Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Anime First Impressions: Ristorante Paradiso

Before I proceed, let it be known that I never liked harem anime of any sort, be it the conventional harem or a reverse one. There are two exceptions though: Kyou Kara Maoh and this one, Ristorante Paradiso.

(...I'd like to explain why my exceptions are a bit...well, strange, but that's besides the point.)


Here's the gist: A young woman named Nicoletta searches for her estranged mother, and finds herself in a popular restaurant in Rome, staffed by a group of bespectacled, older gentlemen who, despite their age, seem to attract a number of fans of the female persuation.

I have to confess that I couldn't help but cringe while writing the above paragraph. But no, this isn't the same cringe as the Dragonball Evolution-type of cringe. Rather, this is a cringe of guilt. As in "this is horribly wrong but I like it so much" cringe.


Ristorante Paradiso's characters are well thought-out and the cast makes for a promising brand of interaction. There's spunky, impatient Nicoletta and her seemingly self-serving mother, Olga, who tries hard to make things appear A-OK to her husband all the while trying to patch things up with daughter in the most roundabout way possible thanks to her (typical) womanly pride.

Of course, the central characters - the gentlemanly staff of the restaurtant whose Italian name escapes me - are as interesting as your usual reverse harem cast of males, and a lot more.


But nevermind the entire restaurant staff, most viewers are interested with Nicoletta and the elderly waiter she's crushing on, Claudio. It's that one facet of the show that can potentially overshadow a lot of other things going on in the series. The producers know this fact very well too: the preview for Episode 2 already shows an aroused Nicoletta struggling to (gasp) undress a shocked yet submissive Claudio. Yes, cue another guilty cringe coming.

I'd like to rave more about it, but suffice it to say that the series kicked-off nicely. Sharing the same smooth, silky ambience of Bartender, Ristorante Paradiso may very well be that one guilty pleasure that merits a space in the typical anime viewer's hard drive, but never quite show off to other enthusiasts.

1 comments:

Tangerine said...

Hmmm...interesting! I'll go and check this out when I have teh time. ^^ Anyway, have you watched Nodame Cantabile Live action! It's spanking awesome! :D!

-Yvie