Tsuyoshi Mukōda is a 27-year-old Japanese who has become as familiar with the isekai genre and its trappings as you, dear readers, no doubt are by now. When he is suddenly summoned to a medieval-looking fantasy kingdom to fight the demon lord with three or four young compatriots, he knows what to expect. A floating videogame screen appearing at his command, listing his abilities and statistics? Check. An adoring, beautiful princess looking at the newcomers in wonder? Check. Overpowered abilities granted to the “isekai’d”? Check. Only, he seems to be an exception to that last rule: his special ability turns out to be “online grocery shopping,” a concept the royal officers cannot even begin to understand. Discharged with three months of salary, and noticing that the kingdom is about to become a political powder keg, Tsuyoshi hires an escort of adventurers and heads off to foreign lands. The adventurers are amazed by his delicious, unique, tasty meals, unlike anything you can eat while traveling in this world. But there is something else that soon becomes apparent. You see, whoever eats Tsuyoshi’s food becomes…much stronger.
Well, well. After the initial hilarity of seeing Tsuyohi react in disbelief to his bizarre ability, summon an Amazon-looking package from the ether, find the sweet roll and the bottle of water he just paid for, and insert his coins in the floating screen, I wondered if this show would be a one-trick pony. What else could this story offer? Well, for starters, a bit of warmth: Tsuhoyi is a great, kind, unassuming guy. You also get some delicious-looking food, giving Campfire Cooking an iyashikei (healing) feeling. Extra points for having the economics of the fantasy world make a little sense: it’s frustrating when a show just assumes that the logistical problems of our ancestors, which were pretty complex, might be fixed by any bored Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court with a smartphone. Our protagonist is trying to fit in, and both he and the show itself are relaxed, kind, and humorous. And sometimes, that’s enough.
Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skills can be streamed on Crunchyroll.