Pack your pink backpacks and wear your hats, because we are going on a little adventure with Tsumugi-chan.
In the name of Magi-girl, we are going to save otousan from his evil illness!
Even parents have their low days, and Kōhei-sensei is down with a fever. It must be really tough to be a teacher and a single parent. Tsumugi-chan, worried, decides to watch an episode of her favorite anime, Magi-girl. I find it amazing when these meta moments show how important animation is in the Japanese culture. While cartoon are common in every country, anime are more similar to the golden era of the American production of the 80s, where every single episode had a clear pedagogical lesson at the end. Tsumugi, inspired by her hero, decides that it’s her job to take care of her ill father, and goes on a little adventure to the only place she knows she can ask for help, the restaurant.
I have to say that I adored the journey and all the imaginary perils she had to go through. For a child like Tsumugi, the world is full of wonder and awe, even when it’s cruel. I’m not going to spoil her adventure, in case you haven’t seen the episode still, but I highly recommend it.
During her journey, Tsumugi had a lot of reason to cry but she managed to stay strong the whole time. Until Inuzuka-sensei scolds her for leaving the house alone, and Tsumugi throws a tantrum of epic proportions. The scene was so realistically drawn, that Tsumugi actually reminded of a few children I already know. Having a child voice-actor made the scene seem even more real.
During the cooking scene, Kotori takes advantage of a pot of burned rice to make some gohei mochi!
Goheimochi: It’s a grilled rice cake that is skewered and basted in a thick sauce. It is very popular around Gifu Prefecture. It comes in a variety of shapes and flavors depending on the region. They can either be small balls or long, flat ovals and they are coated in a rich sauce that is made of soy, miso, or/and sesame. Its taste is unique and not easily found in other cultures.
Shark Song: I tried looking around the internet a bit, but I haven’t found any indication that the shark song or the hot song are real Japanese children rhymes. If anyone knows more, please comment below!
Caligali-san: I don’t know if I was too blind to realize, but this was the first time I saw that this little pink sheep called Caligali is part of tsumugi-chan’s favorite anime, Magi-girl. I loved the part where Tsumugi is inspired by her hero. That’s the purpose of narratives like Magi-Girl, isn’t it? To inspire the young and give them ideals to hold on to.
Even though the episode started a little slow, it managed to keep up a steady pace that made it a delight to watch. A child’s imagination is something wonderful, a well-kept power that has been lately tainted by technology and ready-made visuals and narratives. From the road sharks to the tunnel-dungeon, the trip to the restaurant feels like a mini adventure, a quest that the brave Tsumugi-chan had to endure to save her father from his illness. It’s also amazing how easily children can remember certain routes, like Tsumugi-chan recalled the route to the restaurant.
At the same time, it was quite understandable that Inuzuka-sensei was worried sick of Tsumugi’s little initiative. Tsumugi meant well, going to the only place she knew she could ask for help, but the world is a very different place through the eyes of a child and something entirely else through the eyes of an adult. Inuzuka-sensei’s yells at Tsumugi because his adult-self was in a state of shock, and Tsumugi reacts in the only way a child know to: she cries, she kicks, and she tries to resist the contradictory feelings she has. In the end, Inuzuka-sensei gives us another very important parenting lesson: children should be praised when their intention are good, but only after you explain to them your side of the story in words that they can understand. Tsumugi, after all, went on her little adventure relying on very important lessons she learned from her father. She avoided the sharks, and at the same time explored a little of the world on her own.
And the rating is…
This episode had less cooking and more singing, but it somehow managed to give me a smile to wear for the rest of the day. That’s the secret recipe of Amaama to Inazuma, its simple realism makes it for a lighthearted break after a very tiring day. Like Inuzuka-sensei, there is nothing like a sweet child’s appetite for life to make you feel energized.
NEXT TIME: Squid and Taro Stew That’s Still Yummy The Next Day, 「明日もおいしいイカと里芋の煮物」（第8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.
Anime official site : http://www.amaama.jp/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/amaama_anime
(C)Gido Amagakure, KODANSHA/”sweetness & lightning” Production Committee. All Rights Reserved.