Posted on 23 April 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Short Synopsis: Nicoletta tells Claudio about her mother.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Good)
I’m really not sure what’s up with this show’s tendency to spoil the biggest plot twists of every next episode but for some strange reason it works pretty well. Since this is a series that’s much more about the characters, rather than these fancy plot twists, which are only there in order to get the best out of the characters. In this episode for example, the most important thing wasn’t for Nicoletta to tell Claudio how the girlfriend of the owner is her own mother, but rather how the two of them start to gradually understand each other, and realize that they’re actually quite similar.

But really, this episode was good stuff, and I’m glad to say that the first three episodes of Ristorante have some of the most solid characters of the season. The advantage it has is that since it’s only 11 episodes, it can’t really waste any time building up like most of the other shows this season: while most of the other shows still have three months to go before they can get to the real meat of the story, RisPara is already there, and like Genji Monogatari in the previous season, it’s a very consistent romance show, although in comparison, the focus of RisPara lies more at the characters, when compared to the storytelling that was central in Genji Monogatari.

It’s obviously not a show for everyone, but you have to appreciate that finally we have a show in which the average age of the characters lies above thirty (perhaps even above forty). I can only think of two other anime who achieved the same: Real Drive (simply because two characters were in their eighties) and Millennium Actress.

It’s interesting how Nicoletta finally got a proper talk with her mother in this episode, and yet the two of them got along pretty easily, rather than Nicoletta trying to scratch her mother’s eyes out and it’s interesting how Olga even was worried about Nicoletta going after Claudio, and in the end she even encouraged her. Olga herself was immediately taken in by Lorenzo, and apparently that feeling came from both sides.

It’s also interesting how Claudio and Gabriella split up over a pretty trivial reason: her work became busier and in the end they got into a fight about a misunderstanding, and so they broke up, even though they seem to have settled their differences by now and are not in love anymore.

In any case, I’m glad to have stuck with this series. At one point I considered dropping this show from blogging instead of Natsu no Arashi, but looking back now, the latter is much more a show where you shut up and watch, and even though it’s probably the most underrated show of the season, I don’t think that there would have been much to say about it aside from that. The director of RisPara has a knack of getting the best out of short 13-episode series, and it’s a very interesting effect to see him dealing with a slow-paced romance show, instead of a suspenseful thriller or extremely sad wartime romance. He’s definitely able to show the best side of the original source material this way in only eleven episodes.

5 Responses

  1. schneider says:

    Hey, nice post. My favorite aspect of this show is the character relationships. Nicoletta and Olga alone are pretty complex in their own right. I’d love to see what happens in the future.

    I’ll be watching this episode shortly. :D

  2. smallDetails says:

    There really aren’t enough shows with older main characters, and since you seem to like this one so much, I’ll have to check it out. From how you’re describing the characters, it sounds like a show I’d enjoy.

    Also, I know you’re probably very busy, but there’s a show that it doesn’t seem like you’ve seen yet on my fave list, called Kurau: Phantom Memory. It’s sci-fi, the main character is a young woman (which is why this post reminded me of it), and has a nice balance between action and character-development. It also has some nice themes that address touchy topics.

  3. blergh says:

    Thanks again for dropping Natsu no Arashi even though you think it’s quite underrated and said previously that you’d rather support those shows that could really use more support. Obviously something everyone and their brother is blogging (the FMA remake) qualifies perfectly.

  4. psgels says:

    Blergh: I really wish that I could satisfy everyone on this blog, but unfortunately that’s a bit impossible. Dropping FMA seemed like a good idea at the time, but a few days later I realized that I just have too many things that I want to say about that show, when compared to Natsu no Arashi. I really wish that I could also make some room to write up thoughts on Natsu no Arashi, but my time unfortunately isn’t endless, and I’m already blogging so many shows at this point.

  5. blergh says:

    Yeah well, I wouldn’t care that much if you
    1. hadn’t started it already
    2. hadn’t said you’d rather give support to shows that need it
    3. hadn’t said it’s underrated as it is

    btw it doesn’t make sense to explain this with both “I don’t have much to say” and “I don’t have time to say it”, because if there’s not much to say, time shouldn’t be much of an issue if you watch it anyway. Well whatever, it’s not like I can make you blog it.

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  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:23 PM)
    The only time they ever get along seems to be during non-canon alternate universes made for fanservice, official or not.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:21 PM)
    Erm, no. They didn’t “get along” so much as Sayaka at least sympathized nicely with her. At least, until the end, when she basically swore never to sympathize with her again. XDDD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:20 PM)
    Another interesting point is that the character relations are pretty fluid, too. Characters can act differently toward each other in different timelines/potential futures. Rebellion actually solidifies Homura’s consistent feelings toward Mami and also that Sayaka just cannot seem to be on good terms with Homura… but even then, for a while, they got along pretty well until the end. XD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:17 PM)
    Madoka’s characterization seems pretty non-linear and only show up when necessary, so it’s definitely easy to see that they’re “dependent on the plot,” but there’s a ton of stuff there to piece the characters together into something coherent and solid.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:55 AM)
    Madoka’s characters act pretty confusingly? I never got that. I always felt there actions were pretty logical in the first viewing.
    Though a second viewing of anything can help. Mostly because you know the main story so you can focus on the little details.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:27 AM)
    If anyone wants me to ask any specific questions, let me know. Funny enough, people are saying the same thing I’ve been saying for a long time–that multiple viewings help us understand the characters better. Because a lot of characters DO act pretty confusing at first, but upon a second viewing, after we know more about them, those actions make complete sense. Meaning that Madoka’s characterization is not linear.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:20 AM)
    Thankfully, derailment usually doesn’t happen with serious topics like this, so it’ll probably just die down over time when there are plenty of great answers and not a lot more to say, or go on for a very long time if there are a disparity in perspectives from different people.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:17 AM)
    On a very, very interesting note, I just asked one of the small communities of respectable Madoka fans to sit down and think with me about the potential flaws of characterization and development in Madoka, or why they may be perceived as flaws. I’m getting a lot of well-thought-out answers, so when the thread starts to die down (or derail, which hasn’t happened yet), maybe I’ll share the link here.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:15 AM)
    @Kenjeran: I keep hearing that Up has a really emotionally engaging short intro or insert or something. I STILL haven’t seen it yet, but that might be a potential example.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 08:36 AM)
    I must say Daimidalar, the breast grabbing/groping really bothered me actually in that one that I wouldn’t watch it.

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