Part 9 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features a return for Sarah/Yasuno Kiyono (Guest Note 2P) and Morohoshi Sumire, who voices Sarah’s sister Shia.
Dream of playing sisters realized! Are cookies art!?
Q: Please tell us your thoughts looking back on episode 8.
Morohoshi: I didn’t expect to be able to play the role of Kiyono-san’s sister.
Yasuno: I didn’t expect it either. Never thought that Su-chan would be playing my younger sister. I must’ve done enough good deeds in my life [to deserve this] (laughs). I first met Sumire-chan when she was in fifth or sixth grade during NO.6 [aired summer 2011]; we also spent 2 years together on Aikatsu! and now we can be long-awaited, lawful sisters for real (laughs).
Morohoshi: Isekai Shokudo is a heart-warming series and it was fun working [on an anime] that makes me feel hungry.
Yasuno: The segment we appear in is titled ‘Assorted Cookies’ – to be honest, up until then I hadn’t really paid special attention to cookies in general. When I read that part in the novels, I marvelled at how the cookies were depicted in a way that made them seem so delectable, that I looked forward to seeing them in animated form. There really are so many types of cookies out there.
Morohoshi: I was told by Sound Director Tsuchiya-san that the episode would ride on how delicious I could make eating those cookies sound like. It’s like a scene straight out of a food show, with Shia waxing lyrical about the cookies – I hope her food report will make viewers actually want to eat them as well.
Yasuno: The sound director does that every week though, lighting a fire under whoever’s featuring in the episode, saying that ‘the whole [story] is gonna depend on your food reporting skills!’
Q: Yasuno-san already experienced that back in episode 2, didn’t you?
Yasuno: For the minced-meat cutlet segment I had a lot of pressure piled upon me. “The onus is on you to make it as tasty as possible!” (laughs)
Q: The assorted cookies did not originate from Nekoya though, but from a cake shop within the same building.
Morohoshi: That’s right. What’s more, people aren’t normally that effusive when talking about the appearance or texture of cookies so it was refreshing to see. It’s because Shia has no knowledge of cookies whatsoever that we’re able to hear such comments coming from her, and that made it fun for me to play the role.
Yasuno: Great care was taken in the depictions [of the food]. In the anime you get to see what they look like right away but when you’re reading the novels you keep wondering, ‘I wonder what kind of cookie they’re describing in this bit?’. If it says ‘there’s something like jam in the middle…’ you’ll be imagining ‘Maybe it’d look like that~!?’ (laughs)
When you can immediately picture the food in your mind it does make them seem so very tasty. I’m always munching [cookies] without thinking too much but now that I’ve seen how Shia eats them so deliciously, I feel like having some.
Morohoshi: It makes you want to analyze each and every one of the cookies. Seems fascinating, thinking about how they’re made.
Yasuno: They’re works of art.
The difference between Shia before and after tasting the cookies – she was cute!
Q: What were your favourite scenes or highlights from episode 3?
Morohoshi: The moment when Shia looks at the tin containing the cookies and says ‘I see…they certainly do look like they might be expensive’ (laughs). If cookies come in a fancy box or the cookies look cute, it does appear that they might cost a lot.
Yasuno: You can feel the differences between that era and our modern day as well. In the world that they live in, Shia is the daughter of a merchant, so she must have an eye for good things. What impressed me was the scene where Shia said to Aletta, ‘Can you go and get me more of this [box]?’ with gold coins in her outstretched hand. She was just that desperate (laughs).
Morohoshi: She was willing to give up an entire month’s allowance for that (laughs)
Yasuno: Su-chan’s unearthly performance got across how tasty they were – it was cute.
Q: It was interesting to see how the butler describes Sarah as having caught a ‘nasty fever’, given that she abandoned status and security to become an adventurer.
Yasuno: ‘William’s Curse’, it was called (laughs)
Morohoshi: Shia’s worried about her too. She’s a reliable person so she got anxious and stopped by to check on her well-being.
Yasuno: My butler was voiced by Yasuhara Yoshito, an amazingly wonderful, great senior of ours. That shocked me as well
Q: Shia seems to have had more dialogue with Aletta than with Sarah.
Morohoshi: Indeed. When she first meets Aletta, she’s very wary and came off as being a bit cold. but once she had a taste of the cookies her trust in Aletta grew tenfold.
Yasuno: She’d been pouting, going ‘Just ‘cos my sister’s hired this girl as a maid doesn’t mean I have to bond with her!’ but all it took was 1 cookie to make [Aletta] her new best friend, going ‘Cute! Aren’t girls cute!’ (laughs)
Morohoshi: You can tell the impact the cookies had on Shia – delicious food really can change people, can’t they (laughs). Shia’s childishness, her lovability and her innocence can be easily seen. The gap between her normally steadfast character and the way she became a slave to the cookies was charming, I thought.
Feeling once again, ‘The Power of Cooking’ through Isekai Shokudo!?
Q: What are your impressions of the series after reading the original novels, and now that you’re actually acting in the anime?
Yasuno: Su-chan mentioned this as well – this is the kind of show where you can witness the exact moment something or someone changes because of food. In Sarah’s case it was by eating her granddad’s beloved minced-meat cutlet that she was able to relive memories of her grand-father. We also have Heinrich, whose life was saved by fried prawn.
For our story we’re given the opportunity to melt away Shia’s suspicions, while Hamburg, the other segment in episode 8, shows the romance between Roukei and Arte and how Hamburg steaks help to bridge the gap between them. I think it’s wonderful to see this perspective, where a dish [of food] is what lies at the centre of fellowship between human beings – when I’m watching the show, it makes me think that this is exactly what you would expect from a series like Isekai Shokudo.
Morohoshi: I agree (laughs). The final part of the Assorted Cookies segment too, had all of them eating together.
Yasuno: I think that these two sisters deliberately keep a distance between themselves. They only meet up every so often. I wonder if the cookies will be the factor that brings the 2 closer together. Food is indeed, the star of the show.
Morohoshi: You’re right.
Yasuno: The menu items play a starring role and the interactions and the drama between the individuals that revolve around food, is what makes Isekai Shokudo appealing.
Morohoshi: The power that food holds is amazing ain’t it? (laughs)
Yasuno: The Power of Cooking? Food? That’s what it is.
The good sisterly relationship between free-spirited Sarah and level-headed Shia
Q: What are your impressions of the character you play?
Morohoshi: Shia’s image is that of an upstanding younger sister but at the same time she has the kind of adorability that is appropriate for her age. The reason she goes to check on her sister’s well-being is because of her love and affection for her – she’s a kind, respectable girl.
Yasuno: Having taken part in this recording, I do feel like I’d love to have a little sister who’s like Shia. She’s mature and is always striving to go higher – when I read the novels, she came off as being a bit cold, a lot brusquer.
Su-chan’s performance, however, humanizes the character – the way she tries her best at whatever she does, plus her sense of responsibility where she feels that she needs to watch over her sister. Having Su-chan voice Shia makes her all the cuter and for that I am glad.
Morohoshi: That makes me happy!
Yasuno: Sarah became a treasure hunter due to the influence of their grandfather William but I didn’t know until this particular episode that other people saw it as a feverish disease within her body (laughs).
It’s not just that though. She’s lived a stable, wealthy life as the daughter of a merchant family, yet she chooses to walk her own path – watching episode 8, I was once again impressed by her strong will and ability to take action. What an amazing girl she is, I thought. I’m glad this particular story made it into the anime.
Q: Episode 6 happens to feature a sub-story titled ‘Sandwich’ where [Sarah] argues with Heinrich over which is better – minced-meat cutlet sandwich, or fried prawn sandwich.
Yasuno: She’s a tenacious lady who strongly dislikes losing. She’s always arguing with Heinrich but somehow, they tend to be seen together. They sit next to each other as well. Do they get along, or do they not? (laughs). To be fair I don’t think any of the people there are bad sorts; they just enjoy a bit of banter to spice up their meals.
Q: Morohoshi-san, how do you see Sarah?
Morohoshi: I feel that she’s the complete opposite of Shia, personality-wise. She worries about her sister but at the same time, she is both envious of and admires her for choosing to go down a different path from her own. Sarah too, always has a gentle smile for Shia.
Yasuno: I think Shia is the only person who would bother to come and see her (laughs). Obviously she’s been disinherited and left with only a butler to accompany her so there’s no way she’d not be happy to have her sister drop by! Plus, she worries about her. Maybe it’s ‘cos [Shia’s] cute that she just can’t help herself. Sarah’s living the bohemian life now, but she will always care about Shia.
Morohoshi: They share a sense of trust between them – I think they’re good sisters.
What are the duo’s signature dishes?
Q: Do either of you have any sisters?
Morohoshi: I have an older sister. That makes me the same as Shia.
Yasuno: That’s right! I’m an only child. I’ve always wanted a younger sister so my dream has come true this time.
Morohoshi: I’m happy!
Q: Do you cook?
Yasuno: I do, sort of.
Morohoshi: Sometimes. When my mom’s out.
Q: What’s your signature dish?
Yasuno: Tofu hamburg steaks. I am not saying that just because of episode 8 (laughs). Hamburg steaks can be a bit boring if you only make it with meat – if you mix in an equal amount of tofu then it’ll turn out really tender. Use half meat & half tofu, the latter acting as a binding agent – I can guarantee you that it’ll be absolutely delicious. Also, use curry powder as a secret weapon. Give it a shot.
[note: Yasuno gave a near identical answer for Note 3P]
Morohoshi: That sounds good! The first dish I made without my mom helping me out was tomato risotto.
Yasuno: That’s something high-level to start off with.
Morohoshi: It was when my mom was having a cold. I wanted to show off a bit, so I said to her ‘I’ll cook so you can just go ahead and rest’ – and I made tomato risotto while referring to a recipe I found on the internet. When I had my mom taste it she immediately praised me, saying “I think you can put this down as your signature dishes”. I started cooking with my mom more often after that and recently, I’ve managed to make perfectly wrapped omelette rolls [tamagoyaki].
Yasuno: Using a rectangular frying pan?
Morohoshi: Yes. I can make the egg strips [kinshi-tamago] that you find in chilled ramen noodles [hiyashi chuka] as well. For omelette rolls you’d keep adding egg in while it’s half cooked but for egg strips, you would do it only when the egg has fully cooked; after reaching a state where it resembles omelette rolls you’d shred it into threads & layer them – that’s how easy it is to make egg strips.
Yasuno: I see. I’ve lived with family for a long time and only moved out on my own this year but I don’t even have a cooking pot yet. I’ve got a chopping board and kitchen knives though. I cooked more often when I was living with my parents. They had all the tools, after all.
Morohoshi: I might be the same – if my mom isn’t around I probably wouldn’t feel like cooking. I’d like other people to taste my food too.
Yasuno: If I got sick I might get you to cook tomato risotto for me.
Morohoshi: That’d be no problem at all.
Yasuno: ‘Su-chan, here’s my address…’ with the snap of a finger, you’d be here.
Morohoshi: I’ll go. Call me.
Yasuno: Yay! Let me get sick at least once this year (laughs)
Master possesses a craftsman’s spirit and ability to empathize. A show that resonates with both men and women because of its protagonist, the Master
Q: What do you think of Master?
Morohoshi: Shia doesn’t actually have any interactions with Master so all I can say is that he seems like a nice guy…
Yasuno: Yeah, it was someone else who made the cookies. What I’m thinking when I see him, is that Master is someone who just loves Nekoya so, so much. At the end of every episode you see him with a big grin on his face – a smile that never ends even when the episode is over.
I guess he enjoys it when the inhabitants of alternate worlds eat his mouth-watering food and say to him ‘What’s this!? It tastes so good!’. Those feelings get across to me as well, and I can empathize with him wondering if cooks really are blessed in so many ways – it has me grinning as well (laughs). That is what you’d expect of your series’ leading man.
Morohoshi: From Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisine to desserts, it’s amazing how he seems to be able to cook anything. It’s a pleasure to see that your cooking makes other people happy and you’d enjoy making a lot of different things because of that. If I was [Master] I’d cook up a storm. If I could actually cook, that is (laughs)
Yasuno: I think it’s good that we have Master as the protagonist. I’ve heard that the show has a good reputation amongst this season’s crop of anime – it came out top in both the female and male [fan] categories.
Morohoshi: That’s amazing!
Yasuno: I can see why though. The fact that the protagonist is someone who cooks means he understands women’s feelings and that resonates with them. Seeing the faces of people who eat the food so deliciously makes me happy – their pleasure carries over to us as well.
Guys too, will watch the show, see how the food is being devoured and they’ll think ‘Ah, I’m starving~!’. It’s a great series that can draw both men & women in.
A surprisingly trendy sweet that they both like!?
Q: Shia was impressed by cookies when she tasted them for the first time. What’s your favourite sweet?
Morohoshi: I love candied sweet potato [imo-kenpi]. If I see it in a supermarket I’ll definitely pick a bag up. Why does it have to taste so good, I wonder. Candied sweet potato goes best with a cup of green tea. I also like Sable biscuits, especially Hato Sable. For Sable-type biscuits, milk is its best complement.
Yasuno: I agree! Milk with flour-based confections – it’s an explosive combination of flavours. I do wonder why though? For Western-style sweets I like tarts. Fruit tarts are my favourite amongst the variety of cakes.
Morohoshi: They’re tasty. I ate some yesterday!
Yasuno: Aren’t they! Tarts taste better than shortcake or chocolate cake! For Japanese-style sweets, I’d pick rakugan.
Morohoshi: What are rakugan?
Yasuno: It’s a sweet where you mix syrup and sugar into starch powder, colour it and leave it to dry. You often see them at temples and tea ceremonies, and as offerings at altars. Lately, there have been trendy-looking rakugan for sale and some areas are making their own local variations. I predict that a rakugan boom will come along soon enough.
The place that I wish to be connected to through this mysterious door
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?
Morohoshi: If we’re talking about right now, then the pool or the beach. After swimming I can go straight back home for a bath.
Yasuno: Ah, if you get a lot of sand stuck [on your body] you can easily wash it off. It’s true that if you go to the beach you won’t get to shower. For me, I’d pick Starbucks.
Morohoshi: You like Starbucks?
Yasuno: Sometimes I go twice a day. I think I’ve definitely been there 365 days in a row as well.
Q: What do you drink at Starbucks?
Yasuno: Lattes. I can’t drink black [coffee]. I’ve had coffee from many different places and found out I’m not very good at handling sour tastes. I like coffee with mellow tastes like that of café au lait, rich but not too bitter and not too acidic – Starbucks’ lattes are their most elegant and easy to drink beverages.
It’s cool to be named after a cut of meat
Q: Like in the series, what dish, if any, would you like to adopt as your nickname?
Yasuno: In Guest Note 3P I picked Café Latte and Punch so I’ll go for something different this time. How about Rakugan, my favourite sweet?
Morohoshi: That sounds cool.
Yasuno: It sounds strong too. “I’m otherwise known as Rakugan!”. ‘Tart’ sounds a lot cuter though (laughs)
Morohoshi: I love meat more than anything else in the world so it’d be a dream come true to be nicknamed after a cut of meat. I’ll always order beef tongue whenever I go for yakiniku but to be nicknamed that would be a bit…
Yasuno: There are cuts of meat that have really cool names though. Like the Abomasum [giara]
Morohoshi: Sirloin sounds cool as well. I’ve been into brisket [misuji] lately.
Yasuno: Misuji sounds super cool!
Q: Does Misuji sound cool?
Morohoshi: Isn’t it cool?
Yasuno: Sounds a bit like Midosuji. Let’s go with Misuji and Rakugan!
Yasuno: We’re the trendy sisters (laughs)
The resumption of recording has to wait for the eating to be completed?
Q: What’s the atmosphere like during recording?
Morohoshi: It’s a heart-warming place.
Yasuno: We’re chatting all the time about which eateries are good. Hiyama [Nobuyuki, who voices Lionel]-san will start saying ‘That ramen shop…’ and that kicks off the ramen evaluation session.
Morohoshi: With the theme of show being such, we were always going to end up talking about food, weren’t we? I felt like eating cookies during recording as well.
Yasuno: There’s a ‘snack time’ during recording as well.
Morohoshi: When you feel like it’s time to eat, that’s where happiness lies. And through food, we share conversation.
Yasuno: What are supposed to be light refreshments often turn into proper, solid meals. We had 20 hamburgers once. They were really thick as well & had us going ‘that’s huge!’ – we couldn’t start recording until we’d finished eating it all (laughs). I come to recording looking forward to the food being provided.
Q: Yasuno-san gets to come to the studio many times.
Morohoshi: That’s so nice. During the Assorted Cookies episode I got to eat a variety of cookies as well.
Yasuno: The round, scone-like cookies were melt-in-the-mouth delicious. I wonder which store they were from again…?
[Staff: They were cookies from a shop in Daikanyama called Picassol]
Morohoshi: Kiyono-san is scribbling that down right away (laughs)
Yasuno: It’s important (laughs). This recording studio is a thoroughly perfect full-course meal (laughs).
What I feel when I see Nekoya: ‘I’m glad that I was born in Japan’
Q: Please tell us about the charms of this series.
Morohoshi: This is a series that is meticulous in using food to depict the relationships between people. Also, you’ll feel like eating whenever you watch the show. It’s gonna be hard for people who are on a diet (laughs), but this series will allow you to feel just how powerful food can be.
When you’re hungry and fill yourself up while watching this series, you’ll feel a greater sense of appreciation for the food as well as finding that it tastes more delicious. The series approaches the subject material from an interesting perspective so I hope that many people will watch it.
Yasuno: As I watch the show I think to myself, ‘I’m glad to be born in a Japan where a Western-styled restaurant such as Nekoya can exist’. Outside of Japan, I think it’s not as easy to find such a variety of dishes with multinational influences, prepared not in a haphazard manner but with great care. The commitment and consideration that Master puts into each and every dish up until the point it is served shows the chef at work and through his craftsman’s spirit you can see how well-suited he is towards the job.
I do think this is a country where you can find many owners similar to Master – reading this series, I wish and desire to find a place like Nekoya for myself. I’d be glad if it was the same for all of you; like in an episode of Isekai Shokudo, your encounters with food and the stories will become a treasure to you, one that you can leave behind. Let’s take on the food! (laughs)
We hope that you enjoy the variety of dishes and the charms of the characters on offer
Q: Lastly, please leave a message for everyone.
Morohoshi: The character that I play, Shia-chan, has deep affection for her sister and is a cute character, especially when she’s eating cookies. This series manages to convey both the appeal of cooking as well as the charms of Shia-chan. Please watch our episode again in future on the Blu-ray and DVDs (laughs) as well as viewing the rest of the series from various perspectives and different points of enjoyment.
Yasuno: Anyone who watches the anime will already be aware of this, but I perform the ED theme Chiisana Hitotsubu (A Small Grain). As an anime fan I’ve always loved ED themes especially those that make you cry, since I was a child so I think my dream has come true. My favourite song is Okui Aki’s Wind Climbing ~Kaze ni Asobarete~ which was used in the Mahoujin Guruguru anime – every time I see it, I cry.
That is why I hope that 10, 20 years down the line people will think of Isekai Shokudo as ‘that delicious anime of old’, and recall Chiisana Hitotsubu alongside it. Written by Sakai Yuu-san, it’s a mellow song that is enveloped in the worldview [of Isekai Shokudo] and the way each episode segues into the ending theme too, is wonderful. Makes me go ‘That’s unfair! But thank you!’ as I watch it (laughs). I hope that the series, as well as the songs, will remain in your memory. The anime still has some way to go yet. As does the novels. Please show some love for Isekai Shokudo!