Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Tsuyoshi Mukouda finds himself transported to an alternate fantasy world where his only skill is “Food Menu”!
Crunchyroll has been inundated lately with all manner of isekai or alternate fantasy world anime, and each one tries to have something unique and maybe even tasty about it. And while Campfire Cooking starts off with one of the requisite isekai openings – a group of young heroes is summoned to another world, ostensibly to fight the Demon King or something similar – immediately Mukouda, upon discovering that his new special skill in this alternate world is the ability to use his somehow still-working phone to text up grocery stores back home and have them poof deliver cooking supplies and the like, cheerfully departs (gets kicked out) the kingdom without any thoughts of fighting villains for king and country.
But what to do now? Mukouda isn’t big on the thought of adventuring, that is going out to kill monster mobs for levelling up and such, either, but there isn’t much other choice. And somehow through a series of misadventures, Mukouda ends up with his first familiar – a legendary Fenrir, often mistaken for a giant wolf or dog, lured in by Mukouda’s cooking initially, who decides to stick around and starts getting Mukouda involved in all sorts of shenanigans!
Here finally is where the series absolutely shines – each initial episode usually involves Mukouda and his giant familiar they named Fel going out to hunt down huge rare monsters, taking the carcasses back to various Guilds for butchering, and then settling down to a home-cooked meal prepared by Mukouda’s own enthusiastic food-loving hands!
The food prep and serve parts of the show are careful, thorough and loving, giving instructions on how to pre-prep the meat, how to season, how to mix, how to cook, how to fry, and don’t forget Mukouda’s favorite part – the perfect beverage to go with his concoctions, usually either a good cold beeeeeer or some coffee!
It helps that it turns out that Mukouda’s cooked dishes actually impart health and even magic boosts, which in turn doesn’t slow Fel down a bit and only increases his delight, not only in hunting the huge rarity beasts, but being able to eat Mukouda’s cooked meats drenched in amazing sauces that only ups his stats to further ridiculous heights. In fact, a great deal of the difficulties Mukouda faces after accepting Fel as his first familiar, have to do with having too much of everything – too many rare carcasses to deconstruct, too much meat that needs preserving somehow, too many ultra-rare items to sell to the various Merchants, and of course, too much money that comes from the sell of all this stuff!
Under Fel’s cheerful insistence that Mukouda begin practicing his own meager skills, mostly the magical ones, Mukouda begrudgingly becomes less of a deadweight and more of a pull-your-own-weight adventurer, especially when he discovers buffs from his familiar increase his stats by astronomical amounts. The last few episodes of the first season found Mukouda gaining a second familiar, because his first wayyy-overpowered familiar clearly wasn’t enough, this time it’s a cute little baby Slime that all too quickly becomes an adorable badass to add to their unique party!
Campfire Cooking gives us a unique twist on the large amount of isekai out there right now, drawing in fans of foodie anime like Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma and Ben-To, where Mukouda tames even the most vicious of familiars with his love for cooking delicious foods!
Chase down rockbirds for breakfast with Fel, Sui and Mukouda in Campfire Cooking in Another World with my Absurd Skill on Crunchyroll now!