Zenra Meshi (Naked Dining) – J-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

A Hilarious Encounter

Episode 1 of Naked Dining starts with Ichijo Souta helping his team manager at work and saving his colleagues. His coworkers praise him for being so proactive and Souta is proud of himself. At the end of the day, Souta goes back home and makes himself some ramen in order to de-stress after a hectic work day. However before eating the steaming hot bowl of noodles, Souta strips butt naked. He feels a sense of liberation eating naked as he devours his meal.

After he is dressed back into pyjamas ready for bed, Souta finds a time-capsule letter from his grandmother who had passed away a year earlier. In the letter, his deceased grandmother had asked him to visit her house and take a look at his belongings left there. Souta finds the keys to his grandmother’s house along with the letter.

The rest of the week passes by with Souta working overtime in order to keep his work from piling up. On Saturday morning, as he is leaving to go back home after working all night, Souta decides to pay his grandmother’s house a visit. He recalls the time he spent with his grandma and how the city life was dull in comparison to the lively country town he was at.

After being lost on his way to his grandmother’s house, Souta tries to seek help from a van that passes by. Eventually, Souta manages to get to the deceased woman’s house on his own. Inside, Souta reminisces his memories of his grandmother cooking meals for him. He then goes on a nostalgic ride looking at his belongings from when he was a child.

Souta dozes off and later that night wakes up to a burglar sneaking inside his grandmother’s house. Upon his efforts to inspect who the intruder is, Souta trips and falls onto Miki Mahiro, a young boy who worked as the village’s vegetable harvester. Mahiro claims that he’s Ichijo Mizuchi’s friend and had gotten the keys to her house before the old woman passed away.

Souta apologies for the misunderstanding and learns that Mahiro and his grandmother became friends over their passion for cooking. Mahiro claims to have taught Mizuchi cooking but the grandson refuses to believe it. Mahiro explains how he introduced the late Mizuchi to international spices, and how Mizuchi wanted to travel the world and taste different cuisines but was not able to do so when she was alive.

Souta is shocked how a stranger knew more about his grandmother than he did. As Mahiro is leaving, he keeps his set of the house keys on the table. Souto notices a wound on Mahiro’s hand after he tackled him earlier and offers a bandaid. He insists that Mahiro should take it for him to feel better and the latter eventually does before leaving.

After Mahiro has left, Souta starts looking around the kitchen to find something to eat. He finds a recipe book his grandmother was curating with interesting dishes from around the world. Souto sets off on his bicycle to purchase ingredients from a local farmer’s market and finds Mahiro there. Mahiro helps Souto with the ingredients for the Kous-Kous salad.

Souto notices that Mahiro had put on the bandaid he had given him earlier that day. Mahiro gets to work while Souto gets back to his grandmother’s house and starts following her recipe to make the salad. Once he plates the food, Souto strips butt naked and starts feasting on the salad.

He claims how satisfying eating the salad is since he’s nude, but to his shock he finds Mahiro looking at him from across the dining table. Souto is surprised and tries to cover himself up, while Mahiro apologises for entering the house by himself. Mahiro leaves but Souto is embarrassed because the former had learned his secret as the episode comes to an end.

The Episode Review

This is such an interesting concept and kudos to Japan for exploring a topic that is so comical yet so intense. I think exhibitionist behaviour is gaining a lot of attention and naked dining has gained popularity online over the last few years with restaurants in Paris engaging with this in public.

With that being said, it seems as though Mahiro has always had a crush on Souto and from the epilogue we can see how they were in the same class as teenagers. It is possible that they would start developing romantic feelings for each other after they share their love for cooking and eating.

Things will get even more chaotic with Mahiro participating in the naked dining with Souto and I am here for it. From the looks of it, this show seems interesting. I cannot wait for the next episode!

Next Episode

Expect a full-season review when the season concludes!


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