Nothing’s better than food filled with love.
Here we have the finale of this delightful little show. We get treated to the same types of episodes we’ve been getting for 90% of the show. I thought the show would play a little differently, as in the first minute we see Sensei and Tsumugi wearing black clothes. We don’t see Tsumugi’s face, Kouhei’s has a somber expression, and he carries Tsumugi at the train station as she hides her face in his shoulder. We find out from Kotori’s memory, as she spotted him with Shinobu, that it’s been a year that his wife died. So in the show’s terms, six months have passed since the start of the first episode.
I say that I thought the show would play differently because of that scene, but we didn’t get anything out of it. We immediately went to the quick conflict of the show. I really wish they had focused on the grave visiting, and the topic of Tsumugi’s mother in general, but…damn. But what we do know now is that for sure Tsumugi knows that her mother is dead. I’m not sure when she figured it out. I’m going to guess it was when she had said “Mommy’s not coming back” at the end of the curry episode. I think it was then that she knew that her mother was gone for too long and that she had an idea what was really going on. But it surprises me that she never made a bigger deal of it. Because in the first episode, it sounded like Tsumugi thought her mom was out on a long trip. But now she really does know that her mother died. I just thought we would see a scene where Tsumugi would be questioning everything, and we would see how she would come to the realization. Or did she always know? I really don’t know.
Because Tsumugi mentioned other character’s mothers, and how she was so excited to meet Kotori’s mother, I thought she would bring up her own mother. That’s one of the things that this show did that frustrated me a little bit. They would tease about Tsumugi’s mother at times, where you would think that you would be treated to some really good scenes, but they never would take it any further. The closest we ever got was the curry episode, which was wonderful, but not enough for me. I still want to know just how close Tsumugi was with her mom, and I wanted to see how they lived with her around, compared to how they are now.
Tsumugi makes a fuss at the okonomiyaki place, being upset that she couldn’t make her own food like her father had told her. Screaming and crying, it was an awkward dinner, and Kouhei didn’t really handle it all well. But the lesson Tsumugi learned was that she needed to be scolded. When she and her father, and Kotori, and Yagi, and Shinobu all got together to make homemade okonomiyaki, Tsumugi got scolded by Yagi when she kicked his bowl of cabbage. Tsumugi, like any other child, or any person in general, doesn’t like being scolded. She got mad at her father because she scolded him at the restaurant. She tells him her friend’s moms are different about scolding, but Kouhei makes it very clear to her later: Whenever she does something bad, she needs to be scolded. He doesn’t like scolding her, but he’ll do it when she needs to be scolded.
Kouhei is a great father, you can tell that she loves Tsumugi dearly, but I did always think that he was a little too easy on her. Like with the whole bell pepper thing? My parents wouldn’t let me leave unless I ate everything. But maybe that’s because I grew up with strict parents, haha.
Either way, everything ended happily. I was happy for Kotori. We finally got to hear her thoughts about how she felt about her mother. Her mother had told her that she actually had some free time and that she finally wanted to meet with Sensei and cook with all of them. Everyone was excited to meet her (especially Yagi), but when they got there Kotori said that her mother had to suddenly go to work…again. Kotori was disappointed, and she told Kouhei that it felt like she didn’t matter to her mother. Kouhei gives his own thoughts, saying that it’s the opposite. She does care for her, and she just doesn’t want her daughter to worry that she cares so much. Luckily, Kotori’s mother actually does come in the end, and it’s all happy and warm in the kitchen.
With all the love and affection put into every dish her father makes, Tsumugi is happy to eat everything. And that’s where it all ends here.
This episode didn’t feel like a finale. It just felt like any other episode we’ve had, but the actual show just…ends. I know it’s because the manga isn’t even done yet, but they could have done a little something with the episode to give a sense of finality.
This was a good show, it was fun to watch. There are goods, and there are bads. Let me start with the bads.
After a certain time, the same formula became repetitive and a little boring. I did like to see the foods they made, and how detailed they were with the cooking. But seeing them cook and then eat got a little bland after awhile. I wish they had done some things different, like maybe them failing a dish completely maybe? During the cooking segments, there were little moments with Tsumugi that would entertain us, such as her singing and dancing and other cute quirks. And don’t get me wrong, Tsumugi is a little ray of sunshine and just the sweetest little thing, but…it was starting to get a little old. I think someone had commented that they were worried that Tsumugi’s little antics would stop being cute after awhile and just be annoying, and I understand what they meant. They weren’t annoying, but they weren’t as cute to me anymore, but I did get a good laugh when Yagi and Shinobu ended up laughing at her. She’s a darling, she’s so cute…but cute can only take you so far.
Plot had good and bad moments, but characters did as well. We never got to find out why Kotori was deathly afraid of knives. Maybe it was something simple that she just cut herself as a kid, and…well, everyone reacts to trauma differently, and ever since she got this phobia. But I feel we don’t know enough about Kotori as a character. She was in every episode but I still feel like we don’t know enough. The same goes to Yagi and Shinobu. Yagi just shows up sometimes, but he’s never the center of attention. We know a tiny bit of general information about Shinobu, but nothing more. The fault goes to the repetitive formula of the show, as we never got the time to really focus on these characters.
The characters that got the most screentime and development were Kouhei and Tsumugi. Kouhei has grown into a more aware father, as he still is getting used to the single parent lifestyle. He began to really pay attention to Tsumugi’s life, like her little problems at school, and the little stain on her school bag. Tsumugi of course is growing, as she’s only a kid, and kids always learn new things everyday. And this is where the good parts of the show starts. I absolutely love what this show did. We see both father and daughter helping each other out, learning together, sharing memories together. They have one of the best parent/child relationships I’ve seen in anime. We see very real situations and conflicts in this show, like the finale’s lesson of scolding, or other things like Tsumugi having trouble with her friends, other problems at school, leaving home by herself, and the main thing which was cooking actual meals for Tsumugi. Tsumugi feels real because she’s depicted so realistically in this show. She acts just like a kid, like she should. And the struggles Kouhei faces being a busy single parent is real, and I’m so happy with how everything was handled. Sometimes he would have trouble figuring out Tsumugi’s troubles, and sometimes he didn’t know what to do and he got frustrated, but the two of them have such a strong bond, everything was all written well! They both are learning new things, and they’re learning them together, happy together.
While the characters weren’t really developed, I did enjoy them around anyways. They made a fun dynamic in the kitchen or just in the episode itself. Yagi’s friendship with Kouhei, and Shinobu acting like a big sister towards Tsumugi, it all felt so nice. It was also nice seeing Tsumugi interact with her friends and the children in her school, which is another thing the show did so well with. So bravo.
Art and animation were pretty average. I wasn’t too fond of the OP theme, but the ED theme was nice. I have to say that Tsumugi’s little seiyuu did a splendid job. Sometimes her voice got a little too squeaky, but…she’s a child voice actress. She’s got plenty of time to perfect her voice. The OST was cute, not too memorable. The art was fine, though I noticed it got worse progressively with the show. The art style fits the cuteness of the show, though I can’t get over how weird Kotori’s mother’s face is. :/
All in all, Amaama to Inazuma is a pretty enjoyable show. I criticize it, but I think I’m being fair, though you can disagree if you want. Or maybe these kinds of shows aren’t for me? I did like watching it every week, I was just having trouble blogging it. There are its ups and downs, but it has something really special. It has these sweet characters with strong bonds that make you smile and feel warm. It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s funny, and just plain sweet! Depending who you are, it might get a little boring to you after awhile. But this is in no way a bad show. Even though I had my problems with it, I would still definitely recommend this show, because I just love how they represent the single parent lifestyle, with its pleasant moments, and its struggles. So I give this show a solid 7/10.
I would like it if this show would get another season, but if it follows the same formula, then I’d have to think twice about blogging it. Either way, I’d like more. Bye bye, Tsumugi-chan!