I’ve decided to usher in a new section of my blog called First Verdict, where I give you my snap reaction to a new anime or game I’ve viewed. It won’t work like my other reviews, since they were based on my overall impression of the show. In this format I will say what I think so far, what I want from the rest of the series and give my initial thoughts on the characters.
Sugary Sweet Show
After completing Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, I decided to sit down and carry on with some anime I had reserved for viewing. One of those was Dagashi Kashi, a slice of life comedy about a girl and her attempts at getting a boy to inherit his families Dagashi (Candy) shop. When I played the first episode, I didn’t know what to expect, I’d merely read a small synopsis of the show and was intrigued enough to give it a blast. I was both pleasantly surprised and left somewhat underwhelmed.
Story so Far (Spoilers)
So far the plot is moving at a glacial pace and I don’t expect it to actually speed up any time soon. It centers around an aspiring Mangaka named Kokanatsu (Coconuts to his friends) who refuses to inherit his father’s candy shop. In an attempt to get him to inherit it, the daughter of a major candy franchise named Hotaru appears in hopes of indoctrinating Kokanatsu into the ways of Dagashi. For what it’s worth the show is pretty well made and each episode has a unique structure to it, each episode segment focusing on a specific sweet or foodstuff. I am enjoying it however, but I find it lacks a real narrative in a way that perhaps sucks me out of the show. The show is supposed to document the main lead and his refusal to continue the shops legacy, yet we’ve seen barely any actual opposition from him. I am hopeful for the story, but I don’t know how exactly it will end, either he will inherit the shop or he won’t and that’ll travel over into the second series.
Characters so Far
I really like this cast, its small and compact and that’s good. Kokanatsu isn’t that interesting, but the hidden knowledge he possesses about dagashi is quite fun to watch. However, his dreams of being a Mangaka have only been touched up one once throughout the show so far, if it isn’t picked up again then it would me a major character moment that could have been expanded upon more. Hotaru, the female lead of the show is easily one of its best parts. From her design, her voice to her overall mannerisms, the way she orchestrates herself is hilarious, but her intelligence with candy is fierce. The way she can elaborate on each and every candy she finds is really something to admire. She also acts as one of the primary sources of comedy, usually with the use of non-sequiturs and innuendos leading to a punchline considering a candy of sorts. But my favorite character by far is Kokanatsu’s father Yo. This guy is an absolute hoot, everything he does is a comedy goldmine. His switches from being deep voiced and serious to campy and high pitched are a great contrast, and his non stop attempts to give the shop to Kokanatsu are funny to watch unfold. The other characters To and Saya are fine, To isn’t much other than a perverted best friend and Saya, while charming and quirky, isn’t too special either. I particularly like the interactions between Kokanatsu and Hotaru, their back and forth comments about candy is great to watch, their relationship is a really nice item in the show. Overall, the cast so far is really bright and colorful, the protagonist being pretty dull but the other characters around him keep the show interesting.
I don’t know if the facts about candy in this show are correct of not, but if they are this show is so clever. As someone who doesn’t really know much about Japanese Dagashi, it’s great to learn about the different foodstuffs that populate their shelves. The little animations they have that showcase the candies in humanoid form are also really funny sections throughout the show. I also really like some of the science that goes into these snacks as well as the traditions surrounding them and their origins. If anything the candy itself is what draws me to wanting to watch this show since it’s so interesting to me.
This show has some really interesting animation, it’s nothing too abstract but has a lot of individual charm. I particularly love the work on the eyes, every character has a unique eye shape, pupil size and eye size. From Hotaru having spiral lines in her iris’, Saya having pinprick iris’ to Kokanatsu having somewhat slanted wide eyes, there really is a lot of diversity in the eye design here and it really adds identity to the character. Also, I am in love with the ending OP and animation, the opening is fine but nothing too special. The ending is a fun, light hearted and jovial tune with some visuals based on Alice in Wounderland, offering up some unique animation stills. So overall, it has some great animation, fabulous eye design and decent music.
Overall, I am really enjoying this show so far, it has a lot of interesting elements to it that both fascinate and intrigue you. The characters are fun to watch and the plot, while dreary in places is full of great moments. The comedy is very hit and miss for me however, it occasionally has either a predictable pay off or a generally uninteresting one. Other times however, the jokes, particularly with Hotaru and Yo are really funny. Will I keep watching? Yes I will and if the finale impresses me I’ll be continuing into the second series.
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