Now that the show has already established its story formula, it was time to focus on either on the Sweetness (甘々) or the lightning (稲妻). The episode still had its share of emotional moments but this time I managed to keep myself from shedding a tear or two.
Because this week’s theme was clear-cut and very familiar:
EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!
おはようございます！(Ohayōgozaimasu! Good Morning!)
Kōhei-sensei (公平先生) found himself with more vegetables (野菜、yasai) than he could handle. A co-worker gave him a bag full of fresh village vegetables and Tsumugi’s grandmother send a box full of colored things that Tsumugi-chan (つむぎちゃん) didn’t approve of. She is a meat fan and in the first cute scene of the many to come, Tsumugi writes a letter to her grandma prompting her to send some meat instead of colored stuff.
Kōhei soon discovers that his daughter’s taste palette resembles his own when he was a child. She has a natural aversion for green peppers. This was the only thing I couldn’t relate to: I was never a picky eater, but I absolutely adore peppers. Their taste, their smell, the multiple ways you can cut them, the fact that they DO look like cup when you cut the top, everything about peppers is amazing. But Tsumugi’s expressions made the scene so approachable that while I couldn’t relate, I could totally sympathize.
“Each family has its own ways, right?”, Kōhei
Kotori (小鳥) and Kōhei come up with a plan to make Tsumugi eat her vegetables. They will cook a vegetable gratin (グラタン) and make it as fun as possible. They employ every strategy available: they make peppers into soda cups, they employ Tsumugi’s magical dance powers to keep the béchamel (ベシャメル) from clumping, and in the end they praise her for her hard work (おつかれさま).
Tsumugi, of course, despite the scheme to make her eat her vegetables, finds a way to get rid of the green peppers she loathes so much. Yet, Kōhei remains optimistic and thinks that this was a good first step in his quest to not make Tsumugi a picky eater.
What we learned in this episode:
- There is a difference between béchamel sauce and white sauce. When Kōhei mistakes the two after we learn the difference, I found myself correcting him out loud at the same as Kotori. It’s awesome when a series makes you look like a madman talking to imaginary people
- You can use a chopstick to do almost anything in the kitchen. These utensils are magical.
- I personally learned that I don’t know neither the English nor the Japanese words for most of the vegetables. Expect a word list when the series is over.
When Kōhei takes a photo of the food he prepared for Tsumugi-chan, I felt like the show has a deeper connection with everyday life than I initially thought. What might seem like a minor detail is actually proof that the creators are trying to make the show as realistic as possible. These are not just drawn characters; they are the people you meet on the streets. They exist and they do the things we do. They take pictures of their food. We take pictures of our food. And maybe we can make the food they make, too. Like Kōhei on his phone, we can go to an Easy RECIPE Search! (レシピ検索サイト) and make our own food. Brilliant.
Tsumugi-chan had her most cute scene in the series so far in this episode. Her magic NO-CLUMPS dance was important on many levels. First, we must not forget that children still have that wild imagination we tend to leave behind as we grow up (sadly). Being part of their world is more important than making them accept ours. Second, praise goes a long way. It’s imperative to make children feel useful and then praise them on a work well done. Third, fun works miracles. Making something fun doesn’t necessarily mean to strip it from its seriousness; it just means that we have the opportunity to do something important while we are having a good time.
And the rating is…
Another twenty-five minutes well spent for 甘々と稲妻 (Amaama to Inazuma). I am thinking of trying my hand in a gratin filled with dreaded vegetables today.
How about you? Maybe you are a parent trying to make their children eat their greens or the other way around, a child trying to resist the やさい (yasai, vegetables) invasion. What’s your story? Are you a picky eater?
NEXT TIME: Special Doughnuts on a Day Off, 「お休みの日のとくべつドーナッツ」（第5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.