Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories 2016, 2019 / An anthology of short-story-like episodes that win you with their everyday, mundane charm


The episodes of Midnight Diner are just as heartwarming and assorted as the dishes the restauranteur known only as Master prepares for his customers. Much like short stories, they each have their standalone arc and specific conflict, but they all share the same connection: they take place in this diner, which is open only from midnight until early morning, and they follow the lives of everyday Tokyo citizens. There’s a broadcaster who seeks the warmth of tan-men after a busy day of work, a has-been comedian who steals his rival comic’s corndog, and a realtor who orders pork cutlets to win over lovers. They are mundane and relatable stories told with gentleness and depth, and ingeniously, they all go back to the dish of the day served at Master’s diner. For his part, Master helps these characters figure out more than just their orders by doling out advice in his own stoic yet sage way. 

It’s sort of like miso soup for the soul in that way; heartwarming and comforting, best served on a cold night.

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