Kokonotsu “Coconuts” Shikada dreams of becoming a famous manga artist. The only problem—he's terrible. His real talent is selling the complex and delicious snacks in his father's “dagashi” shop. He never thought much about the family business until the trendy, eccentric Hotaru showed up. As a lover of “dagashi,” she can't let his talent go to waste and decides she won't stop 'til she's sold him on sweets.
Do you have the munchies? Are you craving snack food? No? Well, you will after a couple episodes of this anime. If you aren't currently craving Japanese snack foods, Hotaru and Kokonutsu will teach you why you should. At least Amazon.com now has a giant dagashi sampler pack you can buy... Story: The story is pretty simple. Hotaru drops by the dagashi shop, she picks a random item, they give a brief history or interesting factoid, they eat. There are other scenarios, but really, it's that set-up repeated twice per episode for 12 episodes. There are side stories and some random comedy thrown in to keep things lively, but the basic set-up is to make you want snacks. Just... look a them... so tasty. Animation: The animation is crisp, colorful, and details a lot of the dagashi more than the characters. That doesn't mean there aren't sloppy points, but for the most part, it's pretty good. While most of the action takes place in either the dagashi shop or the local cafe, the animation does span the length of the town, so be prepared for a lot of backdrops of the Japanese countryside. The first two or three episodes have some fairly lazy OP and ED animations, but that seems to have been filler for the animators to finish up the real OP and ED, which are pretty cute. Sound: The OP and ED aren't very memorable, but the points for this one have to go to all of the sound effects put into the actual show. There were some dagashi that made sound, such as the whistle ramune and the pop rocks, and others that relied on the sound the wrapper makes. These were all really accurate from what I can tell by actually buying and trying some of the dagashi featured. Characters: Now for the part where this anime failed a little. The comedy as shown in the manga was heavily reliant on the characters. The anime failed to capture a lot of that, but still managed to give some interesting characters. One qualm I did have about the characters was the lack of diversity in their outfits, but I think I can blame the manga for that one. Seriously, though, why is Kokonutsu wearing a sleeveless hooded sweater in the middle of summer? Whose idea was this to give the boy man heat stroke? Overall: FOOOOOOOOOD.
I think this anime is made for a very specific target audience: Japanese people that are at least over age 20, whomay have some nostalgic feelings towards some Japanese candy they had in their childhood.Even for a weeb like me that thouroughly enjoys Japanese candy and tries to get his hands on any weird packof Pocky or Haichuu I can get my hands on, this wasn't really a very enjoyable watch... (And I'm a suckerfor Ayana Taketatsu on top of that, too). There's really not a lot of plot, and most comedy revolves about the "AHHH, I REMEMBER THAT SPECIFIC SWEET" moments.For most of the candies being shown there is some explanation and backstory, but I can't help but feel I was missing out on something. Some old playground games are also being explained, but again, this is only really fun if you did that stuff when you were a kid. Nostalgy seems to be the keyword. I guess you can kind of compare it to Shokugeki no Souma, though the comedic value in that show was way higher,even not knowing anything about dishes or cooking.
I was really liking this show. It was funny and has nice characters, plus I love Hotaru. It doesn't have story, it's more a slice of life, but that not a negative point. Negative points are others... First, I REALLY wanted to see Hotaru's cute side, but lolnope, no time to develop a soft love story between her and Kokonotsu (go away, Saya) since they have to speak about candies for half episode every time. Plus imho it had the potential to beat Date A Live in a matters of fun, crazy things and laughs, but, again, candies, no time for other shit. Second, what the fuck was that ending? No, I don't mean ending song, I mean the anime ending. I know the manga is still going on (my hopes to see a second season are already in the toilet anyway), but hell, the ending is just a nonsense. The biggest problem is the first one though. Even if I start reading the manga they probably will end up with nothing anyway. I'm disappointed, yeah, at least Hotaru remains lovely, like her seiyuu. Sound and drawing are really nice, anyway. In the end, it's not bad, I'm the real problem here, I was just expecting too much.
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