Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family, Vol. 2

By TAa, based on Fate/Stay Night by TYPE-MOON. Released in Japan as “Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan” by Kadokawa Shoten, serialization ongoing in the magazine Young Ace Up. Released in North America by Denpa Books. Translated by Ko Ransom.

Admit it, you’re surprised this review is here at all. Let’s face it, if ever there was a manga series that cried out “review the first volume, then do the subsequent ones as Bookshelf Briefs”, it’s Emiya Family, a series that has zero plot and static characterization. And yet that doesn’t make it bad – indeed, its lack of plot and the fact that the characters are all basically “lovable cooks” is its main selling point. We don’t want to be reading about Sakura’s abuse at the hands of her brother, we want to be getting gags about how seaweed reminds Rider of Shinji’s hair, and Shinji’s complete lack of presence in this volume. (At one point, Sakura is described as “Matou’s sister”, and it took me a bit to realize they meant Shinji.) If you loved Fate/Zero and its grim darkness, this is obviously not for you, but it’s a great antidote. Heck, even Saber Alter shows up here ready to eat rather than ready to kill.

First of all, a sad note for those who were hoping this emulated Fate/Hollow Ataraxia a bit more: Kotomine Kirei seems to be alive in this universe. One of the joys of FHA was that everyone was alive and living in peace except for his dead ass, and I will miss that. Also, please, no mapo tofu recipes. Gilgamesh also gets a brief cameo, and we may be seeing more of him in the next volume. Archer continues to be absent from the main series, but in a special chapter that ran in a different magazine, helping Otoko not fall to her death on the steps to the shrine and making delicious food that tastes oddly like Shirou’s for some reason. And while Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family mostly concerns itself with the “original” cast, it is also a giant advertisement for the universe in general, so it’s no surprise that there’s also a Fate/GO extra chapter with Mash asking Archer and Boudica how to cook dragon meat stakes. We even see Jaguar Man! (I also like that the book did NOT offer an alternative meat to dragon in the recipe. Go kill a dragon to cook this properly, dammit.)

The entire series, of course, is based on the original Fate/Stay Night visual novels, and the large, LARGE amount of cooking that goes on there. Here we see that Shirou’s cooking has become almost legendary among the school, to the point where the student council get fired up at the sight of his fried chicken nuggets. There’s also the Christmas episode with Berserker, but I will admit that the anime’s vast expansion of that chapter works better. This is still sweet, though. I was also highly amused at Lancer being aggravated that Shirou is not banging Rin, and spending his meal trying to get the two of them together. (Sorry, Lancer, status quo is the norm here.) And Sakura doesn’t get as much to do, but I was sort of amused by the chapter where she gets upset at the Servants never gaining weight when they eat, unlike her. (Everyone assures her she looks fine, and I’m sure if Rin were there she’d add that it all goes to her chest.)

Again, unless you only read Fate for tragedy or battles, this is almost the perfect manga to pick up. It will leave a smile on your face and a growl in your belly.

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