Four men—Gure, Sui, Tokitaka, and Tsubaki—each help run a Japanese tea shop together called Rokuhoudou. When one visits the shop, they are greeted warmly, is served with tea, and are often helped with any problems they may have.
Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori is this season’s Yuru Camp, though the overall presentation can’t quite be compared to how the latter did back last season. At first, this series is kind of a mixed bag, because of how it was presented, from the characters to the setting, everything felt bland and uninteresting, but luckily as the series progresses, it took the negative vibes off and thus, weaved its own centralized story that became better as time passes.
This series can best be described as Fukigen na Mononokean if it ever happened in the human world/society with the exact same issues as both series had laid out (staff
that helps with people’s issues in everyday life), in an episodic or omnibus format. In a nutshell, it displays the lives of 4 men who run the small tea shop called Rokuhoudou, and while people can easily come in to eat and take a rest off their busy lives, the men do their part(s) to highlight any problems that ensue and give their customers the sense of calmness.
The story is simple yet lacking in many ways, but it makes up for that with the characters who create the core foundation of the series as a whole:
Gure, voiced by the one and only Daisuke Ono, is a talented master in his latte art…only that it doesn’t quite show off his capabilities, making it his funny bones and disillusion from everyone who’s not surprised by his indecency to create something that shows another. A comical guy who tries to surprise the others with his wits.
Tsubaki, voiced by Daiki Yamashita of BnHA fame, is the youngest man in charge of the all-so-delicious Japanese traditional desserts that’s he is capable of, and when he does his magic, he does it to fruition to display his prowess from ideas to creation, and the end results are nothing short of impressive. An easy irritated person who always gets dunked by the others when his desserts are contrary to the norm.
Tokitaka, voiced by famous seinen Yuuchi Nakamura, while he is pretty much Rokuhoudou’s assistant to the overall “manager” (Kyousui), his strengths are not seen until late in the series, where he has a knack for pottery, and teaches a group of elderly who is learning about pottery, and he incorporates his work onto caricature pieces (like the handmade ocha cups). A calm and composed man who’s working to keep the scenes alive.
Kyousui, voiced by Junichi Suwabe (Demi-chan’s Professor Takahashi), is the overall leader and caretaker of the Rokuhoudou café. The café once harboured by his grandfather, along with the wishes of both him and his brother Yakuyou,, unfortunately split tracks once his grandfather passed away, and with his brother now invested in another sweets company and an entire hotel (Hotel East Side), it is easy to see why both brothers pursue different ideals while keeping the spirit of their individual lives alive and going.
Along with the cat Kineko who purrs and meows and is shown from time to time makes the entire setting look blissful.
So, what more could you want with a simple series with well-reputable seinen Vas that do the trick on this overlooked series?
The art and animation by Zexcs is decent, but good in spots. It is easy to see that the use of the colour palettes is striking in this series because it’s meant to evoke calmness and a temporal release from reality from the settings of the characters to the food that is constantly shown. Every minute detail is taken care of, even to the extent of how the café is displayed both externally and internally, it just appeals so nicely.
Music-wise, it’s lackluster, but as far as aesthetics go, it gets the job done. It’s similar to how last season’s Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens did with the usual aforementioned intro and the instrumental ending. Again, what is presented here fits right with the series, nothing too complex while keeping it simple to show off the affections of the characters and the setting. It’s far from great, but not too shabby either.
In the end, this is a feel-good, relaxing vibe of a show that’s overlooked. If you’re looking for a show to just lay back and relax, this is the series to look out for this season and get ready to be soothed right at the comfort of your own seats.
Recommended – Sure, if you like slice of life.
Read the Manga – No.
Best Characters – Gure.
Worst Characters – Tokitaka (pottery guy)
ART STYLE ❻/❿
= All star seiyuu cast = great voice acting
= Good chemistry/bromance between MCs in a believable, non-cringey way.
= Delicious looking Japanese sweets that I can only look at and can’t taste (I guess this should be a con?)
= Good set of side characters and subplots about their lives.
= Plotline about Kyousui and his twin brother seemed unnecessary and was settled half-heartedly, more a distraction than something that added to the story as a whole.
= MCs not magnetic/attractive enough to carry the
anime; of the 4, Gure was the only that had enough backstory and charisma to draw me in. The tonkatsu salaryman and chef Tsunozaki were more entertaining to watch than some of the MCs at times.
A mediocre slice of life anime in a traditional Japanese cafe setting. Gets boring at times because the MCs, while not bad, are not great, but that makes all the difference in a slice of life. Watchable, but only mildly entertaining.
Season after season I end up following some serie for unknown reasons and I finally regret.
It's by no means a bad anime...
Not specially good, tho.
Plot (as most of Slice of Life animes) almost intangible, characters kindly unidimensional displaying super-nice but irrelevant dialogues and BSO so charming as forgetable.
Art and animation are regularly fine; comfortable to see but sorta plain.
Kudos to its realistic respect for body-head and face-eyes proportions... they look natural enough to be a relief over so many big-headed, body-stretched and gigantic-eyed figures we're bearing in other series ("Kawaii!", they say... "Physically discombobulated mutants!", I say).
It managed to hook me and I watched it,
so something good must be there.
Maybe the relaxing ambient they get.
You don't need to put many neurons at work while the episodes go on. You'll not feel like emotionally moved. You will not relate.
Dafuq, you don't even have to read the eng subs... you will miss nothing that important if you just listen it in japanese.
This anime requires no effort to be watched.
So, prepare some tea, put down heavy lights, adjust the volume 'til you can't hear it three meters away the baffles and get ready to an experience similar to be indolently floating in a boat on a well tended garden lake.
Addendo: The Seme and Uke stuff goes far away beyond the limits of this review.
All in all, the whole thing could well be nothing but ill-disposed gossip.
There is a very fine line between “Relaxing” and “Boring.” Rokuhoudou constantly switches between the two. Some episodes give off the perfect feeling of peace and relaxation with a quiet atmosphere and characters taking time off from their hard lives to have dessert or drink some tea. Other episodes can get borderline sleep inducing. Not because of the peaceful premise, but out of sheer boredom. It’s not particularly enjoyable whenever the anime tries to be anything besides calming. The humor never lands and the character development isn’t interesting. Most episodes tend to focus on new customers visiting the tea shop with their own personal issues.
Almost all of these personal issues end up being solved by good food or a good drink. It’s not exactly the most dynamic or engaging, but some episodes still manage to be very calming when it handles each character embracing the peacefulness of the tea shop. I kind of wish it stuck with being episodic, as some customers get multiple episodes or segments. Most of them end up feeling like they are overstaying their welcome. As for the actual main cast, I don’t really have much to say. None of them were very interesting or memorable, but none of them were bad. They played their roles adequately. There was a big subplot that the anime built up throughout the entire 12 episodes surrounding one of the MC’s and his brother, but that did not go anywhere. Nothing was really gained from it, it wasn’t interesting, and it didn’t even deliver any character development so it felt like a waste of time. Still, the anime was calming and peaceful when it really tried. While nothing was amazing, memorable, or engaging, Rokuhoudou is still a decent watch for those looking to relax with something easy.
Although it still feels like it only just started, we are now somehow halfway through the Spring 2018 anime season already, and trends are now clearly starting to emerge. In the past three weeks, Boku no Hero Academia returns to prominence, Persona 5 sinks like a stone and more.
In these opening weeks of the Spring 2018 anime season, Steins;Gate 0 starts off as the by far highest rated anime, although Megalo Box is the new heavy hitter if we look past sequels. This and more in the opening edition of The Seasonal Quarterly.