Posted by psgels 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 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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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:28 AM)
    @Emma: yeah you’ll most likely enjoy it. On the surreàl scale it lies somewhere between Birdman and Holy Mountain, so although it’s peppered with symbolic imagery and thematic shots it’s still a personal story about a man’s struggle when faced with his own demise. Although a lofty statement, this is in my onion philip seymour hoffman’s best performance, and his untimely death adds another incredibly rich level of nuance to this movie.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:20 AM)
    @Bam: Adaption, Nicholas Cage =< a guilty pleasure actor to watch for the most part and little more.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:12 AM)
    @Bam: The more you mentiom Synecdoche, the more interested I get. Malcovich was a creative idea for a film and Eternal sunshine was a good spin on the romance genre which gave Jim Carrey a film worth acting in.
    Riki-oh if anything is just a heck of alot of fun.

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