Alternative titles: Koufuku Graffiti
Manga Adaptation by Shaft.
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Ryou Machiko often has to cook for herself, and being the only one at the dinner table is making it a lonely, tasteless experience. Ryou ends up with a surprise visit from a second cousin her own age, giving her some company and someone to cook for.
Euri’s verdict: Inoffensive Fluff
If there’s anything in the anime world that functions in similar ways to recreational drugs, it would be Shaft. They’re not always on the ball, but more often than not their shows are weird, hyperactive and interesting enough to carry you along. Obviously there are the runaway hits like Madoka and Monogatari, but even shows like Natsu no Arashi and Sasami-san were quirky enough one-offs. In Shaft I trust, so I figured that Koufuku Graffiti would be a sensible show to pick up this season.
Very quickly, this show starts showing similarities with Shaft’s own Hidamari Sketch series. Koufuku Graffiti seems to be very slow paced and chilled out, with a focus being on characters chatting and being nice to each other rather than progressing a series-long plot of any kind. For this episode in particular, it’s all about the lonely Ryou finally having some company in the way of Kirin, her second cousin.
The biggest identifier that this is a Shaft show is that every time we see Ryou eating some of her own food, the art style changes to something a little…stranger. Kirin mentions during the episode that it looks somewhat erotic, and I think that’s a pretty good description of that. Not quite bear girls licking the pistil of a lily, but you get the idea.
It’s hard to give a solid verdict after a single episode on just how much the cooking theme will ultimately matter in this show, and whether it’ll continue to be a slow paced bonding session between two girls with the occasional meal thrown in. As it stands, I’m a bit worried that this show will continue to bore. I mentioned that it’s a lot like Hidamari Sketch in the way the show is structured, but at the moment it’s missing a lot of the charm that came with that show, and that’s honestly a big deal. It’s too early to judge given that there should be at least another girl joining the duo (if the end card is to be believed), so we’ll see how the character dynamics play out at that point. Perhaps wait and see what people think after a few more episodes if you’re on the fence about this show.
Iro’s verdict: Flavorless
Maybe I was just expecting too much from something titled Gourmet Girl Graffiti, but this show was incredibly boring. There wasn’t any actual cooking in it at all! How can you expect me to enjoy a show that’s about food, but not about cooking that food? Instead, the show seems to be focusing on the feelings of comfort and family that food can induce. Well, that or how they’re eating the food, which is invariably sexed up as much as possible. A generic show about schoolgirls bonding over foodstuffs isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s the opposite of what I want from a show ostensibly about cooking.
Marlin’s verdict: Bland
These kinds of shows just aren’t for me anymore. Or, at the very least, if a show is going to be a slow paced slice of life it better know how to insert some good comedy into it. My biggest hangup throughout the entire episode, as Iro can attest, is how Kirin apparently got laid out by a fever of 99.0 degrees. I may remind you that 98.6 is considered average human temperature, so a 99 degree fever is barely noticeable from normal. If I tried to get out of school with that back in the day my mom would not have been amused. The idea that mild fevers are these completely incapacitating illnesses that make someone too weak to do anything is so ridiculous and played out that just get more tired of it every time I see the trope played out. Outside of that, I could still see an audience for this if only for the orgasmic food moments, otherwise it just doesn’t have enough going on. Like Iro said, if it actually showed the process of how Kyou made her food it might be a bit more interesting, but just watching them eat it does nothing. Even with low expectations one should still expect something, and I’m just not sure Graffiti delivers.