The Cambridge Geek

Yotsuiro Biyori

This was the "comfy" watch of the season. Yotsuiro Biyori is a Japanese tea house, inherited by Sui, the manager and resident tea aficionado, from his grandfather. Sui has finally given up the corporate grind (no, not coffee), and is now running the tea house, with his team of unnecessarily attractive boys. (Yes, the Girl does enjoy this one, how did you guess?)

There's Tokitaka, the old school chum, who is an excellent chef, the one who makes all of the stoneware for use in the cafe, and the sneaky emotional support for when Sui's terribly history comes back to haunt him. Tsubaki is the patissier, with the necessary comedy obsession for desserts and Gure is the massive Italian, who is a maker of excellent coffee and very poor decoration.

Latte art of evil.

The team are joined by the cafe's cat, who has a range of exciting adventures, such as being petted, sleeping, having lots of pictures taken by Sui, napping, casually opening one eye when things wander past, and having a bit of a kip. It's a wildly important part of the plot.

The plot, such as it is, can be described as "nice young man helps some poor unfortunate soul with a minor concern, often assisted by cake". Problems include how to go to a cafe on your own, whether or not you should have a clear out and how to prevent old people from topping themselves from loneliness.

It's mostly a show designed to make you go awwww. These chaps are undoubtedly a source of pride to their parents, as well as basically the entire community around them, who are apparently emotional wrecks without the team giving them an ego boost.

It's us. We're the sweet thing.

It can drift into "sappy" territory occasionally, but how much that will annoy you is very hard to predict, I'm afraid. I'm probably not the best person to guess what you find heartwarming. Try a loved one. See whether they think you're a massive softy. If they say yes, give it a go. May also be worthwhile if you're a fan of tall men making pastries.

It's a show for ladies.

However, if you find yourself wanting excitement, or any sort of plot, you'll be a trifle disappointed. It's very episode based, and there are only tiny hints of troubles for Sui. Now admittedly, the hints are actually really cleverly shown. There is a certain amount of sibling rivalry that's caused a lot of heartbreak in the background, and how that comes out does make you want to know more about it. I just wish it had been done a bit quicker.

You have to admire it for having a completely nice cast though. It takes no small amount of bravery to produce a series so persistently cheerful as this, in a world full of cynics like me. None of the main four are ever even slightly mean, and are effectively making the world better with the power of tea. It's also very much a power of friendship show, with not even the slightest hint of romance, which is a nice change.

Not entirely my cup of tea (overly played out pun maliciously intended), but it's a polished piece of work with a nicely happy message.

Score 3

Tagged: Anime Comedy Workplace/Employment Food and drink porn Friendship Crunchyroll Subbed