While ramen originally came from China, it has spread to Japan’s many cities and prefectures to the point that they have their own special flavor. In real life, some restaurants at times will have special contests where if a customer can consume a giant bowl of ramen, it’s on the house. For some of you who can’t experience this first hand in Japan, maybe you can get some idea of what ramen is like in the Land of the Rising Sun through Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san.
The titular Koizumi-san (that is the only name she is given in the series) may seem quiet, petite and unassuming, but she is the ultimate ramen otaku and that is what her diet consists of (and she can even consume big bowls). And she eats and knows about any ramen you can think of that is even obscure to native Japanese people. But beyond Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san, some of you are probably aware of other animes out there that center on food in a fun and educational sense for domestic and international audiences alike. So read our list to get an idea what you may enjoy that shares some similar qualities to Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san.
Anime Like Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san
1. Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness & Lightning)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 5, 2016 – Sept 20, 2016
Kohei Inuzuka is a widowed father raising his kindergarten daughter, Tsugumi. He does his best to provide for her working as a high school math teacher. Though Kohei is a good father, he can’t cook so he only gives his daughter pre-cooked meals from the local convenience stores, and his daughter wants some home cooked meals for once. Thankfully, one of his students and her mother is willing to teach him. While he does have his initial difficulties, his motivation pushes him through.
While this anime is not about ramen, Sweetness & Lightning is still a distinct slice-of-life anime in relation to food. It teaches viewers how enjoying food can bring people together. The anime has a simple and yet great message that if you can put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. While both Sweetness & Lightning and Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san have their shares of comedic moments, it has emotion when it counts most. This anime gets straight to the point so it’s a great anime to start within this respective genre.
Sweetness and Lightning trailer
2. Dagashi Kashi
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan 8, 2016 – Apr 1, 2016
For nine generations, the Shikada family has been running their own Japanese sweets store in the countryside, Shikada Dagashi, which specializes in dagashi. Kokonotsu, the present heir to the store has no interest in inheriting it and wishes to pursue his dream of becoming a manga artist instead despite having great talent at making dagashi. However, a young lady named Hotaru Shidare wishes to recruit Kokonotsu’s father to work for her family’s company, one of the largest sweets companies in the world. His father is willing to take the job but on one condition, Hotaru must convince Kokonotsu to take over the family business.
While Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san appropriately centers on ramen, Dagashi Kashi is about dagashi. Most Western Japan enthusiasts tend to think of pocky as one of Japan’s top sweets, but dagashi is an example of an everyday sweet you can get in Japan. Think of it as the equivalent to cheap candy you can get at a ma and pa candy store but there’s something special to it that can’t be explained, it has to be experienced in the same way you do with ramen that is beyond 10 cent cup ramen. The anime does a great job of educating viewers in the many kinds of flavors of dagashi, and how it is distinct from generic brands you can get at a Japanese convenience store. So if you want to learn something new about Japanese sweets, Dagashi Kashi is something that is worth a try and you may want to get some dagashi after you watch it.
Dagashi Kashi trailer
3. Koufuku Graffiti (Gourmet Girl Graffiti)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan 9, 2015 – Mar 27, 2015
Despite being in the eighth grade, Ryou Machiko lives by herself and enjoys cooking. While her cooking smells and looks appetizing, for some reason, she just can’t get the taste down. All of that magically changes when Kirin, a distant cousin of Ryou, starts to stay with her on weekends. Now she can share her improvements with her friends and they love her cooking.
Like some other animes on this list, Gourmet Girl Graffiti is rather open with what the anime is about and it’s a what you see is what you get. In this anime, viewers can get a wide exposure to many kinds of traditional Japanese dishes. In the first episode, Ryo makes nabe, kitsune udon, and inarizushi. As the series progresses she makes other kinds of traditional and common Japanese dishes such as rice omelets and shows you unique ways of making instant ramen. In some episodes, they share you the cultural meaning of some of these foods in conjunction with a holiday, which you have to see for yourself.
Gourmet Girl Graffiti trailer
Any Anime Like Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san?
4. Isekai Shokudou (Restaurant to Another World)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 4, 2017 – Sept 19, 2017
For the past 50 years, a basement floor cafeteria known as the Youshoku no Nekoya has provided top of the line food to local customers. But on Saturdays, it is open to a select number of VIP customers (as in elves, dragons, and other fantasy creatures) from different dimensions who request unique dishes. However, there is nothing unique about them since they’re the same dishes that are served to the local customers.
What this anime tends to teach its viewers is that while some food can be normal to locals, it can be exotic to those who have no exposure to it. Some of the food is pretty much stuff you can see at a typical Japanese restaurant such as teriyaki, pork cutlets, and curry and rice. It even serves non-Japanese food such as pasta and pudding.
Like Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san, just enjoying food together can create friendships in instances you can never expect, and that there are kinds of ramen that not even native Japanese can be aware of. It gives people a chance to not only come together and have fun but also learn about different cultures. Nobody can deny that if a non-Japanese person is exposed to a certain Japanese food such as Hakata Ramen for the first time in their life, they could have the same reaction as a wizard from a different dimension. While this anime does have its own distinction of using fantasy, it is just about as relatable to audiences as Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san or any anime on this list.
Restaurant to Another World trailer
- Episodes: 5 (as of Feb 9, 2018)
- Aired: Jan 12, 2018 – present (as of Feb 9, 2018)
20-year-old Michiru Amatsuki has moved to Tokyo from Okayama (for those of you who don’t know, it’s between Hiroshima and Osaka) for a new career. Since Tokyo is reputably expensive, she finds herself at home at a women’s only dorm, or the Stella House Haruno, consisting of women who enjoy drinking. Now that Michiru is legally old enough to drink in Japan, she finds herself discovering the joys of alcohol, or what Homer Simpson would like to call, the problem and solution to all of life’s problems.
As stated in the synopsis, as opposed to ramen or any kind of food, the focus of Takunomi is pretty much on alcohol and how the characters talk about their daily lives over them. Due to how straight to the point this series is, the episodes are on average 12 minutes in length and don’t require anything longer. As a matter of fact, adult friends, family members, coworkers and roommates drinking together is a common sight in Japan and we finally get an anime about it through Takunomi. Some episodes are about beer, and there are some about wine. If you ever have a bad day, Takunomi is there to teach you that alcohol is always there to save the day. But always remember to obey the drinking laws in your respective nation of residence.
6. Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars!)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr 4, 2015 – Sept 26, 2015
If the legendary Iron Chef series was ever going to have an anime adaptation, the closest we got is Shokugeki no Souma, or Food Wars in the West. The titular teenage Souma has been cooking under his father’s tutelage for as long as he can remember for his restaurant. However, his father decides to close the restaurant so he cooks for other restaurants around the world. In the meantime, Souma enrolls in one of the toughest cooking schools in Japan, the Totsuki Culinary Academy, which has a 10% graduation rate.
In comparison to Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-San or many of the animes on this list, Shokugeki no Souma is pretty wide with what it has to offer. Not only does it feature generic Japanese food like pork dishes, French food such as Beef Bourguignon is featured rather early in the series. The series features a wide cast of characters who specialize in something. Some characters are meat cookers while there are others that are more vegetable oriented. Either way, viewers are going to be exposed to some very exotic foods that may encourage them to go out and try for themselves. For those who possess little to no knowledge of international cuisine, this may open your eyes to a new world. For those that are enthusiasts, we promise you’re going to get a kick out of it.
Food Wars trailer
Most anime fans can agree that a majority of its appeal is that it stimulates the imagination in ways nobody could ever expect. That distinct sense of imagination can normally be expressed through action, magical girl, and/or mech. In some instances, the best inspiration you can find in telling a story can be from real life itself. While on the surface the idea of making an anime about ramen or whatever food you can think of may seem questionable, if viewers give these animes a chance, there is some unique value to them.
Whether you like ramen or any other food, we hope that our list can help you get an idea of what you can enjoy in addition to Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san. Some of the anime we share can be about sweets, others have a more wide appeal with the food and it doesn’t have to be Japanese food. Either way, not only can you enjoy and get some laughs out of these animes, we are positive that they have tremendous educational value to viewers.
Hopefully, watching these titles can encourage viewers to try some of the food portrayed in these series at some restaurant that may offer them, or you may want to try to cook them yourself. So what are some animes in relation to ramen or any other food that we you think we missed? If you want to share anything else, please feel free to leave a comment.