Midnight Diner

M Sinclair Stevens

Netflix has come out with a 10-episode season of Midnight Diner, which began as an award-winning manga, then a Japanese TV series and feature film.

Like the filmAn this series is quiet, quirky, and offbeat…mixing food, of course, with characters a bit on the edge of Japanese society but entirely recognizable as classic Japanese characters. Tokyo is said to be not so much a big city as a collection of small villages and these are the kind of village characters that I might have come across in rural Kyushu.

It’s so nice that Netflix is providing some alternative Japanese fare to the stereotypical anime, yakuza, or samurai flicks. Think what it would be like if American film (or the American people) was represented to the world only by Disney cartoons, cowboy films, and gangster movies.

Still from Midnight Diner

“The dishes recur throughout the episode as the characters return to the comforting embrace of the diner. Regardless of the turmoil in their lives, there will always be a seat at the counter, where the sage, omniscient Master will make their favorite dish and listen as they ponder their troubles.”

Ryan Bort, Newsweek
Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories” is the best (and most appetizing) show no one is watching

GPlus Discussion

Ivan Yudhi – 2016-12-08 21:27:00-0500

This is definitely something that I’d be interested in. Thanks for the heads up.

Jim Gomes – 2016-12-09 02:34:52-0500

I’ve been watching it. It’s fun! And really makes me want ramen.

Rob Ferguson – 2016-12-09 06:18:48-0500

Thanks for the recommendation, it’s available in the UK as well. I’ve added it to my list

M Sinclair Stevens – 2016-12-09 10:05:21-0500 – Updated: 2016-12-09 10:23:28-0500

+Jim Gomes Or to rewatch Tampopo. A great foodie film. I think that was the first Japanese movie I ever saw back in the days before VCRs and DVDs when it was almost impossible to see a foreign film in small town USA, especially a Japanese one.

When I lived in Japan, I found really strange that none of my Japanese colleagues had ever watched classic Japanese cinema (such as Kurosawa and Ozu)…even those who could quote old John Wayne movies to me, or Westerns like Shane. By the time Iived in Japan, VCRs and laserdisc players were common, and if my friend Japanese friends rented movies they were almost American blockbusters. (I remember my desk mate had a big thing for Mel Gibson in his Lethal Weapon era.)

Jim Gomes – 2016-12-09 10:10:51-0500

+M Sinclair Stevens I think our two cultures have sometimes crossed wires. Japanese grew up wanting to be cowboys, and Americans grew up wanting to be samurai.

M Sinclair Stevens – 2016-12-09 10:21:19-0500

+Jim Gomes Speaking of old cowboy films…it wasn’t until I lived in Japan that I realized the term “head honcho” was Japanese for “group leader”. As a child, I thought it was one of the many Spanish words incorporated into Western lingo. Then I realized it must have been WWII slang that made it into the dialog by screenwriters who had served in the Pacific theater.

Jim Gomes – 2016-12-09 10:52:04-0500

+M Sinclair Stevens I always thought honcho was Spanish, too. Maybe it’s always been 本長. Interesting…