「あいじょーたっぷりお好み焼き」 (Aijyootaburi Okonomiyaki)
“Okonomiyaki Filled With Affection”
After stewing for over eleven episodes, this finale hit on everything that made this show such a blast to watch. From start to finish, there were an intermingling of themes and messages that never would have hit home without careful preparation beforehand.
Unlike my typical end posts, this one will have a full episode post and just a few parting words since I think I’ve said what I’ve wanted to say over the course of the show. That and this finale was just so good that I don’t think I could end the show without getting my feelings out.
Truly Understanding Punishment
I’ve never found fault in the way this show portrays little children and this episode was no different. Little kids are always growing and acting out is just another way that they try to find just how far they can push things. That said, this isn’t want I want to talk about. What I want to touch on was the way Kouhei decided to handle punishing Tsumugi now and in the future. Nearly mimicking what my own dad said word for word, I nearly broke out in tears when Kouhei dropped the parent-child barrier and truly expressed his feelings to Tsumugi. I’ve grown up always believing that parents don’t want to discipline their kids, but carry the burden because of how much they love their pride and joy. A burden so heavy that it’s nearly impossible to explain it to the one who you’re doing it for. I say nearly because I was blown away with just how eloquently Kouhei explained everything he does for Tsumugi. Addressing not only the present but the past as well as the future, the way he put so much power behind such few words is a testament to just how much Kouhei loves Tsumugi.
Man, if there’s something I’ll miss from this show, it’s definitely going to be the father-daughter moments that always make my heart melt.
Kotori and Kouhei
I’ve read in the comments how I don’t talk about these two very much, but I think this was the first week Kouhei actually offered Kotori some genuine words of wisdom. Soothing her heart when she thought her mother didn’t care about her, it was nice to see him finally take on a more fatherly role when it came to Kotori and her problems. Also, no, I didn’t see any kind of romantic sparks going off. Now, between Kotori’s mom and Kouhei? Maybe, just maybe.
Final Impressions and Closing Words
I’ve given nothing but praise to Amaama and I’ll continue to do so. It’s a quirky slice-of-life that tries to show us what life is like when you’re a single parent. Be it from the parent’s perspective or the child’s, we get a good glimpse at some of the difficulties that both parties face. But that alone doesn’t make this show such a great watch – that comes down to the characters and the themes/meanings that come from each and every episode.
With a great supporting cast to round out the bland Kouhei and spunky Tsumugi, there’s always a source to draw a different emotion from. Happiness, sadness, or a little of both there’s always someone around to help nudge things in the right direction. While Kotori may have been at the forefront of it all, you can’t discount Yagi, Shinobu, the kids at the preschool, the other parents, and even the teacher at the preschool. All of whom did much more than just exist as side characters.
However, even with two-thirds of the pie, the final and most important piece are the themes that each episode plays with. From self-worth to understanding others, we get to see these play out both from Tsumugi and Kouhei’s perspective. With the former typically appearing as interpersonal problems that all kids face, the latter usually becomes a lesson in parenting that develops from Kouhei realizing or learning from something that happened earlier in the episode. Something that always manages to hit right at my heartstrings and leaves me with rather misty eyes by the end of it.
That said, sure there were some shortcomings here and there. With the middle slowing down a little too much and some of the cooking moments feeling a bit too drawn out, a little tightening here and there would have been appreciated. Also, and this one’s a personal peeve, I would have really loved to see more of Tsumugi’s mom. But honestly, this isn’t a show like that and I guess I should be happy with what we got.
Overall, I think Amaama to Inazuma was one hell of a show and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a great slice-of-life. Thanks again to everyone who kept up with these posts and I’ll catch you guys around the bend when the Fall Season rolls around. See you later!