(C)Gido Amagakure, KODANSHA/”sweetness & lightning” Production Committee. All Rights Reserved.
I love crepes. Along with pizza, they must be one of the most versatile foods in existence. You can have sweet crepes and sour crepes. You can have crepes with strawberries and crepes with chicken bites. You can flavor your crepes with cinnamon or flavor them with peanut butter.
Like Kotori-san’s crepe daydream, if you throw the crepe packaging design in the mix, the possibilities are endless. To paraphrase one of Sci-fi’s most shared quotes: Infinite Ingredients in Infinite Combinations.
Let’s make some special Amaama to Inazuma crepes.
Japanese Title: 「おゆうぎ会とさつまいもクレープ」（第11話）
This episode followed the same Amaama to Inazuma recipe we are used to. One of the characters has a real-life problem that then translates in some way to the dish of the day. Both Kotori and Tsumugi had their own problems to deal with, but it was Kotori’s slice-of-life sub-plot that gave the episode its theme.
Her school is going to have a cultural festival and Kotori’s class decides to sell crepes. Since more classes selected crepes stalls, Kotori’s class ask for help in finding an original recipe that will crush the competition. Kotori, an evident introvert, takes the chance to make some friends and help her classmates.
If I can make everyone happy by doing what I like, that makes me really happy.
Meanwhile, Tsumugi’s kindergarten plans to have a school play. The children have to dress as certain characters to follow the script, and one of those characters is Tsumugi’s favorite anime character, Magi Girl. She decides though to dress as the pink sheep from the same show, Caligali-san. Her decision brings some complications that have to do with friendship, emotions, and the long-forgotten struggles of being a child.
Sometimes things go bad even if nobody really did anything wrong.
In contrast to last week’s episode that mostly focused on the cooking, this week’s episode mostly focused on the slice-of-life sub-plots. The funny thing is that they were so embedded to the crepe theme that it hardly felt as something alien. It was just another sweet Amaama to Inazuma episode.
Tsumugi is growing up: Children have their own concerns. As we grow up we forget that when we were kids we cared about our relation with other kids. Our friendships and social dealings were incredibly important. I loved the childish but mature (it felt like that) way in which Tsumugi addressed the issue. Both her talk with her father and her reactions are school were amazing. A good child is not something that appears from nothing. It’s the result of love and good parenting. Tsumugi has both.
Kotori and Knives: Kotori fears knives. We get it. But the insistence of the writers to put it in every single episode must mean only one thing: Kotori will overcome her fear in the last episode and use a knife. I am rooting for her.
Turn the Crepe: I suppose I am not the only one who was disappointed that no one tried to flip the crepe midair. I always try that. I rarely succeed.
Themes & Trivia
Anime: Anime is so embedded in Japanese culture that even kindergartens are using them as settings for their school plays. Anime is such an old form of art that most people in Japan grew up surrounded by it. You didn’t have to be a fan to see anime in advertising, posters, flyers, and people reading manga in the train or children playing video games in their portable consoles.
Crepes: A crêpe or crepe is a type of very thin pancake that is usually prepared like a sandwich, filled with various ingredients. The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa (curled). They share a global status like pizza and sushi. As with every food, there is a story to share about the origin of the name: In France, crepes are served as a traditional dish in February 2 (Candlemas). It is known as the Day of the Crepes or National Crepe day (Le Jour des Crêpes or National Crêpe Day). Much to my disappointment, the episode didn’t incorporate one of the most fun beliefs associated with the day: If you could catch a crepe with the frying pan after tossing it in the air while holding a gold coin in your left hand, you would become rich in a year. I have tried many times and never succeeded, so I can’t prove if the belief is right. There is also a hidden symbolism associated with the crepe: the round shape and the golden color resembles the sun and its rays.
Lately, I expect from the anime I am watching to keep their quality on a certain level throughout their run. I am not looking for the extravagant 3D scenes or the incredible realistic facial expressions. I am one of those fans that put a lot of stress on the story. I still care about the visuals, but not the extent that they will ruin a series for me. Amaama to Inazuma has no story. It has a theme that it follows on every single episode, and a background plot that governs some of the character’s actions. Instead, it focuses on emotions and feelings. I am glad that these emotions are portrayed superbly by the trinity of a good scene: movement animation (face & body), writing, and voice acting.
I don’t expect much from the last episode. Just to be as sweet as this one and to close the series with the same taste as the first episode opened it.
And the rating is…
After a long day at work, Amaama to Inazuma is the best way to relax. I know I am repeating myself, but that’s all there is here. I have seen the Sweetness so many times more than I’ve seen the Lightning, but with so many delicious dishes who cares for storm.
NEXT TIME: Okonomiyaki Filled With Love, 「あいじょーたっぷりお好み焼き」（第12話）
Sweetness & lightning(Amaama to Inazuma)
Based on the manga “sweetness & lightning” by Gido Amagakure originally serialized in the monthly GOOD! AFTERNOON magazine published by KODANSHA Ltd.