Notes on Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san

I wrote about this anime in my last preview post. Since back then I had already watched the first episode, I included some first impressions:

[…] so far it copies the manga to a T, not adding any value, but not ruining it… what a letdown. The story is the same, the art style is the same, the OP is awful (I’m a CG-hater, burn me) and the colors are beautiful. After one episode, I don’t expect too much from this anime.

So, have my impressions changed? Not really. The following review includes spoilers!

I was correct not to have high hopes. There is not much that this anime would enrich the viewer’s day with. The trope is simple—Yuu follows Koizumi, who goes out to eat ramen. There is all this stupid banter about stalking, friendships and what-not. And then there is some ramen trivia. And the ramen trivia is probably the only compelling concept Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san has to offer. Unfortunately, in the anime this aspect is downplayed quite a bit. In the manga you can stop and enjoy the details of whatever Koizumi is blabbering about. Meanwhile in the anime the authors let Yuu talk or think over these potentially enlightening segments.

Promotional art by Tani Takuya, the character designer for the anime.

Excuse me for launching into criticism before even introducing the two main characters. The titular Koizumi-san is a beautiful transfer student, who loves ramen. And when an anime character loves something, they love it with all their heart and brain. Meaning Koizumi knows all there is to know about ramen. Plus she can wolf down portions that leave burly men in tears.

The second main character is her classmate Yuu. Yuu obsesses over Koizumi, saying she wants to be friends while stalking her. There are some yuri undertones, if you’re into that. Yuu’s principal trait is being stupid. She made me think of the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise—I enjoyed Disappearance because of the lack of Haruhi and similarly I would like Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san better without the annoying main character, Yuu.

From the left: Yuu, Koizumi, Jun, Misa.

In general, all the characters are annoying and frankly kind of flat—they don’t have much going on except for that one annoying characteristic that gets played over and over again. The other two girls are a tsundere wannabe idol and a bespectacled class representative. (Although Jun’s worrying in episode 8 definitely helped her popularity.) They are as cookie cutter as they can get.

The one improvement that has been made over the manga is the jingle:

To sum it up, I don’t think this anime brings much new to the table. It doesn’t improve on the source material and at times suppresses the manga’s advantages. If you’re interested in Japanese cuisine, there are better anime sources. If you’re specifically interested in ramen, I recommend reading the manga instead. Rated 6/10.

By the way, if you’re a ドラマ [dorama, drama] lover, a four-episode series aired long before the anime.

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