sweetness and lightning 1


The stern, deep face of Tsumugi eating a meal she enjoys is the best. I’m glad TMS put some effort into that because if the animation quality were that of Cheer Boys!, I might have had to spam Hanzo for two hundred matches of Overwatch.


I don’t read as much manga as I used to. Yotsuba and Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches are two of the series that I still regularly follow. From time to time, the Fashion Czar will recommend me manga. “You should check out this manga. It’s about a prince who enjoys entering rooms through windows and a girl with red hair who gets kidnapped over and over again.” Sometimes the pitches work, sometimes they don’t. It didn’t work for window prince manga. It worked for Amaama to Inazuma, which feels a lot more like a shoujo manga name than a seinen manga name.

The premise is established really early: Kouhei is the single father to Tsumugi, whose mom passed away recently. He tries his best to make her happy, but he fails at cooking, and Tsumugi really likes eating. The two meet a high school girl, Kotori, who helps them learn how to cook. She helps them cook; they repay her with companionship. It’s a really simple story.


But it’s a simple story with strong moments. Like in this episode, when Kouhei comes back home and sees Tsumugi licking the TV wanting to taste her mom’s cooking again, he breaks down. No dad wants to feel like a failure to his children, and right there that failure he feels comes through.

That’s going to be the whole series. Every episode is going to be Kouhei trying to be a better dad and food will be a common thread. Kotori (and eventually others) will join and help, and the cast will seem like the cast of Yotsuba. It’s a show that will warm your heart and make your stomach growl. Slice of bread life.


TMS seems to be strictly adapting the manga. Almost all the dialogue and scenes come directly from the manga, but there are a few moments cut. In the first chapter, after Kotori makes the rice, they all enjoy it and have their dialogue. But before Kotori asks if she can eat dinner with them again, she finds some pickles and leftover beef. That makes more sense to me. As incredible as rice can be, I can’t imagine a meal of justice– err– just rice.

(At least crack an egg on it like in The Beast and The Boy or open a can of bear meat like in Nodame.)


I feel like the manga seems more dramatic at times, like I wanted to see Kotori slam down the clay pot here. But I kind of understand the softer tone (of an already soft story) of the anime. Again, if you’re into anime like Berserk, FLCL, and Code Geass, this might not be the show for you. But if you enjoy Aa! Megami-sama, Barakamon, and Yotsuba, then this show is probably for you.


Kotori has her own reasons for wanting to help Tsumugi and Kouhei. It’ll be explained over the next few episodes. What is interesting though is that is exactly how I make rice. I wash the rice (for quite a while) using tap water. Then I use filtered water once I am ready to cook. I use my finger to judge if I have enough water in my rice. I don’t add sake to the rice though– sake is better straight up in the belly.

(I predict that the final episode of the anime will be the story about dumplings. That’s my prediction.)


Japan loves food, and Japan has some great food. I wonder why there has been seemingly more food anime recently. Food Wars (which is also airing now), the excellent Wakako-zake, DJ Tonkatsu, Koufuku Graffiti, Dagashi Kashi, Bonjour Sweet Love Patisserie… just seems like there has been a lot lately. Prior to 2014, there was what? Yakitate Japan and Muteki Kanban Musume?

I wonder why? Maybe because a lot of mangaka move out of their parent’s homes and miss their home cooking. Maybe it is because food is a bigger part of Japanese culture than American culture. Food is an universal language. Maybe it’s the backlash to yet another fanservice magical high school. Maybe it’s because anime can support such topics… and that’s yet another reason why I love anime. It can tell stories about food that isn’t just a reality or travel TV show.

And it is interesting that food anime itself incorporates subgenres. Food Wars is really a sports anime tied to food. It has the plucky male lead. It has challenges and competitions. It has that drive to the top. Wakako-zake is a travel show. Dagashi Kashi is an encyclopedia show, but it should have been a Hotaru fanservice festival or at least a mystery show. Bonjour is an otome show. Koufuku Graffiti is moe food porn. DJ Tonkatsu is a comedy. Sweetness and Lightning is full on slice of bread life.


I really don’t know how you can screw up curry (I’m assuming that’s curry).


Looking inside my fridge right now, I have a lot of Diet Coke, a lot of beer, a pork chop, a can of pumpkin, a cauliflower, way too much brown rice, some eggs, some peaches, and a container full of cherries. I feel like you should know these things.


I like how even for background characters and random scenes, there’s a lot of movement animated. A lot of shows skimp on this type of animation, but I notice. Oh, I notice.


Wait, is that a knockoff Furby on the pillow?


Three MVPs…

1. Kouhei’s and Tsumugi’s cleaning montage.

2. Kotori’s rice cooking method.

3. The pink sheep.

2 Responses to “sweetness and lightning 1”

  1. Aren’t you married now? So at the very least you wouldn’t be allowed to eat random junk like a Bachelor. Guess that explains the brown rice.

  2. Tsumugi is adorable. Kotori is adorable. That’s all I need to watch this show.

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