’d really love it if we had just 1 story featuring Master and his favourite food as the main dish! An episode where us customers repay the kindness of Master!!

Conversations with regular customers are memorable experiences from working part-time

Q: Have you ever worked as a waitress or in any other capacity in a restaurant?

A: I have worked part-time at a soba place in the past. I can’t cook at all, so I wasn’t playing the role of Master but instead, I was in Aletta’s shoes. It was a lot of fun to talk to the regular customers.

Q: Kuro can change her physical appearance at will – if you had the same ability, what would you like to turn into?

A: Hmm. That’s a tough one to answer… ‘cos there isn’t much that I’d like to change. Maybe I’d like to be a stone falling through a stunningly gorgeous forest (laughs). It’d be satisfying to feel the clean air and experience the tranquillity!!

Q: In alternate worlds, there is a strange door that leads to Nekoya – if you were to open a door to arrive at some other place, where would you like it to lead to?

A: Venice! The number one place abroad that I want to visit now!! The atmosphere, the scent of the country is definitely different from that of Japan so I’d like to go through the door & check out those differences for myself.

If I was to adopt any food as a nickname, I’d pick Coriander! The reason being…

Q: If you could be called the name of any dish instead of your own name, what would it be? It could be your favourite dish you pick when you eat out, or food that you’d like to eat on an empty stomach – anything is OK!

A: I’ve been eating coriander quite a lot recently, so maybe…Coriander? I don’t really have any favourite foods that I’d like to eat every day so it really depends on what I’ve gotten hooked on of late. For all you know, by next month I’ll probably have reduced my coriander intake drastically (laughs).

Q: What’s the atmosphere like during recording?

A: Perhaps it’s due to the mood of the anime, but the recording studio is also very warm. As the dialogue includes quite a lot of descriptions of the food, Suwabe-san who voices Master, will explain the intonation of words that are hard to understand – he’s a lifesaver!! Also, the food provided during recordings is always so tasty…!!

Q: Lastly, please leave a message for everyone.

A: It’s a given thing for the food, but I hope that you will also enjoy seeing the thoughts and personalities of the characters through the dishes. At the same time, I hope that you will be inspired to want to eat the food featured in the anime; when you do, please enjoy tasting the pleasures of paying a visit to Nekoya!!!


#148 – Isekai Shokudo Guest Note 7P: Inoue Kazuhiko

Part 7 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features Inoue Kazuhiko, voice of the previous Master.

The impression of the current Master through the eyes of the previous Master

Q: What are your impressions of the series after reading the original novels, and now that you’re actually acting in the anime?

A: Though it features alternate worlds, you see how people are touched by foods familiar to us all – and that’s interesting to see. I thought it’d be nice to get intimate with foods that are commonly known to everybody~. When I’m watching the show, I feel like eating the dishes that are being featured.

Q: What are your impressions of the character you play?

A: At first glance, the previous Master seems like a stubborn old geezer who has very specific preferences but he’s actually a gentle guy who values food. You can feel that he genuinely wants the people who eat his food to be happy.

Q: In episode 3 ‘Chocolate Parfait’, there was a scene showing a conversation between your character and his grandson, the current Master when he was young – what did you think of him?

A: He’s a reliable man~ if there’s anyone I can trust with this restaurant, it’d be him~ – that’s definitely what he’d have thought!

A dish that Inoue Kazuhiko has been hooked on recently

Q: In episode 5, the previous Master offered a pork cutlet bowl to Lionel to aid him in winning his battle. Is there anything you do for luck before an important event? The previous Master described pork cutlet bowl as ‘a fighting man’s meal’ – in your opinion, what constitutes a ‘man’s meal’?

A: I don’t do anything special for luck. As for a man’s meal~! Since I was young, pork cutlet bowl* was the one dish everyone would pick [for luck]~. Nostalgic. Also, my parents would prescribe sticky** foods like natto, okra and yam to eat as they ‘would make you tenacious!’

*pork cutlet bowl aka katsudon [カツ丼] the ‘katsu’ part is the same as the ‘katsu’ (勝つ) which means ‘to win’

**sticky (ネバネバ, nebaneba) is part of the phrase ‘tenacious (’粘り強くなる, nebarizuyoku)

Q: In alternate worlds, there is a strange door that leads to Nekoya – if you were to open a door to arrive at some other place, where would you like it to lead to?

A: If I opened the door…I’d definitely like it to connect to an island in the tropics. I want to indulge in marine sports~~!

Q: If you could be called the name of any dish instead of your own name, what would it be? It could be your favourite dish you pick when you eat out, or food that you’d like to eat on an empty stomach – anything is OK!

A: I’ve been addicted to [the Thai dish] krapao lately for some reason. It seems easy to dish up, yet the flavours have depth to them. It’s something that you wouldn’t easily tire of.

The recording studio gets carried away with all the talk about food!?

Q: What’s the atmosphere like during recording?

A: As you’d expect, or should I say, naturally….the talk will turn to food~. I think that Suwabe-kun’s knowledge of good places to eat is unparalleled~.

Q: Please tell us about the charms of this series and do leave a message for everyone as well.

A: Eating is something that everyone indulges in. Therefore, one must surely have a ‘favourite dish’. It’d be great if you could share the excitement with your friends and family talking about whichever dish appeared that week. Please empty your stomachs before watching the show!

#147 – Isekai Shokudo Guest Note 6P: Hiyama Nobuyuki x Tamura Yukari

Part 6 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features Hiyama Nobuyuki (Lionel) and Tamura Yukari (Victoria Samanark).

Pork cutlet bowl and Pudding a-la-mode: The Highlights of Episode 5

Q: Please tell us your thoughts looking back on episode 5.

Hiyama: There are a variety of gourmet-based anime around, and now we have one that merges [food] with a fantasy world-view.

Tamura: I thought, ‘what a gentle world this is!’. Perhaps it is because food is the theme, that the series as well as everyone in it, seems so positive and relaxed.

Q: What were your favourite scenes or highlights from episode 5?

Hiyama: Seeing Lionel getting flustered, unlike his usual self, when Master asked him for payment – that hit the right spot for me.

Tamura: I’ve got to go with the bliss of the pudding-eating scene but I also thought that the part where Victoria gets fidgety, in a hurry to go to Nekoya as soon as possible was cute too.

Q: What are your impressions of the character you play?

Hiyama: I think we share the trait of being able to eat a menu item that we like, day after day.

Tamura: Being a half-elf, she has to live her life in a way that is slightly different from that of other people so I tried to bring out some positivity amidst the tinge of melancholy.

Q: What do you think of Master?

Hiyama: I’m talking about the former Master here – he’s someone who’s hard to grasp, but I have this impression of him as being deeply mature.

Tamura: He’s a really nice guy (laughs). If Nekoya existed in real life, I’d love to go too!

The most frightening thing that Hiyama-san can think of; the way Tamura-san de-stresses

Q: Hiyama-san’s character Lionel felt terrified when he saw his manticore opponent at his first stadium fight – what’s the most frightening thing you’ve recently, or ever seen?

Hiyama: Thankfully we live in times of peace now so I’ve yet to see anything that I’d classify as ‘terrifying’. If I was forced to make a pick, then I might say that ‘human beings’ are the most terrifying beings around…

Q: On the other hand, we have Tamura-san’s Victoria who eats pudding a-la-mode at Nekoya to gain some respite from her research work. Do you have any de-stressing methods?

Tamura: I like to eat sweet things too. Also, I’ve also been using aroma oils to refresh myself lately.

Q: In alternate worlds, there is a strange door that leads to Nekoya – if you were to open a door to arrive at some other place, where would you like it to lead to?

Hiyama: Of course I’d want to go to Nekoya to eat the Master’s cooking (laughs)

Tamura: Shizuka-chan’s* house’s bathro- ah nah, I’d like to er, go to my favourite café…?

*I assume this is a reference to Shizuka from the Doraemon series

A dish I love so much that I want to adopt it as my nickname!

Q: If you could be called the name of any dish instead of your own name, what would it be? It could be your favourite dish you pick when you eat out, or food that you’d like to eat on an empty stomach – anything is OK!

Hiyama: The soul-food of the citizens of Hiroshima – okonomiyaki!!

Tamura: I’m not the adventurous type so I tend to end up eating the same kind of foods over and over. For lunch I often eat hamburgers – both the type that you have to eat with a knife and fork, and those you get in fast food eateries.

The reason being…well, probably ‘cos they’re familiar foods and easy to eat? But I do like egg sandwiches! Not the omelette type, but more like smashed hard-boiled eggs. Ahh, I feel like having one now. I wanna eat an egg sandwich.

Q: What’s the atmosphere like during recording?

Hiyama: There are many of our seniors appearing in the show so we are able to work with just the right level of pressure. Also, the foods in the episode titles that we’re provided with in the studio – they were tasty.

Tamura: There’s lots of food! I was only in the studio for a short while but I could feel the passion that all of the staff members have for this series.

Q: Once again, please tell us about the charms of this series and do leave a message for the fans as well as for those who have yet to come across the series.

Hiyama: What this show shares in common with other gourmet-centric series is that you will feel like eating the menu items after you watch the anime. Please enjoy this animated work that portrays a world that is a fusion of gourmet and fantasy. However, be careful not to overeat especially as the dishes featured seem so delicious.

Tamura: ‘I always feel like eating the foods that appear in the series and end up eating them the next day!’ – if people end up feeling that way, it would make me glad. Pudding a-la-mode…it’s really tasty y’know (laughs)

#146 – Isekai Shokudo Guest Note 5P: Yasumura Makoto x Hikasa Yoko

Part 5 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features Yasumura Makoto (Gaganpo the lizardman) and Hikasa Yoko (Fardania).

The kind of series that makes you wanna cook

Q: Please tell us your thoughts looking back on episode 4 that you appeared in, and your impressions of the series overall.

Yasumura: The flavour of episode 4 was slightly different [from the other episodes] – I thought it had turned into the National Geographic for a bit (laughs)

Hikasa: Living up to the ‘another world’ part of its title, individual characters from different races appear in the show to consume dishes that actually exist in Japan – the combination of those two elements is both comical and fascinating.

Q: What were your favourite scenes or highlights from episode 4?

Yasumura: The narration*. It’s because of the narration that the world of the Lizardman is depicted so well.

*note: narration of the Lizardman segment was provided by Kuwashima Houko

Hikasa: The tofu steak looks delicious!!! I was able to feel the amount of passion that had gone into the animation of the food. Seeing the visuals made me want to try making the dish.

Q: What are your impressions of the character you play?

Yasumura: (upon being informed that Uesaka Sumire’s favourite character is Gaganpo) Cheers, Uesaka-san! Liking omurice is something that we share in common. I tried my best to imagine what the voice range of a lizard would be like.

Hikasa: Fardania is a gentle girl who cares greatly for her parents. She likes cooking and takes a great amount of pride in that, which is why she’s unexpectedly high-handed in dealing with Master and the other customers. We both share a love for food!

Q: What do you think of Master?

Yasumura: He has a sexy voice…

Hisaka: Despite his boorishness and bluntness, he does show a wonderful, gentle smile from time to time. He’s like a father to everyone.

Recommended souvenirs; If I could use magic just once..

Q: Gaganpo always gets omurice for takeaway whenever he visits Nekoya – if you could choose any food to bring with you to the studio as a souvenirs, or anything else you would recommend as something that is ‘not-to-miss’, what would it be?

Yasumura: Prawn crackers (ebisen) from Keishindo.

Q: In Gaganpo’s village, there is an annual festival to determine the strongest amongst them all. Do you like festivals & do you go to see them?

Yasumura: I often go to Hanazono Shrine or Yasukuni Shrine. I would like to go see the Narita Gion Festival.

Q: Fardania is an elf that can use healing and reinforcement magic. If you could use any type of magic once, what magic would you choose to use?

Hikasa: I’d like magic that would dry my hair in a flash. My hair is long so it takes a long time to dry. What’s more, you feel like you’re burning when you use the hair dryer in summer so I tend to leave it wet most of the time.

Q: In the anime, Fardania orders a dish that does not contain meat, milk or eggs – are there any foods that you dislike?

Hikasa: Salmon roe (ikura) and green peas. I don’t like the feeling of the juices spurting out from the roe, nor am I fond of the mushiness of green peas.

Q: In alternate worlds, there is a strange door that leads to Nekoya – if you were to open a door to arrive at some other place, where would you like it to lead to?

Yasumura: My parents’ home, and Okinawa.

Hisaka: Italy! I’m not good with lengthy travel time and time differences so I want to go back and forth instantly.

The Attraction of the Restaurant to Another World

Q: Like in the series, what dish, if any, would you like to adopt as your nickname? It could be your favourite dish you pick when you eat out, or food that you’d like to eat on an empty stomach – anything is OK!

Yasumura: Nothing that I’d like to be nicknamed, but I have been into soupless tan tan noodles lately.

Hikasa: Chip(s)tar. If I had to have it as a nickname then I want something cool and eye-popping.

Q: What’s the atmosphere like during recording?

Yasumura: Very good. Veterans, mid-rankers, youngsters all together. We don’t get too many such [castings] nowadays.

Hikasa: It’s harmonious. Even the pressure of recording actually feels quite comfortable – I feel glad to be able to perform alongside all the veterans as well. Every recording session, we’re supplied with the dishes featured in that week’s episode – the atmosphere is lively and warm as everyone gathers together to eat. Once again, I was able to feel the powerful effect that food has.

Q: Please tell us about the charms and highlights of this series.

Yasumura: The highlight is in seeing how various individuals from alternate worlds encounter a variety of modern dishes.

Hikasa: People from alternate worlds eating food from our world –it’s a place that allows you to come up with uniquely-worded food reports. As to the kind of food reports that will pop up in the future – look forward to them!

Q: Please leave a message for the fans as well as for those who have yet to come across the series.

Yasumura: I think there will be new ways of enjoying the series when you get to experience it with added voices. I’d be glad if you would enjoy food even more after reading the novels and watching the anime.

Hikasa: Food, an essential, indispensible part of our lives, is portrayed comically and carefully. Whether you’re a fan of the original novels or you’re starting out with the anime, this series has been made with the intention of getting people to develop an interest in cooking and make you think, ‘I want to eat delicious food!’ – please do watch the anime!

#145 – Isekai Shokudo Guest Note 4P: Shimono Hiro x Ueda Reina

Part 4 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features Shimono Hiro (Sirius Alfade) & Ueda Reina (Adelheid).

The highlight scenes of episode 3 as recommended by the 2

Q: Please tell us your thoughts looking back on episode 3.

Shimono: The dishes seem really delicious and it made me feel like eating meat sauce [pasta] and a parfait. I look forward to seeing what kind of items turn up on the menu in the future. I’m not around for all the episodes so I hope to get to appear more from now on! (laughs)

Ueda: It was just pure bliss…. I was happy to see how [they] made such important memories and found something to love – it was such a wonderful story that made me hungry, yet satisfied my heart.

Q: What were your favourite scenes or highlights from episode 3?

Shimono: When Sirius discovers the secret of Alfade Company and points it out to Thomas – a sudden shadow is cast over Thomas. To be honest nothing bad actually happens but the sinister feeling of that scene is a personal favourite of mine.

Ueda: I’ve got to go with the scene where I order the chocolate parfait and it arrives at my table. When I imagine myself as Adelheid, who can’t bear to eat that fluffy-as-clouds chocolate parfait, I just…got really excited.

Q: What are your impressions of the series after reading the original novels, and now that you’re actually acting in the anime?

Shimono: It’s nice to see such a worldview…where reality and fantasy blend together. I’ve always liked playing RPGs myself so I’d love to visit such a restaurant if it existed for real. Obviously I’m curious about the food but even more so in the individuals who patronize the place.

Ueda: I developed a fondness for chocolate parfaits…or I should say, I just wanted to eat it! That’s the kind of grand food reporting it turned out to be. Reading the script is a lot of fun, I get really hungry.

Q: What are your impressions of the character you play?

Shimono: Sirius is a normal young man…honestly he seems more of a boy, yet he possesses sharp insight. He spots the connection between his grandfather and this restaurant from another world, and his ability to analyse dishes is amazing…! You wouldn’t normally be analysing your pasta that much when you’re eating it. That’s why I tried to put more emphasis on his passion for the food rather than on his personality for my performance.

Ueda: She is the princess you’d expect her to be. She’s soft-spoken and is the type of woman who owns more than she knows what to do with. She may appear reserved but she has an unbridled curiosity about her which is part of what makes her attractive.

Q: What do you think of Master?

Shimono: He may seem a bit cagey but he is a good man. It’s quite strange though, that a person who can make so many different dishes that can touch so many people, is the owner of such an ordinary restaurant. Also…I wonder how old he is.

Ueda: He’s gentle and warm, befitting of the owner of such an establishment. He has the composure of a culinary expert!

Favourite sweets; the best noodle dishes

Q: Adelheid was impressed by eating the chocolate parfait – do you have any favourite sweets, or any sweets you’re currently hooked on?

Shimono: I quite like soft-serve ice cream and I’ll buy some if I come across it. I’ve also developed a fondness for Japanese sweets lately. Daifuku, dango – stuff like that. On the other hand I’m not really into things with fresh cream…my age is showing (laughs)

Ueda: I like Japanese sweets. Especially dango, ahh…. Soy sauce, mitarashi, sesame, red bean paste…the variations are endless, I love them all.

Q: The Alfade family specializes in selling pasta – what do you think is the best noodle dish of them all?

Shimono: It’s hard to choose…. Pasta, Chinese-style noodles and Japanese-style noodles all have their own good points. I’d make my pick depending on how I felt that day so there’s no way I could choose the ‘best’. I do think though, that udon has many easy variations so in that sense, udon might be the ‘best’ for me.

Ueda: Hmm, maybe cold noodles….no matter how full I already am, I still feel like I want to and could eat it – that’s cold noodle dishes. I’d like to try out different cold noodle dishes so that I can make comparisons; build up a Cold Noodles guidebook in my head.

Q: In alternate worlds, there is a strange door that leads to Nekoya – if you were to open a door to arrive at some other place, where would you like it to lead to?

Shimono: It’s tempting to use the door to instantly move between work and home but if I really had the choice to go wherever I wanted once a week, even if for just an hour, I’d like to visit famous scenic spots around the world. I’ve been thinking lately that it would be better for me to go to places I wouldn’t normally have the chance to.

Ueda: My parents’ home. If I could slash the travelling time between (here and) my hometown in Toyama prefecture to zero… I’d get to see their faces everyday…! Toyama has lots of delicious foods such as Japanese glass shrimp [shiro-ebi] and winter yellowtail [kan-buri]. I want to eat them..

The gentle atmosphere in the recording studio that gives you peace of mind

Q: Like in the series, what dish, if any, would you like to adopt as your nickname?

Shimono: I’ve been eating sushi quite a lot recently. Whenever my body craves fish, or when I’m think about what I want to eat – the answer I tend to come up with is sushi. Especially flounder/fluke cured in kelp [hirame no kombujime].. my age is showing (laughs)

Ueda: Tomato…would be an ingredient. Chilled tomato….? I love tomatoes. I want to be called Tomato.

Q: What’s the atmosphere like during recording?

Shimono: The cast list is magnificent – it’s amazing to get to meet people I don’t usually have the opportunity to! We went to a dinner party after recording was completed and at that time, I learned just how the passionate the staff members were about this series, wanting each and every character to have a solid personality of his or her own, which is why the casting went the way it did.

Ueda: Like in Nekoya itself, Suwabe-san and Uesaka-san kindly welcome us [guest cast members] – that is the kind of place it is. The two of them create such a cosy space that you can easily record in, with peace of mind.

Q: Please tell us about the charms and highlights of this series.

Shimono: The charm-point of this series lies of course, in the delicious food, but I am also curious about the kind of races that will appear in coming episodes. A variety of characters will make their appearance and boast about their favourite dishes – that is something worth seeing. Look forward to it!

Ueda: The food that appears in every episode looks so tasty. The power of the visuals and the sound help to draw out the maximum level of lusciousness [from the food] – that is the charm of this series. There will be plenty of ‘foodporn’ moments in the future so please look forward to it!

Q: Please leave a message for the fans as well as for those who have yet to come across the series.

Shimono: This restaurant in another world, where various races taste and tell of the deliciousness of various food and beverages. I would appreciate it if you could check out the developments that await you in the series in the future. And…I’d be happy if Sirius appears more often.

Ueda: The obsession each character has towards food is frightening! Do please, seek out your favourite menu items in this warm, gentle and stylish restaurant. And please do not watch the show if you’re hungry!

#144 – Isekai Shokudo Guest Note 3P: Yasuno Kiyono x Sugita Tomokazu

Part 3 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features Yasuno Kiyono (Sarah Gold) and Sugita Tomokazu (Heinrich Seeleman).

First up, Yasuno.

Q: Please tell us your thoughts looking back on episode 2.

A: Episode 2 tells the story of my character Sarah (aka ‘Minced-meat Cutlet’/menchi-katsu) and it’s the true classic route amongst the many tales of Isekai Shokudo. Unlike how it was ordered in the anime, this story was actually told in the first chapter of Volume 1 of the novels, making it the first attempt at describing the worldview of Isekai Shokudo to the readers. Preparing for the auditions, I was drawn to this particular story right away as I read the novels – it’s a story I love and it’s one that brought tears to my eyes from the very beginning. In the animated version we see William and Sarah laughing with each other in the final scene and that brought a fuzzy feeling both to my stomach and to my heart. Seeing the shadow of William in Sarah, who has now become a full-fledged adventurer, warms my heart.

Q: What are your impressions of the series after reading the original novels, and now that you’re actually acting in the anime?

A: It’s the greatest pleasure for me to see the shocked reactions of the characters who taste Nekoya’s food for the first time; the very refreshing way they respond to experiencing their ‘first’. To a chef like Nekoya’s Master, it would surely be a pleasure and a joy to see and that makes me feel giddily happy as well. Although [the series] has enabled myself to reflect on how fortunate I am to be living in Japan right now, I do get a little envious of how the individuals of Isekai Shokudo get to experience the excitement of encountering so many delicious foods (laughs)

Q: What are your impressions of the character you play?

A: Sarah is a full-fledged treasure hunter who goes on adventure after adventure; she’s someone who’s very alert, vigilant and reliable. That’s why I was instructed not to open up too easily [to others] even after entering Nekoya. That was, until that menchi-katsu reached her lips. Colour-wise, she gives off a… ‘brown’ (laughs) kind of impression overall, but I do think she is a straightforward, lovely girl and that was how I played her.

Q: Do you cook? Please do tell if you have any signature dishes etc.

A: I’ve been trying to challenge myself, making a variety of dishes while referring to recipes – what I make most often is hamburg steaks with a 50:50 tofu & meat ratio. It tastes a lot more tender that way rather than if you make it using just meat~! My secret weapon would be the curry powder I sprinkle in ♫

Q: Sarah chooses William’s favoured minced meat cutlet sandwich for her takeaway lunch box – what sort of lunch box would have you feeling on top of the world? Also, what dish would you like to adopt as your nickname?

A: Café latte, or maybe punch? Both are drinks though (laughs). Lately, I’ve also become really fond of the hearts when eating yakitori so it’d be wonderful for me to be called ‘Heart’ ♡ As for a lunch box that would get me all excited…takeaway sushi!

Q: You perform the ED theme as well – what kind of song is it?

A: The ED theme I perform, Chiisana Hitotsubu (A Small Grain), is a universal piano-centric ballad where you can feel the hope of [something] lasting forever without ever fading away. Yours truly has always held the view that ‘when one thinks of famous anime songs, it’s gotta be the gentle ending themes!’ so to my absolute delight, that is exactly what the song that I worked on this time is..!

Q: Please leave a message talking about the charms and highlights of this series, both for the fans and for those who are yet to try it out.

A: Isekai Shokudo, an omnibus format series that tells the stories of fateful encounters between individuals and certain foods. Every episode is like treasure. Everyone – this summer, please share in the joy of this most terrifying late-night foodporn anime (while recalling the moments you first encountered your favourite food) ❀

We, as regulars at Nekoya, are greatly looking forward to your visit – we welcome you!

Next up, Sugita.

Q: Please tell us your thoughts looking back on episode 2.

A: It is okay to have your own preferences, but it is even better to be flexible and be open to [the opinions of] others.

Q: What are your impressions of the series after reading the original novels, and now that you’re actually acting in the anime?

A: I get hungry. It made me want to eat fried prawn.

Q: What are your impressions of Heinrich, the nobleman of the Duchy of Samanark whom you play?

A: I would be grateful if you could think of him as a lovable meathead.

Q: In episode 2, Heinrich loved the fried prawn so much he ordered countless plates of it – is there any food that you love so much that you’d polish off X number of portions without noticing?

A: Curry Stand PLUCK’s curry.

Q: Please leave a message talking about the charms and highlights of this series, both for the fans as well as for those who have yet to come across the series.

A: I put my all into my performance as Heinrich. Please watch the show.

I love you Sugita. Concise and straight to the point – I wish all interviews were like his, instead of the mindless waffle we get sometimes w…..

#143 – Isekai Shokudo Guest Note 2P: Uesaka Sumire x Ito Shizuka

Part 2 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features Uesaka Sumire, voice of demon waitress Aletta and Ito Shizuka, voice of the Red (dragon) Queen.

‘Try your best to make it sound like you’re dying’ – What do those words mean?

Q: Episode one aired recently – please tell us what your impressions of it are.

Uesaka: [The episode shows how] Aletta loses her way and ends up at Nekoya; watching the anime made me feel even sorrier for her. Also, I was asked by the director to ‘try my best to make it sound like I’m dying’.

Ito: ‘Try your best’ to ‘die’ eh (laughs)

Uesaka: I was told, “You’re talking a lot but at the same time, you’re dying” (laughs). She was so hungry that she could drink a whole pot full of corn soup; her brain just stopped functioning – that was the extent of her hunger at the beginning. Unlike in the novels, Aletta is part of the anime’s storyline right from the start – and to me, that was a rather spectacular way to kick things off.

Ito: My first thought was ‘Oh, it’s begun. The ultimate foodporn show’ (laughs). Hearing the dialogue during recording sessions alone sets off one’s hunger pangs. We may not be able to see the completed visuals when we’re recording, but my stomach is already growling merely by listening to the conversations going on in the studio – they’ve got me eagerly anticipating what the finished product will turn out to be.

Q: In the previous column, leading man Suwabe (Junichi)-san described the series as ‘foodporn’ as well – is that the common view amongst the cast members?

Uesaka: Yes it is.

Ito: You’d most definitely be hungry after watching this anime!

Shocked by Aletta’s fanservice scenes!?

Q: What would you say was your favourite scene in episode 1?

Uesaka: The director says that ‘food is the star of this show’, but I would say that the comments and reactions of the individuals from alternate worlds who taste Nekoya’s food for the first time [are my favourite scenes]. They may not be familiar with the ingredients being used, yet they find the dish delicious. Plus you have Aletta, who’s survived ‘til now eating 1 Baron’s Fruit [note: potato] per day.

Ito: (in a sad voice) You poor, poor thing~.

Uesaka: And that is how she encountered corn soup and the Special Morning set at Nekoya. For episode 1 that was the big event – the saving of this girl’s life.

Q: It’s said to be a story about a restaurant near office blocks, yet the setting resembles the wartime era (laughs)

Uesaka: As Aletta is considered lowly-ranked and weak amongst the demons, it’s tough for her to live and to work. It’d be out of the question for her ever to be sitting next to the Red Queen, someone who’s at the top of the caste, like [I am] in this interview.

Ito: Sumire-chan and I aren’t like that though (laughs)

Uesaka: Also, the scene where Master asks [Aletta] to go take a shower was powerful. The grime was falling away in clumps. This is supposed to be foodporn but instead, you see such graphic images…

Q: Shower scenes tend to be fanservicey scenes though…

Ito: More dirt flies out than normal – that is the kind of fanservice you get (laughs)

Uesaka: I wonder how many months it’d been since she took a bath – I was taken aback.

Ito: When the characters’ perspectives are so different, it does make the series’ atmosphere seem otherworldly. But food holds such great charm – and you know it is true from seeing someone like the Red Queen or the others who are nicknamed the names of their favourite dishes, gushing about their favourite food. You’re able to comprehend how tasty the dish is just by hearing them describe it, and it whips your appetite up as well. Oh and by the way, after episode 1 recordings were done my cravings were so strong that I ran into a family restaurant and had some beef stew before moving onto my next work schedule.

Uesaka: Wow! You really do end up craving the food, don’t you?

Q: The series kicks off with a flashback to Master’s schooldays, where he’s in conversation with his grandfather, the previous Master.

Ito: When Master asks ‘We’re supposed to be a Western-style restaurant so why are we serving braised pork [buta no kakuni]?’ and the previous Master responds ‘It’s okay for an eatery to serve any kind of eats as long as it’s tasty’ – that was such a cool scene.

Uesaka: There are quite a few flashback scenes showing the exchanges between Master and his predecessor. There are also a few of the patrons whose parents were fans of Nekoya’s. Seeing such scenes made me wonder if there would be any customer coming in who’d request braised pork. I want to know the kind of braised pork [Master would] dish up, please show it in the anime!

How alternate world dwellers view modern-day Japan; the enjoyment of seeing how magic & swords become useless

Q: What are your impressions of the series after reading the original novels, and now that you’re actually acting in the anime?

Uesaka: ‘Another World’ is part of the series’ title – to Aletta and Red Queen, Nekoya is part of ‘another world’. Rather than having modern Japanese people being shocked when they go to alternate worlds, we have people from different worlds reacting to Japanese culture – I think that’s interesting to see.

Also, the cast list is really amazing; all manners of wise men, swordsmen, big-time merchants etc coming from other worlds – you get a profound sense of who your customers are. Listening to the noise [in the restaurant] alone gives you such a feeling. Everyone is equal in this restaurant and it is heart-warming to see people coming together to eat, and sometimes fight over delicious meals. It is rare to have a series focusing on alternate worlds that does not feature swords and magic powers (laughs).

Ito: That’s so true. Instead, we have fire and kitchen knives (laughs). When I’m reading the novels, the ‘sizzling’ feeling (working up an appetite) comes across easily and it makes my stomach growl. I can’t imagine how dangerous the anime will be now that we’ll have the accompanying visuals.

The Red Queen is a dragon and in upcoming episodes we’ll see a variety of different customers turning up; it makes me think, ‘Is this gonna be OK?’ (laughs). Individuals of opposing types and from different backgrounds will gather, sharing interesting conversations – from a casual chat it’ll turn into a heated debate about their favourite dishes. To see how Nekoya brings people together in such a way makes me wish I could go there at least once in my life.

The cuteness of Aletta’s way of eating. The mystery of her maid outfit?

Q: What are your impressions of your respective characters? Let’s talk about Aletta first.

Uesaka: Aletta used to work at an inn but once her identity as a demon was exposed, she was fired from her job. Thrown into such a situation, the Master decides to take her in and that was how she came to work at Nekoya. In a foreign land, working her hardest to commit those unfamiliar dishes to memory. The way she eats is cute too. With her little likes and dislikes.

Ito: It puts a smile on your face seeing how she’s so emotional whenever she eats something delicious. Makes you think ‘Ah, she’s so cute. I’ve got to protect her’ (laughs)

Uesaka: The maid outfit really suits her as well. I think it’s the Master who prepared the maid outfit for her…including the camisole. Master seems to be a bit stiff so I do wonder whether he would like such frilly things.

Ito: Was it leftover from his grandfather’s time, or is it a preference of the current Master’s? (laughs). It’s interesting to imagine him weighing up his choices, thinking ‘this would be perfect for our waitresses!’

Uesaka: The inner thoughts of the Master are not easily revealed. In Aletta’s case you have her monologues and her changing facial expressions. Someday, I’d like to ask Aletta where she gets her clothes from. The relationship between [Aletta and Master] is just right – not too familiar and not too distant. Not just as employer and part-timer, but like family. There may not be anything that binds them together, yet he will take care of her for life. That is something that I feel is comforting for Aletta.

The scene where the Red Queen licks the beef stew is filled with love!?

Q: Now, how about the Red Queen?

Ito: As a queen she’s dignified, but once a week she will turn reticent when eating Nekoya’s beef stew. The way she tastes the beef stew is portrayed as such – first, she’ll have some at the restaurant and then she’ll get a pot of stew for takeaway, and end up licking it all night long (laughs). I try to put all my love into the acting out of the tasting of the stew, making it seem as luscious as possible.

Q: She enters Nekoya in her human form, wearing a dress, but she’s normally a dragon.

Ito: She has a huge body and it’s strange to see the contrast between her size and that of the pot of stew. She towers over the entire pot, licking the contents with her tongue.

Uesaka: She’s cute. I doubt that there are many such cute dragons around. I wonder whether her neck hurts though?

Ito: It’d probably be soft, don’t you think? (laughs). She’s imposing and has a slightly arrogant air to her, yet she bows down at the feet of Master’s beef stew. In the final scene, she’s flying above the skies thinking, ‘I must protect [Nekoya]’.

Q: Episode 1’s closing scene seemed like it was hinting at a celestial being the mastermind of the story.

Ito: [The Red Queen’s] an important character after all. She’s the Guardian (laughs)

Uesaka: She tries to be considerate by not entering the restaurant when other patrons are around; she’s respectful and is a quietly attentive queen, in my opinion. The one thing that piques my curiosity is whether or not she shares her stew with her attendant Balrog?

Ito: C’mon, there’s no way I would share with anyone else.

Uesaka: It’s definitely hard to give up the things you love, isn’t it? (laughs). From time to time you can see some human elements in her character, which makes her adorable. But I wonder if Aletta is aware of the Red Queen’s true identity? We haven’t seen anything on that for the moment…Since the Red Queen tops the pyramid and is on a completely different level from Aletta…

Ito: That’s right (laughs)

Uesaka: Aletta started out life as plankton after all (laughs). If not for her great luck, she would probably never have been able to meet, let alone speak to someone like that.

Ito: Aletta is someone who’s indispensable to Nekoya after all.

Uesaka: Thankfully. If the Red Queen set her mind to it, she could send Aletta flying.

Ito: If she put her mind to it. With a simple wave of her hand. But she wouldn’t do such a thing (laughs)

An open and broadminded Master. I’d like to see him get agitated

Q: What do you think of Master?

Uesaka: I think Master is the coolest character in this series; his passion for cooking is amazing. Also, the fact that he remains composed no matter what type of customer walks through his doors. Since he inherited the restaurant from his predecessor, I would suppose that he’s equipped with mental fortitude and approachability? I’ve love to at least once, see a scene where he gets upset.

Q: Perhaps the most surprising scene in episode 1 would be when he steps on a sleeping Aletta in the darkness?

Uesaka: That may have been the most animated he will ever get (laughs). You wouldn’t normally expect an illegal intruder after all. It was so mysterious that I’d love to ask him just what was going through his mind at that moment.

Ito: I think he’s very open-minded and non-judgemental as well. He takes Aletta in and accepts each and every customer [as they are]. He’s never fazed by anything and his dishes are undeniably delicious. He’s a good man. I want a guy like him at home (laughs).

What you would cook for someone who’s at the depth of their hunger

Q: What would you cook for someone who was at the greatest depth of their hunger like Aletta?

Uesaka: Hmm~. If it was a person who was really hungry then their stomach probably wouldn’t be able to take solid foods.

Both: (laughter)

Ito: We’d have to start with liquids. Isn’t that the case? (laughs)

Uesaka: I think we’d have to go with an IV drip first. I’m sure people already know the kind of dishes I can cook…so maybe raw egg on freshly boiled rice [tamago kake gohan].

Ito: I get that!

Uesaka: When your stomach’s empty you feel like gobbling everything up. I like to put chili oil in as well – it always stirs up the appetite so I think it’s something that’s fail-safe. You can dish it up quickly as well so it’s good for people who need to eat immediately.

Ito: I don’t put anything extra in, but I prefer to have my white rice cooked in a claypot. I really love my white rice, I can eat about 3 potfuls. But I’d get fat so I don’t (laughs). I love it so much I’d gladly do a white rice party where I’d just cook white rice in a claypot and eat as much as I wanted to – it’d be so tasty I could just drink it in.

Q: You give off the impression of someone who would own an expensive rice cooker.

Ito: Those expensive rice cookers cost way too much for me, but I do have a pretty good one, perhaps 1 rank lower. After all, I love eating tasty rice.

Uesaka: Earthen pots are good too. For scorched rice and so on.

Ito: I would like to cook rice in an earthen pot but [it’s not an option] for someone who has so little free time like me…if only I could spare the time.

What I wish to transform into depends on the situation!?

Q: The Red Queen transforms into a human when she visits Nekoya – if you were able to transform, what would you like to transform into?

Uesaka: (They) appear in this show as well – lately, I’ve been quite curious about Lizardmen [appears in episode 4].

Ito: Why?

Uesaka: I think he’s cute. I want to live with the Lizardman.

Ito: What kind of life? I can’t imagine. What do you find charming [about Lizardman]?

Uesaka: The look in his eyes. The Lizardman in this show is called Gaganpo and he’s very charming plus the language spoken in his world is different from that of this world…

Ito: I want to be something that can fly in the sky. Dragons are cool, as are big birds like hawks or eagles. If I was a weak animal I’d easily fall prey to other creatures (laughs). On fine days I see birds soaring freely in the sky and I find myself thinking, ‘That’s nice. I wish I could throw everything away and go fly high in the sky’.

Uesaka: What have you been through?

Ito: I want to forget all the hardships and be like a bird flying like the wind (laughs).

When you open the door – where would you want to be connected to?

Q: In alternate worlds, there is a strange door that leads to Nekoya – if you were to open a door to arrive at some other place, where would you like it to lead to?

Uesaka: I wonder what would be a nice place… To go to Russia I’d have to apply for a visa and that’s hard so yeah, I’d choose Russia. It’d be illegal entry though (laughs)

Ito: I like the tropics, so I’d like to be able to go to the tropical beaches whenever I liked, having a drink in my swimsuit.

Uesaka: That sounds good.

Any objection to Ito-san’s dish name that she wants to be called by’?

Q: Like in the series, what dish, if any, would you like to adopt as your nickname?

Uesaka: Would that mean my favourite dish? I guess I’d be omurice. I love it and often go to omurice restaurants.

Q: What type of omurice do you like?

Uesaka: If I had to describe it, it’d be an omurice where the rice seeps out fluffily once you sink a knife through its centre; I love fluffy and moist things. Omurice goes well with anything – cream, beef, tomato, Japanese flavours, which is what makes it a versatile dish. I think I might have the confidence to contribute to the debates that go on in Nekoya about favourite dishes.

Ito: I want to say cooked white rice but people might think I’m like someone stuck in the Edo period and I’d have to answer everything with a resounding ‘Heyo!!’ when they call out to me (laughs). I like kneaded powdery types of food as well, so something like gnocchi might do.

Uesaka: That’s cute.

Ito: It just popped into my brain but gnocchi does sound cute. I want to massage it over and over. Chikuwabu might be nice too. But chikuwabu’s more of an ingredient rather than food (laughs).

Q: So now, try calling each other those names.

Uesaka: Gnocchi ❤

Ito: Omurice ❤

Uesaka: But you don’t feel like a gnocchi.

Ito: Shall I be ‘White Rice’ then?

Uesaka: That sounds a lot cooler (laughs)

Ito: I don’t mind being called that. So okay, I’ll be ‘White Rice’ (laughs)

Finding Uesaka-san’s likeness at a store [she] would like to work at!?

Q: Aletta is a waitress in Nekoya. Are there any restaurants or stores you would like to work at?

Uesaka: If I wasn’t a seiyuu I’d love to work in a second-hand bookstore. I adore the old bookshops in Jimbocho; it seems like fun to help out one of the shop owners there.

Both: (laughter)

Uesaka: I’d be able to read books continuously, at a leisurely and carefree pace.

Ito: I think I’d be unsuited towards working in the food & beverage industry.

Uesaka: Why is that so?

Ito: ‘cos it seems like I’d mess up & break the plates. I like selling things and making recommendations to customers, so perhaps I’d work at an electronic appliances store.

Uesaka: Like [selling] rice cookers.

Ito: Yeah. I tend to want to buy the latest house gadgets myself so I’d love to recommend them to people. I want people to tell me ‘that [appliance] you recommended was great’.

Q: So maybe it’s time to be a seiyuu for home appliances.

Ito: That would be great, wouldn’t it!

In the studio, endless cooking discussions

Q: What’s the atmosphere like during recording?

Uesaka: Every week, we’re provided with the dishes featured in the episode as part of our catered meals so when break time comes around we’ll be fighting tooth and nail to get a taste. It gets pretty lively, similar to how Nekoya is. The food is just so tasty every time though that I get a little worried wondering, ‘Is this is all OK?’

Ito: Are you worried about somebody’s pocket?

Q: By the way, what was the food served during recordings for episode 1?

Ito: It was a curry bread kind of thing, but a beef stew version. That was all that I got to try.

Uesaka: For episode 2 we were served fried prawn [ebifurai] sandwich and minced meat cutlet [menchi katsu] sandwich.

Ito: Wow that sounds good! I should stop by for a bite every week (laughs)

Uesaka: I feel blessed. Very much so.

Ito: We also talk about the dishes that are featured every week. The director will start things off by talking about what he likes, and the discussion will get livelier from there… (laughs). It’s a peaceful recording studio where the staff and cast are all thinking about food.

Uesaka: During today’s recording I was shocked to hear someone say ‘I don’t like this dish that much’.

Ito: Yeah and everyone was trying to impress upon him that ‘if you eat a tasty one you’ll surely change your mind’.

The highlights of the anime, as recommended by the 2

Q: Please tell us what is attractive about this series, and what we should look forward to in the future.

Uesaka: After watching each episode you will go to sleep filled with happiness as well as hunger. You’ll probably feel like eating the dish so if you live near a convenience store, do be careful. That is the extent of the passion that’s being poured into the food – from the slightly differing viewpoints of [people from] alternate worlds; you might be able to discover fresh new charms in Japanese-style Western food. Different customers drop by every episode and sometimes they gather together – each one of them has their own story to tell, so please look forward to them.

Also, when you see Aletta in episode 1 she might seem like a bit of a klutz but she’s a hard worker and you’ll get to see how she becomes a capable girl – please watch over her warmly.

Q: You can find out next week’s dish on the official website so why not find the resolve to prepare the dish [to eat while watching]?

Uesaka: Good idea. It’d be nice to eat while watching the anime. Have a bit of a greedy feast in the middle of the night (laughs)

Ito: That sounds good, but the food Master prepares will stir up your appetite so I think it’s better for you to eat it after you’ve seen the episode. For example, you might have bought a minced meat cutlet beforehand only to discover after watching Master prepare it that what you got was not quite what was in the anime and regret it, thinking ‘I should’ve gotten a better one!’.

Uesaka: In that case, why not make the dish yourself?

Ito: You may be right. I might make it alongside the Master. It’d be fine to make it the following day too.

Uesaka: I wish they’d put the Master’s recipe up on the website.

Ito: That would be great! People who don’t normally cook for themselves might even be inspired to try it out.

Q: Seeing how a group of individuals gather together in the restaurant, watching the drama unfold each week – I thought that it somewhat feels like a Showa-era drama.

Uesaka: That’s true. But that may be completely different from what I’m imagining. Something along the lines of the Takakura Ken movies of old, featuring these lively pubs – you’ll have Ken-san, fresh out of prison, in a dilemma over beer and pork cutlet bowl [katsudon]. He only has enough money for one or the other, not both.

Q: Ah, my own image was a TV drama made for home viewing…

Uesaka: I can only see it as a yakuza story*…

*the word used is 任侠物 (ninkyōmono), a film sub-genre regarding yakuza – similar to mobster stories. ‘ninkyō’ means ‘chivalrous’, a reference to how the protagonists were of honourable ilk, like Robin Hood.

Ito: (laughs) It would have its charms as an ensemble movie though, don’t you think?

Uesaka: The character in the spotlight changes depending on the dish that’s being featured, and it’s interesting to see how that character would then be weaved into subsequent stories featuring other different characters.

From Nekoya – sharing the delicious bliss with others!

Q: Lastly, please leave a message for everyone.

Uesaka: Isekai Shokudo is a series overflowing with happiness; the kind of work you can watch with confidence that nobody will get hurt. It’d be great if you could make the same dish [as in every episode], though store-bought food would be fine too. But hmm, beef stew seems tough to make. Would you need a pressure cooker?

Ito: You’d need to start preparing a day earlier.

Uesaka: It would turn out to be meltingly tender beef stew in that case. Anyhow, the dishes look delicious plus Aletta is cute from top to bottom so do please love the show. It comes in an omnibus format so even if you miss an episode you won’t be left behind. Please relax, have fun, allow us to accompany your days – and look forward to this series once in every 7 days.

Ito: What is there left for me to say, coming after Sumire-chan’s comments? Thanks for the food? (laughs). There is no doubt that you’ll be left with blissful feelings if you watch this series. All of you who like to eat, or those of you who like to cook – please drop by Nekoya. We too, will share our delightful deliciousness with you.