Anime Review: Koufuku Graffiti

hidan no aria aa review

Food Porn: The Anime. That may not be the actual title, but for all intents and purposes, that’s exactly what the show is. Koufuku Graffiti explores the thought that sharing meals with loved ones brings people closer together and makes great tasting food taste even better. This sounds like a winning recipe, but the creators skimped on one key ingredient… the yuri.

Ryou Machiko lives a solitary life. While her parents are busy working overseas, Ryou is living alone in Tokyo. She’s supposed to be under the supervision of her aunt, but her aunt is also busy with work and is unable to check in on her very often. A third year in middle school, Ryou learns that her cousin intends to attend the same high school as her, so their aunt has arranged for Ryou’s cousin to stay with her on weekends as she attends the same prep school. Ever since the passing of her grandmother one year prior, Ryou longs to be able to spend her time with someone special to her, preparing meals like she used to do with her grandma. Once Ryou’s cousin Kirin arrives after leaving home on bad terms with her mother, it seems that Ryou may have found that someone that she can share her meals with.

The story is simple and cute, and the way that the girls help each other out with their problems is particularly sweet. Even though I would have preferred a little more comedy, there’s just enough to counterbalance the more neutral moments and keep the amusement factor at a steady level. The show doesn’t deviate too far from the food theme, so some people might find the lack of variety a tad repetitive. Overall though, the story is sufficient enough that it doesn’t really become a hindrance and bog down the rest of the show.

koufuku graffiti characters
Ryou, Kirin, and Shiina

The cast of characters is small (with only three girls getting significant screen time), but they display enough personality to leave a positive impression. Ryou is the nurturing kind, as she regularly takes care of younger Kirin and aspires to one day be a good wife. She had grown a bit lonely due to her isolation from her family, but Kirin comes along and helps ward off those unpleasant feelings. Ryou’s fondness for food is readily apparent, and Kirin isn’t all that different. She has a bottomless pit for a stomach, but she’s much better at eating than she is at cooking. Shiina is the third member of the group and she too is in art class. She’s a frank and levelheaded girl who always gets sick when she gets doused with water.

Ryou and Kirin get most of the attention, but Shiina deserved a more prominent role because she’s my (and MAL users’) favorite. If it weren’t for her over-the-top food reactions, Ryou could’ve been viewed as a bore, but she ends up getting a reprieve in my book. Kirin picks up the slack and helps make up for Ryou’s plain personality, but even she doesn’t seem too memorable in the grander scheme of things. All told, the characters are enjoyable, but they don’t stand out from the pack nearly enough to be anything more than just slightly above average.

Both the OP “Shiawase ni Tsuite Watashi ga Shitteiru Itsutsu no Houhou (幸せについて私が知っている5つの方法)” and the ED “Egao ni Naru” are the bubbly, cheerful kinds of tracks you’d expect, given the subject matter involved. The ED is sung by the seiyuus themselves, but it’s very forgettable and isn’t quite as memorable as the OP. Speaking of something memorable, after the credits roll, you’re treated to a hypnotizing little jingle that accompanies some more food porn (and adorable chibi versions of the girls). It’s so simple, yet it sticks with you long after you’re done watching.

Never before have your eyes gazed on a tastier anime than Koufuku Graffiti. Bold statement, I know, but everywhere you look, the series is seducing your eyes with delectable dishes that will definitely serve to whet your appetite. When the girls feast on these dishes, things often take a suggestive turn as they eat in the most sensual way possible. The pleasure they take—Ryou specifically—from savoring the food reverts back to the most primal of urges and helps stimulate your tastebuds in a way that you didn’t think was possible through anime. Aside from the food, the series looks the part and generally comes across as a nice-looking show.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, there’s very little subtext at all in this series, and I’m probably being a bit too generous with the yuri score. The relationship between Ryou & Kirin is more of a maternal or sisterly one than anything else, and you’d be hard-pressed to find much of anything from a yuri perspective. Considering the series made it into the Yuri Anime 2015 list, I was definitely disappointed by this. Kirin would’ve obviously been too young for anything like that, but a couple of Ryou x Shiina moments would’ve been appreciated. The girls are still cute together, and a second season might hold more yuri potential, especially with a slightly older Kirin. Could you imagine a yuri-fied version of this in season 2? Make a second season happen, Shaft!

A by the book example of slice of life anime, Koufuku Graffiti adds a interesting twist by putting nearly as much emphasis on the food as it does on the characters themselves. The series doesn’t do any one thing extraordinarily well, and it lacks enough subtext for yuri seekers to get too excited about, but it does meets the genre prerequisites for a decent viewing experience. If you’re a foodie with an insatiable appetite for cute girls, then you may have just found your new favorite show. Everyone else will more than likely see this as an average stopgap until the more anticipated slice of life shows premiere later this year.

Year: 2015 — Length: 12 Episodes — Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life

koufuku graffiti anime review

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20 thoughts on “Anime Review: Koufuku Graffiti

  1. I'm not trying to change your score since subtext is always subject to interpration and everything but everyone I've heard talking about this show always uses some kinda variation of “super gay” to describe it. I'm also having problems seeing Kirin and Ryu not dating in the future. But again, it's subtext so 1,5 is fine, probably.
    I gave it a 10 on MAL cause it's awesome but I'm also a huge fan of Shaft's animation style so that may factor into it. I definitely ate more while watching it than I do when not watching it.

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  2. I didn't see it like that at all. After her grandma died, Ryou was really lonely, and having Kirin there definitely helped alleviate her loneliness. Ryou's really like a young version of her grandma, caring, nurturing, and just wanting to take care of people. I could see them dating in the future, but for me, I didn't get that sense as much from this season. That 1.5 is the lowest yuri score ever given on the blog, btw. 😀

    I've never actually eaten any Japanese food (other than the cheap ramen that's like 6 for $1), so I wasn't fazed at all by it.

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  3. “Kirin would've obviously been too young for anything like that”
    She is the SAME AGE! She went to a different school, but went to the same prep school as Ryou to try and get into the same highschool.

    I….I don't know how you can call this so low on yuri but that's how you saw it I guess.

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  4. At least according the the HorribleSubs subs (which were the ones i used), Kirin told her mom in episode 1 that she wanted to skip grades. I didn't want to download it again to check another fansubbing group, but a quick visit to see it real quick on kissanime had the same sentence translated differently. It's a crap shoot as to which sub group got it wrong there. It completely changes the context of the situation, so that's where I got that from.

    What gave you the impression that the yuri score should be higher? Just because they live together and sleep next to each other? That one time Kirin fed Ryou and they both blushed? That moment when Ryou's aunt forcefed her? I just didn't see it that way whatsoever.

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  5. Check it, it wasn't HorribleSubs, it was JnMBS that I used. Incidentally, they have the lowest approval rating for this series, according to MAL. But their overall ratings are still higher than HorribleSubs', and it doesn't really change my explanation. 😛

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  6. Some details:
    A: Ryou, Kirin and Shiina are all around the same age. Kirin is a “shortie” like Tooru.
    B: Yuri ships between cousins is as plausible as shipping sisters.
    C: There are shows featuring lesbians younger than any of the girls here: Cardcaptor Sakura, Kodomo no Jikan, Sailor Moon to name a few.
    D: The theme is finding happiness through cooking for and eating with people one cares for, speficially family, friends and lovers.
    E: The show's main story is how Kirin and Ryou want to go to the same school together, which is part of their ultimate goal of living together.
    F: Shiina's Mom and Tsuyuko is another ship.
    G: You covered the show's gimmick of softcore food porn so I need not mention that.

    This show is not that complicated to understand really.

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  7. I've already mentioned it 2 posts prior.

    That's great and all, but would you mind justifying your stance on the score being so low, or would you rather post more screenshots instead?

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  8. I just found a good H that maybe could solve the whole ordeal and scrap any of the above points I mentioned:

    H: Make sure the subtitle group you pick up are somewhat known, like HorribleSubs or Bakedfish. Either that or if you can access shows on Crunchyroll or an equivalent, try that.

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  9. If you (as I suspect) saw the show with troll subs, then I'm not sure what I could do. I do apologize for how aggressive I got. that was seriously uncalled for.
    As for specific things, the “I'll cook food for you even when we become adults” is one line. Then there was where Kirin said she would be anything for Ryou, and Ryou said “even a husband or wife?” to which Kirin enthusiastically agreed that she would (then, after that Ryou picked on one of Kirin's sore points by saying “even my child?” xD). I mean, the dialogue in this show….

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  10. A: Well documented ^^^
    B: Just because they're cousins, it doesn't change their relationship any. Girls can be friendly without romance being involved.
    C: I'm sure there are, but there really isn't any legitimate hint of them being romantically interested in one another.
    D: You just had to throw lovers in there didn't you?
    E: They are underage and living in a different city/country than their parents, so it's hard to imagine them wanting to live alone instead.
    F: I'd assume Shiina isn't a test tube baby, so she must have a dad somewhere. Not to say things couldn't change in 14 or so years, but still. Again, females living together automatically equates to being lesbians? If Shiina's mom had a butler instead of a maid, would you be as persistent about them being in a relationship as well?
    G: Done.

    Seems like you're grasping at straws, desperately looking for the slightest of reasons to slap the yuri label on it. Not even any of the obscure yuri groups on MAL want to be be associated with it (not that they, or MAL, are the end-all, be-all on the subject).

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  11. I only saw the first episode with JnMBS, the rest were split up among HorribleSubs, Commie, caffeine, BakedFish, and DeadFish.

    It wasn't uncalled for at all. It's nice to have conversations like this. We're both passionate about our stances and are discussing it like grown adults.

    Those were some of the few moments where you could argue the fact that it seemed like there could be more to it. I don't put as much stock in a few lines of dialogue as I do with just the general mood between the characters. I never got the sense that things were more than a family-type relationship (and not the incest type either :D).

    That's the beauty of it all. Everyone has a different interpretation on matters, and reviews aren't fact, they're subjective. So they should always be taken with a grain of salt. 🙂

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  12. That's why I didn't go too deeply into the matter. I only really wanted to clarify Kirin's age, since that was not left up to interpretation.

    I mean, I don't disagree that it could be taken as less than lovers, but that's true about anything that's not explicitily “yuri”. This is why we call it “subtext”. It's just a possibility that we could be reading too much into, or that we could be spot on about. And i'd say the show was pretty full of subtext. I wouldn't say there was much of anything to the Tsuyoko and Shiina's mom thing, but between Ryou and Kirin there was quite a lot.

    There'd be no point in even discussing subtext if we always pulled the “but yeah, it could just be seen as a familial/friendship sort of love” card. Because that's the point of subtext. It's not clear. Once it IS. Then there's no use for the word anymore. It's just flat out yuri. Everything under subtext could be seen as “just friends” or “familial”. This is a given.

    Anyway, I got a completely different atmosphere than you speak of. But, as we both seem to agree, that's just a matter of varying perspectives. I can see it from the direction you're giving, but I really think that the direction I viewed it with makes more sense. But that's just my own opinion.

    Iv'e said it on OG's blog, but to me, the story kinda seemed like a soft romance story between Ryou and Kirin with food as a theme. Would I tell others this show was actual yuri? No, I would not. I had a friend who dropped it because he didn't want subtext. And he asked me off and on through the season if things changed, and I always told him that it really hadn't progressed past that.

    But, personally, I got to watch a soft romance story 🙂

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  13. LOL, alot of people are disagreeing with you and Lena's Yuri ratings these as of late eh, Rock? Better not go Paradise Lost on us,

    “So Farewell Yuri, and despair be my new Yuri. Better to rule in Yaoi, then serve in Yuri.”

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  14. A number of months ago, I actually wanted to secure the YaoiReviews Blogger domain. Not because I watch yaoi (I don't), but because I thought it would make an amusing sibling for YR. Sadly, the domain was already taken, so my plan ended in sadness.

    After QUALIA, L's adjusted her yuri score twice now (the other being Hanayamata). I'm only at one so far (A-Channel), and even though I've gotten some flak for this one, I'm not gonna adjust it. You can't please everyone.

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  15. @Bigboss It only happened two times 😛

    As I said in my post about the new yuri raking system, even if there are clear rules to rate the yuri of an anime or manga, we're still rating these subjectively as well.
    It's pretty normal to have people disagree with your opinion, but it seems Rock doesn't give in as easily as I do 😛

    @Rock I'm actually happy you couldn't secure this domain… 😀

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  16. Hmm.. and I was gonna watch this… I will wait for a second season, I really don't like it when there's not at least ONE clear hint, like..I dunno Re-kan has some subtleties that I count as good.

    I like your reviews,you seem realistic :3

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  17. I've fallen a bit behind on Re-Kan! (and almost every other new show), but what I've seen was decent. It's already a little more subtext than what I thought was in Koufuku Graffiti, but some people might disagree.

    Thanks. Maybe a few people don't mind them, so I consider that a win. 😀

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