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  • Wisconsin
  • Joined Jun 14, 2019
  • 68 / M

Gourmet Girl Graffiti

Jan 10, 2022

Gourmet Girls Graffiti has been categorized as an example of iyashikei, thoughtful stories leading towards some sort of healing, what I have usually equated to catharsis.  I have taken GGG as twelve stout doses of iyashikei, warm tales of two girls finding their individual ways in crucial parts of their lives.

Twelve overdoses of warm and fuzzy, which may be fine and may be lethal.

The premise of these twelve episodes is close to formula, offering a tight structure nearly every time.  You first get a short introductory snippet, sometimes surreal, sometimes sensible, every time suggesting what is going down in the episode.  The plot centers on two girls, Ryou, whose parents work away from home and who has recently lost her beloved grandmother.  Kirin is the reverse.  She wishes to break free from her parents and home and move from her rural digs to attend high school in Tokyo.  She has an opportunity to get supplementary art classes on the weekend at Ryou's school.  During these weekend visits, Ryou gains the company of her cousin and Kirin gets the luxury of a fine meal.  Ryou's grandmother was an excellent cook (by her efforts and determination to offer her granddaughter some legacy, as we find out) and the series explores fine cuisine and the proper enjoyment of the food we eat, and the people with whom we share our meals.  The episode ends at the train station as Kirin returns home, eager for the next weekend's adventure to come.  That is, until the last episode.  Then we’ll have to resolve something more permanent.

Gourmet Girls Graffiti reminded me to some anime techniques I noted in passing, first in BanG Dream! and then in other shojo offerings.  I simply call it 'skirtplay' though the technical term for it is 'zettai ryoiki.'  It is the distance between hem of skirt and upper sock, and the movement of skirt as a focus of attention.  First, and foremost, the characters of Ryou, Kirin, and friendly acquaintance Shiina are cute tinted with sensitivity, immaturity, and eccentricity respectively.  But get these girls eating.  Then cute becomes alluring.  As lips are licked or smacked as morsels of food are consumed.  In their delectable and sensual descriptions of the foods they taste.  There's a subtle sexiness in the aura that appears in the dining sequences.  Sure, there are the embarrassing episodes about the bath and other incidents that crop up during the twelve doses of sweetness.  But there is a comradery developing between the three girls and especially Ryou and Kirin.  And kawaii steers the humor, as it were.

But the iyashikei effect offers Gourmet Girls Graffiti its own set of plot problems.  The predictability of formula storylines makes watching tedious.  The character of Shiina is burdened by a family that are mere reflections of the girl.  I mean, it's natural that mother resembles daughter, but the household servant, too (and an extreme act of stoicism at that!)?  The bond between Ryou and her grandmother breaks without weakening as Kirin becomes the companion for the lonely girl, especially as Kirin learns she can't go it alone in the life she is seeking.  Ah, heartwarming, but too predictably so!

The theme of cooking reigns supreme throughout, as each title is a loose union of two cooking terms as sizzle ... pop, chewy ... melty.  And the experiences from basic meal to cookout to whatever they do to ramen as outdoor activity unify the stories without really finding a common ground.  You love how two unlike personalities get to respect each other, but it’s been seen too many other times.  This time it combines with a cooking show.

The animation is a soft collections of nature scenes entwining with kitchen work.  Gorgeous use of colors, especially as they lighten during the dining sequences.  Good work in these techniques.  The music, however, was light and airy without striking a special chord.  Good mood music.

Gourmet Girls Graffiti is an enjoyable half hour of good times and self-discoveries.  Just a little light on the drama, as iyashikei can be on occasion.

7/10 story
9/10 animation
7/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.2/10 overall

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