Looking at all the other reviews, most people are going to disagree with my opinion, but it is my opinion and I have a right to share it.
I have to admit, i did enjoy the first few episodes. The most captivating part the show was Tsumugi. Her adorableness pretty much drove the show, but it could only drive it so far. For me it was two episodes. By episode 3 she lost her flair and by episode 4, the show started to get boring. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy shows with cutesy appeal but for a cutesy show to be good, it needs
to be coupled with something else like a good story or comedy. The story is quite repetitive and eventually gets boring. Every episode, the characters decide to cook something, then they cook it. The End. As for comedy, their is nothing in this show that made me laugh.
So, should you watch Sweetness and Lightning? Well, I think you should try it. People obviously like it. I don't know if the high rating are just the initial hype or if there is something about this show that I'm not seeing. If it is the latter, then I don't want to take the enjoyment away from you, but know that there is a chance you will not like this show, like me.
Should you watch this anime? Short answer: yes. Long answer: not if you're into mecha anime.
I really, really, really like Amaama To Inazuma. It's called 'Sweetness And Lightning' for a reason- in an industry where, even with slice-of-life, apparently it's escalate the stakes or get cancelled, this anime is refreshingly low-conflict and heartwarming. Sometimes I don't want to watch the fate of the world be decided by three gigantic robots in an hour-long mega battle to the death, or see a bunch of high-school age kids beating the (physical or mental) shit out of each other in some competition to stay in their uber-competitive school.
(That being said, if you're looking for action, you're in the wrong place. Sorry.) Sometimes I want to watch a (cute) single dad despair over how to get his (cute) daughter to eat green peppers.
Definitely one of the elements I love most about this anime. In my opinion, it's emotionally engaging, though a little slow at times- but in my opinion, that pace adds to its charm. It's basically what it says in the description, so I won't draw it out for you- one thing I will say is that when I started watching, I was worried it was gonna turn into a teacher/student romantic relationship, but that's not the case at all. (Actually, the dad deals with the whole 'contact w a female student in his personal time outside of school' thing very appropriately.) (Conversely, if that's the kind of thing you're looking for, you're probably out of luck.)
Definitely no complaints. Art is beautiful, realistic, and fits the tone of the story- plus, all the characters are cute.
Same as the art- fits the overall tone of the anime, well-selected.
Probably the biggest strength of the anime, imo. The characters and their relationships and motivations are- wait for it- believable and easy to care about. I know. Crazy, huh.
Plus, there aren't too many side characters introduced- i think the cast is mostly three mains and a handful of sides, which makes it easy to follow and focuses enough on the mains to really flesh out their characters. None of that 'well, these ten are the mcs, and these thirty are the side characters, and those other twenty pop up sometimes just for fun and to confuse the shit out of you.'
I think the only thing holding me back from giving Amaama To Inazuma a full 10/10 rating is that the pacing can be a little slow sometimes- as of now, it's been four episodes, and one of the (i assume) mcs shown in the opening hasn't been introduced yet- but I would highly recommend this anime to anyone looking for something sweet, low-conflict, and heartwarming.
Growing up, I'm sure many of us have consumed one too many sugary sweets during our childhoods. We gouge down, smacking our lips, lapping up the remaining sticky stains that pepper our face, slurping the sweet syrup that coats our fingertips, savoring every last drop like sweet-tooth bandits. But after a while, that sugary delight leads to an unwelcome stomach ache, where we're left bloated and forced to endure the rightfully earned scorn of our parents:
"I told you not to eat all those sweets at once!"
Their words a guilty sentence we don't even bother fighting against, as they march us off to the restroom to
brush away the very thought of potential cavities taking refuge between the crevices of our underdeveloped molars. It's the right of passage for us kids, for us mischievous sweet-tooth bandits. And if not for the proper guidance by our parents to keep us in line, we'd more than likely be sporting a smile with teeth weathered by decay.
Sweets are good, but overindulging in them tend to lead to this inevitable end result. And as you've undoubtedly figured out what's being alluded to by now, Sweetness and Lightning suffers a similar fate. A show that barrages you with all the cuteness that the namesake would imply—and on that end, it certainly delivers—but doesn't offer enough levity to let any of it settle in. It's all dessert without dinner, every child's wildest dream in theory, but in practice, a very tiresome endeavor that turns sweet-tooths rotten and palates too soaked to ask for more. Sweetness and Lightning shares in our delight for all things sugar-laced, but unlike the reprimanding we received as kids growing up, when this show overindulges, there aren't any parents around to scold it. And for an anime that centers around parenting, this becomes an issue that even the smile of a bubbly little girl couldn't dissuade you from taking notice of.
There really isn't much here to talk about, despite what the premise would have you believe: a man left to cope with the pain of losing a loved one while also raising a daughter, taking on all the motherly duties that he had once taken for granted. And during this adjustment period of serving both parental roles in his daughter's life, Sweetness used food as a catalyst to catalog his parental growth, as well as a common means for the father and daughter to become closer. With a premise that could serve multifaceted purposes—parental bonding and culinary infotainment—Sweetness and Lightning was practically gift wrapped for the creators. It wouldn't have had to do much in order to foster a lighthearted show with sobering life lessons sprinkled throughout it. Just simply display the culinary aspect as a vehicle to showcase the parental bonding; it's almost foolproof. And yet, even with this hand-delivered premise placed right in their laps, very little of it went beyond the occasional reminder of a motherless household and dishes reminiscent of a happier time in the father and daughter's life. Parenting was placed on the back-burner for food montages, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if that's all you came looking for, but when you take into consideration what ingredients the anime had at its disposal, the decision to divert from that path felt like an act of complacency than any intentional artistic statement.
But there's also something else that the show's setup alluded to. Something that isn't as important as the themes it skipped over but still a desirable promise nonetheless. And that promise was a cute mascot. And boy, did this anime ever deliver! Tsumugi is, with little dispute, one of the most adorable kid characters to have been conceived in the 2010s since the likes of Naru from Barakamon. She's cuteness that transcends regulatory standards. Cuteness that bursts past the stratosphere. Cuteness that almost hurts. Tsumugi is cuteness incarnate. And dear I say it, the sole reason for this show's existence. Without Tsumugi, there wouldn't be a Sweetness and Lightning worth discussing. Which, quite frankly, became a double-edged sword if you were watching the show for any other reason beyond its flagship character. Because when it comes to everything else that this anime attempted to offer, the act of slouching in disinterest became far too common of a practice.
As far as the rest of the cast goes, there's really no other character worth mentioning beside Tsumugi. Everyone else was simply introduced to feed off her energy. To say she's the star attraction would be an understatement. The very foundation of this show's existences is made impossible without her inclusion. She's the poster-child of Sweetness and Lightning. The very thing people will remember the show for long after they forget the events of the show itself. It's the kind of character whose reputation would outlast the source material it's attached to. She's the Yuno Gasai, the Haruhi Suzumiya, the Holo, the Major Kusanagi; the very legacy that the source material will leave behind.
This isn't to say that the cooked meals and other characters introduced weren't interesting, just that in the backdrop of a show that's taking things slow and steady, all its efforts are lost in translation to the little girl twerking on the floor, practicing her cooking dance charms to make the food delicious. And when you pair that eccentric personality to that of an unkempt, mild-mannered man lost behind the bushy top hairdo and frame of his glasses that hide his soft-spoken expression... well, what you ended up getting was a recipe for amnesia-inducing content.
If I was placed on the spot to recall the events of any given episode, the best I could come up with would be: "They cooked food, Tsumugi was being cute, they ate, and went back home." Not really the lasting legacy any creator would want now, is it? Whether premeditated or not, the show became one big blur when it effectively repeated the same scenario every single episode. Which brings us back to the pestering question: why was there no focus on parenting?
It's an aspect the show seems to hint at on several occasions, but whenever it gets too close to crossing that line between happy-go-lucky to something sobering, it skittishly pulls back and retreats to the kitchen to avoid confronting the elephant in the room. For what I could only surmise as the creators making decision to keep the same bubbly tone throughout, we're forced to only stand at the edge of parental responsibility. We could see the themes just lying there at the bottom but could never make the plunge due to the show's refusal to make that leap of faith.
But I guess for those that do love this carefree disposition, that isn't necessarily a bad thing at all. And if you're one who likes this more syrupy type of storytelling, then Sweetness and Lightning will certainly deliver.
This routine cycle I spoke of sees Kouhei, the soft-spoken father and full-time teacher, befriend one of his pupils named Kotori, a girl who's constantly on pins and needles with a mannerism that's best described as a series of micro-personality ticks and perpetual flustering. Together these two form a mutual friendship centered around their need to cook different kinds of dishes, as well as a means to keep each other company. And the source of influence that they both gravitate towards is, of course, our poster-child Tsumugi. And as the synopsis states, the rest of their time was spent cooking tasty treats while Tsumugi entrances the viewer with a barrage of cute antics.
And as if the point wasn't made clear already, even the moments that don't focus on Tsumugi just ends up surrounding her anyways. The creative team behind Sweetness and Lightning are simply obsessed with their gooey gumdrop of a mascot. And by the looks of it, so am I at this point.
Tsumugi is adorable, but perhaps more important than that, she isn't sexualized; which to any outsider of the anime medium may seem like an odd thing to say about a child, but let's face it, Japan's obsession with sexualized lolis isn't something that just magically disappears when we don't pay attention to it. In the absence of World Masterpiece Theater's praiseworthy depiction of children, the "moe" boom of the early 2000s had created a paradigm shift that brought with it this current dilemma. So in that sense, Tsumugi is a HUGE breath of fresh air when the only other option for kid characters these days tend to be morphing them into moeblobs or letting a gust of wind expose their pantsu for purposes I think Jared from Subway would take far too much satisfaction in viewing. So until the current social norm for children characters changes in anime, Tsumugi stands as an example of one done right.
And I'm sorry if I'm droning on and on about Tsumugi, but that's literally all the show leaves you to talk about. What was initially described by many as "Barakamon meet Usagi Drop," simply became one facet of that idea when all aspects of parenting (or progression for that matter), had quickly abandoned ship. And so, with nothing else worth addressing, it's time for us to part ways as well, as I bring this review to its final stop.
"Too much of a good thing" is the phrase that comes to mind when I reflect on this show. With a cute tyrant running rampant and a timid father trailing behind her, Sweetness and Lightning mostly became Sweetness and Pushover. Despite wanting the anime to take a leap into the parental aspect that it kept hinting at, I can't say I was displeased with what I got instead. If I had known that parenting wouldn't be an important aspect beforehand, I would have still watched the show for the sheer enjoyment of its meditative programming. Yes, it got a bit underwhelming and tedious at times. Yes, it could have done more to change up the formula. But, when all things were said and done, I still walked away with an adorable pint-sized bundle of joy that left me with a smile on my face. And at the end of the day, that sweet treat was good enough for me.
If slice of life, cuteness, delicious food, realism are on your bucket list the next anime you plan to watch, then think no more. Amaama no Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning) is your answer. Taking the sweetness of slice of life and mix it with cooking accessories is just the tip of the iceberg. Believe me, this is a show that’s more than about food. It packs a satisfying and emotional ride that’s just too sweet to pass up.
Adapted from the manga of the same name, the series is essentially a slice of life story of daily adventures. I should mention though, the story is pretty
simple and straightforward. We got three main characters. There’s Inuzuka Kouhei, a widowed math teacher who is struggling to support his daughter and home. There’s Tsugumi, the overly charming kid with a picky taste at times. And finally, we got Iida Katori, a shy and lonely girl with a big appetite but bad cooking skills. So by formulaic standards, you might anticipate the food in the series to look atrocious. However, the show takes these characters and puts them into everyday life situations that brings the best out them. (and the food of course!)
It doesn’t really take long to get settled with the show. The first few episodes easily showcases the pattern of the story. Every episode in some way or form depicts the main characters cooking something delicious. However, there are also other segments that connects the characters’ daily issues. For instance, Katori is lonely and often feels like she doesn’t belong with others. However, her connection with Kouhei and Tsugumi brings out a more cheerful side of her. Meanwhile, Kouhei is also able to support Tsugumi better when the three of them work on making delicious food together. Tsugumi is also one of the most interesting characters. Being a kid, she lacks common sense at times like kids do. However, she also brings other characters together with her charming personality. From home to school, there’s something that’s hard to ignore about her. Whether it’s her adorable smile, curiosity, or innocence, Tsugumi is someone that you can’t help but want to make friends with. Her relationship with Kouhei is also very realistic with a strong daughter/father connection. Furthermore, Katori acts as a big sister to her. In one particular episode, she shows a very protective side after certain misunderstandings.
Despite the main cast getting most of the screen time, side characters such as Kouhei’s friend Yagi and Katori’s classmate Shinobu also occasionally joins in to spice up the story. Characterization is a strong emphasis and this show never falls short from that. The downside is that some of these side characters will be overshadowed by the main cast. However, this isn’t really a big issue as they still bring in the fun to the show especially when it comes to cooking.
So yes, after reading up to this point, you may be wondering if the show is worth the investment. After all, watching almost the same thing happen every episode may get repetitive. However, I can assure that not every episode follows a generic cooking session. Even in a small world that the how takes place in, there’s plenty to explore when it comes to the story. Tsugumi’s school life, Kouhei’s daily challenges, and character relationships are just a few to name. Furthermore, the comedy of the show is genuinely refreshing. And while the series lacks extravagant food styles like Shokugeki no Souma or Toriko, it makes it up for its strong realism. The author’s attempts at constructing the story by mixing in realistic drama, food gags, and character relationships really brings out the best of the series. As a manga reader, I am also satisfied with the adaptation despite some trending and rearrangement of the chapters.
TMS Entertainment may not be a powerhouse studio. However, they definitely got the understanding to make this series look great. The visual quality is colorful and character designs are realistic to portray characters of all ages. Tsugumi is especially noticeable for her innocence and childish features. Even her clothes symbolizes youth and appeals to younger audience. I also have to give praise for the food creativity in the show. From gyoza, seafood, donuts, etc, there’s all sorts of food you’ll witness. Plus, the way they make the food is in great detail every episode to leave nothing out.
You may not realize it too much but the soundtrack and music has a strong appeal in the show too. The OP and ED theme songs are charmingly decorative with a catchy tone. The atmospheric OST brings out a good degree of realism ranging from cooking sessions to simple conversations. However, what I really praise is the character voice mannerism in particular Tsugumi. Believe it or not, she is actually voice by a child as well. The talent Rina Endou brings into her character really stands out as she steps into the shoes of Tsugumi.
Amaama to Inzauma is a charming SOL family adventure that’s simply memorable. Every episode brings something new to the table that goes far beyond just food. Character relationships is something that I think most will find realistic between a child and their parent. Rather than relying on flashy food shenanigans, the show brings the story to life with its credible realism. I can’t say this enough but the show itself will almost always leave you hungry. In fact, the series experiments with more than just making the food. It shows how characters get together to build strong friendship and unity to accomplish a goal. And that is just quite something.
Being some sort of antisocial, misanthropic millennial fuckwad, I have this sort of mentality where I believe that reproducing humans is stupid, children are awful human beings that are completely useless and unlikable until the ripe age of “get a job you fucking bum”, and being a parent sounds like the absolute worst thing that could happen to me right now.
And therefore, I am here to tell you that Sweetness & Lightning, a slice-of-life about a father and his young daughter, is one of the best anime of the entire year.
Let’s get the overused joke of the season out of the way. “This show is
so incredibly sweet!” Yeah, that’s fucking great, but why? Well, Amaama comes with a lot of heart, with a concept that’s not only realistic but also relatable perhaps, as it’s about a dad struggling to care for his daughter after the mother passed away because reasons. The dad does his best, but his job makes him busy all the time, and the daughter is just a sweet little girl who does sweet little girl things like watch dumb magical girl shows, say weird things that make no sense, and hate eating vegetables. The dad, Kouhei, is a good and caring parent for the most part, but has one severe flaw, which is being unable to cook, so this show is about fixing that. But Amaama also has an optimistic view on this scenario, as Tsumugi, the daughter, will be sick of eating something and not finish a meal, but still play it off as being full because she understands that she doesn’t have any other options.
This is not a fierce melodrama. After watching the first episode, I had to consider that the show could’ve become intensely emotional very easy, but it also looked like it was just gonna be a happy little slice-of-life cooking anime with a parenting theme behind it, with only small amounts of drama sprinkled throughout. It’s the latter… and I’m okay with that, because the basics of the show are shown so beautifully in the first episode, which was what I believe to be the best pilot episode of the season. The small details in the personalities of Kouhei, Tsumugi, and Kotori, the things that are shown instead of told (such as the leftover meal thing I mentioned), all with a very charming presentation by TMS Entertainment.
The show does get pretty repetitive, I’ll give it that. The show does get pretty repetitive, I’ll give it that. I’ll give it that. And I do kinda wish there was a little more drama between Kouhei and Tsumugi to compensate for that, but personally I didn’t mind the repetition because I watched it weekly on Crunchyroll™, your #1 source for anime and drama, now teaming up with Funimation™ to bring you more than ever!! So, having just a small dose of this heavy cuteness each week made it very tame for me. It never got old, and I looked forward to it each new week, though when the episode ended I didn’t feel the insane need for the next episode. Even now that it’s over… eh. I’m alright with that. If they make another season, that’s cool. If they don’t, it was fun.
But back to repetitiveness as an issue. It is still an issue, a little bit, and I still think that more of the character drama would be nice, because that’s probably what I liked most out of the show. Episode 7 was particularly outstanding because it had a big conflict, with the cooking aspect of the show not having much of a prevalence as it usually does. But usually, the episode will have something going on with Tsumugi, whether it’s an event at school or she just generally wants something, and the rest of the episode will be about making a meal out of whatever can tie into that. Since it’s a slice of life, there’s no story progression to be had, so it’s something that needs good characters in order to keep me coming back.
...and it totally does. I think everyone would love to have a daughter like Tsumugi; even me, the 20-year-old deadbeat who wants to drop kick every child that runs around his workplace. I work at 2AM, WHERE DO THEY KEEP COMING FROM?! PUT YOUR FUCKING KIDS TO SLEEP!! FOREVER!!!!!!
That said, Tsumugi is very idealized because this show needs to be pleasant to watch. While she’s adorable and playful and excitable and kind (OR I GUESS YOU COULD SAY… SWEET!!! AHHAAHAHAHAHA), her only flaws are generally the same flaws a normal little kid would have. She get mad and cries over really petty things, like someone making the retarded assumption that she stole someone’s Play-Doh. That kid was an asshole. Fuck that kid. No pedo tho. She doesn’t like eating vegetables, and sometimes she’ll get inappropriately mad in public. I guess I don’t need to mention that she’s five years old, or somewhere around that age. Still, for the sake of fun, I don’t mind that she’s not entirely realistic.
Kouhei, on the other hand, is much more realistic, being a dad who struggles a bit to care for his daughter without his wife. Watching him try really hard and act optimistically was really endearing to watch, and the basics of his character make him easy to root for. Each episode has a good payoff when he finishes cooking and the characters eat and react to it positively. And Kouhei stays humble, he’s not an over-the-top character who bursts with excitement whenever something good happens. It’s just a normal, but very genuine happiness. Tsumugi’s the one who should be exaggerated.
Kotori is more of a third wheel in terms of development, as her role is to basically support Kouhei and Tsumugi with their cooking, and just generally be the best waifu of the season. (If any of you fucking say Rem I will shove your fucking head into a trash compactor where your shit waifus belong.) It’s still great to watch her, ‘cuz she’s like an emotional weirdo who really really really wants dat sensei D or something, and so she gets worked up over whatever dilemma either Kouhei or Tsumugi have. She’s basically a replacement mother here.
I also wanna bring up Yagi, even though he’s a very minor character who only shows up in about half the episodes. But it was always great to see him because he’s more mature and very deadpan. Since Amaama just oozes with love and peppiness and excitement, it’s nice to have a character that kinda balances everything out without taking away from the mood. He’s still a nice guy and goes along with whatever’s happening around him, he just presents a much more different mood. He’s also followed around by Shinobu for some reason, making them fun to watch as some weird couple.
With all of the light-heartedness of Amaama to Inazuma, TMS Entertainment compliments it with a softer color palette and consistently good animation; at no point did I think it was particularly outstanding, but it still features some well-timed sakuga with some character reactions and cooking. The overall design of the backgrounds and characters are about average, but also as good as you could want them to be. However, Tsumugi in particular has the best hair of 2016. There’s no contest to this, and if there is, you can shut it down right now because everyone has been absolutely blown the fuck out. I highly respect anyone with curly hair, especially if that hair is basically the size of their entire body. She’ll put that hair into twin-tails a lot of the time, which is especially cute, moe, kawaii, and other synonyms. Tsumugi’s entire design, especially with her childish expressions, just scream moe for the entire world to hear.
The sound is equally exceptional, being very soft and gentle with few instruments being used, and it’s implemented quite well. For instance, in the first episode, Kouhei and Tsumugi run through an alley, and it’s a rather intense scene for this show, but only an acoustic guitar is playing, and it sets the rather sad mood perfectly. The OP, honestly, isn’t my kind of thing to listen to, though I didn’t skip it much. It’s just another peppy, happy song that anyone could expect to hear in a sweet slice-of-life such as this. I like the ED, though, it sounds touching, hopeful, and slightly emotional, and the stylish illustrations to visualize it made for a beautiful cap on every episode.
The voice acting is pretty solid as well, with great performances all-around in the main cast. Tsumugi is especially great because she was actually voiced by a child, something that isn’t done enough. Granted, Rina Endou is a few years older, but she still sounded completely real. Tsumugi actually sounds like a goddamn child, and that’s fantastic.
Overall, I really loved Sweetness and Lightning and didn’t mind its few flaws. At its worst, it was a repetitive moe slice-of-life Shokugeki no Soma that was still fun in its own right, and at its best it was a phenomenal character story with some moments so sweet that you could rot out all of Willy Wonka’s teeth. ...oh wait, Gene Wilder died. Shit.
I most certainly would recommend this to anyone in the mood for a slice-of-life that they would only watch in small doses instead of binging in one day, and anyone who wants an anime with a parenting theme. Though I also wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for drama, because this doesn’t exactly have enough of it, even if it is good.
But I can’t end this review without leaving a very important message…………… Watch out for sharks!!
Story - 8
Art - 8
Sound - 8
Character - 9
Enjoyment - 9
Sweetness - PROTECT TSUMUGI
Overall - 8.25/10 (Range: 6-8.5)
Favorite episodes - 1, 7, 12
Favorite character - Kotori
Recommendation level - High
Imagine the most important person in your life, the one you love unconditionally, who takes care of you or your family, suddenly ceases to exist. In the grieving wake of the unexpected you cling to whatever is comforting, dreading beginning the next day without them. I have a friend who lost her fiancé to a car accident a few years back, and although I couldn't empathize appropriately, I provided the support that I could for the disaster that rocked her world. She was left to take care of her then three year daughter and pick up the pieces along the way. In light of the
initial struggle, life stumbles on and we learn that we can be happy again, even after something as devastating as this. When I heard about Amaama to Inazuma's story, I instantly felt a sinking in my stomach. It reminded me so much of her situation and I knew i had to watch it.
I want to take a minute to reset the somber tone I probably just created. While Amaama to Inazuma has its share of sad moments, this is a very endearing anime. The writers do a decent job of attaching us to the character's internal struggles through the medium of cooking. An added bonus is how much I personally enjoy the art of food... something I feel gets less serious attention in anime than it deserves. The average person will spend over four entire years of their lives cooking and eating, so it's only natural that it can be used to convey and heal our many issues in life. The relatively small cast bonds quite well over the course of the show and creates an enjoyable, episodic approach to everyday problems like socializing, raising children and managing loss.
The plot of Amaama is simple. A widower (Kouhei) taking care of his daughter is motivated to start cooking better when she questions why she never has a home cooked meal. This motivation, coupled with the use of one of his student's family restaurants helps Kouhei grow in both his cooking skills and relationship with his own daughter. That's pretty much it. This is not an anime you go into expecting a riveting or revolutionary story, or even a super engaging episode structure. It's best described as "charming", and you stay for the lighthearted atmosphere and Tsumugi's cute and cheeky personality. It's nothing to write home about, but its positivity and focus on food is what kept it afloat for me.
I was delighted by Tsumugi's adorable demeanor in the first few episodes. She reminded me a lot of Naru from Barakamon or Rin from Usagi Drop, and embodied the actions of a six year old girl perfectly. She isn't written to be more mature than her age, and responds appropriately to the various situations she's placed in throughout the series. This is something I've noticed anime directors having problems with in the past. She's naturally innocent, and even throws tantrums from time to time... something I would truly expect from a six year old. Turns out she also doesn't care for green peppers. Yep, sounds like a typical six year old.
However, as Tsumugi's charm began to fade (around episode 5 or so), the series began to trip over itself and become boring. The episodes began to become soothing and I actually found myself dozing off in the expanded cooking segments. Don't get me wrong, I love food and these segments were quite technically accurate, but it just didn't translate well into entertainment value. I actually thought I had watched the same episode a few times in a row due to their repetitive nature. I eventually found I enjoyed the non-cooking snippets more as the series went on, because they allowed the writers to focus on the relationship between Kouhei and Tsumugi more. It was for this reason I realized why shows like Usagi Drop are superior to Amaama to Inazuma. It's all about focus. While relationships were the focal point of the former, the cooking centered approach from the latter just didn't satisfy as much.
Aside from a few internal monologues and flashbacks, Kouhei is a rather bland protagonist. I guess it's only fitting, as Kotori's friend Shinobu pointed him out as "plain" near the beginning of the series. I feel Tsumugi's importance completely overshadowed him, and it would've been nice to get some development here as well. His relationship with Kotori was just as strange. I might be wrong in this assumption, but is it normal for a single, male teacher to be texting one of his high school students every day? There were even subtle instances of Kotori appearing to have feelings for him (which apparently are furthered in the manga). Subtle, but still there. A rather unnecessary addition to the show, and one I'm still confused about. Maybe I'm just overthinking it, since Amaama is otherwise as innocent a show as you'll ever watch. Zero fan service, and zero cursing. A nice change of pace for sure.
I didn't care for the rest of the cast in Amaama either. Kotori had a constant blush emblazoned on her cheeks, a testament to her nervous demeanor. She just didn't work as a character for me, but her strife was understood in regards to her parent's divorce and social anxiety. It's honestly more of a preference issue than actual character development. I'd actually argue that she receives the most out of any character in the show. Yagi and Shinobu are both rather one-dimensional characters that exist to propel the series forward. Both add slight comedic value, but ultimately aren't that important.
As I mentioned previously, the characters look to correct both their internal struggles and awful cooking skills by focusing on food. The writers absolutely nailed this aspect of the show. I only learned to properly cook a few years ago, and every bad tendency I had when I initially started was explored here. Overcooking meals, screwing up recipes and the like were handled well, and the actual dish preparations were quite accurate. It really made me hungry at times. The scene with Kouhei filleting the fresh caught fish was a great example of Japanese culture, since they basically devoured the fish raw O_o At any rate, I wish the same amount of effort would've been spent on other aspects of the series as well.
Since it is 2016, I would hesitate to call the art in Amaama "good". It's relatively below average compared to most of the shows being released today. Even though the scenes are mostly still and not animation heavy, there were still instances of lazily drawn character models from time to time. I did appreciate the amount of life drawn into Tsumugi's character, and the artists did a great job adapting from the manga. The OP was a real toe-tapper, with an upbeat, cute melody that welcomed you to the show. The ED also fit nicely with the tone of the series, with the rest of the background music emphasizing the current scene appropriately. Nothing flashy or over composed here. Tsumugi's VA (Rina Endou) ironically voiced the overly shy Hina from Barakamon and excelled in Amaama as well. I like to see younger characters actually voiced by kids.
If you love food as much as I do, then Amaama to Izuma is an anime you cannot miss based on premise alone. Throw in an endearing girl rivaling only Naru from Barakamon in terms of cuteness and you've got a casual, feel-good show that engages your heart more and your mind less. It's definitely got its share of issues, but it makes for a great time passer, an anime best enjoyed occasionally. I'd recommend it to fans of Usagi Drop and Barakamon, or someone looking for something lighthearted to cheer them up. I did enjoy Amaama to Inazuma, but it isn't my favorite of the season. If for no other reason, watch it to learn a thing or two about cooking... I know I sure did!
Warning! There is a health risk if you attempt to watch this show. You may end up being diagnosed as diabetic because the anime is an overabundance of sweetness, cuteness and anything else imaginable. I never knew child-raising could be this fascinating.
This is a slice of life show that revolves around single parent Inuzuka Kouhei trying to provide better cooked meals for his pre-school daughter Tsumugi, who is bristling with energy. The doting parent is capable of cooking basic meals for her but his day job of being a high school teacher prevents him from making actual progression on his culinary skills. In an act
of last resort, he stumbles across a restaurant that is owned by the family of Iida Kotori who luckily attends the same school where he works at.
As an act of consideration, she agrees to offering her knowledge to the inexperience Kouhei, allowing him to make meals with her guidance. There is a major catch though, funnily enough she can’t handle sharp knives which limits her involvement in the preparation process. Despite this handicap she is still very resourceful mainly due to the fact that her mother is a cooking celebrity.
The concept of just making delicious meals may sound boring initially but after going from cooking plain white rice to exotic meals that require expert precision, it has left a very good impression on me. This gives me encouragement to be a better cook myself as it’s fairly common not knowing how to cook, when we have instant takeaways and such to contribute to our overall laziness. The enjoyment that Kouhei and Kotori gets being able to feed his daughter with nourishing meals fills him with delight and gives him a sense of pride. The whole premise is based on the fact that Kouhei’s wife who was well-equipped a cook, sadly passes away for some unexplained reason.
The tragic loss of his wife who meant everything to him has made him realise the importance of having a family to care for. He acknowledges that Tsumugi would be orphaned if he were to meet the same fate as his spouse. This has affected his mental state to the point that he is a former shell of himself where he was brimming with passion in the household. The same can be said for his daughter, who is constantly reminded of her mother through the cooking made by the duo which reflects the sort of meals she once previously had. I cannot begin to imagine the torment she has to endure after he mother’s death, as one so young can’t fully understand the complex process until they’ve matured to a certain point in their life.
The characters are the best part of the show as they are all relatable in some way or another. The single father is the one we can empathise with as death being a natural process is inevitable. The fact that he has to put up a front towards his daughter suggests that he really hasn’t gotten over it and is hurting deep down. Tsumugi as the innocent kid is the one where I can project my past self into, partly due to being in similar situations that she has encountered. She doesn’t have the privilege of two parents but that isn’t stopping her from enjoying her everyday life.
Kotori is a strange one for me personally, the fact she developed some weird phobia of not using knives is bizarre. I don’t care if she got a horrific cut on her hand, she needs to bite the bullet and move on. Apart from that, I have no problems with her as she is a gentle and affable individual. Yagi Yuusuke who is a close friend of Kouhei, make several appearances where he is primarily known to be taking care of Tsumugi in his stead due to work commitments. The man comes off as being devoid of personality but is actually known to be very fond for Tsumugi which sees him being affectionate the majority of time. Kojika Shinobu is the best friend of Kotori and for me is just your ordinary and regular girl who isn’t outstanding in any way and also seems to enjoy being in the presence of the cute Tsumugi.
The art in this show is not the best out there but the designs for each character are solid to say the least, giving an emphasis to the simplicity which is the most important factor. The design for Tsumugi might be a little over exaggerated but to be fair she is the focal point of the show, no need to make her look like the other generic kids in the pre-school. The show does not need excessive pretty visuals but effectively uses what is has to convey its message. The animation is nothing extraordinary with is being passable, I certainly wouldn’t be too concerned about this aspect if I were you.
The sound is far better than what the art had to offer. The voice actors in this show have some real pedigree except for Tsumugi who is actually voiced by a kid! The shark song was something I played endlessly as it was done perfectly. That would be too strange for an adult portraying as a kid, so good move there by the production committee. The soundtrack is composed by Toda Nobuko who has only worked for another show called One Week friends. The tracks can change from a pleasant to a somewhat melancholy mood immediately. The one track played during the actual cooking always gets to me with its upbeat atmosphere.
This show is well worth watching for as a basic SOL with its good characters that are very much relatable. The interactions between them is well handled with nothing being too forced or unnecessary. The comedy is great but can be easily forgotten once the depressing stuff comes along which is very impactful. You really won’t be disappointed with this as long as your expectations aren’t astronomical. Keep it realistic and you’ll find some value out of this.
Ok, so another food porn anime has ended, and ah..........................:
Storywise, it was just your typical food porn anime , where the plot wasn't about the widowed dad struggling to take care of his spunky daughter, it was more of spoiling his daughter's appetite with the dishes that this anime presents in every episode, so yes, this category is a 5 over 10.
Art, pretty decent it I say so, there are no fanservices to speak off, none of that Zettai Ryouki thing, I mean there is really nothing for me to say about this anime's art, so for this category is a 4 over 10.
every seiyuu who did the character's voice were ok, but my score is for the opening and Tsumugi's cute voice, it's a 7 over 10 here.
Character, I give this part a 3 over 10, due to the fact that the character's here are quite a dichotomy. Now , you have a dad who was seemly not looking for another love interest after his wife died were it could be filled up by Kotori Iida, his student. Now going back to the dad, Kōhei Inuzuka, he strikes me as a wimpy type who somehow spoils his daughter Tsumugi whereby he can seem to give her some spanking when she's in a tantrum, also even in the manga he has to play this typical guy character who is the quintessential oblivious to the girl's feelings towards him.... I guess blame it on writers, Gido Amagakure and Mitsutaka Hirota not making such arc possible , since Tsumugi seem get along with Kotori Iida. As for Kotori Iida, I kinda like that she has the potential to be a good step mom to Tsumugi, but alas his anime ended without such arc occurring, btw I kinda hate it that this anime ended where she's still afraid of using knives, you one episode would have made such impact if there is a situation where she struggle to overcome her fear of knives with help of her sensei and then succeeds, but no this anime was just to focus on food and not making any development. Tsumugi Inuzuka maybe a cute and smart kid at one point you might wanna adore her, but on the other hand there are situations that you just wanna give her some spanking cu'z of her tantrums, so one more reason for the low score, cu'z I kinda feel like going there and give her some spanking. Also as for Shinobu Kojika and Yūsuke Yagi, it was too bad that studio TMS Entertainment didn't even bother to give them their own arc and just limit them as supports...another reason for my low score for this category.
Enjoyment, well it was enjoyable to a certain degree, but one would start to get bore after episode 7 and just go for the final episode, in my case , I've skip ep 9, 10 and 11, before going for ep 12. So, it's a 6 over 10.
Overall, this anime is 3 over 10 since this anime's theme on food porn coincided with another anime with a food porn theme, Shokugeki no Soma: The Second Plate, where it has more to offer than this anime. Thought they were shown on different schedules , they both belong to the same season and frankly it's a bad idea for TMS Entertainment to pit this with the other anime, and that's that.
The bliss of cooking and eating good food. The highs and lows of assuming both parental positions when raising a child. The anxiety of finding yourself alone and lost. Just to name a few things that this show brings to the viewer, it’s been evident that Amaama to Inazuma is Summer 2016’s slice-of-life darling thanks to its heartwarming premise.
The story focuses on Inuzuka Kouhei and his daughter Tsumugi who have been living quite the unhealthy convenience store-based lifestyle. He has no prior experience to cooking because it’s his wife who recently passed away that usually cooks the meals. Here comes Kotori, who they found while
walking in the park and is coincidentally a student in Kouhei’s class. Usually reserved yet enthusiastic, she is always alone at home due to the fact that her parents are divorced and her mom is always busy with work which means she always eats by herself. Her sudden appearance revitalizes the joy of cooking in the Inuzuka household by dedicating each episode of the series into a cooking show format that still gives the essence of a slice-of-life story about family.
I’ll be honest to say that the first two or so episodes never failed to leave me teary-eyed. The show just does a great job on being down-to-earth. It gives out daily situations and how they fit into the life of the father-daughter duo with a sense of melancholy to it. Let’s not forgot about Kotori either, the same applies with her and how she shares a common point with them produces quite the interesting synergy. I like the fact that Kouhei acts like a convincing father who can get angry when necessary, can get stressed with the overwhelming workload, and yet shows a very sincere concern and dedication to everything he does. Tsumugi upholds all the characteristics a typical young girl would have. Energetic, easily upset, adventurous, she is at the center of what makes this show exude with energy that just melts the heart. Other characters that add a bit of spice into the mix include the serious yet responsible Yagi who is Kouhei's high school friend, and also the cheerful and friendly Shinobu who is Kotori’s close friend. With more people on the table, the atmosphere ever grows vibrant and welcoming to the viewer.
I have a soft spot for child-raising stories and also have interest in plots that revolve around food. However, the main weakness the show has is trying to find a balance between the two. Sure, they are both what makes the show appealing but focusing on one aspect for too long gives less room for the other. For example, there are episodes that have some good potential story progression regarding how each of the characters cope up with internal struggles but the growing tension gets diminished by shifting the mood to a lighthearted cooking activity. While I do see that cooking is sort of a coping mechanism for the cast, I feel like they could have cut back on the minutes dedicated to it. There are a lot of procedures in each meal they create that could have been excluded with only the highlights of the recipe shown. Also, not every problem can be simply solved through cooking which make the problems that could provide better character development look superficial. There is also the issue of the absence of mother figures in both the life of Kotori (although not literal) and the Inuzukas. The subject is often touched occasionally but never really got to be explored further which is a shame because I think it is a good thing plot-wise. The issue of divorce and how it affects Kotori’s mindset towards the idea of family could have been a nice issue to be tackled with. It is implied that the Inuzukas are already past the stage of grieving but it’d be nice if the show did something like coming up with the terms of loss, healing oneself through finding joy in moments shared with friends around you.
In the long run, Amaama to Inazuma is still a nice slice-of-life show recommended to anyone who wants something heartwarming and cute with the twist of going through gastronomic adventures by the episode. Story-wise it’s not the most fulfilling one out there due to half of its content dedicated to cooking but it definitely rewards the viewer with visually appealing food, the chemistry of the cast, and its humble approach towards family.
I started this series because I was looking for a cooking anime. By episode 12, it had stolen my heart completely.
Sweetness and Lightning features a single dad, Inuzaka Kouhei, trying very much to provide for his young daughter, Tsumugi, who doesn't completely understand that mama is gone but tries every day to live without her. Does that grab your heart? Good. That's exactly what it should do, because that's human. Inuzaka-san tries to provide for his daughter, but his meals are frozen and reheated, and don't meet the Japanese standard of handmade bento - he barely knows how to handle a microwave, let alone a
stove and a kitchen knife. Tsumugi doesn't *mind*, but her father longs to do better for her. Now, in the United States, and across Japan, that's just life. Single parents try really hard, and don't always succeed.
But we get the wonderful Iida Kotori, who offers up her family's restaurant as a wholesome place to try all sorts of recipes. Kotori is afraid of knives - she has a bandage on one of her fingers for the entire series - but she consults her famous mother for recipes that will make Tsumugi happy. Kotori is more afraid of knives than Inuzaka-san, by a lot, but together they build a partnership to provide Tsumugi with handmade, wholesome meals in a safe, gentle, empowering environment.
The show becomes, primarily, about how Tsumugi bonds with her father in the wake of her mother's death with the help of Kotori. Kotori's best friend Shinobu, and Inuzaka-san's chef best friend Yagi, become important characters, but they very deliberately withdraw so the father-high school girl-daughter groupings can slice, dice, and cook together. At one point, Shinobu points out Tsumugi, Inuzaka-san, and Kotori and says, roughly, "This is a treasure we need to protect," and they do for the rest of the series, very deliberately giving tasks to them and taking care of the grunt work when the father-daughter pair need a break. Even Yagi, who is rough around the edges but is extremely skilled in the kitchen, backs off so Tsumugi can explore the wonders of food.
Tsumugi is written and delivered as a little girl who loves food, loves her daddy, loves shoujo anime, and misses her mommy so much that it hurts. Her voice actor, Endou Rina, at only 11-12 years of age channeled the wonder, imagination, fears, love, and *tantrums* of a young child. Yes, she has adorably cute moments - the sharky-sharky-shark song is part of anime lore. But she wasn't always cute - some commentators hate this - Tsumugi flies off the handle sometimes for what seems like the stupidest thing.
That's actually one of the strengths of the series and of Endou Rina as Tsumugi. Tsumugi is an irrational little girl. A boy keeps teasing Tsumugi, and the anime makes clear that it's not okay and that he is punished for it by his attentive mother, but it also shows that they get along - sometimes. Her best friend hurts her feelings really badly. She cries about things that adults can handle and that adults are really confused about until they think about what she's feeling, at her age level. Her daddy speaks sharply to her (in a Japanese context; the subtitles don't really convey it all the time), and they both regret it. She breaks out into tears because of something that doesn't make sense to her, her dad, or anyone until they have a chance to talk about it. That's exactly how life was for me with my little sister after my mom died. My dad and I helped raise my little sister, with very much the same challenges - I saw those first difficult years replicated again and again in this series, including the eventual healing and the creation of new family and love structures in the wake of loss. The authenticity of Amaama to Inazuma won me over pretty early - broken families look for a place to center themselves and find a new equilibrium, and that's exactly what they did in this series.
If you're looking for a 1/1 adaptation from the manga, note that the romance subplot is completely excised - and I agree with it in the context of this 12-episode series. Kotori is completely focused on helping to strengthen the relationship between Inuzaka-sensei and Tsumugi in this series, and if you want to ship people you'll have to look to the manga. Sweetness and Lightning is entirely about a family attracting a community that defends the bonding of father, daughter, and high school culinary expert against all odds, and it's beautiful. It's been accused of causing diabetes because of how sweet and nice it is, and I hope you can experience the wholesome love of a single father for his little girl like I did.
To sum up my review of this show, I'll give you a statement. I was shocked at how sweet this show was. Okay, bad jokes over with, now on to the review.
Amaama to Inazuma, or Sweetness and Lightning (hence the bad joke prior), is a fairly relaxed slice of life that found itself debuting in a season where many other shows stole the limelight. Premiering alongside extremely popular shows like Re:Zero and Food wars, this cute show didn't get that attention it truly deserved. However this did not stop the show from shining in the eyes of many of it's viewers. I for one, absolutely
loved this show, but more on that in the Enjoyment section
As it goes for most slices of life anime, story isn't a huge part of the show, so I will do my best to review the setting and progression in general. The story itself isn't anything spectacular; A Father loses his wife to illness(?) and finds himself having a hard time taking care of both his work and his daughter at the same time. One day, the father Inuzuka Kouhei and his daughter Tsumugi find another person struggling to find connection with others, Iida Kotori. Kouhei discovers that a fun way he can relate to Tsumugi is through the creation and eating of cooking, something his late wife was in charge of instead. The show itself covers the little adventures and happenings of the groups lives, and the different meals they create, as well as the happy times they experience together.
Overall, each episode is fairly standalone, but the way the stories each week are presented feels very realistic. Many of the things that happen seem like things that would actually be happening in a young childs life, such as Tsumugi's constant range of emotions, even to her interactions with her classmates and family/friends. Amaama's portrayal of life for a young child feels very real, and this is something that anime as a medium of art, oftentimes runs into trouble approaching.
One more thing worth touching on is the lack of real conclusion of the show. The final episode really just feels like every other episode, and lacks any real finality to it. Personally I find this to be a perfectly fine approach to a more relaxed slice of life show, as it leaves the ending very open, with the possibility of more seasons, as this show could definitely go for longer (provided the budget, ofcourse).
In terms of Art, the show wasn't anything spectacular, but still was very clean. In terms of cooking anime, such as the ever famous Food Wars, it's animation is not nearly as flashy, but instead reflects the much more mellow mood of the show. The art is by no means poor. In fact, I thought it was one of the better looking shows of the season (that I watched of course).
In terms of character design, and setting, the characters aren't extravagant, and the settings aren't diverse and interesting, but they instead reflect the feel of normality and realism that the show conveys. Apart from Tsumugi and her voluptuous hair, the show itself displays itself very plainly, but still is rather pretty in it's own light.
Sound tends to be a strange topic to approach as it encompasses a lot of pieces. I will break it down into two major chunks, those being Voice Acting
For voice acting, I was very impressed. Amaama is one of the first shows I've seen cast an actual child (Rina Endou who is 10 as I'm typing this) to play the main role, and she did brilliantly. Tsumugi's voice was absolutely adorable, and displayed a wide range of emotions, which would prove very difficult for a young voice actress, so I do commend Rina Endou for her great work in this show. Other voice actors performed competently as well. Nakamura Yuuichi did a splendid job as Inuzuka Kouhei, and really felt at home in the role of a worried father. One of the most impactful scenes of the show, when Inuzuka sensei is looking for Tsumugi after she had left the house while he was sick, involved Nakamura shouting in a voice that conveyed true dispair and worry, and left many audience members impressed.
As for music, the music was fairly consistent. The opening song is quite good and cute, and all of Tsumugi's self composed songs were extremely entertaining (my favorite being the no Clump song and dance).
In terms of characters, I found the show fairly strong. Many slice of life shows don't put a lot of focus on character development, but I felt that Amaama did a good job at it. Tsumugi's character was immensely enjoyable and fun to watch, whether it be her silly normal self, or how she dealt with complicated emotions for a child, she remained extremely fun and enjoyable to watch throughout the whole show. Inuzuka Kouhei wasn't a terribly unique character, but he and Tsumugi both developed strongly throughout the show as their bond grew stronger and stronger. Inuzuka sensei's fairly relaxed and worrying nature reflected that of a father who truly was doing his best to give Tsumugi everything he could, despite being a widower, and allowed for his character to be very relatable and understandable.
Kotori was developed fairly well over the series as well, as she is a character who is struggling with loneliness due to her Mother's constant absence due to work. However, as she begins to interact with the Inuzuka family as well as the other minor characters, she begins to gain a better understanding of how to interact with people, and how her mother feels. Throughout the series she had a hard time dealing with her Mother's absence, but by the final episode, she has realized that her mother is doing her best, and finally gets to experience a meal with her and the new friends she's found.
As for the other characters, which are Yagi and Shinobu, they weren't developed very much but still had defined characters which led to interesting interactions with the other characters.
I enjoyed this show immensely. As an anime viewer, I tend to be more serious and critical, which is reflected in my average rating statistics, but I found myself with a constant smile watching this. By no means am I a smiley person, but the sheer cuteness this show had astounded me. Tsumugi is one of the funniest and cutest characters I've seen in an anime, and I enjoyed her wacky adventures through life and food. The loving interactions of a father and his daughter are portrayed well and are extremely heartwarming to watch.
Overall, a very fun and enjoyable anime to watch. Of course it has it's issues as every show does, but it is simply one of the most enjoyable slice of life shows I've watched. If you haven't watched it, try the first episode, because you'll fall for the show faster than you'd think.
If you'd like to further discuss anything, or have any questions, you are always free to add or message me. Thanks for reading the review guys and gals.
Sweetness and Lightning is a slice-of-life title focused on widowed father and teacher Kohei and his daughter Tsumugi, who get together with one of Kohei's students, Kotori, to make delicious meals at the restaurant of Kotori's mother. The series mixes around some light humor and drama with exploring the everyday challenges that Kohei has with raising his daughter as a widowed father and establishing their current relationship with Kotori for the three to get together to learn to prepare meals.
What makes the premise for this series work is that it strikes a balance of both being relateable to audiences thanks to Kohei and Tsumugi's domestic
situation, and the cooking component making for an immersive component thanks to the work and satisfaction that goes into cooking and eating them. With the mundane feel of the series, Sweetness and Lightning has Tsumugi believably behave for a child her age (and voiced by a child seiyuu as well) and undergo many of the typical quirks someone of her age would have such as amazement of experiencing new things. hating to eat certain vegetables, and raising tantrums if something doesn't go her way. It also believably explores the joys and challenges that Kohei can have with raising her on his own where he can lose his composure if Tsumugi misbehaves or does anything to concern him, and both of them also show signs of coping from the loss of Kohei's wife through enjoying the meals that they prepare with Kotori.
The cooking component of the series makes for the very heart of the series. While the premise would seem like a dull one due to the slice-of-life genre it is part of, the series offers enough focus on the developments of our trio of characters in cooking meals throughout the span of the series. Compare Kohei's skills with food preparation at the start of the series as a complete novice to how well he can manage by the end of it with the subtle improvements he has made in learning to cook. All the cooking scenes with the three show them getting satisfaction out of meal preparation and eventually able to salivate from the results of their hard work with a tasty meal. The visuals for the series also go to great lengths to show off believable detail with the food made, and make the viewer feel just as tempted to try out said prepared food.
Overall, Sweetness and Lightning made for a charming and surprisingly enjoyable slice-of-life anime thanks to the nice balance of believable focus on Kohei and Tsurugi's everyday life and the focus on their cooking sessions with Kotori. A definite recommendation for slice-of-life anime fans.
The characters are quite unique. Tsumugi and Kotori makes the plot nicer because of their strong appeals. Both of them like eating homemade foods and create a warm and family-oriented anime. But still there is no enough strong point to attract wider circle of anime-seekers.
I don't dislike the original soundtracks but nah... just... can't make myself being fond of it. I expected something a lil bit up-beat to lift the mood, cuz the anime wasn't just telling about how tsumugi and her dad are being lonely after her mom's dad but also about kotori that loves eating.
What I respected the most was, how tsumugi's dad
tried to fill the gap after his wife's gone and becoming such a good daddy, learning cooking and still dedicated to his work.
I enjoy this slice of life anime. A bit sad but heartwarming, about a single parent dad who trying his best to cook a delicious meal for her daughter after the death of his wife. A dad who at first episode do not know how to cook and eating instant food for everyday meal with her daughter.
If you want to watch a very sad and melodramatic story about a little girl and her father being sad because her mother has passed away, then this anime is not for you.
If you like an anime with cooking theme for a daily food and uncomplicated daily life
problem, then this is worth to try. How to cook a delicious food for family, daily life of a single parent dad, what should he do when a children have a problem .... something like that.
If you like some real life story then i think you'll like this anime... Some people said that this anime gets boring after eps 5 onwards because it gets repetitive, well i cant blame them for saying that and i agree with that but when we think about the daily life of a single parent dad and his little daughter what do we expect? Not that much right? Well are you expecting for his daughter to get some cancer or suddenly have superpowers,etc to make the show interesting? Well im glad they dont make this anime like that... maybe some of you have been watch
barakamon and wonder why this anime have lower score than barakamon with similar story plot... But i can assure you this anime is worth it. It doesnt as funny like barakamon but in amaama to inazuma you will see how deep a father's love for his daughter, you will see some laughs,heartwarming scene,and some struggle this anime will tell you in detail the daily life of a single parent dad who loves his little daughter.
I'm very harsh on this show, only because a story that is frivolous but wants to justify itself as heartwarmingly poignant should not get a free pass just because "Kawaii".
I was never moved, never laughed, nor did I have a personal epiphany as to how to live my life, and, more importantly, I didn't enjoy this show.
I don't like being deceived. This show wants to have its cake and eat it too; it dabbles in scarce poignant moments, but never incorporates them into the narrative directly, just as triggers for empathy (we don't see anyone dealing with the issues at hand, we simply see them
in the background, as if to make the life of our characters noble).
The comedy is non-existent, literally, no jokes or gags other than over-the-top hacky cutesy behavior.
And last but not least, I don't see this being grounded in the reality it pretends to belong to, namely, non of the characters being anything more than one dimensional stock characters living in a world where nothing bad ever happens, never mind how many mistakes you make. It doesn't matter that you neglect your child's nutrition and non-school social life, she will be a happy-go-lucky soul; never mind that the situations you put yourself in is vastly open for cynical misinterpretation, such things don't happen.
I cannot shake off the suspicion that this show is being mendacious.
It seems to me that the director is perfectly aware of the blatantly shallow nature of the entire story, so resorting to gimmicks was all.
I don't think there's anything missing in your life if you haven't watched this.
Some people definitely enjoy it, but for the " upbeat cute kid" element, there's Naru from "Barakamon" and for the "single father" element, there's the great "Usagi Drop".
I do not understand why people are comparing this to Food Wars, the two are not similar since they are aimed at a different demographic audience. My review will be based on the fact that this is meant for older men and not for teenagers who are wanting action, fan service, or romance. Once you get through the fact that none of these will be present during the show, you might understand why I am so confused to the comparison of the two shows.
TLDR : This isn't Food Wars. Stop comparing the two.
STORY : 8
I cannot say that the story is the best, but
however, it is realistic in the sense that people do take some time to move on from major events and not everyone can easily let go of memories of others. This story is very heartwarming as it shows the slow progress of going through grief and dealing with the fact that an important role in the family is now permanently gone and shows the better side of being a single parent. The story is very realistic and is actually similar to something I am currently dealing with now, so this has struck home to me.
ART : 8
Same thing with the story, it's not the best, but it certainly catches my attention and sometimes boggles my mind. You just have to appreciate that the father never got his daughter a haircut.... >_>
Sound : 7
I am not a avid listener, but it is somewhat appealing to hear some music and the sounds of cooking, even when it's a slow simmer. Nothing too special here.
Characters : 9
These characters have their own personality and each seem like a realistic character pulled from someone's memory. Each one has their own goals and their own burden. I am not too sure how to explain each character, since I am at a loss of words, but each one is lovable in their own way. Romance isn't shown between the characters since there is a huge age difference and things would cause problems at school. This I feel is extremely realistic since
I deal with this at schools myself.
Enjoyment : 10
Need I to explain how realistic the kids are? The students too. I wish my classrooms were a bit like these students, but I can't have it all.... can I?
Overall : 8
This anime is worth watching for the fun of seeing a special bond being made and having great memories being made from simple everyday actions that we do. We seriously do take the simplest things for granted. It makes you think about what things you have everyday, and what if that just disappeared. Making memories using cooking is probably the best way to show a family bond, in my opinion, and it was done extremely well. This wouldn't win a award, but it certainly will always be in my memories.
Every episode of Amaama to Inazuma is atomically engineered to melt your heart. Two of the three main characters, obviously the father and daughter, really got me whenever they interacted with each other.
The world revolves around Tsumugi because she is everything good in the world and needs to be cherished and protected at all costs. However overwhelmingly adorable, Tsumugi's character was flawless because of her flaws. Not to be written off as a perfect child, Tsumugi can also be a brat at times, allowing the viewer to relate and develop a stronger connection with her.
Kohei is seemingly the perfect dad for almost the
same reason. At every opportunity, he pours his heart into caring for Tsumugi in the most perfect ways possible. His daughter is his first, second, and third priority in life and that in itself fills my mouth with cavities by how sweet it is. Of course, when Tsumugi is acting like a daughter, Kohei has to act as the father. Admitting that his delivery at times can be wrong, it's visible to the viewer that his struggle of finding the balance between scolding and spoiling to be entirely real.
Of course, Iida is a great character in her own right, but even as I consider her a main character, she still takes a seat in the sidecar as Tsumugi and Kohei steal the show with their father-daughter relationship.
Although, overall and objectively I give the anime a 9/10, I have to personally add a +1 modifier for how much I had to physically react while watching this. It was extremely heartwarming and cute. I absolutely adore the opening. The supporting characters were great as well. The art was very standard, but what made it good was the very real expressions with the bouncy animations. And who can stand by and not make a remark on how good food looks in anime?
A cute slice of life with even cuter characters.
It took a couple eps. but the story of a recently single father realizing he has to step up his cooking skills to give his young daughter a better life grew on me. Its very convenient that the two run into a student who helps run a restaurant and also wants to expand her knowledge of cooking.
each episode they attempt to cook a new dish to make the daughter happy. Which in the end will most likely make the viewer happy.
There is not much variation ep. to ep. but each has its own side
story surrounding the life of the father and/or daughter. these stories usually lead to the desire for the new dish.
If you Like slice of life and you like a cute story and family values this is a good one to check out.
So what happens if Shokugeki no Souma was a bit more basic and instead of fanservice was turned moe?...well here's a taste of Amaama to Inazuma.
Amaama to Inazuma has a rather adorable plot due to the nature of the anime, to make good food and just to make it moe as hell with one character like Tsumugi Inuzuka voiced by Rina Endou. The premise at best are following the trend of food anime but with the unique slice of life moe twist to it and even though LA didn't have any intentions of watching this anime, LA's friend got interested so LA did to..............also because
of Saori Hayami. What?.....
In terms of characters we actually have a rather unique set of characters, the widow father Kouhei Inuzuka voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura and his daughter Tsumugi who acts like what an actual kids sounds and acts like as well as Kotori Iida voiced by Saori Hayami the main crux of this anime trying to teach Kouhei how to cook food for Tsumugi and really even though Tsumugi is the more real-like kid, LA just couldn't get enough of Kotori in the series and probably the main reason why LA liked this anime soo much, it was most probably due to Saori Hayami's vocals..."probably"...
There are other things from Amaama to Inazuma other than the cooking however such as typical messages of family but some more daring ones later on such as Tsumugi going off in her own to help his dad that later gets more complicated to hell, in cooking terms...an adult's taste isn't obvious the same as a little kids. Amaama to Inazuma is still subtle it how it approaches it and still tries to focus more on the food than the more serious and "unneeded drama" it pulls. It's a slice of life cooking show with all the moe to go around...what do you expect when seeing a character like Tsumugi in an anime like this?. Amaama to Inazuma's themes is giving off the obvious eating food with your family or just people you know makes the food taste better, it later focuses more on family themes.
There was however one worry LA always had when watching this anime and no it wasn't the serious drama or it being "too moe", LA was more or less worried that Kotori would somewhat "replace" Kouhei's wife (a sorta of mother surrogate) due to the nature of what this anime does and that will lead it as a far too controversial topic (teacher x student issue), thankfully, LA's worry was dispelled by the end of the anime and it NEVER went there...touched upon but more on the loss of the mother than trying to replace her.
In terms of animation by TMS Entertainment, the character designs are pretty decent for the most part and although the backgrounding work is the mostly the same houses of Tsumugi's kindergarten to Kouhei's house to Kotori's most of the time, the backgrounding like the character designs are decent, now the food animation instead the same quality as say Shokugeki no Souma's as it's more of homemade food than the gourmet side that Shokugeki no Souma gives us, but nonetheless the food animation is also pretty decent and like Shokugeki no Souma, the "technical feature" of making the food is pretty excellent in that regard.
In terms of voice acting, well it was solid throughout and even though LA's reasoning as to why LA watched the anime was for Saori Hayami (and she is LA's favourite seiyuu in this anime), props too easily goes to Rina Endou who voiced Tsumugi for this, Kouhei's voice actor Yuuichi Nakamura at best was good but better during the more rare dramatic moments but he was great in voicing a dad character. The rest of the minor voice actors are decent at best with some highlights with Shinbou Kojika voiced by Haruka Tomatsu as well as Kotori's mother Megumi Iida voiced by the ever eccentric Satomi Arai.
The ending if anything brings in the same format of most of the episodes given with Kouhei and Tsumugi having a squabble of some sorts, they go to Kotori's house to cook food that Tsumugi wanted (be it one they found in a restaurant or Tsumugi's kindergarten and wants to make one done by Kotori and Kouhei) and they resolve their problem with some parental guidance. It's the same typical fair and that isn't a bad thing as it is what Amaama to Inazuma does. LA was satisfied by the ending no less.
Amaama to Inazuma has a nice concept with some homemade food and some adorable characters to add into the mix and people might find Amaama to Inazuma a bit repetitive and "moe" with food in the mix, heck Koufuku Graffiti even fits into this bill, but Amaama to Inazuma still has that appeal from it's characters to the whole point of the anime is for a parent who couldn't cook, learn how to cook for his daughter and Amaama to Inazuma deals with the problem of parental problems every parent deals with which helps solidifies this anime as a pretty good sit.