It's been a long time since I sat down and watched something as slow-paced as Ristorante Paradiso. To tell the truth, I was actually longing for a good slice-of-life anime to come up somewhere. When I stumbled upon it, the whole idea of "a restaurant with a single lady worker and lots of aged men" interested me. I mean, the abundance of grown men is curiously odd enough. It's not a plot that's usually used in an anime. And, I'm a guy, so at first I felt a little uncomfortable with the show with lots of males on it, but after watching, it's not like they're those guys on anime that lives just to attract females, so guys are welcome to watch this josei anime with peace.
Anyway, if you don't like slow-paced, quiet shows, and dislike works without much action, then Ristorante Paradiso will surely disappoint you. It's a story for people who like the quieter, more peaceful side of life and anime.
Ristorante Paradiso is all about a restaurant, somewhere in Rome, with its employess consisting of lots of aged men with glasses. Then, enter Nicoletta into the picture, and the restaurant's never the same again. Don't get me wrong though. The show has this quiet atmosphere that makes you feel like you're at the restaurant as well, eating its delicious delicacies.
Old people ahoy! The anime's full of the art consisting of old people's faces. It defies the usual standard that you need a sexy/moe/whatever type of character design for the anime to work. Anyway, the art is okay, with its dreamy-like colors and all. But the food! They drew it well!
Listen to the opening song and agree with me: the music is well-thought of. It meshed well with the overall theme of the anime: slow-paced slice-of-life. The background music gets it right with the scenes.
Ristorante Paradiso's working point is its characters. Each one of them (from the weird Gigi to the old Luciano) has a story of their own, and it worked well with the overall feel. From the beginning, you'd wonder what kind of people works at the restaurant; don't worry, everyone will be focused on.
I really enjoyed watching this. The combination of the setting (Rome), characters, and good food, makes this show worthwhile. But, as I've said, it's for people who enjoys quiet anime, so it really depends on your preference if you'll enjoy this or not.
Can't say much more; it made my day. Imperfect, yes, but it is a worthy slice-of-life anime, so go try it. Contrary to the common belief, it's not shoujo; it's josei, intended for an older, more mature audience. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but you'll appreciate it more if you're old enough to understand how elder people's minds works. And, this anime's not limited to women. Men can appreciate it as well.