Review: Sweetness and Lightning

This show is a few years old, but I love telling people about it, so here we are.

Sweetness and Lightning is an anime about a young widower named Kouhei Inuzuka, and his daughter, Tsumugi.

Kouhei has a problem: he and Tsumugi are used to his wife's home cooking, and he doesn't know how to cook. And they're both tired of takeout and convenience-store food.

Fortunately, Kouhei is also a schoolteacher, and one of his students, Kotori Iida, is the daughter of a TV chef. (Megumi, the chef herself, doesn't appear much in the show though.)

Kotori ends up helping Kouhei cook delicious meals, and each episode showcases a different recipe. I mean that literally; both the anime and manga give you the full recipe for each dish so you can make it yourself.

By the end of the series, a year has passed, and Kouhei and Tsumugi are much happier. Kouhei has learned to make a variety of delicious meals, and this has helped Tsumugi deal with her grief as well, since she no longer feels deprived of her mother's cooking. Plus, Kotori and even Megumi show up from time to time, to cook and chat.

My Two Cents

Sweetness and Lightning is pure comfort food--and I'm not just talking about the tasty meals featured in each episode! All of the characters feel real. Tsumugi acts like a real 5-year-old--sometimes a bit bratty, sometimes eager to cheer people up, always adorable. Kotori learns to be more sure of herself. Everyone is better off at the end of this show than they were at the beginning, and it's super-heartwarming. The recipes really work and are really tasty (always a plus in a show about food).

Sweetness and Lightning is also one of the rare shows to depict a wholesome platonic relationship between an adult and a teenager, and between a teenager and a young child. Everyone needs and deserves to have friendships with people in different age groups like this.

9/10--The story only took one season to tell, but I still want a second helping.