"Welcome to Thriller Restaurant. I am the Ghastly Garçon, the manager of this establishment... We specialize in dishes that send shivers down your spine. Here is tonight's menu..." — The Garçon
Also known as Kaidan Restaurant, this anime is about a series of horror stories told by ghosts in a restaurant, which tend to focus on the same group of kids: Anko, Reiko, and Shou.The norm is three stories per episode, all organized like the courses of a meal: the appetizer usually deals with a story of the supernatural (ghosts, possessed TVs, whatever); the main course is similar, but longer and almost always with a twist; and the dessert is a short and sweet urban legend, almost always containing a vague moral (Whether this worksor not is up to you).The manager of the restaurant, The Ghostly Garçon, presents the episode, while a whole host of spooks from Japanese mythology is responsible for the menu.Essentially a sort of Tales from the Crypt for kids.
This show provides examples of:
Agent Scully: Reiko sticks to her logical, realistic guns - even after experiencing countless supernatural phenomena herself. It gets annoying, really.
Fate Worse Than Death: The kid with the ability to rewind time, he then ended in a fatal situation by falling off a building- each time he 'jumps' back, he only rewinds time back to the event where he's still falling to his own doom...Replay! Replay!
I Let Gwen Stacy Die: The final episode explains that a few years ago, Reiko's brother went out for a swim. She fell asleep and when she woke up, her parents asked where he was. The mother even cries out why she didn't keep an eye on him.
Nightmare Fetishist: Shou has a whole library of horror stories from around the world. He's also the one who drives many of the adventures with his morbid curiosity.
No Name Given: The garçon refers to himself as just that: the Ghastly Garçon. Whether he has a real name or not is unknown. Some employees of the restaurant follow this pattern as well: Kappa, The Grim Reaper, Bakeneko, The Ghastly Widow, etc.
Schmuck Bait: The boy in episode 8, in a subversion, doesn't take it. Which saves him from the giant, hooved chicken.
Ship Tease: Between Shou and Anko. The fun begins in episode 3, when she's cast as a possessed princess and he is the knight that rescues her from the curse. The two are often cast as husband and wife or lovers in the main courses. In Episode 18, they are even shown to have a baby together.
Shout-Out: In the fourth episode's main dish, when Yuuma and his friend are playing a game on the shrine's steps, the sound from the game is definitely from Mario.
Slasher Smile: Anko's wart does this◊ when she takes control of Anko's face and body and again when she is about to smack the real Anko out of existence.
Time Skip: Somewhere in the middle of the season, all of the kids suddenly jump from grade three to grade six. Bizarrely, they have the exact same teacher, classroom, and classmates.
That's nothing compared to the skip in episode 15, which is ten whole years. This should be your first clue that it's All Just a Dream and a Flash Forward.