What’s the show? Ms Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles, Episode 8.
Ah, another single episode review, huh? Too great to wait ‘til the end of the season to talk about it? Not quite, while I’m apparently the only person who actually really likes this show, the episode itself wasn’t a standout in terms of quality but rather it did something interesting worthy of a discussion.
Right, so let’s back up a bit and give some context, what’s the show about? It’s about high school girl Koizumi-san and her impossibly deep love, affection and dare I say all consuming obsession for ramen noodles. It’s also about Yu Osawa, and her impossibly deep love, affection and dare I say all consuming obsession for Koizumi-san.
So it’s a? Maybe a slice of life? I’m not sure; it’s not consistently funny enough that I would call it a comedy. And Yu’s infatuation with Koizumi is very one-sided, so it’s not a Yuri or Romance. I think it’s safe to just call it a food slice of life anime until it develops an actual concrete genre.
So what’s happened on the show up until episode 8? Lots of food porn. Lots of girls eating food and getting hot and bothered about it.
Like Food Wars “hot and bothered”? Not quite, no clothes come flying off on this show, it’s very grounded, well save for Yu, who over the episodes we’ve seen progresses from school girl crush to almost stalker levels of obsession.
And how’s the show treat this behaviour? It’s a source of almost all of the shows jokes, which for some people might be a reason not to watch the show. Though in Yu’s favour, she’s never creepy about it, and she states her intentions to follow Koizumi from ramen store to ramen store. If Koizumi did ever feel threatened by Yu, she’d have no problem standing up for herself, and Yu would probably back off… probably… At the moment Koizumi doesn’t really acknowledge Yu’s presence, in fact she’s friendlier with Yu’s other two friends, which I think is an important bit of characterisation.
Who are they? Misa and Jun, popular fashion type girl and nerdy bookworm type girl respectively.
So I think that gives us enough context about the show, what makes episode 8 particularly interesting? Well the first half of the episode plays out like pretty much every other episode does, Koizumi goes to a ramen place, one of the three girls ends up tagging along for whatever reason, Koizumi goes into a long spiel about whatever type of ramen they’re eating then the two girls eat said ramen while blushing and moaning. There’s always a bit of character development thrown in so it’s not just watching girls slurp noodles, but, well… yeah it’s almost entirely that every time.
And the second half? Suddenly hot boys!
Right, can’t say I saw that coming. Who are they? Well save for the dark-haired one on the right who’s Shu, Yu’s older brother, the others are all new characters. Shu appeared briefly at the start of Episode 6 and got entranced by Koizumi’s beauty as she passed him on the street. But having an entire half of an episode completely focused on four different characters, and male ones at that was so unexpected and genuinely refreshing. Within minutes their characters archetypes are established and you want to see more of them and hopefully have them interact with the four girls in future episodes.
Four girls, four boys. Are we assuming the show is lining them up to be love interests? Maybe. I mean, I will admit a passing sadness for the idea of Koizumi and Yu not getting together, but if the show does go the whole romance route I wouldn’t be opposed. It’s just hard to think how a show that’s been so food-centric will suddenly pivot into another genre. Granted, the boys only talked about food too, so it’s not like I’m expecting a massive upheaval it’s just interesting to think where it will go.
And you’re not bothered about a bunch of as you put it “hot boys” appearing in your otherwise clear broth of cute girls. Well it’s not a ramen without meat!
You could have also said “noodles”. I could have also said noodles, yes, that would also have been correct and a sufficient innuendo for penis.
Thanks for explaining the joke. But really, why so okay with it, I’m just surprised as all? Well, at the risk of sounding shallow, the girls on this show aren’t that cute, I mean in comparison to other shows I’m watching, don’t get me wrong still cute in the context of this show, but those boys are hot.
Should I be asking who is ‘best boy’ instead of ‘best girl’? Hahaha. Totally long fringe purple hair boy on the end, his voice is so deep.
I was kidding, but thanks. Should I be worried about you? It’s fine. I’m just excited something different is happening in this show. I was a bit worried it would go stale if it didn’t shake things up, so hopefully they continue with this!
If you were starting to feel like it could go stale why keep watching? Because I think it’s a good show, it could be nostalgia for when I visited Japan clouding my vision; I love seeing all the attention to detail in the ramen shops. It just gives me such a warm feeling watching this show, almost like all those bowls of ramen I ate over there.
That’s fair enough. Plus it’s not like there haven’t been glimmers of hope for some more interesting plot developments. Yu cooks Ramen for Koizumi at her house in episode 3, Koizumi helps a little German girl who gets lost in episode 6 which reveals her softer side plus the aforementioned brief encounter with Yu’s brother. But this episode marks a paradigm shift into some real potential for drama, can you imagine how Yu would react if her brother started dating the object of her obsession!
Drama indeed! So final recommendation? If you’ve already dropped this show this season, perhaps this will be enough to get you to come back? If not I totally understand, it’s a very niche show and I can understand why some people would get bored of it. Either way I’m happy that things are starting to progress towards something different and look forward to the remaining episodes!