Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness

TV (12 eps)
3.76 out of 5 from 1,366 votes
Rank #2,460

Nagomu Irino returns to his Kyoto home for the first time in ten years when his father is hospitalized. Nagomu is eager to take over Ryokushou, the family's Japanese sweet shop, but he's instead asked to be a father figure to Itsuka Yukihira, the girl everyone calls the successor.

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This Encourage Films 2022 comedy-slice-of-life just exudes charm making it highly watchable all round. Based upon the manga series by Rin Asano, the main character is Nagomu Irino, the son of a couple who run the family traditional Japanese sweet-making shop in Kyoto. The shop & café has been in the family for generations and Nagomu always assumed that he would one day pick up the reins. Other than his love of Japanese sweets he fell in love with the guitar in his teens and pursued a music career in Tokyo for ten years. Upon the break-up of his band, and learning of his father’s ill-health, he decided to pack up his life and resume his career in confectionary. Upon arriving home in Kyoto, he is in for a big surprise when he finds that his family have disowned him in favour of a young usurper Itsuka Yukihira. She is just ten but, since her parents abandoned her in the care of Nagomu’s parents, she has pretty much become the child heir Heigo & Fuki always wanted. Still.. family is family and Nagomu soon makes himself at home and starts retraining as a sweet-maker. Hot on his heals is girlfriend Kanoko Matsukaze who follows him from Tokyo. Their relationship is a bit vague as he assumed she broke up with him whilst she says he broke up with her. This ambiguity leaves the door open for them to rekindle their romance. Certainly, she seems keen otherwise she would not have given up her life in Tokyo to hang around with him. There are multiple storylines in the manner of a well-played soap opera free of any nasty melo-drama. The show is also deliciously funny. It focusses, surprisingly, on the growing friendship between Nagomu and young Itsuka. His Mum hopes he can perform a parental role for the girl and he picks up the challenge with gusto. Itsuka is initially suspicious but she misses her real Dad so much that she begins to identify with Nagomu and become attached to him. In turn the new role starts to teach him more about being a responsible adult. His character is one of the nicest male leads around in anime today. He is frank, honest, charming, friendly – an all-round good guy. It is easy for the audience to feel nothing but good things for this cast as they deal with the tricky, and not-so-tricky, challenges that life throws at them. What does it mean to be a parent? What is it to be a lover? The show has all kinds of clever tricks up its sleeve to keep you watching. Too many to supply any meaningful synopsis here. The show is steeped in the romance of food – something that the Japanese do so well in animated form. How many cultures devote so much one-screen time to their love of food? You will learn a lot about traditional Japanese sweets, their making and the culture & poetry that surrounds them. This is, mostly, a very beautiful show to watch. It gives you that real feel-good factor from knowing that nothing really bad is going to happen. Instead, you will just laugh and laugh to a bunch of characters you genuinely start to care about. A real winner.

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