Pick an anime, any anime. Odds are it's either set in Japan, and features Japanese characters, or is set in some exotic neverland where Japan doesn't exist any more than any of the rest of our world does. But what of an anime that is set in today's world, in a country that's not Japan, and doesn't feature a single Japanese character? Such is the case with Ristorante Paradiso (compare prices), the subject of our latest review.
Set in Rome in the modern day, Ristorante Paradiso is an animated adaptation of Natsume Ono's manga -- she of the also-excellent House of Five Leaves, which was set in the Japan of the 1800s.
In this story, Ono gives us the story of twenty-something Nicoletta, who's come to Rome to engineer a bit of revenge on the mother who dumped her when she was a kid. Mom had designs on marrying a man who didn't want women already trailing children, and Nicoletta's tracked both of them to the restaurant that he owns and where both of them are seen nightly. But then the atmosphere of the place gives Nicoletta second thoughts, and soon she's working alongside the rest of the kitchen crew to both put delicious cuisine on the table and learn something about her fellow co-workers ... and herself.
Ristorante Paradiso is one of the first new offerings from Nozomi Entertainment's Lucky Penny sublabel, "dedicated to high-quality and budget-friendly releases of anime fan favorites and niche titles." Other titles from them slated to be released include Hyakko and Aoi Hana.
Check out our full review of Ristorante Paradiso.
Image: Ristorante Paradiso, courtesy Pricegrabber.