Part 10.5 of the Isekai Shokudo Guest Note series features royal half-siblings Shareef (Tamaru Atsushi) and Renner (Shimoji Shino).
Tamaru-san, surprised by Shimoji-san’s shocking confession!?
Q: Reflecting on episode 9 – what are your thoughts?
Shimoji: It was pretty tough (laughs). I had a lot of dialogue; even though I play the princess of a country, I refer to myself as ‘Boku’ and I struggled to speak plainly to my older brother.
Tamaru: I thought the overall worldview of the series was interesting. Seeing how something that is as familiar to us as cream soda was thought of as a rare item & the surprise as [Shareef] drank it. This is a kind of series that I’d never encountered up ‘til now; never have I paid that much attention to what I’ve been eating all this while – I think my awareness of the food I eat might grow even stronger in the future. That’s why the eating scenes left a big impression on me.
Q: What were your favourite scenes or highlights from episode 9?
Tamaru: Shareef himself did not have many food-related monologues, but watching Renner contemplating and deciding upon the best cream soda combination as she pored over the menu, as well as her excitement and blissful expression as she drank [was a highlight]. I realized that when you’re having a meal, it does takes a bit of time for the flavours to sink in as you consume the food.
Shimoji: Actually, before the recording session I went to drink cream soda for the first time ever…
Tamaru: Eh!? The first time ever? You don’t have it in Okinawa?
Shimoji: Of course we do! It’s just that I’ve never really been fond of carbonated drinks…
Tamaru: Ain’t that the same as Shareef.
Shareef: That’s right (laughs). I’m okay with them now though, more so than I used to be. Also, things like melon soda come in weird colours so I never dared to drink them. But since Renner had it in the series I thought, ‘If I don’t seize this chance, I might not ever drink it for the rest of my life’, which is why I went to have one before recording.
When I was reading the script, cream soda was something I could only imagine in my head – once I had actually tasted soft cream and melon soda, I found them to be very delicious. And when it came to the tests during the actual recording, I was told that I was indeed ‘acting like I was drinking it for the first time’ (laughs)
Tamaru: It was easy to tell that it was your ‘first time’ (laughs)
Shimoji: So it seems (laughs). But I was happy that I got to experience new things through working on this show and cream soda is now one of my favourite menu items.
Q: By the way, have you tried the coffee float that Shareef ordered?
Tamaru: Of course I have. However the sugar content seems to be high so having it topped with soft-serve ice cream is not really my thing. I might only order it when I go for karaoke, that’s the extent of it.
What do you think of Shareef’s attitude when it comes to his crush on Adelheid?
Q: Renner is worried about Shareef as he has a crush on Adelheid but is unable to approach her – don’t you think he’s a bit too shy?
Shimoji: He really is too shy, isn’t he?
Tamaru: But I think that there would be many guys out there who can relate to that. For example you could have a guy in real-life working at a company, who’s popular with his female juniors and colleagues. Yet, when he meets someone he likes he immediately turns shy. I was thinking the same thing would probably be true of people from other worlds.
Q: What about from a girl’s perspective?
Shimoji: This is my personal opinion – though I empathize with my older brother’s feelings of not being able to attract the one he loves, I do want him to try harder. I think women would want [the effort] to come from the men…
Tamaru: (looking around) Men or women, it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Shimoji: It doesn’t, but if it was possible…
Tamaru: Men have their troubles too – if they can’t go, they can’t go.
Shimoji: Today I learned (laughs)
Q: Do either of you have any siblings?
Tamaru: I have an older sister.
Shimoji: I’m an only child.
Q: It does seem natural for Tamaru-san to have an older sister.
Tamaru: But recently, people have said to me that I give off the air of an older brother. (looking at Shimoji) I don’t look like it, but that’s what people around me have been telling me.
Their impressions of 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?
Shimoji: ‘Another World’ may be part of the title, but there aren’t many battles – instead it depicts daily life in a very detailed manner while showing the humanity of the characters; it’s a series that anyone can identify with. There is a lot of warmth in it.
Tamaru: Not only is this a wonderful series that puts the focus on the food that we eat on a daily basis, I think it’s also innovative in the way it presents the dishes using the setting and from the perspective of foreigners who have never eaten them before. You barely remember what it was like the first time you tasted certain dishes as you’d already be familiar with them since childhood, and you wouldn’t really have any new reactions to eating any foods.
It’s interesting to take another close look at ingredients and dishes that are familiar to us. In future, I think it would be possible for me to look at food I’m eating with a fresh perspective and sense of taste. Being involved with a series like Isekai Shokudo has added a wonderful spice to my diet.
Co-star experience asides, it’s fresh to play a brother-sister combo for the first time!
Q: What are your impressions of the character you play?
Shimoji: Renner is a princess but because she has a straightforward personality, the way she speaks is not what you would expect of the typical ‘Princess’. She’s a sister who holds her older brother in great regard and the sense of intimacy that you feel from the two of them shows just how close they are to each other. I also share her sentiment regarding her brother’s love life so voicing the role, I can easily empathize with her.
Tamaru: Shareef is a prince so he possesses a certain amount of elegance and responsibility; however, when you see his conversations with Renner you realize that they’re just a normal brother-sister pair like any other out there. He’s not a herbivore man like what’s in vogue now but it also doesn’t mean that just because he’s a man, that he’ll go about things voraciously. I think guys will be able to identify with him easily, despite his status as royalty.
Q: They are the Prince and Princess from the Land of Sand, but they seem like they might exist in the real world as well.
Tamaru: That’s true. This may be a fantasy work but it appears to be quite close to real life, which makes it easy to visualize.
Q: What was it like acting as brother and sister?
Tamaru: We’ve worked together before but it’s our first time playing brother and sister.
Shimoji: In the script, Shareef is sheepishly worried all the time – when I heard Tamaru-san’s performance I was thinking the same thing as Ranner, that “He needs to try a little bit harder!” but at the same time, I thought that he was quite cute. I was a bit worried over whether I could lock horns with him (laughs)
Tamaru: Despite being in Shareef’s position I have to say that I was thinking ‘why do you have to say something like that?’ but keeping in mind that it’s a little sister doing that for the sake of her older brother – it’s cute.
The unattainable Adelheid and a Master who could conceivably exist
Q: What do you think of Adelheid, Shareef’s unrequited love?
Tamaru: She’s cute.
Q: If you were Shareef, would you fall in love with her at first sight?
Tamaru: She’s just so pretty, plus she’s a princess! She’s like an existence that is above the clouds, beyond your grasp.
Shimoji: An unattainable object*?
*the phrase used here is高嶺の花 (takane no hana) which literally means ‘flower on a high peak’
Tamaru: It’s not quite love, it’s more adulation.
Q: Shimoji-san’s got a doubtful look on her face again.
Shimoji: No no, not at all (laughs)
Tamaru: It’s a bit like watching a celebrity on a TV screen. Like having a favourite idol.
Q: What do you think of Master?
Tamaru: Master hardly spoke during our episode.
Shimoji: ‘cos we both talked too much (laughs). He was generous and seemed like the kind of Master who would exist in real life. I’d love to visit a restaurant whose owner possesses a warm voice like his.
Tamaru: I haven’t been to many places recently where the owner shouts ‘Welcome!’ to the guests.
Q: Are you referring to those luxurious restaurants where they greet you in English or French? (laughs)
Tamaru: That’s not what I mean! I was thinking of family restaurants and izakaya, places where they’d shout that automatically. It’s good to have owners who are neither too close nor too distant. Having a sense of comfort is nice.
If you were Shareef, what kind of date would you go on with Adelheid?
Q: If you were Shareef, what kind of date would you go on with Adelheid and would you confess to her?
Tamaru: I would invite her to our country and take her on a tour of beautiful scenic places. But if I were to consult Renner I’m sure that such a course would be out of the question, like “She’ll get tired if you drag her all over town!” (laughs)
Shimoji: You think I’d say that? (laughs)
Tamaru: I think you would.
Shimoji: But I do think it’s a wonderful plan. It’s your own country so you’d have a lot of affection for it and would have much to say – [Adelheid] would be able to feel that you’re a person who thinks about and reflects on his country properly.
Tamaru: Isn’t it good?
Shimoji: But you might not be able to take her around too many places (laughs)
Q: Adelheid is the Princess of the Eastern Continent so if she accepted the invitation to visit the Land of Sand all the way on the other side on the Western Continent, there might be hope after all?
Tamaru: That’s right. We are looking forward to Adelheid’s visit (laughs)
Q: Shimoji-san, if you’re Adelheid – what kind of confession would you wish to hear?
Shimoji: I’d be fine with the clichéd ones. Going to a popular date spot like the amusement park or aquarium, confessing when the mood feels romantic…
Q: What words would you like to hear?
Shimoji: Something simple like ‘I like you’ would get the point across easily.
The mysterious door connects to – one is realistic, the other is stylish!?
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?
Shimoji: My hometown in Okinawa. It’s so far away so I hardly get to go home; I’d love to be able to commute to work from home.
Tamaru: That sounds good. I’d love to go to a café. I like café latte very much and drink it almost every day, but the expenses build up if you go to nice places every time so I end up buying coffee from the convenience store to drink.
However, when I’m at home I do sometimes think ‘I wanna drink the café latte from that café’. But I give up ‘cos I’d have to take the train there, so if I had a door leading to the place I could have a cup any time during business hours. I’d probably squander a lot of money there (laughs)
Shimoji: You really do love your coffee, don’t you?
Q: Do you have any specific preferences regarding taste etc?
Tamaru: 99% of the times I drink coffee, I choose café latte. Without sugar. I like Sarutahiko Coffee. ‘cos they truly understand the flavour of beans.
Q: Shimoji-san, do you like coffee as well?
Shimoji: I’ve gradually gotten used to drinking it. I like taking mine with milk. I don’t put any sugar in either.
Tamaru: I never used to drink coffee in the past. Before I entered this industry, back when I was a college student, I didn’t like coffee or tea. But when I was thinking about getting a job it suddenly occurred to me that it might be poor business etiquette if I was asked ‘would you prefer coffee or tea’ [during meetings etc] and I couldn’t answer. To overcome that problem, I started drinking coffee and tea with milk and sugar and before I knew it I was into black [coffee].
Shimoji: Those are interesting circumstances…
Q: You do often hear about people making an effort to drink alcohol because of their drinking buddies…
Tamaru: I don’t like alcohol at all. I’m not even thinking about trying to get used to it.
Q: That’s the complete opposite of the dwarves in the A part story of this episode.
Shimoji: You’re right (laughs)
The food names they wish to adopt; both choose drinks!?
Q: Like in the series, what dish, if any, would you like to adopt as your nickname?
Shimoji: Curry Bun maybe? (laughs)
Tamaru: It’s gotta be Café Latte for me then.
Shimoji: I do like curry buns but when it comes to dish names I like the sound of Tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlets). But you’d be called that instead of your name, right? I’d like to have a cute one.
Tamaru: Hmm I’ve decided on Latte.
Shimoji: That’s hip! I’ve been drinking jasmine tea at home recently…so I’ll go for Jasmine.
A rarity to have a studio where there are side dishes available
Q: What’s the atmosphere like during recording?
Tamaru: What first surprised me as I arrived was the food available. Food that was featured in the show was placed [on the tables].
Shimoji: Before I entered the studio today I could smell the aroma of fried foods (laughs). We’re often provided with confectionery as snacks but to have fried foods and even side dishes available – it’s a very unusual and refreshing experience.
Tamaru: The staff members were editing the pork cutlet bowl episode and their take-out order of pork cutlet bowl had just arrived as well.
Shimoji: I think it’s interesting that the food provided changes depending on the content of the episode being recorded. Today we had side dishes and dessert as well.
Tamaru: I wonder if we’ll have any more lines in future?
Shimoji: I’m curious as to what [the cast] will get to eat next.
A healing work, a show that brings you closer to everyday life
Q: What is the appeal of this series?
Shimoji: It is fantasy, yet it is nothing like fantasy. You can identify with the characters and the food is something that is familiar to us. It’s just that…you have to be careful if you watch it in real-time ‘cos you could end up feeling a bit peckish (laughs)
Regardless, if you’re watching it at the end of a day you’ll feel healed by the delicious way they eat as well as by their warm smiles and I’m sure that when you see the dishes coming out you too will feel, ‘I should have that too’. It’s charming, the way the show brings you closer to everyday life.
Tamaru: When you observe depictions of alternate worlds, you frequently see food and ingredients that do not exist in real life. It might be fun to imagine, ‘What kind of taste might that have?’. In this series however, the dishes that we are familiar with and that we often eat; are being presented as food from another world and we get to see how characters are surprised by them and how they devour the food, which we can understand and identify with.
It makes you realize the delightfulness and splendour of the food that we eat on a regular basis. I do think this is a series that awakens and heightens one’s awareness of food.
Isekai Shokudo, a series that has changed my awareness of food and given me new pleasures
Q: Please leave a message for the fans as well as for those who have yet to come across the series.
Shimoji: Because of my involvement I got to taste cream soda for the first time ever – I do believe that this series that will make you think, ‘Oh I know this food but I haven’t tried it before’ or ‘Hmm I should try it out again’ regarding foods that they dislike.
You can feel the warmth of the stories; after you watch the episode you’ll be filled with tender feelings for the rest of the day, so I’ll be grateful if you could watch it to the end.
Tamaru: This is a laid-back, relaxing series that possesses the elements that managed to change my level of awareness – I hope those who have yet to see this show will give it a try. And if you eat a dish with the view that you’re eating it for the first time ever, you’ll be able to feel completely different flavours and tastes. As we enjoy watching the series, let us also enjoy our meals tremendously!