Hey guys, welcome back! I hope you’re all having a great week (ˆᴗˆ)
So I’ve been watching a lot more anime lately and decided I should post about it to mix things up a little. And also because it’s been so long since my Nisekoi review, I didn’t want you guys to think I’d given up on anime! I actually plan on having more reviews ready soon.
Note that this review might contain a few spoilers for Amaama to Inazuma. However, as you’ll see, that won’t make too much of a difference if you plan to watch it. Still, read at your own risk!
***Please don’t use any of the graphics below without permission.***
Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning) tells the story of Kouhei Inuzuka, a teacher and widower, who tries his best to raise his young daughter Tsugumi on his own. But due to a busy life and no culinary skills to speak of, Kouhei mostly relies on a babysitter, friends and meals from the convenience store. Everything changes when he crosses path with Kotori Iida, one of his students and an absolute foodie.
I knew an anime about a father and daughter would have to be quite adorable and I wasn’t disappointed. They are such a sweet family. Tsugumi is possibly one of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen and every episode you feel like you’re going on an adventure with her. However, I wasn’t expecting the entire anime to revolve around food and domestic life as much as it did.
Amaama to Inazuma depicts family life and child behavior in absolute perfection. It captured Tsumugi’s peculiarities and personality really well and made her the absolute star of the show. She’s very sweet and energetic despite everything that happened, but she does sulk and throw tantrums once in a while, like all kids do.
All of the characters were incredibly likeable, to be honest. They all had their quirks and distinct personalities and it was just very heartwarming to watch them. Sometimes it felt like they were real people with real stories; neighbors I could watch from my window as they went by their day. We also got to know them and their stories little by little, which was quite cool. The dialogues were also very genuine and relatable, even if they weren’t always the most groundbreaking. But I guess that’s what made the anime so nice to watch.
It was really touching to see how Kouhei and Kotori both helped each other cope with their own pain and loneliness, all through food. Food is, again, very important in this anime, carrying a sort of spiritual healing to it. It brings people together and makes them bond through a common interest.
Kouhei’s devotion to his daughter is absolutely endearing and will make you smile all the time. I also liked that, despite having the death of Tsugumi’s mother as a focal point, the anime never becomes depressing or uncomfortable to watch. Sure, there are moments when you feel a bit sad but not enough to cry or feel your heart tighten. (This can also be a downside, though.)
The art was really nice, full of bright colors and playful details. All the meals looked incredibly realistic and so yummy they made me hungry half the time. The voice actors were all great, with special focus on Tsumugi’s (Rina Endou), who truly brought that little girl to life.
This anime is completely – and I mean, completely – about domestic life. Every day is about the Inuzukas learning a new recipe, cooking it and eating it together. That’s it, every single episode.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and I did enjoy every episode to some extent. There’s no way I couldn’t. But when there’s not an actual plot and very few variations between episodes, one eventually grows a bit bored. There were minor reveals and some conflict going on sometimes, but overall every episode felt the same.
I would have enjoyed getting to know Kouhei and Kotori and all the other characters at a deeper level. Their passions, aspirations, their thoughts. But we barely get a glimpse at anything outside Tsugumi. I get that the anime is supposed to be about her and her father and how they cope after her mother’s death, but we also get very little information about this person or their feelings regarding the situation. So, eventually, that also feels a bit flat.
In the first few episodes we get to know Kouhei’s colleagues but they’re never really spoken of again. I would have liked to see Kohuei interacting with them and having a social life. But I guess he doesn’t really have much time for that. Kotori’s school life would also have been something I would be interested in getting into a bit more.
Tsugumi did feel a bit tiring and overwhelming in places, especially towards the end. I don’t know if that was just me or if the anime really did become too much about her.
I think you need to be quite the foodie to truly enjoy this anime but give it a try even if you aren’t. It’s quite adorable and there’s really nothing I could point out about it that is inherently bad. However, there was quite a lot of room for improvement. The story could have developed a lot more and explored the characters’ arcs to a greater extent, for one.
This is a slice of life about a dad and his daughter cooking their way through pain and having fun with friends, old and new. There’s nothing extraordinary going on and no big twists, but it’s a nice anime all the same. I actually think its strength might lie in its subtlety and simplicity.
You also learn quite a few recipes and a lot of cooking tips, if you’re into that sort of thing.
If you don’t enjoy the first episode, don’t bother with the rest since they’re essentially the same and follow the exact same structure. But if you do end up watching it, you’ll probably feel your kawaii meter go up a bit every time.
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Have you watched this anime? Do you feel like you should watch it?