As some of you might know from reading my Twitter or article about Amanchu, I really like to cook. Out of the 40+ shows premiering in winter 2017, there is no doubt that I’m looking forward to the Italian cooking anime Piacevole ~My Italian Cooking~ (Piace ~Watashi no Italian) more than any other series.
The Piacevolle anime is based on a full-color manga written by Atsuko Watanabe, the character designer for the Heavy Object anime. It revolves around a girl named Morina Nanase, who starts part-timing at a restaurant. She gets a surprise on her first day: the acting manager is a child in elementary school named Mallow Kitahara. Despite everyone else in the restaurant knowing about Italian food like the back of their hand, Morina knows absolutely nothing and has to learn from scratch.
While there have been anime at cafes and restaurants in the past–two examples being Is the order a rabbit?? and Wagnaria!!–there haven’t been many that focus on Italian cooking in particular (excluding the 2009 anime Ristorante Paradiso). In the case of the previously mentioned Is the order a rabbit?? and Wagnaria!!, the focus is on the relationships of the characters with little to no focus on the actual food being served. Piacevole excels at keeping a balance between the characters’ interpersonal relationships and the realistic and delicious-looking food.
One of the strongest points of Piacevole is its cast of varied characters. Aside from the cheerful Morina and the prideful young chef Mallow, there’s the beautiful and cool vice-manager Yori Fujiki; the handsome, perfectionist chef Kirihide Konno; and the womanizing cook Ei Oreki. Together in the manga, these characters bounce off each other very well because of their personalities that are so different.
In addition to this, Piacevole has another strength: its balanced cast in terms of gender. Recent anime seasons also seem to have a thing about getting as many slice-of-life shows with only boys or only girls if possible. This makes a show like Piace refreshing. Both females and males exist in this comedic, easy-to-enjoy show–giving blossom to more interesting relationships, including Mallow’s adorable crush on Morina.
The manga isn’t just a fun anime about the characters talking, though–as I mentioned earlier, there is a focus on the cooking. The original manga illustrates not only the Italian food, but the other kinds of foods featured in the manga in great detail as well. It’s actually kind of educational; I wouldn’t be surprised if we get some anime watchers this coming season who suddenly want to eat or even try making things like sangria, tiramisu, and caprese salad. At any rate, I’m almost positive that this anime is going to make me as hungry for Italian food as its manga counterpart.
Piacevole ~My Italian Cooking~ will begin airing in Japan on January 11. No overseas streaming platform has been announced yet. However, if you’re interested in reading the story before the anime starts, Crunchyroll offers the original Piacevole ~My Italian Cooking~ manga on its website with an English translation.