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?
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.
I think this anime is made for a very specific target audience: Japanese people that are at least over age 20, who
may 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 pack
of Pocky or Haichuu I can get my hands on, this wasn't really a very enjoyable watch... (And I'm a sucker
for 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.
Dagashi Kashi is a comedic Slice of Life anime based around cheap snacks called Dagashi. Our anime takes place at the countryside of Japan in which a young boy named Kokonotsu Shikada dreams of being a manga artist. He lives with his father Yo Shikada, who runs a nine generation old family buisness sweet shop. However, a bit after his father leaves a girl by the name of Hotaru Shidare comes looking for him on the terms of buisness. Kokonotsu soon comes to find that this girl is not only obsessed with dagashi, but is here to bring Yo Shikada back with her to work for her family's sweet manufacturer. When Yo gets told about the offer he declines on the fact that his son won't take over the family business. However, if Hotaru can change Kokonotsu's mind about taking it over he will come.
Where to start with this "Story", well I know, lets start with the fact that there isn't really a story to Dagashi Kashi. Starting with the first episode there is a story, but by about the third episode it is about lost entirely until later picked back up on the last episode of the first season. Another thing that bugged me throughout the entire anime was the romantic tension that was given off. Yes, I know there is a second season, but I have yet to watch it. When I do watch it I will review it, till then there is romantic tension that ends up dead. What is the point of having the characters like each other when nothing is done with it. Another thing that this anime does is that it feels like it is just teaching me about these cheap snacks while being pervy quite often.
Animation and Design: (9/10)
The design and animation of Dagashi Kashi is fairly well done in the sense that all of the characters and dagashi mascots looks really well done. The mascots are drawn to a detail and I love that due to them being pretty important throughout the anime. The design and setting of the countryside is also believable in a way that I feel like I am there.
The sound of Dagashi Kashi is very well done in the sense that with everything that is going on in the anime there is either matching music or great sound effects.
The characters personalities are well made, but something is missing. Eventually like I said the romance shows up, but only shows up every now and then. Other than this, I don't know to much more about them other than what is listed below along with a few memories/flashbacks.
Kokonotsu Shikada (Coconuts)
1) Main character, dreams to be a manga artist.
2) Gets in some heated dagashi challenges with Hotaru.
3) A bit of a perv around Hotaru and seems to like her.
1) Secondary character, father to Kokonotsu and ownder of the Shikada sweet shop.
2) Is invited to join the Shidare manufacturing company.
3) Is rather nutty and a bit childish.
1) Main character, is obsessed with dagashi.
2) Trying to get Kokonotsu to take over his family's sweet shop.
3) A complete know-it-all when it comes to dagashi.
1) Secondary character, childhood friend of Kokonotsu and has a crush on him.
2) Works at her family's coffee shop.
3) Is really good at games, despite really know what she is doing.
1) Secondary character, childhood friend of Kokonotsu.
2) Is obviously Saya's brother and I think works at the Coffee shop.
Overall what I would say about Dagashi Kashi is that it is okay. It isn't all that amazing for the multiple reasons. The main reason why is the plot, where is it? Where did that darn story run off to? Hopefully in the second season they go back to the plot and stick with it, rather than just tell me facts and information about snack foods. Along with this they better do something with that romantic tension that they created, I will be quite dissapointed if they do nothing with it.
Eventually will be updating this review to add a link to a video review I plan on doing for this anime!
This anime was very good, I have little complaints about. Really only 1 character developes at all.