OP: 「Checkmate!?」 by MICHI
「うまい棒とポテフと…／コーヒー牛乳キャンディとヤングドーナツと…」 (Umaibou to Poteto to… / Kouhii Gyuunyuu Kyandi to Yangudounatsu to…)
“Umaibo and Potato Fries and… / Coffee Milk Candy and Young Donuts…”
Dagashi Kashi combines two things I love: Zany comedy, and shipping.
This Is A Comedy—Your Mileage May Vary
I feel like this should be obvious, but I’ma preface this post with it anyway: Comedy is the most subjective realm of fiction. While it’s easy to intellectually respect a drama you don’t enjoy, it’s hard to do that with comedy, because it’s such a binary matter—either you laugh, or you don’t. I laughed a lot from this episode, but if you didn’t, it’s not that you’re wrong or I’m crazy. It’s comedy; it’s subjective. That’s the name of the game.
Zany, Romantic Fun
I like my comedy like I like my action—outrageous. Not exclusively, but a notable preference for zany comedy runs through me, and Dagashi Kashi pressed those buttons. Leading the zany train is Shidare Hotaru (Taketatsu Ayana) and Shikada You (Fujiwara Keiji), who were undoubtedly the comedic stars of the episode. I like that the way their brains work is just off compared to normal people, which means they can veer into goofy comedic territory with little explanation other than, “Yeah, that’s something they would do.” Like I said, comedy is subjective, but both of these characters stole every scene they were in—or they would have, if they didn’t share several. It’s a battle for goofiest goof!
Yet I’m also a hopeless romantic at heart, and Dagashi Kashi scratches that itch too. Of course with protagonist Shikada Kokonotsu’s (Abe Atsushi)—hereafter referred to as Coconutsu-kun—attraction to Shidare Hotaru, who is at least physically/style-wise his type. (Side note: They say that people often marry people who are like their parents. Well, Hotaru-yan is definitely like Coconutsu-kun’s dad.) But Endou Saya (Numakura Manami) stole the show quickly with her badly concealed crush on Coconutsu. I’m a sucker for the dishonest childhood friend. And what’s this—a brother in Endou Tou (Suzuki Tatsuhisa) who fights with his little sister instead of being involved some half-baked love drama? Le gasp! As much fun as an “Onii-chan~<3” is, it’s nice to see regular siblings for once.
Animation, Character Design, Casting
I don’t know why I included animation in this section, because I’m not the one to ask. It seemed fine? The character designs, on the other hand, I liked. They reminded me of Jitsu wa Watashi wa a bit, in that I’m sure some people will think they’re ugly, but I liked the characters’ atypically small eyes (for anime). The seiyuu casting, though, I can say for sure is a hit. I didn’t have preconceived notions from the manga, so I don’t know if their names “fit,” but I know good comedic actor when I
see hear ’em, and Taketatsu Ayana and Fujiwara Keiji are both great. Especially Ayachi—she’s good at being forceful and slightly unbalanced, so she was a good pick. Suzuki Tatsuhisa does well with Tou’s raucous laughter, while the comedic foils for this enterprise—Abe Atsushi and Numakura Manami, as Coconutsu and Saya—probably won’t shine as much as the goofs, but the whole thing doesn’t work without them.
Is it okay if I get a little hyped after this episode? I don’t know if this will get covered weekly, though there is a fair amount of interest among our staff. Either way, I’m excited. I could do with more goofy candy antics in my life.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – #anime_dagashi in three words: Zany, goofy, & shipping. I thought the first episode was a lot of fun.
- I will be happy if these eyecatches keep popping up throughout each episode. It’s a good method to change gears or show the passage of time. Also, this please.
- What the heck is Coconutsu’s father famous for, anyway? (Mark and tag your spoilers, manga readers. I’m sure it’ll come up eventually.)
- Coconutsu doesn’t stand out as a protagonist, per say, but neither is he annoyingly generic. He could go either way, but so far he’s at least unwittingly dangerous. I got a good laugh out of that.
- The best friend saw the heroine naked first? Surprising. Though the violence visited upon him was not. You have a sister, dude. Maybe knock first.
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: $%&@* cuss words, Stephen, what is best in life?, It depends, and Momentum & mental space.
ED: 「Hey! カロリーQueen」 (Hey! Calorie Queen) by Taketatsu Ayana