A small review for a small series
I’ve seen a lot of buzz regarding Dagashi Kashi one or two seasons before it aired when I saw frequently saw discussions about it during new chapters. People also made some huge buzz around Hotaru as well, with a lot of art going around. When I decided to Google it up, the premise interested me and I expected the anime with slight expectations.
Where they met at all? The answer to that should be obvious if anyone listened to me for the past few weeks but let’s get some detail in.
Dagashi Kashi is set in the Japanese countryside near the Shikada Store owned by Shikada Yo. His son, Shikada Kokonotsu is an aspiring mangaka with his sights set on making his creations publicized while his father urges him to continue the family business. While the two conflict, a mysterious girl comes into town looking for the two and she reveals herself as Shidare Hotaru, daughter of the Shidare company that manages one of the largest sweets business in the country. She states that she came to offer Yo a job in her father’s company but if that was going to happen, Kokonotsu would have to be talked into inheriting the shop. Kokonotsu refuses and Hotaru agrees that she’ll try her best to try and get Kokonotsu to agree on inheriting his family’s business.
From that alone, I expected way more antics involving Hotaru trying to convince Kokonotsu and while such things do happen, they mostly took place in the form of just speaking of candy and while entertaining, it can only go so far. The setting itself just takes place in one eternal summer in Kokonotsu’s home town and around the neighborhood. The Japanese country side is nice to look at and the setting itself is just a slice of life summer-time visits to friends, an easy to relate-to past-time.
Kokonotsu has some perpetual weird-eye thing going on and he himself is just the lens of which we see things. He’s knowledgeable in the family trade and his mangaka aspirations aren’t really all that fleshed out so there’s not much to say other than just the regular guy who is surrounded by weirdos, actually just one. Hotaru is the catalyst of the entire series as her presence has her running around doing something strange. Hotaru has those crazy eyes as well as a pretty developed body but everything that she has in looks is made up for her complete obsession with sweets. With said looks, I mostly thought this series would be a romcom but most of the time, it’s just hearing Hotaru go off on about sweets, their history, the marketing ploys, and all that stuff. The twins Endo Saya and Toh were more normal so I guess I enjoyed them being on screen a lot more since Toh was actually entertaining as a “best friend” character while Saya was the actual love interest. Finally we have Kokonotsu’s father, Yo, who ends up being the funniest character since he borders on being silly and just as crazy as Hotaru a few times.
For a series that does nothing but talk about snacks and is mostly there to be a relaxing comedy, the series looks very nice with nice thick colors and shading that make everything feel pretty big and significant whenever a character is on screen. The backgrounds and setting were also pretty refreshing to see after all the similar backgrounds most anime show off. As far as voices go, it was surprising to hear Ayana Taketatsu’s voice on someone like Hotaru but it was fun to listen before it got old. Everyone generally sounded entertaining as well, mostly Keiji Fujiwara’s voice work but that’s just bias because I love that old man. OST hasn’t struck me all that much but I can give credit to the opening for being a funky tune which I hummed a few times. The ending didn’t really catch me at all however.
My first impression for the series, given Hotaru’s looks, had me thinking this would mostly be a romcom of sorts and that does happen, only with a completely different character. Hotaru herself just talks about sweets. I’ve said that line many times but that’s honestly what the entire series is about, listen to Hotaru go on and off about sweets and how good they are. Makes you kind of wonder how she retains that body shape with a diet that consists of nothing but artificial sweeteners and sugar. Understandably, most discussion doesn’t even take place since the only topic that seems to be gaining any traction is Saya vs Hotaru in the waifu wars.
Dagashi Kashi, in my mind when I first heard and saw it, was going Hotaru convincing Kokonotsu in a way that didn’t involve 90% sweets. Given the title, I definitely didn’t expect 90% of the series just hearing about sweets. The most personal reason for me not finding the series all that interesting was the simple fact that I knew most of the candy culture from the East. The States culture with candy, when I actually think about it, it’s mostly the same candybars and the likes. Sure some other fruit stuff exist but Asia really loves sweets, marketing new brands, and inventing more creative ways to eat them. For someone who might not be familiar with asian culture might find this surprisingly-somewhat educational but in the end, it’s just about candy. If you’re not all that interested, the series itself doesn’t really have that many gags to make up for it so steer clear if you were looking for a regular comedy.