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Dagashi Kashi – 12 (END)

「食べるんですHiとさくらんぼの詩と…/森永ミルクキャラメルとサクマ式ドロップスと…」 (Taberun Desu Hi to Sakuranbo no Uta to…/ Morinaga Mirukukyarameru to Sakumashikidoroppusu to…)
“Taberun Desu Hi and Sakuranbo no Uta and… / Morinaga Milk Caramel and Sakumashiki Drops and…”

The last episode has a little of everything I enjoyed about this series, plus yuri.

Shipping Hotaru x Saya Furiously!

I knew Hotaru x Saya was the most popular pairing, because girl-on-girl is hot (trope!), but damn anime, you’re playing it up! Not much to say, other’n damn yo, and did you notice how Saya closed her eyes? Apparently she’s weak to pressure, ufufu~

Hotaru’s Longing Gaze

First: I find it amusing that Coconutsu and Tou-kun think girls love fortune-telling, when it’s them who are all gung-ho about it. Turns out fortune-telling makes the boys go wild, you bakas.

As for Hotaru’s longing gaze, there’s something comforting (and amusing) about it not being for Coconutsu, but for Pochi-kun. A world where Hotaru loves anyone other than a candy mascot is a world of fiction. Er, a fiction about the fiction. A fanfic or doujinshi, I mean. Probably a perverted one, if the past is any indication. I’m told.

Quintessential Dagashi Kashi

I think the second half of this episode might be the most Dagashi Kashi skit in the entire show, or at least a good encapsulation of the delicate mix that makes it work. There’s candy exposition, but it’s supported by (and reveals) character rather than being a straight-up infomercial. Most of the main cast is there, with the regrettable lack of You. Hotaru is oblivious to the sexy, Saya is misunderstanding things and blushing, Tou-kun is teasing his sister, etc. It even had a touch of romance (or perhaps lust, in Coconutsu’s case), and a little something more than just the candy exposition, with Hotaru and Coconutsu’s talk about whether he was holding her back.

Granted, I wanted someone to smack Coconutsu and tell him that he’s being conceited. Hotaru is a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man (though she wants Pochi-kun, so, er, shoutacon?). And as Saya and Tou-kun rightly note, she’ll go on trips when she wants to. He’s being self-centered, thinking her choices center around him. Plus, isn’t she trying to interrupt his dream of becoming a mangaka? C’mon now.

But that gripe aside, the last skit firmly embodied what makes Dagashi Kashi work. The thing I’m most surprised about is that they didn’t try to bring about some kind of conclusion after the obvious hook from last week, but I’m glad they didn’t. It wouldn’t have worked. Final impressions below.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Shipping Hotaru x Saya furiously!! Dagashi Kashi ends as it began—with candy, laughs, and more candy #dagashikashi END

Random thoughts:

  • “There’s no way I’d say something embarrassing like that normally!” Except for all the time, Hotaru-chan.
  • I love me some Raskin Bobbins, mmm.
  • So if I’m reading this right, the lesson from the coin thing is that money solves most problems. Yeah, that checks out.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Inside Out: What Emotion Drives You?, Superhot: Storytelling through gameplay, Deadpool: Tonal Balance Through Non-Linear Storytelling, and Through their own flaws.

Full-length images: 32.

End Card

 

Final Impressions

I’m of two minds when it comes to this series, or more specifically, about the elements of the source the anime chose to focus on. That is to say, more Saya than Hotaru. On the one hand, I appreciate it when an adaptation takes a different tack than the source (provided they do it well, of course), because it’s like we’re getting two versions of the same story/world instead of merely a rehash of the source. I’m also a hopeless romantic and Saya is best girl, so having more Saya than the source is appreciated.

And yet, the swing from Hotaru –> Saya in this adaptation was too much, to the point where I’m not sure we got to know Hotaru as well as we should have. Sure, she’s a manic pixie dream girl, which isn’t my favorite trope, but she’s still the main heroine, right? And she’s also hilarious. But we didn’t get as much of her as I wanted, no matter how much I do enjoy a Saya episode.

I don’t think the idea of giving Saya more screen time was a bad one. It’s the degree that’s probably the issue. The pendulum swung too far, to the point where it sounds like this wasn’t exactly faithful to the manga, even though most things apparently happened there. Deemphasizing Hotaru changed the tone of the story, and while we can debate whether it’s for better or worse, I know many fans are pissed because they like Hotaru, and she was sidelined. It’s not a great idea to piss off your core fanbase.

Aside from that, though, I enjoyed this series. Some episodes were more miss than hit, but then again it’s a pure comedy; that’s the risk you run. Mostly it hit though, and there’s no show that I’ve seen with quite the same mix of elements that Dagashi Kashi boasts. There’s just something about watching an otaku (a maniac/nerd) go on about the thing they’re passionate about. It’s infectious, even if you don’t think about candy as much as them, and even if you don’t understand. Packaging that with lively characters, funny jokes, and just a touch of shipping is a winning formula.

Dagashi Kashi is a cheerful journey through the weird world of Japanese candy, so even if this adaptation was uneven, it was a lot of fun. As an anime-only viewer, unburdened as I am to the dictums of the source, I enjoyed it. Plus it makes me want to read the source material, so mission accomplished.

April 1, 2016 at 5:32 pm
15 comments »
  • April 1, 2016 at 6:46 pmAJ

    That was a really well-thought-out review.

    • April 1, 2016 at 8:40 pmStilts

      Thank you! I appreciate that.

  • April 1, 2016 at 8:00 pmCarma

    I liked the ending, Hotaru is there because she like it.

    In retrospective, I wish they could have manage their cast better. More You, more Hotaru, more Endou, less ulcer. I liked almost all episodes, I even like the opening after a few times.

    I’m gonna miss Hotaru’s entusiasm. And Saya, obviously.

  • April 1, 2016 at 8:20 pmKindle

    Dagashi Kashi is this season’s D-Frag for me—only with sweets and snacks! I believe I can say now that I find Saya’s excessive ear-piercings charming for her, a trademark perhaps. Sorta like how Hotaru is associated with snacks. After weeks and episodes of feeling “off put” with the earrings, it actually just made her more memorable than she already is <3

  • April 1, 2016 at 8:48 pmWanderer

    Shipping Hotaru x Saya Furiously!

    This is obviously the best pairing. In my opinion, the series has always been at its best when these two are onscreen together and their personalities are allowed to just play off each other’s.

  • April 1, 2016 at 10:12 pmIncognito

    Asymmetrical docking!

    And again, (hopefully the last time I’ll be doing this “seiyuu connection” gag) furiously getting visions of a Yamato x Takao crossover yuri pairing.

    Personally though, an OT3 (Hotaru x Saya x Kokonotsu) would be the best, as long as Kokonotsu snaps out of his obliviousness to love (and based on his thoughtfulness in the second half, there may still be a chance to do just that).

    LOL, I never thought I’d see another Baskin-Robbins reference since Marvel’s Ant-Man movie… (“Baskin-Robbins always finds out.”)

    Well, it’s a bit sad to see this year’s winter season end with this show. I’m gonna miss Hotaru’s candy-mania, Saya’s unrequited love for Kokonotsu and Tou-kun being a total bro. Totally tempted to take a look at the manga now…

  • April 1, 2016 at 10:56 pmL002

    http://randomc.net/image/Dagashi%20Kashi/Dagashi%20Kashi%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    Ah, I still remember their first romantic encounter which involved big bike accident and our main girl fell into the mud.

    You know, I don’t how many times I would see bisexual girls in anime/manga. I recall, in Sekirei there was Matsu. Code Geass had Milly and Nina. Durara had one bisexual girl in the Dollars. But those, with the exception of Matsu, were somewhat “minor” characters. Don’t see too many main heroines as being Bisexual.

    • April 2, 2016 at 9:48 amStilts

      There are many reasons for that, though I would say that there are a lot of characters that are kinda/sorta functionally bisexual (or at least romantically bisexual), i.e. the standard school girl lesbians. Tsutsui Mari of Nijiiro Days is an example from a current show whose preferences are up for debate (but who is probably, like most of these characters, straight in the end).

  • April 2, 2016 at 2:18 amGwynbleidd

    I can’t wait for the Hotaru and Saya doujinshi hehehehehehehe…

  • April 2, 2016 at 5:15 amleatherhead333

    Ah yes. The overly manipulated dialogue that leads to a fake out gag teasing yuri that we all knew wasn’t going to happen. Never seen that before. NEVER! >:/

    Oh and I just happened to come across that scene and have seen nothing else of the show. Not like it’s consistent with my interests or anything…………………

    Anyway just dropping by leave an asshole comment like usual. BYE!

  • April 2, 2016 at 10:07 amsithstormjedi

    As a fan of Manami Numakura’s voice for Saya. Im glad this series exists, as this is probably her best since Hibiki in Idolmaster. Alot of works she’s done had her requiring to change her tone which i dont think works very well as it sounds alot more natural.

  • April 2, 2016 at 11:03 amGP1301

    This series deserves a second season, IF it involves a lot of sexy innuendos and boner perceptions.
    As would Boner Bob (muyskerm) said: BONERS AWAY!

  • April 2, 2016 at 11:21 amewok40k

    regarding the sexuality of Hotaru and Saya – I think they are at the stage of “trying each candy and finding favorite flavor”… if you forgive me using a dagashi metaphor :P

    • April 2, 2016 at 10:17 pmHanabira.Kage

      Hotaru is dagashi-sexual, no question about that.

  • April 2, 2016 at 3:28 pmDvalinn

    Dammit, the weekly candy trivia are over. As well as all the Hotaru antics (including yuri). Why is the world so cruel!~ *dramatic chord*

    Jokes aside, I enjoyed this show. Comedy-wise it lost to Konosuba by miles, but it was a very enjoyable slice-of-life distraction every week regardless, the perfect thing to relax with at the start of my weekend. It’s nice to have a show like that in a season.

    And man, Hotaru’s childlike happyface as Saya’s guessing the flavour is freaking adorable. I’m going to miss those reaction faces of hers.