I learned a lot from that episode…
The mysteries and complexities of Japanese culture – pop and otherwise – continue to amaze me. Living in Japan and being a complete Japan geek be damned, I had no idea about
Until Hotaru enlightened me.
I must say I’m mildly surprised to see this series not getting a more favorable reaction – but maybe I shouldn’t be, because these sorts of whimsical comedies rarely go over well with most of the anime audience. For me this episode was a stellar example of what this sort of series should be – consistently funny, very cute, utterly silly and just sweet enough without being saccharine.
That said, I think in addition to a general skepticism towards shows of this stripe Hotaru is something of a lightning rod. She’s the driving force behind most of the comedy, and she comes on very strong. It’s her flights of fantasy, pushiness and bad judgment that drives everything, and if her act wears thin for you then Dagashi Kashi as a whole probably does too. For myself I was unsure about her after the premiere, but I found her baka antics pretty funny this time around.
There’s no question Hotaru is an idiot, though she a genius at it. And no doubt Kokonatsu finds her pretty annoying, especially when she harps on him about taking over the shop. But I don’t sense a lot of malice in it – neither’s Hotaru’s consistent interference with Coconuts or he and Saya’s bemused reaction to her antics lapse into the mean-spirited. It’s just good, silly fun with a healthy dose of Japanese esoterica – and for me, that’s a winning formula.