It’s time for curry!
Those damn onion-slicing ninjas are at it again in this week’s Sweetness and Lightning.
Daddy’s glasses will protect mommy from the onions!
It all starts when Tsumugi’s preschool hosts a summer break sleepover. The kids learn to prepare curry, which Tsumugi recognizes as plebeian curry that one might find at a restaurant. It’s good for sure, but pales in comparison to the home curry her mother used to make (a claim I’m sure every person can make). Thus begins Kouhei’s quest to recreate yet another dish from his late wife’s kitchen repertoire: dry curry. The dish goes well, thanks to the assistance of Kotori (and her mother) and the discovery of Mrs. Inuzuka’s recipe book. But the real heavy hitter this time isn’t the cooking. Instead, the episode ventures further into how Tsumugi reconciles with the fact that her mother is gone. Which is an appropriate next step considering the previous dish also featured a “mama’s cooking” theme, even if it finally treads too close to home here.
Tsumugi misses her mother.
It’s easy for us to anticipate that serving dry curry would trigger memories of Mrs. Inuzuka in Kouhei and Tsumugi. Despite this, the two are genuinely happy to have a taste of the nostalgic dish once more. However, once the joy of the meal passes and the memories of times past linger, Tsumugi is unable to hold back her tears. The realization that her mother will never make her beloved “home curry” again causes the little girl to break down for a bit. And while Kouhei’s knee-jerk reaction is to promise never to make it again so that she won’t have to think about her mother’s absence, Tsumugi admirably makes it clear that this is not what she wants. While her mother’s rendition can never be replaced, she is still happy to eat the version that her father prepares in her stead. The episode ends on this bittersweet note, but while both father and daughter are brought to tears, I think that it was a necessary step for them to take. And I am definitely glad that the two have decided to keep moving onward without wallowing in sadness, while still honoring the memory of the lost member of their family.
This was perhaps one of the more emotionally heavy episodes of Sweetness and Lightning. Yet, it didn’t lay the sadness on too thick. Just as over-seasoning a dish can end up hurting it, over-dramatizing a story can make it less believable and hard to relate with. It’s clear that the show understands this with the approach it has taken thus far, and I have to say that it’s done an outstanding job at keeping the emotional roller-coaster in check without making the ride too tepid and tame.
She will be remembered.