Happy holidays, and welcome to week 7 of “Up to Snuff*”. Much of the season is wrapping up this week, but a few finales could impact next week’s numbers – among them Golden Kamuy, which has been in a steel-cage death match with Gridman for the top spot all season.
In the “Hidden Gem” department, Stilts gets all homey and nurturing…
This week’s special poll asks our writers which series this season has the best soundtrack, and the results are fascinating.
We’ll see you next week with the final Up to Snuff of the season! Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s results:
* Name subject to change
Weekly Staff Poll
SSSS.Gridman – 18 (3 first-place votes)
Golden Kamuy – 14 points (2)
Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai – 14 (1)
Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken – 5
Sword Art Online: Alicization – 5
Bonus Question: Which currently-airing anime has the best BGM/soundtrack?
Sword Art Online: Alicization – 8
Double Decker! Doug & Kirill – 7 (1)
Tensei shitara Slime datta ken – 7
Golden Kamuy – 5 (1)
Karakuri Circus – 5
Goblin Slayer – 5
Stilts’ Hidden Gem: Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan
I planned to talk about Beelzebub-jou no Okinimesu mama. That’s a good show, you should watch it, it’s super fluffy and fun. But then, as I sat down after a hard day of work, I did what I’ve so often done over the past year, and wished for the gentle warmth of the Emiya home. Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan is a spin-off that could only work with a franchise like Fate/stay night. It requires the pain and drama of the original for the relaxed slice-of-life cooking episodes to level their devastating payloads. Ufotable’s delicious animation certainly helps, but it would be nothing without the inherent forlorn beauty of these fanciful glimpses into the peaceful everyday lives of characters we know will be tortured, harried, and ignominiously slaughtered in the “real” timelines. Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan is a lovely show on its own merits, it’s really well done from minute to minute and the recipes are legit (I make Tohsaka Rin-style fried rice all the time). But it’s undeniable that, without the lore and history of the Fate universe, it wouldn’t work so well. And that’s why it’s beautiful. These characters deserve this simple happiness, and I yearn to live it with them. It’s healing anime of a different sort; not healing of the day’s trials, but of the wounds inflicted by its predecessor. It heals nonetheless. Enjoy this last burst of sunlight before Heaven’s Feel subsumes all, and remember it when the darkness comes. We’ll need it where we’re going, as will these characters, even if the main timelines will deny it of them. We’ll remember the warmth of Emiya’s kitchen even more fondly then, and the simple kindness that infused its walls.