OP: 「FEELING AROUND」 by Suzuki Minori
「ヤサイマシニンニクカラメ / まーゆ / こってり」 (Yasai Mashi Ninniku Karame / Maayu / Kotteri)
“Garlic with Extra Vegetables / Maayu / Rich”
With one of the first of many weekly food anime kicking off this week, one question we should consider is “How long should these be?”. Although some have been able to work with a half hour duration, especially ones with a shounen basis like Shokugeki no Souma, others have a hard time concocting a story out of a premise of eating and learning about food. The first season of Dagashi Kashi can attest to the idea that you could have a show about sweets run that long if the personalities of the main characters can help carry it. But many have caught on to how pleasant food anime can be when it’s in short spurts like Wakakozake, Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte Kara, and the upcoming Dagashi Kashi 2. Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san opted to go the half-hour route, but it becomes evident with the first episode that it works much better as an 11 page manga chapter than 24 minutes of 3 chapters at once
To bring Dagashi Kashi back into the fold, the first season ran with a similar idea; adapt several chapters in one episode because the material per chapter is shorter. However, the characters of Dagashi Kashi were intriguing with Hotaru’s eccentricities and devious mischief as well as Saya’s curiosity about dagashi and her love for Kokonatsu developing along the way. With Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san, the main two characters you follow are Yuu, a girl so obsessed with Koizumi that she stalks her and forces her way into her life, and Koizumi, a girl who only loves ramen and refuses to be friends with anybody. It is exhausting to see the Koizumi act unpleasant about anything that isn’t ramen, and Yuu not getting the hint that Koizumi wants nothing to do with her.
Yuu’s friends are much more interesting as they have some of the better chapters in the series. Misa, the popular cute girl, is jealous of how much neglect she’s been getting from Yuu once Koizumi came along only to later learn that her and Koizumi have more in common than it seems. Jun, the bespectacled girl forced to endure Yuu and Misa’s clashing personalities, has a particularly interesting arc where we learn why she has been iffy about eating ramen, and it is actually sweet once you get to the resolution.
And who could forget the main attraction; the ramen! The half hour angle does make it all the more apparent that there is a predictable pattern with most chapters having Koizumi ordering ramen and giving out fun facts while someone follows her against her wishes. However, the ramen facts themselves are enlightening for those who are fascinated with the world of ramen. Koizumi is informative of many aspects of the meal that she teaches Yuu such as how the sauce and broth are two different factors that determine the flavor of the soup, how rich the soup can be, the method some places have you order ramen through machine selections, and toppings like Maayu, the blackened garlic sauce that is peppered onto the school lunch ramen.
Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san is an engaging anime that teaches you well about how ramen is prepared, and what makes it so delicious. The only problem is that it has a hard time justifying the length, and had a bad habit of overstaying its welcome within the first episode. It didn’t help that the personalities of Yuu and Koizumi are much easier to handle when you have short intervals of time with them. It’s not a show that would change too drastically with time, but it should be a nice show to watch if you want to feel hungry afterwords. If you’re expecting Yuu and Koizumi to mellow down or be less abrasive, you unfortunately might be hungry for more than the ramen.
ED: 「LOVE MEN HOLIC」 by Nishizawa Shiena