Monday, February 07, 2011

Shinya Shokudo

 Shinya Shokudo is a show that has been recommended a few times by Jung and others in the comments and I finally got around the watching it. Shinya Shokudo means midnight restaurant and it is an eatery that opens from 12am to seven in the morning. The owner of the place is not given a name but is only referred to as Master and he has a scar running across his left eye.

 The only things on the menu are traditional tonjiru, beer and sochu. What sets this shinya shokudo apart from other places is that Master will cook anything else that is requested as long as he has the ingredients. The way the story works is that each customer has their own preferred dish and there is a story behind why they keep requesting the same food. At the end of each episode, the guest character will also give a tip about preparing their favourite food.

The first episode starts off with a story about a yakuza boss and his love for wieners. Something happens to the yakuza boss but nothing really happens after that and I'm wondering whether the people who recommended Shinya Shokudo were smoking weed while watching it. The second episode turned out to be a very nice short story about an enka singer. Forgot to mention that the episodes are 25 minutes so the storytelling has to be efficient.

Third episode was about the Ochazuke sisters. It was an ok but scary story about female friendship but I guess it was necessary since their are pretty important supporting characters. The series really picks up in the fourth episode with a story about a legendary AV actor and his apprentice The story has nothing really to do with AV but its freaking awesome. Someone needs to make a midnight dorama about the AV industry whether it be a comedy or drama because there's so many types of interesting storylines to do.

I get so hungry just looking at this.

Fifth episode is the butter rice story, which is beautifully written but OMFG, I so want some butter rice, except I can't be bothered cooking. I think I might get some take away rice tomorrow. I'm tempted to put a lot more butter and shoyu on it though. Oh yeah, don't watch this dorama on an empty stomach. Even if you are full like I was, make sure you have food nearby cause I just had to go out and get some supper midway through the series.

Sixth episode is the newspaper guy and idol story and at this point I'm thinking if they can just sustain the quality of the stories, this would be a must watch series. Suffice to say it really does all the way until the last episode. The last episode goes back and continues the story from the first episode. Its ok but lacks the emotional oomph from the most of the episodes, probably to make way for the ending which is very incomplete. We never get an explanation for Odagiri Joe's character and we are only given a hint as to the cause of Master's scar.

The main thought that I had at the end of Shinya Shokudo was that I want season 2! Out of 10 stories, I would say 7 are pretty good and that's a pretty good success rate. Shinya Shokudo is basically a very relaxing story about food and the meaning certain food to different people. Its a collection of wonderfully written short stories about human relations and I really got to like the characters throughout the series, even the Ochazuke Sisters and their constant nee~~~~s. Thanks for recommending me this show and to WithS2 for subbing this beautiful series. Perhaps when I next go to Japan I should wander around the alleys of Shinjuku to find this magical Shina Shokudo and get Master to cook me that stamina meal.

Jadefrost wrote a very nice summary for a few series this season here.


Jung said...

**** yeah~ you finally saw it. Hopefully this will convince more people to give it a try. Well, at least those who've outgrown big-budget mainstream shows like Suppli, Densha, Hotaru, Love and Farm would surely enjoy it.

Keep your expectation low on the butter rice. Rather than more butter, you'll probably want more soy sauce on it! Maybe using French imported President's butter will help?! Actually, just make sure you're totally famished, and it will taste really good. lolz...

Anyway, besides the awesome tonjiru cooking in the opening sequence, I adore endings where characters come out of their roles, and give cooking tips to the viewers. Crazy! I especially loved the ending for ep6 where our master cooked chicken katsudon!

Anonymous said...

How did you know I was smoking while watching this? *suspicious eyes*

If you do manage to visiti Shinya Shokudo, so send my regards to Erecto Ohki and his awesome potato salad. Thank you!

Awesome line: Erecto Ohki is our God, Rin Rin is our Goddess

Akiramike said...

How could I have forgotten to mention the name Erecto Ohki in the review?!! The name absolutely rules.

maiku said...

Great series, thanks for the rec. I enjoyed the loose storytelling and old Tokyo feel. Reminded me of Haikei, Chichiue-sama.

Man, I wish someone would write a good drama recommendation app. Maybe choose a few shows, themes, actors, writers, etc., and get a list of related dramas back. Similar to what Netflix does. There must be dozens of shows that slip through the cracks.

Musouka said...

Great review. Gotta check this drama out.

I find your reviews to be well written and your taste in dramas similar to mine (and *finally* I found someone who doesn't like AYASE Haruka as well. I don't know what many people see in her).

I haven't watched that many dramas but have seen many Japanese movies. My favorite Japanese drama got to be Tokyo Tower (2007). Check it out when you have time.

For movies, try Warai no Daigaku (2004). Then again, I'm partial to INAGAKI Goro or YAJUSHI Kouji :-)