「春待ち偲ぶ」 (Haru Machi Shinobu)
“Reminiscing About Waiting for Spring”
After giving Itsuka a hard time last week, this week my perspective changed even if just a little bit. Proving my point that Nagomu is way too exemplary for his own good, it seems everyone has accepted him a little bit more, in all of his lovable goofy self. His dad, Heigo, has been giving him a hard time ever since he arrived at the shop. However it seems with some base ingredients that were left over, Nagomu was able to practice making some sweets, but still deems them unworthy of selling in front of the shop. So New Year’s comes around, and the shop is only serving pre-orders for customers who paid in advance for their turn of the century sweets. A man with a tragic story, visiting his wife’s grave, wants to buy sweets and stands in front of the shop.
Nagomu heading out for a delivery finds said man and strikes up a conversation with him, later he finds him in the park reminiscing all by himself. So Nagomu once again asks the man for some more details on his situation. Turns out his wife was a big fan of the shop and wanted to buy her sweets in order to commemorate her life. Tons of references were thrown during this episode to exciting and important new years rituals portraying tea ceremonies and staying close to family during this special holiday. This reviewer might not wholeheartedly understand it in full, but these ceremonies and practices are important and part of the culture and should be respected and treated with the care and importance they deserve. Since humans place immense significance on rituals, whether religious or not.
Anyway, Nagomu once again goes out of his way to make sure others can have what they want, he packs up the sweets he made, but since they can’t be sold or anything because he’s still an apprentice, he manages to give them out for free to this man. Better this person using the sweets for something special than the confections rotting away in the back of the shop. Since they were made on that day, Nagomu had no problem giving them out to this man. Itsuka and Heigo both catch a glimpse of Nagomu giving out the sweets to this gentleman, later during their first shrine visit, Heigo wishes out loud that Nagomu would stop calling his sweets unsellable, and Itsuka and Nagomu think they might have been found out. Since Nagomu sort of broke the rules of the shop, and Itsuka is just the accomplice. The man later offers in prayer some of the sweets and taste’s one himself, Nagomu certainly did a great job with them.
Nevertheless – this is what I was talking about last week, Deaimon has very little time to develop the relationship with the main characters because it’s so obsessed with filling out its story with B content. We do get to see the inner workings of the shop, but sooner rather than later, episodes turn to B stories that happen inside the shop and concentrates the spotlight on them – intimate but rather unimportant plot points that serve very little in advancing the story. However, because of the preview and the fact that only 2 episodes remain, it might be picking up the pace with that specific subject in the last couple of episodes. Regardless, it’s rather sad that it never had the guts to focus on Nagomu and Itsuka and develop a bond that would give that much-needed wholesome side to the show. A bond that may make Itsuka see Nagomu in a new light and appreciate him and love him as a father for what he is, wholeheartedly and with no judgment, Something she still struggles with even to this episode. For example, Nagomu gives the sweets to his new acquaintance. Itsuka choose to look out for the shop, and its rules first, rather than try and see what Nagomu was doing and the reasoning behind it. She doubted him and it wasn’t until Nagomu told her that he knew the rules and was going to do this gift the right way, that she backed down and started helping. She still sees him as this guy who can’t fend for himself, is too good for his own good, and needs adult supervision. So why should she even try and see him as anything but?
Deaimon really works when it’s about the inner working of the shop, the behind-the-scenes of sweet making, the backstories of those around it, and those that come into it harboring some kind of resentment toward the world. It works as a comedy-drama with lighthearted moments, and backstories to boot. However, it fails miserably at giving enough screen time to its hook, Nagomu, and Itsuka’s ever-growing father-daughter relationship.
It’s interesting because it starts with Itsuka hating his guts and slowly coming to terms that Nagomu, in fact, may become someone she might admire somewhere in the future. But Deaimon’s obsession with fleshing out every single character’s backstory makes it feel like it surrounded itself with padding along the edges rather than focusing on its original intention – a story about found family and how empathy and household values bring us together even in our toughest moments. That is to say – it’s quite enjoyable if you’re looking for a drama-filled with heart, tradition, and funny moments that are sure to grab one or two chuckles.
Full-length images: 36.
When I think about how Nagomu interacts with everyone he meets and already knows, I remember Dale Carnegie’s had a book. “How to Win Friends And Influence others“ basically describes peoples responses can build new, tarnish existing, and prevent relationships.