Piacevole

Piacevole

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High schooler Morina Nanase starts work waitressing at Trattoria Festa, an Italian restaurant filled with various and sundry quirky characters… and where through its unique cuisine, she will begin to mature as a person.

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Morina is a young girl looking for a part-time job. When she stumbles across the Italian restaurant Trattoria Festa, she walks in and enquiries vaguely about a job. She has no experience in the service industry, working with food or any prior knowledge of Italian cuisine, but that doesn’t stop her from getting the job. Cue mildly humorous hijinks and cartoonish expressions and some beautiful shots of Italian anime food.

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Anime shorts have been in short supply lately, so I was keen to get into this one in order to get my fix. Short amines can either be really good or just awful and I wanted to see how Morina and the staff at the trattoria fared in the long-run. Thankfully, things are going well.

It’s no surprise that we have an anime short on our hands that looks at food and cuisine as one of its themes. Food anime has been a genre that have been growing for the last few years, particularly with the recent successes of Shokugeki no Soma and Sweetness & LightningThough Piacevole clocks in at only four minutes per episode, it gives us some humorous and bite-sized insights into the workings of this particular Italian restaurant and the personalities of its staff.

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The character design and artwork approach here is strangely flat and 2D – but it works to provide a comedic, rather slapstick effect that works for the story. In startling contrast, however, we are provided with some lush and detailed backgrounds. The detail of the stonework on the outside of the Trattoria is lovely and its surrounded by forest and greenery that wouldn’t look out of place in a traditional fairy tale. Of course, you can’t have a food anime without being subject to some truly delectable food artwork that is hyper-realistic and gorgeous. A particular dish that is made or mentioned in every episode features at the end before the credits, and it’s always a real feast for the eyes regardless of whether I would actually eat the dish myself. Strangely, the varying levels of detail mesh well and isn’t jarring, as you might expect.

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The show generally plays out with some light, cute humour that quickly develops a kind of charm that works very well considering how short the episodes are. It suits the typical anime short fast pace where characters talk and move at a faster pace to enable them to get more dialogue and scenes into every episode without going overboard. In time, we are introduced to all the staff members and even some customers through the eyes of Morina, which is a quick and simple way of focusing on one character at a time. The dynamism and pace keeps you entertained and always reaching for the next episode.

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Piacevole is a great-looking little anime short with light humour, quirky characters and interesting artwork design (I often get a bit lost in the contrasts between the characters’ often cartoonish reactions in the realistic detail of their surroundings). It’s not a mould-breaker at any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re looking for a fun and enjoyable little distraction this season, I would definitely recommend this little number. And anything anime that features gorgeous drawings of food gets bonus points in my books.

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