Another food/dining/eating show, this is also a fabulous example of a genuine ‘nothing’ show, as nothing really, really happens and it takes 12 episodes for this to spool out. Although called “Koufuku Graffiti”, it is also known as “Gourmet Girl Graffiti” or “Happy Cooking Graffiti”. It started out life as a 4-toma, as the pacing of the episodes and the presentation of the events show it.
OK, on the menu is Ryō Machiko (center), a second-year middle school girl who has been living by herself since her grandmother died. Despite having exceptional skill in cooking, Ryō has felt her cooking hasn’t tasted all that marvelous. Then she meets her second cousin, Kirin Morino, (left) who comes to stay with her on the weekends to attend cram school in Tokyo and shows her the key to great-tasting food: eating together with friends and family. Sorry, did I give something away? Oh and on the right is Shiina, a schoolmate and IN the same class as Ryo.
As you can see, they are ready to feast (or in the case of Ryo, ready to cook). Now the dishes they make are a step above merely heating up noodles or just another hot pot, and we are subjected to presented the fabulousness of these dishes. This show breaks down the fourth wall, as we see the end results of what they did, but in a real world, it makes no sense. I hold my dinner up on high, so that all may revel in it. Hey, but I am down here, so I get to see the bottom of the plate. Noritake. Nice china. This approach is good for TV, bad for cooking in general.
We also have Shiina as that standard ‘rich friend’ character, but she never acts rich or snooty, although when they get invited to her house for a feast of some caliber, they are stunned by the size and amount of space it consumes. Ryo’s house is the size of Shiina’s bedroom. And her mom is wonderful and charming and accommodating. It’s not that Ryo’s mom isn’t all that, and a bag of shrimp crisps, but she works all the dang time, so they never hardly meet at all. And Ryo pines for her grandmother, who was a magnificent woman who passed away recently, leaving a big hole in Ryo.
I had a couple of problems with the show. The titles of the episodes all have food related terms or ideas (“Chewy, Melty” or “Sizzle, Pop”) and it almost comes off as a type of cooking show. We don’t get the A-B-C approach, but you see the way it is prepared that you could attempt this. The other problem is that the issues or concerns that dog these ladies aren’t really that big of a problem that can’t be fixed with some saury or a big bowl of red bean soup.
This is a really soft show; a caliber of palate cleanser from all the mayhem you may be wading through. We meet some strange and off-beat characters in strange and off-beat ways and learn that we are all in this great big world together and by understanding that our difference make us all the same, we can enjoy life better. That and a big heaping helping of omelet rice. So, it is a bit of a throw-away show, but you can revel in how cute everyone is, OK?
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Really cute girlies)
Plot 4 (Kinda sorta, but not really)
Pacing 6 (The cooking parts can be a drag)
Effectiveness 6 (Works for its reality, but could have been better)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 6 (It does its job)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I’ve had my fill. Itadakimasu.