Having lost his wife, math teacher Kouhei Inuzuka is doing his best to raise his young daughter Tsumugi as a single father. He's pretty bad at cooking and doesn't have a huge appetite to begin with, but chance brings his little family and one of his students, Kotori Iida, together for homemade adventures. With those three cooks in the kitchen, it's no wonder this dinner table drama is so delicious.
Uniforms and Pot Rice
Pork Soup and Restaurant Lights
Tsumugi and the Long-Awaited Hamburg Steak
Hated Vegetables and Bits in Gratin
A Day Off and Special Doughnuts
A Gyoza Party with Friends
Gohei Mochi and a Grand Adventure
Squid and Taro Stew That's Still Yummy Tomorrow
Our Family's At-Home Curry
Summer Vacation, Kitty, and Aji
A Play and Sweet Potato Crêpes
Okonomiyaki Filled With Affection
This anime is ok, but basically nothing at all happens and there is no plot. So it's just 12 episodes of cute kid and clumsy dad who regularly get together with a shy highschool student to learn how to cook different dishes - every episode ends with them eating the dish they cooked and looking ecstatic because of how they managed to make it so tasty and delicious. That's all there is to it. Tsumugi-chan, the kid, is really cute but that isn't obviously enough. Tsumugi's dad and Kotori-chan, the student whose mother owns the restaurant where they meet up to try out their cooking skills are likeable enough characters - be that as it may, there is no development. You might enjoy it if you're in the mood to switch off your mind and watch something extremely light, carefree and undemanding revolving around the antics of a little girl and her overflowing-with-good-will father.
As a father, this anime breaks my heart. Everything about it is a feels train for me, but I digress Amaaza to Inazuma is a resplendid Slice of Life, Shojou anime. Story: 6/10 A father looses his wife and is left as a widower. He must care for his toddler daughter. He has no real love of food and meals the way his wife did, and he gets by. However, one day his daughter wakes him up to the fact that he's not doing enough... what happens? Well, just then they run across a young girl who can solve the problem! Besides the Deus ex Machina, the setup works. Two persons suffering from loss - the father from his wife, and the young girl from her mother's constant absence - are coupled by the need of an infinitely kawaii toddler. Animation: 6/10 Honestly, it's nothing to write home about. It fits our modern animation schemes. Everything is pretty fluid, and I've not seen a scene borrow from another (i.e. no obvious repeat animations so far). How ancillary characters react (animation wise) to Kouhei really drives home how careful everyone is being to his situation. Sound: 8/10 I like the OP/EP, and the background music is well done. All of the voice actors perform admirably; Kouhei's VA particularly conveys a depth which really enhances the character. Characters: 8/10 Very good back story and development so far on all of the characters. Reactions are spot on. Tsumugi is way too cute. Kouhei has the right amount of melancholy. The cast remains small and keeps the story intimate. The character progression is spot on. We see growth and evolution on all fronts. Expect a feels train as you voyeur their journey in situ. Enjoyment: 9/10 I personally love this anime. The story gives me the feels. The character interaction is personable and realistic. There's very little to detract from the overarching theme of this anime.
Positive *My first and by far most important positive point is that this anime gave me diabetes. This anime was so freaking cute! I had that Usage Drop feeling al over again. Tsumugi was so adorable and the way how she acted and reacted was so real for a girl her age. If I would talk about all the cute moments in this anime than I think this review would be half an hour long. To only name one: when she walking on the white lines and has to be careful of the sharks and sings the shark song I just melted completely. And then were even little details that were so cute like the sound her shoes made when she walked. Seeing things like that make me look forward to te day that I have children myself. Now I must say that I found Tsumugi to be a little spoiled, she would get things her ways and she knew how to influence Kouhei in doing so. But either way Tsumugi was, together with Rin, the epiphany of cuteness. For a video review, check out my Youtube channel. Link on my profile page. *And as in Usagi Drop I have to give major credit to the voice actress of Tsumugi: Rina Endou. To put up a performance like that when you’re only 11 years old stays amazing. Now this voice actress had a bit of an “easier” role than the voice actress of Rin since Tsumugi was almost always happy while Rin also had her serious and sadder moments. But still that doesn’t make her performance less amazing. *Now Tsumugi might have been happy and cheerful most of the time and also the anime itself is happy and cheerful most of the time. But there were times that SaL gave us a hit below the belt. This anime knew exactly what buttons it needed to press to invoke that sad feeling with its viewers. From time to time SaL would remind us of the sad fact that Tsumugi’s mother had passed away. Tsumugi and Kouhei were still trying to move on with their lives after her death and that gave the anime a sad undertone at times. And seeing how the two are slowly climbing out of this dark time gave SaL an extra layer on top of the cuteness. *Something that I was very happy not to see happen was an intended relationship between Kouhei and Kotori. Because there certainly was the possibility and the occasion to form a relationship between the two of them. I mean a teacher who has just lost hos wife starts hanging out with one of his students who can act as a sort of mother figure for his daughter. You don’t need more signs to tell us that a relationship between the two might be incoming. But luckily there wasn’t a single moment in SaL where such a relationship was hinted towards. And I couldn’t be happier about that, remember the end of the manga of Usage Drop. That makes my point I think. *And a final positive point was that the color palette used in this anime fitted it perfectly. Fun, bright colors that elevated and emphasized the cuteness of SaL. Just like in other cute and sweet anime like Usagi Drop and One Week Friends soft but fun colors makes such an anime that much more fun to watch. Combine that with the fun opening and ending songs and the picture was complete. Negative *Now for the negative section of this review I only have two things to mention. First off is something that I said in my preview of the Summer season. Next to a cute anime, SaL was also an anime about cooking and it had to compete against Food Wars this season. And it’s difficult to even Food Wars when it comes to food dedication and focus. The dishes were way simpler and also less explained in detail. *And the second negative point was that I would have liked more development for Kotori. First off it’s clear that the hole that she has in her life is the absence of her mother. Now her mother does appear all the way at the end of the anime but I still felt that there was a shortage of development there. And there was also a shortage of development with Kotori’s knife phobia. I really thought that she was going to get over that over the course of this anime but she didn’t. So it felt like the anime did very well with development on the hole in Kouhei and Tsumugi’s life but fell short on filling up those in Kotori’s life. Conclusion So as a conclusion, SaL was so sweet that it honestly felt like I was watching Usagi Drop again and I love that anime to death. I’m good again for a while when it comes to raising my blood sugar levels. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this anime and that’s why I’m going to rate Amaama to Inazuma at 4,5 stars. This was one of my favorite anime’s of the Summer 2016 season. It’s a definite much watch for all those lovers of super sweet anime out there.
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