Amaama to Inazuma aka Sweetness and Lightning, is a cooking slice-of-life anime based on manga series of the same name. The anime was made by TMS Entertainment and the manga series was written by Amagakure Gido. The anime series ran from July to September of 2016, and has total of 12 episodes.
Inuzuka Kouhei (left) and his daughter Inuzuka Tsumugi (middle) are the protagonists of this cute series. Due to death of his wife, Kouhei is raising Tsumugi by himself. Despite this, Tsumugi is ridiculously bright and active. In contrast, Kouhei seems to get very anxious and unsure of himself very frequently. The father and daughter help each other to make through the days.
IIda Kotori (right) is a student that wants to cook, but is not the best at it. Her mom runs a restaurant and the Inuzuka family visits so they can all practice cooking together. She is in love with eating food and wants to share the joy of that with almost anyone. She is very bright and can sometimes go off in her own world.
The Inuzuka family had a loss, Tsumugi’s mother and Kouhei’s wife passed away rather recently. Due to this, Kouhei is now a single father raising a kid and he has no idea how to cook. He did not realize this was a problem until he found his baby girl drooling at some food on TV and asking him if they can have some good food.
Luckily for the Inuzukas, they meet Kotori. She is Kouhei’s student at school and her mother runs a restaurant, Kotori’s mom is actually a famous TV food expert as well as owner of a restaurant. Although absent, Kotori’s mother leaves recipes behind to help Kotori and Kouhei how to cook simple meals.
Kouhei is so SO emotional. He almost cries when Tsumugi says something remotely emotional. I get that seeing your kid grow is emotional but does he have to tear up every single time she says something? The man cries more than Ikari Shinji.
In my opinion, Episode 7 is one of the lowest parts of this show, and emboddies everyhting the show does wrong. In this episode, Dad gets sick and to help him, Tsumugi leaves the house to go find Kotori. Luckily, Tsumugi finds Kotori, and Kotori tells Tsumugi she is a good girl for being brave to come there, and give her food and medicine to bring it back to her dad. And when Dad does find Tsumugi, does the only logical thing in the episode, yells at Tsumugi for endangering herself. She cries and says she does not want to go home, instead wants to go to Kotori’s, and then they go to Kotori’s. Kotori wants to amend there relationship so cooks them a meal, and things all end well.
Here are my issues. Tsumugi does everything wrong in this episode and is rewarded for all of her mistakes. She leaves house and is called brave, she throws a temper tantrum and then they go to Kotori’s restaurant. Every time she misbehaves, she is rewarded for them rather than punished. When Kotori finds her, Kotori should’ve told her what she did was a bad thing and that she should not do something like this again. And when Tsumugi threw her temper tantrum, Dad should have just returned home, his failure to do that makes him look like he lacks conviction, is he going to fold every time Tsumugi throws a fit? I lost a lot of respect for him here. Being a single working parent must be hard, I cannot even imagine, but I feel like this should’ve been a moment where he had to be stronger.
Let’s talk about Kotori in this episode. What the hell is she doing? She awards a child for leaving her house without her dad and wander the city. And when Tsumugi was screaming, Kotori should have said nothing and let Dad decide what was going to happen as this is regarding him and Tsumugi and not her. She constantly interject herself into this family’s affairs, she called Dad’s friend a bad influence, who does she think she is? And her trying to amend the situation further shows how nosy she is in their family issues. The only reason this looks okay is because Kotori is a protagonist, if she were anyone else, it would have been creepy.
My favorite aspect of this show is its humble cooking, I read and watch Shokugeki no Soma and the food they make are beyond gorgeous, but I don’t think I can imagine myself making something anywhere near that, so I don’t even try. In contrast, the food here is so grounded in reality and something that normal people eat normally, I try and have succeeded in making them. If I want to watch food porn, I go to Shokugeki no Soma (see what I did there?) but if I want to learn a new recipe that I can actual use, I think this might be a better show for me to do that.
Tsumugi is probably the best part of this show. She is a kid and acts like a kid. That might sound obvious, but so many shows don’t get this right. In many shows, the kids are either too mature and angelic, or outright fiendish. Tsumugi is rather multi-layered. She can be selfish, she tries to do good, and she does act stupid at times, like in episode 7. With all my issues with episode 7, none are with Tsumugi. She is a kid and acted like a kid, it was the adults around her that reinforce wrong behavior and misguide her.
There are several moments in the show that are so freaking sweet that it was cringe, but despite the cringeness, I thought it was appropriate. Kids to cringy things without knowing they are cringy, that’s what kids do. And as mentioned above, Tsumugi is a great child character that embodies both the good, the bad, and the cringy part of childhood. But her dances are very cute and will make you cringe at how cute it is.
- Will I watch this show again? I have already. Not so much for the story, but to see some recipes. As a bachelor man living alone I thought it would be good survival tactics to know how to cook.
- Do I recommend this? Yes, it has educational merit for beginner cooks and heart warming stories for those looking for stories. I actually watched this with my mom and she felt so bad for Kouhei and laughed when she saw me mimicking the recipes.
Although episode 7 as well as some of the other moments in the show had me genuinely mad, overall, I thought this was a great experience. I do recommend this show for both educational purposes for cooking as well as emotional/cute aspects.
Did you like this series? Was it too sweet for you and not enough lightning? Let me know!!