Sweetness and Lightning – 03

I fear for his fingers.

The feels train is making its rounds again…



Kid Problems

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.

Embarrassing Parents

Humiliation nation…

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.


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4 Responses to “Sweetness and Lightning – 03”

  1. skylion says:

    OMGoodness, as a 30 year vet of the Food & Beverage industry watching two amateurs fumble with a knife just puts me on edge!!!! I’m glad they got through it with all fingers intact. I regularly drummed on service staff for using a saw method with a kitchen knife for bar/tea lemon slices rather than the correct slicing method. Of course most of them wouldn’t know a proper sharp knife to begin with….

    …can we really put the right face to Kotori’s mum? That was a disguise!

  2. IreneSharda says:

    I did more than tear up, but was near bawling at that scene with Tsumugi and her dad. As a proud daddy’s girl, Id heard my own dad’s voice in Kohei’s when he was saying how no matter what she does, he would always love her, and it hit me right in the feels. I remember being a kid and crying like that to my mom or dad, since it wasn’t really about the school fight, but more so about the implications of what your parent thinks of you afterward. That parental acceptance and love is very important to a kid.

    As for the cooking, I flinched the entire time he was cutting those onions. I know I’m not the best cook, but these two basically seem to be almost beyond incompetent in the kitchen. I don’t see how the guy was able to cook at all for Tsumugi and not know simple things like how to cut, or how that onions make your eyes sting. Maybe those kind of onions aren’t a popular veggie in Japan?

    I’ve never had hamburgers like that before, though it did look good enough to try, even with the egg on top. Though when she talked about adding okra or kiwi to it, I pretty much completely shut down on that. *shudders*
    But thankfully they left well enough alone and made a very good meal.

  3. HannoX says:

    I love the expression on Kotori’s face upon seeing her mother on TV in a sailor suit–a perfect combination of horrified, embarrassed and shocked. And as she said later, “I’ve never even worn a sailor suit!” I know that when you’re a teenager so many of the things your parents do embarrass you, but Megumi took it to another level. Yet it’s something she probably needed to do to help support her daughter. We’ve seen enough evidence that she really cares for her daughter.

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