Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles

Alt title: Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san

TV (12 eps)
2.739 out of 5 from 1,015 votes
Rank #6,873

A cool girl who rarely speaks... The mysterious transfer student Koizumi-san doesn’t get along with others very well, but she’s actually a professional when it comes to ramen, who seeks out delicious ramen every day. Now serving up a truly authentic ramen story!

Source: Crunchyroll

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Garlic With Extra Vegetables / Maayu / Rich image

Episode 1

Garlic With Extra Vegetables / Maayu / Rich

Hokkyoku / K-K-K-K-Koizumi-san image

Episode 2

Hokkyoku / K-K-K-K-Koizumi-san

Saimin / Flavor Concentration Counter / Instant Noodles image

Episode 3

Saimin / Flavor Concentration Counter / Instant Noodles

Western Restaurant / Red or White / Convenience Store image

Episode 4

Western Restaurant / Red or White / Convenience Store

Tomato Ramen / Euglena / Huge Line image

Episode 5

Tomato Ramen / Euglena / Huge Line

Morning Ramen / Hiyashi / Museum image

Episode 6

Morning Ramen / Hiyashi / Museum

Nationwide image

Episode 7


Local Instant Noodles / Iekei image

Episode 8

Local Instant Noodles / Iekei

Mountain / Pork Guy / Back Fat image

Episode 9

Mountain / Pork Guy / Back Fat

Ramen With Unknown Flavor / Conveyor Belt Ramen / Accepting Challenges!! image

Episode 10

Ramen With Unknown Flavor / Conveyor Belt Ramen / Accepting Challenges!!

Tasty Ramen / Osaka image

Episode 11

Tasty Ramen / Osaka

Nagoya / Reunion image

Episode 12

Nagoya / Reunion

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            Slice of life (SoL) anime gets a bad reputation from most anime viewers and websites. The most common complaints are: lack of plot momentum and development; weak characters that are designed to be cute more than to be memorable; too much focus on relationships that aren’t interesting. I can understand these complaints, but sometimes I believe that people are overly critical without understanding the strengths of the SoL format.             Ms. Koizumi loves Ramen Noodles does nothing to counter the common complaints. The plot is mostly static, the characters are sketchy at best, and the relationships aren’t interesting to watch. Ms. Koizumi could have been enjoyable, but is derailed by certain appalling character interactions.             Plot: Koizumi is a beautiful transfer student who has no interest in becoming friends with anyone at school. She never talks, doesn’t participate in clubs and her persona forbids people from trying to befriend her. This cold nature only drives the interest of Yuu, a schoolgirl who is deeply infatuated with Koizumi. Yuu thinks, talks and dreams about Koizumi, to the point that her friends, the fashionable and popular Misa, and intellectual Jun, are visibly annoyed by Yuu’s obsession. This is another occurrence of Yuu falling for an adorable girl and Yuu hasn’t learned the lessons of her past behavior. Yuu struggles to connect with Koizumi until she learns that Koizumi has an encyclopedically deep love for ramen. Ramen is the only joy for Koizumi and most of her energy is spent on visiting different ramen shops, even skipping school to travel to different regions of Japan for their ramen. Yuu and her friends begin to chip away at Koizumi’s self imposed social embargo by discovering the joys of ramen with Koizumi!             Characters: The cast is small and simple to understand: Koizumi the ice queen with her fanatic ramen love; Yuu the obsessive lesbian in love with Koizumi who would do ANYTHING to gain Koizumi’s attention; Misa the popular girl; and Jun the brainy friend. There may be side characters, but few matter.             SoL Routine: Most SoL have a set routine for their episodes, and MK has a very rigid routine: one character interacts with Koizumi; something happens to have the characters arrive at a ramen shop; the characters eat unusual ramen of the episode; and something is shared between the characters. Every episode follows this format, and I was all right with this structure. MK is formulaic, but this system delivers the most enjoyable aspect of MK: the variety of ramen displayed. I’ve enjoyed ramen for several years, but the variety of ramen showcased made me hungry so often, and I wrote down the most appetizing ramen shown. Everything from convenience store to high-class restaurant ramen is displayed in a positive light, and I was pleased to learn about the different kinds of ramen shops available. MK could be tagged as a ramen education anime and I would agree. Anyone who is interested in ramen should watch a few of the segments, as they can gain cool ideas for future meals.             The educational aspect of MK is the only memorable part, as everything else is uninspired. The characters are bland or annoying or both, the designs are decent and shiny, the setting is overly familiar, and the music is okay.             Focus and tone: MK is a story about schoolgirls eating exotic ramen. I expected this anime to be light hearted, to be cute and to have the girls bond over delicious food. I can appreciate this premise, and probably would have watched the season if not for one fatal flaw: the tone of the series is supposed to be lighthearted, but the tone is destroyed by the obsessive and unhealthy way that Yuu tries to reach Koizumi.             Yuu and her relationship with Koizumi ruined any goodwill I had with the anime. Yuu has an obsession with Koizumi that quickly grows old, and her actions are not tolerable. Yuu often stalks Koizumi, and this is the main device for Yuu and Koizumi to meet and eat for most of the episodes. I’ve seen characters that devote themselves to other characters like this before, but the obsession shown here is beyond ridiculous. Koizumi plainly states that she has no interest in Yuu and tells Yuu to stop stalking her multiple times. No action by Koizumi shows that she likes being around Yuu, and Yuu takes this as a challenge to stalk Koizumi even more. Koizumi has a better relationship with Misa and Jun, and has better personal interactions with both. I was disturbed by this one sided attraction and by the end of the sixth episode, I couldn’t keep watching this anime in good faith.             STALKING is never okay. Stalking is unwanted obsession that draws the worst out in people, and should never be used by fiction without delicate treatment. Koizumi and Yuu have an unhealthy relationship, and the anime rewards Yuu for her dangerous behavior by letting Yuu get closer to Koizumi without punishing Yuu for her behavior. Yuu doesn’t learn and Koizumi doesn’t confront Yuu or get help to teach Yuu to learn her alone. This strange behavior ruins an adequate show andss there are plenty of other ways to have Yuu befriend Koizumi in a healthier manner.             This fatal flaw left me with an important question: who is the audience for this anime? The lackluster SoL formatting, the boring characters, the repetitive stories and female cast would make me inclined to think that very forgiving high school girls could enjoy this. Ramen is a national treasure for Japan and learning about ramen could be cool. This is a cute girls doing cute things anime through and through, and the standard for these stories are low. The obsessive behavior upheavals this anime, and I’m not sure who would enjoy a clueless girl stalking an emotionally unreachable girl, neither of whom indicates that they will ever change their behavior.             I’m saddened that an okay anime with a cool idea had to ruin itself with disturbing yuri elements. Ms. Koizumi loves Ramen Noodles would have been an all ages anime about the varieties of ramen, but the stalker behavior means that I can’t recommend this anime to anyone in good faith.             You and me deserve better SoL and ramen anime.

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