OP Sequence

OP: 「マリーゴールド」 (Marigold) by orange pekoe
Watch the OP! Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼

Episode 1


21-year-old Nicoletta is in Rome to visit the popular restaurant that’s owned by her mother Olga’s husband. This restaurant is interesting because all of the people who work there are older gentlemen who wear reading glasses, and Nicoletta later learns that it’s due to the request of her mother. Regardless, she is here because her mother left her with her grandmother when she was young in order to get remarried, and Nicoletta is plotting to expose the fact that her mother is once-divorced. Her mother, however, convinces her to put that off until later and has her instead pretend to be the daughter of a friend. While at the restaurant, the head cameriere Claudio catches Nicoletta’s eye, and she runs into him again the next day on the street. He invites her to the restaurant again to eat with the other staff, and this time Nicoletta gets to know everyone: camerieres Luciano and Vito, sommelier Gigi, and chefs Teo and Furio. She also finds out that Claudio wears a wedding band. Nicoletta later moves into an apartment that her mother prepared for her, and inside she finds a teddy bear with a welcome note from her mother.

Episode 2


With nowhere else to go, Nicoletta continues to hang out with the restaurant staff, and she’s getting more and more interested in Claudio. She also knows that she has to get a job, and while thinking about it one day, she runs into Luciano and his grandson. The three are joined by Gigi and eat a meal together that’s cooked by Nicoletta, but neither Gigi nor Luciano want to tell her anything about Claudio. Undeterred, Nicoletta gets an opportunity to be with Claudio when he walks her home on a rainy day, and she finds out that he’s not actually married right now. He’s been separated from his wife for a number of years, and the ring he wears is just to ward off potential pursuers. Unable to control herself, Nicoletta makes a move on Claudio when they reach her apartment, and although he doesn’t put up much of a resistance other than to say he can’t do this, they are interrupted by the arrival of Nicoletta’s mother.

Olga doesn’t want Nicoletta with Claudio and suggests that she return to her grandmother’s place to think about her future. On that topic, Nicoletta remembers how she had cooked earlier for Luciano and the others, so she proposes a deal where she keeps the fact that she’s her mother’s daughter secret in exchange for an apprenticeship at the restaurant. Her mother agrees, so Nicoletta starts working there. As for Claudio, Nicoletta apologizes to him for what she did, and although she asserts that she’s still serious about him, her focus now is on cooking. That night, Nicoletta learns that Claudio’s ex-wife Gabriella is there, and she leaves the kitchen to get a peek at the woman. Nicoletta later accidentally overhears a discussion outside the restaurant between Gabriella and Claudio about him still wearing the ring, and Gabriella leaves after spotting her. All this leads Nicoletta to wonder if Claudio still loves his wife.

ED Sequence

ED: 「ステキな果実 」 (Suteki na Kajitsu) by コミネリサ (Komine Lisa)
Watch the ED! Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Show Spoiler ▼

I don’t have much to say about the opening or ending songs other than that they’re both nice in the easy-listening sort of way, but not really memorable. The dancing teddy bear in the ED was cute though.

Fuji TV aired the first two episodes of this yesterday (because of that, there’s no new episode next week), and it turned out to be better than what I expected. The animation quality is decent, Orikasa Fumiko does a good job voicing the main character, and it’s not slow or boring to watch like I thought it might be. In fact, airing two episodes might have worked in their favor in this case because I found the second episodes to be much more interesting than the first. That’s probably due in no small part to how the romance aspect of the series picked up pace with the scene where Nicoletta forces herself on Claudio (the words date rape crossed my mind) and with the appearance of Claudio’s ex-wife. As a side note, all these Italian names and character interactions for whatever reason made me feel like I was talking about a trashy romance novel when I was writing the summary.

Anyway, I didn’t find Ristorante Paradiso to be amazingly great, but it’s a nice slice-of-life romance for those of you who might be looking for a series without magic, mecha, or a ton of girls. As for me, this ends up being one of those series that I mostly like but don’t know whether I want to follow it weekly, so whether or not I continue watching/blogging this depends a lot on how busy the rest of my schedule is.


  1. The genre is ‘fujoshi’ lol. I’m glad some people can write a review of the ep without being creeped out (I couldn’t) and yes, date rape was all over my mind. I feel like she’s taking advantage of him being an effeminate old dude!!! (The word ‘aging queen’ as used in Scrubs comes to mind.

  2. I’ll definitely be following this one. It looks like this will be all about the characterization. I also don’t find romance between a younger woman/older man creepy since it’s incredibly common in real life. I’ve actually gone out with a man who was 15 years older than me.

  3. It’s a nice, quiet series that has a good Bartender-ish vibe to it with almost the same sense of calm and serenity. Still not quite as classy nor is the art amazing (I didn’t like the character designs, especially Nicoletta), but the music is pretty good.

  4. I’ve already read the manga and it’s sequel.

    Will definitely be following the anime. I tend to like the light, seinen slice-of-life type stories.

    Thanks for blogging this, Omni. I didn’t even realize there was an anime of this. I must have missed it when I was skimming through the season preview page.


  5. Claudio is like 200 years old, but he’s so moe that many other characters can only dream of being like this. lol. totally cute when he said, he couldn’t do it.
    I’m already addicted to this anime, I really want the 3rd EPICsode. 😀

  6. I have seen it already, and it is really good. Better than I expected even after I read your blog and had quite a high expectation. It is so rare to find an anime about life that is truly about characterization with no wacky plot, no exaggerate humor and character, and no moe (unless you happen to be someone with a fetish for old men wearing glasses… Like me, but when I watch the show, I actually think less about that and was entertained by the actual plot) This seems like a pretty good season with this anime, Eden of the East (which is a bit wacky, but still has the same kind of appeals) and Cross Game. I know Basquash and K-On is pretty fun and I did enjoy them, but somehow I start to find this kind of shows much more appealing… I wonder is it because I have started to grow a bit tired with all the moe, action, and all those kind of things?


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