Mini series based on essay and manga of same title of “Samurai Gourmet” by Masayuki Kusumi got recommended to me by a friend, and, having little time, I still watched it whole in two days. One can really manage with one day if one has time. Series can be found on Netflix, or wherever else you might be watching your things.
Takeshi Kasumi (played by Naoto Takenaka) retires, and has to learn to live as a free man, without constricting himself as working people do. Pretty much, he has to learn to not jump out of the bed in terror of being late, or that he can indeed have a beer with his lunch in the middle of the week. Learning all this he walks in search of what to do with all this free time, and stumbles upon different food places, with hilarious adventures just waiting for this timid old mister. Cold noodles and poorly cut seaweed? It’s not like he’d dare to complain. Loud customers bothering his reading? He doesn’t want a fight. Rude chef scolding foreigners for eating his food wrong? Well, it’s his place…
But here comes the fun Samurai part. Mister Takeshi slips into a daydream of “what would samurai do?“, samurai, as I understood, being his favorite type of hero. Would he be shy to slurp his noodles in a fancy restaurant? Oh the hell he would! He’d appreciate food, and wouldn’t be afraid to show it! And that constantly complaining man beside him? Nah, enough is enough!
Now, the funny thing here is, that this is a very Eastern / Asian / Japanese story. Because while mister Takeshi daydreams and is building up his courage to ask those damn loud men to tone it down a bit, for they’re bothering everyone else in the place – he loses it the moment he stands up, and gets shy about standing up. Often he doesn’t say a word, someone else does for him, and instead of taking away the proud moment of “I did it!” he takes away no less great treasure – humble moment of “this other person inspired me”.
It’s a foodie series, as I understood, and Naoto Takenaka makes every bite look like it’s the best dish he’s ever eaten, but as someone who almost never watches anything about food – I found it very amusing, and not bothering at all. Episodes are short, filled with lovely little stories, and good humor. And I can proudly say I took a humbling lesson from this too: it inspired me, and I hope I can someday have the time on my hands to take a detour too.