Just slightly more eventful than Kana Matsumoto’s earlier work Mother Water and with more of a plot trajectory, brightness and slightly faster pacing than her last feature film Tokyo Oasis, パンとスープとネコ日和 (Bread and Soup and Cat Weather) is an immersive, relaxing, short Japanese drama series that’s quietly beautiful and delightful. With characters drawn from the casts of めがね、プール、かもめ食堂 (Glasses, Pool, Seagull Diner)、Mother Water and Tokyo Oasis (like Ryo Kase), along with settings and relationships similar to those films, there’s a familiar, airy atmospheric quality to this 4-episode j-drama.
I love how the series brings you into the kinds of cozy places you’ll find in Japan—cafés with simple yet stylistic decor and good, unique food, little side streets of shops and restaurants. It’s also great how there’s time for relationships to be revealed and developed in ways that couldn’t in the movies mentioned above. And the sandwiches and soups look delicious, reminding me of some of the menu items at the Hi-Rise Bread Company in Cambridge, MA and at Soup Stock Tokyo.
There are only a few clips from this series on YouTube. Here’s a fun one from the ending of the series (no spoilers) featuring all the characters めがね メルシー体操-style. This part is much quirkier than the rest of the film which is highly quotidian and may border on understated for some viewers—I prefer to think of the film’s ambiance as unhurried, leisurely and thoughtful.