「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!

 

17 Comments

  1. I’m gonna be sad not to get my weekly dose of Amaama to Inazuma. Alas, as they say, all things must end in due time, and I think this episode was a satisfying finale to one of my favorite shows of the Summer 2016 season.

    The episode made me laugh and also shed some tears in equal measure. The strongest moments were definitely the father-daughter scenes between Kouhei and Tsumugi. Their relationship feels so genuine, and the portrayal of Kouhei as the single father struggling to raise his daughter after his wife passed away and Tsumugi as the cute yet bratty kid who has to grow up without a mother’s love were just spot-on. Special mention also to Endou Rina, the seiyuu for Tsumugi as her portrayal of Tsumugi was perfect to a tee.

    Kotori also found some enlightenment regarding her feelings of being abandoned by her mother. The reason she had first reached out to the Inuzuka’s to learn how to cook together at her mothers restaurant was because she always felt lonely due to her mother’s absence shooting all those TV programs. Thus I was very glad that Kouhei managed to communicate to Kotori that although her mother may have to put work first to spending more time with her daughter, it doesn’t mean that her mother put Kotori beneath her own work. It’s just that parents also have their own worries and circumstances, and they can be susceptible to not noticing everything about their children. Therefore when Megumi finally came, obviously in a rush after her shoot had finished early to still try and fulfill her promise with Kotori to join in the making okonmiyaki with the Inuzuka’s, it was a happy moment to see Kotori finally reconciling and accepting her mothers apology.

    Final thoughts: A good mix of slice-of-life goodness, enjoyable cooking segments and realistic portrayal of lovable characters results in one of the shows I’ll dearly miss as we enter the upcoming Fall 2016 season. Thanks for the laughter and also some tears you elicited from me, and hopefully we will see more Amaama to Inazuma in the future.

    Extra:
    http://imgur.com/7zbedyQ
    Can totally see why our resident grouch Yagi-chin was so excited to meet Kotori’s mum.

  2. It was an interesting show. It started strong and while I still enjoyed watching it it dipped by the last so many episodes. Still fun mind you and if they ever make more I will definitely be watching.

    GoukaRyuu
  3. A great anime. A breath of fresh air with the themes of the kitchen and the relationship between parents and childrens. This anime is a great example of anime ability to tell stories.

    I wish the studio produced a second season, but I think that will not be possible in the following years. Follow the manga and see the adapted chapters would be better.

    Shadow074
  4. Definitely one of my favorite anime of the season (along with Re:Zero, Amanchu, and Love Live!).

    https://randomc.net/image/Amaama%20to%20Inazuma/Amaama%20to%20Inazuma%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2035.jpg

    Also made me of think of those many awkward, but kind meetings that could quickly blossom into something more. It also helps that everyone already knows and likes each other though, understandably, if something were to happen, I could see Tsumugi take issue with getting a new mother for a while and all.

    HalfDemonInuyasha

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