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Ristorante Paradiso – Short and Sweet

Nicoletta is officially part of the casetta dell’orso family!


In my ongoing attempt to finish up the shows I’ve been watching and get into the new summer ones, I finally got around to watching the last episode of Ristorante Paradiso. And with that, I have to say that it was a lot better than I was expecting. Omni blogged the first couple of episodes a while back and as I sort of expected, the series didn’t appeal to a lot of people. As strange as it may sound, that alone made me more inclined to check it out for myself because, well, I like to be a trendsetter. Well not really (because that requires effort and I’m lazy), but the premise of the show sounded so different from your usual anime “rinse and repeat” formula with teenage characters, super powers, mechs, and all sorts of crazy stuff.

Instead (of your usual crap), we have a story about a young woman who heads to Rome to find her estranged mother and meets a bunch of intriguing OLDER men working at a restaurant there. That’s right, OLDER men! (…and women too I might add!) I know that might not sound all that interesting, but the series manages to cover a lot of story and showcase a lot of character intricacies in its short eleven episode run. The ending was pretty sweet too, in the sappy kind of way. While I enjoyed the series throughout, the ending itself made everything much better by giving off a good sense of closure.

Anyway, Ristorante Paradiso is still probably targeted towards the older crowd (which I guess I’m a part of now), so if you fit that bill and are looking for something different, you may want to check it out. To those who have seen it already, let me know what you think!

(Streaming episodes with official English subtitles can be found on CrunchyRoll here.)

July 4, 2009 at 1:44 am
  • July 4, 2009 at 1:49 amAndré

    This anime was pretty good, with really interesting caracters (all of them).

    But it was too short. I would like to see the development of romance between Nicoletta and that guy.

  • July 4, 2009 at 2:02 ambravejaf

    Yeah the series stands out from other shows thanks to the older characters and the European setting. While I can’t proclaim the show as one of the year’s best it certainly was worth the time I invested in watching it.

  • July 4, 2009 at 2:42 amYuri Rocks

    I agree that I enjoyed this show a little bit more than I was expecting. I really enjoyed the emphasis on how Nicoletta becomes part of the family at dell’orso, and her developing relationship with Claudio. Other than that, all the characters were pretty likeable. Vito and Furio were charming, Luciano and Teo were gruff yet meant well, and Gigi was the comic relief (C’mon he’s sitting with a beautiful woman, and all he does is stuff his face?)

    Have there been any rumors on the web regarding whether there will be a sequel?

  • July 4, 2009 at 2:50 amNellie

    I love this one. The characterization was wonderfully done and I felt that that was the most important aspect of Ristorante Paradiso.

  • July 4, 2009 at 4:12 amChimasternmay

    How about i do this, ill put this on my PLAN TO WATCH list and watch it when i get older in like 10 years yeah. cuz i just don’t like the all old people setting to the anime. its messes with my head right now. lol. but ill watch it, someday.

  • July 4, 2009 at 4:18 amMeiyi

    Awesome anime! Really different from your normal dosage. Art and music was really well done. It was short but they ended with a good feeling that made you think about rewatching the last episode(or at least I did). I thought it was kinda funny how the ending credits was blocking all the characters but Nicoletta.

  • July 4, 2009 at 4:47 amBROOKLYN otaku

    OLdER MEN??? AND OOOLDER WOmEN”SSSS???? oooooOOOOOH ,..excuse me while i change my adult undergarment. *Velcro separating sound*… but seriously.”opinion” it was okay, thats it, just okay, as far as cooking/slice of life stuff goes. NEXT

  • July 4, 2009 at 4:49 amShounen A

    I found it to be really excellent, although this might just be because I’m not among the younger anime watchers. On the other hand, I’ve been told I’m not all that mature …

  • July 4, 2009 at 7:41 am76designs

    I really enjoyed this series, although when I initially started watching it I was totally put off by it, not even finishing the first episode. I didn’t really have a good reason for it either. But I gave it a second chance and found myself liking it a lot. I don’t know if I am still a part of the younger anime watchers at 21, but the whole feel was refreshing. It had that Nodame Cantabile setting which I really appreciate now compared to a majority of anime out there. The characters were likable and I really enjoyed Nicoletta’s lighthearted “love/hate” relationship with her mother.

  • July 4, 2009 at 7:55 amR

    I liked this, specially the end. When I begun to watch, I found that it had lost a little of momentum by the 5th, 6th episode… but then it begun again to “return to the story”.

    What I’m trying to say is, in some point, it took the “slice-of-life” factor so strong I thought it was going to nowhere! But by the end they solve all the weak points. First anime josei that I watched, and I liked it.

    Recommended for a marathon.

    Ah, and I don’t know we’ll have a second season. They used all the manga’s volumes done until now in this adaptation, “Ristorante Paradiso” and “Gente”.

  • July 4, 2009 at 11:02 amg0rth0r

    I’m still at episode 6, but can’t wait to finish it. It is indeed a very good anime; ambiance speaking, I think it is my favorite show of this season.

  • July 4, 2009 at 11:21 amSplash

    I was surprised to find I liked this series as well. It really reminded me of Aria. No monsters, mechas, or even beautiful women. The women on this show were either pretty plain or even fugly. Kinda like real life. If you liked this series I suggest you look for Aria The Origination (I think its called).

    Aria tells the story of a bunch of girls that work in a city on another planet that is very similar to Venice in Italy. The girls work for 3 companies driving gondolas for tourists. Like Ristorante here the story is about the characters and how they interact with each other.

  • July 4, 2009 at 11:29 amnaixil

    i loved this anime! and i love all the older men in it too. but then again, i’m more inclined towards my older men than most women are too. and i refuse to say it’s because of my age. haha.

    and being a lover of “slice-of-life” series, this one fits everything i would love about them. the setting is slow, but not draggy, and u get to know more about different characters in each episode. especially loved the Gigi and Lorenzo back-story.

    it’ll be great if there ever were a 2nd season, but from previous comments, seems like they’re all out of material.

  • July 4, 2009 at 2:27 pmVera

    I actually found the last episode a bit rushed compared to the rest, but all in all I liked the series. The older men were quite an interesting element in it.

  • July 4, 2009 at 2:41 pmnapen

    the show was dreamy.

  • July 4, 2009 at 5:15 pmLQY

    Well, I hope Working!! can be animated.

  • July 5, 2009 at 12:08 amEri

    I love this anime! I am just waiting for the rest of the episodes that Frostii will be releasing. Hehe.

  • July 5, 2009 at 1:51 amyukino

    I’m so glad to find out that there are ppl out there who love this show :D
    THe artwork is considerably better than the manga, and I loved all of the characters.
    I really liked the calm atmosphere in this anime…too bad next season there won’t be anything interesting as this.

  • July 5, 2009 at 5:20 ammillenomi

    Irony: Italians can’t see it on Crunchyroll.

    Oh, well, we always have RAW-o-VISION™.

  • July 5, 2009 at 5:33 pmR

    “I really liked the calm atmosphere in this anime…too bad next season there won’t be anything interesting as this.”

    Try Aoi Hana. Same feeling, but GL (instead of May-December romance).

  • July 5, 2009 at 10:01 pmdt

    > The women on this show were either pretty plain or even fugly. Kinda like real life.
    UGH! They looked so damn strung out and tired-looking. Especially Nicoletta – she’s the ugliest of all even though she was the youngest. My non-anime-watching girlfriend freaking loves this show. Especially the guy who has that lump in his cheek like he’s performing a BJ.

  • July 5, 2009 at 10:43 pmJustin Olbrantz (Quantam)

    Ehh. When I looked at the preview I marked this series as one to try out (it sounded like it could potentially be good). So, I watched the first episode; that led me to decide that I wasn’t going to watch anymore. A few weeks later (when I’d run out of other anime to watch and needed something new) I tried watching the second episode to see whether it would change my previous conclusion; it didn’t.

    I suppose there’s room to argue that it gets better, but I really couldn’t stomach the… stuff [insert other terms here]… in what I saw.

  • July 5, 2009 at 11:21 pmKarisu

    Excellent and horribly unappreciated show. I enjoyed it very much! Was nice to have a change in pace from your normal run of the mill anime.

  • July 6, 2009 at 1:54 pmyatsushiro

    It was really good. (By the way, I’m also a fan of Aria here!)

    I didn’t expect that this show will turn out to be good than I expected before selecting my lineup for the spring season.

    As for the summer season, there were a few good shows worth checking out. How I wish I can stumble into something similar like this.

  • July 6, 2009 at 3:02 pmHachiko

    I enjoyed this anime very much :)

  • July 6, 2009 at 10:10 pmMegas

    This show was excellent. Nearly perfect. I’m saying that with the notion that I hate flashbacks. The 15yr flashbacks were just about as good as it gets. They didn’t consume entire episodes & they were skillfully tied into the present plot.

    Maybe I’m just a sucker for “slice of life” anime. But I really do get tired of having to peer into super shoujo/shounen anime every darn season. I especially loved this one cause I wathed the whole thing without appearing like I dropped off the face of the earth. Hidden gems like this are a godsend when being drowned in a sea of bloody garbage.