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.
It’s not a coincidence that we use flavor metaphors to describe life moments: a sweet moment, a bitter response, a poor taste.
We all have sweet memories from home-made meals. I still remember my grandma’s specialty: chicken breasts soaked in honey and mustard served with lemon flavored rice. I still cook that dish from time to time. Do you have a favorite home-made dish? Let me know in the comments! Post photos if you have. I love food porn.
Japanese Title: 「うちのおうちカレー」（第9話）
Inuzuka-sensei spends the night alone after dropping Tsumugi off at her nursery for a sleepover. Tsumugi had just rumbled about home-made curry and Kōhei recalls the at-home curry his family used to make. He eventually finds his wife’s old recipe notebook and chooses her dry curry recipe for their next restaurant cooking session. The curry brings back memories of a loving wife and caring mother.
Kotori with Glasses: This is as far as fan-service will go in this series. I am a huge megane lover and it was amazing to see cute Kotori wearing a pair.
Meow: What do you do with your yasai-holding hand when you cut vegetables? You make like a cat’s paw, folding your fingers inside. And then you have Tsumugi meowing. I am melting from kawainess.
Taste and Smell Metaphors: Taste and smell are frequently used to describe several equivalent feelings. There are four basic tastes: Sweet, sour, bitter, and salt. There are many expressions we use in our everyday lives that have to do with taste and smell. Some examples:
If you have more taste and smell expressions, share them in the comments!
Maru Gesture: Twice in the episode Tsumugi expresses her agreement by holding both arms curved over her head with the finders touching each other. This is called the Maru gesture and, since in Japanese a circular shape means ok, it’s used to express that something is correct or good. The opposite is batsu and it’s made by crossing your arms in the shape of an X in front of you. This indicates that something is wrong or not good.
Senko Hanabi: The firework crackers that the children are playing with during their sleepover are called senkō hanabi (線香花火). It is a traditional Japanese firework that dates back to 1927. They are a thin line of twisted tissue paper about twenty cm long with one end containing a few grains of black gunpowder. Senkō hanabi are related to something called mono no aware, an empathy towards things and a sensitivity to the present. This Japanese expression describes a feeling of sweet sadness when someone is reminded of the beauty and briefness of life. Quite fitting for an anime called Sweetness and Lightning, don’t you think? If you want to make your own Japanese sparklers, take a look at this article.
Children Knives: I had no idea these were actually a thing. They apparently work by sawing, easily cutting everything from carrots to meat. Awesome.
おいしい (oishii) vs. うまい (umai): When the children taste the curry they made at the nursery, some of them said oishii while some of the boys started yelling umee provoking their mothers’ anger. While the words seem similar and actually mean the same things, it’s only when you spend a few years immersed in the culture that you begin to understand the subtle differences in meaning. I still don’t, but thank the Anime God that Manga.Tokyo is based in Osaka, Japan. I am the minority here. So here it is:
The most appropriate English expression I can relate oishii to is “this tastes good”. Umai on the other hand is used when you want to say that someone is good or skillful at something. It can also be used to mean ‘tasty’ like oishii, but that’s not its primary meaning. Generally speaking, oishii is more formal and polite than umai and it’s usually used with desu/masu forms.
Dry Curry: Curry and Rice (カレーライス) may have an Indian sound to it, but don’t be surprised to find out that it’s so famous in Japan that it may well be considered as one of the country’s national dishes. There are so many variations that not so many people have heard about the Dry Curry the Inuzuka family (and countless families in Japan) used to make. Curry was introduced to Japan after Meiji-era Japan opened its gates to foreigners and the British brought it with them. They had already developed a lot of recipes since they already had a continuous presence in India. That’s why most of the characteristics of Japanese curry resemble the British curry. Because of the peculiarity of our western tastes (we do have a knacj for sugar) the curry dishes that come from that era often are slightly sweet.
This episode was so sweet that I don’t even want to go into arguments about the animation. There were some sloppy bits like the scene where the otousantachi went inside the nursery, but really, when you have Tsumugi-chan meowing who cares? I don’t.
Kudos to the director for stopping the music during the scene where Tsumugi glances at her mother’s picture at the shrine and hugs her father, and for the last scene where the family laughs and cries at the memory of Tae Inuzuka. Sweet and sour.
When I think that there are only a few episodes left, I feel sad. You have to excuse me. I am going to light a senkō hanabi and contemplate on the meaning of anime. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. We don’t need onions to cry together, do we?
NEXT TIME: Summer Vacation, Cats, and Aji, 「夏休みとねことアジ」（第10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.