I fear for his fingers.
The feels train is making its rounds again…
Right in the kokoro!
This week’s Sweetness and Lightning sees Tsumugi get in a bit of trouble at her preschool thanks to kids being kids. What follows is a touching sequence of events during which Kouhei tries his best to comfort his daughter, with Kotori’s helping hand to push him along when he doesn’t seem to be getting through to her. Really, that’s it. Just one little boo-boo at preschool, and a father trying to make things right. But Sweetness and Lightning executes it so well that I can’t help but tear up when Tsumugi finally bawls into her father’s chest after taking a bite out of the long-awaited hamburg steak. This truly was a touching episode, with its heartfelt depiction of an earnest yet stubborn little girl, an inexperienced but determined father, and a family friend drawing from the experiences of her own childhood (at least, that was my interpretation) to help the two along. And the payoff of seeing Tsumugi’s precious smile again was the perfect dessert to finish off this satisfying meal. Continuing the food analogy, the cherry on top was definitely the revelation that Tsumugi was just trying to create a birthday present for her father in the first place. This would have been sweet enough on its own, but the added spice of fellow preschooler Mikio stirring up trouble, as kids their age are wont to do, helped elevate this episode to true feels level without being overly dramatic.
This episode also featured some theatrics from Kotori’s side of things, starting with the surprising introduction of her mother: through a promo for a quiz show on TV, dressed in a sailor uniform for high school girls. Not to mention, thoroughly embarrassing her daughter on national TV. I really did not expect that. Judging by her mannerisms and the evidence she leaves behind at home, it’s clear that despite her absence, Megumi still cares very much for her daughter. And while I’m sure we all wish she’d spend a bit more time with the lonely Kotori, it’s clear that she’s just as busy as Kouhei due to her single parent status. So now that we have a face to put on her cutesy notes and missed calls, I’m relieved to say that she’s a lot more likable than I originally thought she would be. Maybe if she hooks up with a certain other single parent *wink wink nudge nudge*, she might not have to run off all the time to appear on random TV shows that are honestly a waste of her talents as a food expert. I mean, seriously, a quiz show? I thought we’d at least see her on something that belongs to some Food Channel equivalent. But maybe that’s just a side job to help pay the bills in between other, more serious work. Who knows?
Sweetness and Lightning is on a roll so far, delivering three satisfying episodes in a row. The tone of the show has been very carefully crafted, avoiding the most vocal concerns we’ve had and focusing instead on the challenges a parent can face when bringing up a child, with some additional insight from the other side of the coin thanks to Kotori. Here’s hoping that it continues this trend and keeps our hearts and stomachs full through the rest of the season.
This show just won’t let us forget the late Mrs. Inuzuka.