Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
I love squids. They remind me of summer. When I think of squids, I always imagine them deep-fried, sitting in the middle of a tavern table with a bottle of ouzo waiting to be consumed. I’ve never had boiled squid before. I didn’t even know what taro was. I guess I have to let the Inuzuka family teach me some new cooking tricks.
Ready for some squid and taro stew?
Japanese Title: “Ashita mo Oishii Ika to Satoimo no Nimono” (明日もおいしいイカと里芋の煮物)
Every episode of Amaama to Inazuma is divided into two parts: the first part is an overly realistic slice-of-life segment about the life of Inuzuka-sensei and Tsumugi. Inuzuka-sensei attended a parents-day morning at Tsumugi’s school where they had the chance to see how their children spent their mornings and have a taste of their everyday routine. The cooking theme of the episode unveils itself right from the start, since Tsumugi is making a huge squid cardboard model. Most of Tsumugi’s most precious memories, excluding those she is now creating with her father, are those of her mother’s love. It seems that Ms. Inuzuka used to make a simple squid and taro stew that Tsumugi asks her father to make instead of replacing her school bag. Inuzuka-sensei wanted to make a new bag for Tsumugi because all the mothers he met at the school were making new bags for their children every year. But like the squid stew, the bag Tsumugi has is very valuable: it was made by her mother and is, thus, irreplaceable. The little persistent stain on it is of trivial importance to little Tsumugi.
In the cooking segment, our trio of amateur chefs made a delicious-looking squid stew.
Mikio has a crush on Tsumugi: I can totally relate to Mikio. When I was in pre-school I had a crush on Helen. She, like Tsumugi, rejected all my attempts to woe her with my chivalry and attempts to silly jokes. This innocent affection of our early years are so memorable that tend to cling to our souls even if we don’t fully remember them when we grow up. Especially that whole “I’ll marry you when I grow up”. How sweet!
Kotari Knife Flashback: Flashbacks, like everything else on anime, must be done right or not be done at all. I like the two-second flashbacks in Amaama to Inazuma, and that still of Kotori as a child crying over a cut finger was all we needed to know why she has a fear of knives.
Kindness is Viral: During the scene at the parents meeting where Mikio wants to go to the toilet, Tsumugi shows her leadership qualities in the most sincere and indirect way possible: She refuses to start the game without Mikio despite his mother’s insistence. Her reason? The parent’s day is not something they have to enjoy every day and they should cherish it together. Her kindness quickly spreads to the rest of the children who agree that they should wait for Mikio. Kindness is viral. There is a certain misconception that the way to teach children about proper (is that the right word? I am not sure) behavior is to bombard them with rules, but the only right method is by setting an example. Tsumugi, in her kawaii innocence didn’t preach the merits of being kind. She expressed kindness and the people around her followed her example.
Dengon Geemu: This game is played all around the world. It’s commonly known as Chinese Whispers. We used to call it The Broken Telephone. One person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. The name of the game is often used as a metaphor for cumulative error, especially in rumors and gossip as well as in human recollection and oral traditions.
Squid and Taro Stew: This stew dish is considered a traditional homemade food in Japan. This is another food choice that shows how different the Japanese culture is. As a child I would have never chosen squid stew if I was given a choice. Now that I am older (and probably wiser), I can see the appeal of such a dish. It really looked delicious.
Rice Cooker: Rice cookers are very popular in Asia and their popularity has outgrown the region. Their ability to produce better tasting cooked rice and their multiple features resulted in 85 million devices being manufactured only in 2005. The first rice cooker is believed to be the one found in the 1937 automobile-kitchen of the Imperial Japanese Army.
Amaama to Inazuma has become my weekly treat. When you start the episode you know what you’ll get but you don’t know how you’ll get it. It’s the theme of the episode that makes all the difference. I don’t care that we don’t get much of a character development because that’s how life rolls. Even if it doesn’t show, all the characters of the show are slowly changing into a better version of themselves, and hopefully, we are changing with them.
The thing I enjoy the most out of this show are the cooking segments. Expect most of these dishes, if not every single one of them, to be featured in our Anime Recipes section. If you cook something and you want to be featured in the section, send us a message here mentioning ‘Anime Recipes Feature’ in the subject line.
NEXT TIME: Our Homemade Curry, 「うちのおうちカレー」（第9話）
Based on the manga “sweetness & lightning” by Gido Amagakure originally serialized in the monthly GOOD! AFTERNOON magazine published by KODANSHA Ltd.
Anime official site : http://www.amaama.jp/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/amaama_anime
(C)Gido Amagakure, KODANSHA/”sweetness & lightning” Production Committee. All Rights Reserved.