Dagashi Kashi – 03

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Dagashi Kashi seems to be a test of just how inconsequential a theme an anime can have and still be entertaining…

This is a good season so far – very good, for a winter season.  But after two great shows (great enough to make it a good season even if they were the only two shows airing) and one excellent one (Dimension W) there’s a pretty big dropoff to the next tier, and in that tier is a daunting bucket of shows that are somewhere on the bubble spectrum.  But among that group, Dagashi Kashi is close to the top for me – I’m this close to making the commitment and giving it a category entry.

Dagashi Kashi - 03 -1By no means is this series perfect, and I could see where it’s not going to appeal to everybody.  But on some level I think it exemplifies why anime is such fun, and why Japan may be the quirkiest country on Earth.  Seriously, it seems there’s no subject too trivial for somebody to obsess about – and for someone to agree to make an anime about that obsession.  And make that subject genuinely interesting, too – if you’re interested in the fascinating minutiae of seikatsu.  In case you haven’t noticed, I am.

What I’ve figured out about Hotaru is that she’s basically a dagashi chuunibyou.  And like any good chuunibyou, her knowledge about her obsession is encyclopedic.  To the extent that such a character can be an entertaining focus for a series, I think she is – I find her funny (when she says stuff like “The aircon was busy”, or hears “I can’t decide” as “Candy-side” I can’t help but laugh).  But the good thing is that the other characters aren’t bland or inconsequential – they’ve all got quirks and peculiarities of their own.  and they’re likeable, too.

Dagashi Kashi - 03 -2I also think Dagashi Kashi is helped by having Tou involved, because he provides another source of bakayaroucity and gives Hotaru a dance partner.  Basically Kokonotsu and Saya are sensible and Hotaru and Tou (well, and You) are nuts – and I like that dynamic.  The tone here is spot-on – it embraces the silliness of the premise but retains a sweetness and gentleness that’s very endearing.  Even the fanservice is the kind of middle-school farcical variety that’s pretty harmless.

Dagashi Kashi - 03 -3There’s a theme emerging with the better shows this season (and even as I’m writing about this one I’m realizing how much I really do like it), and that’s that they could be airing any time over the last 20 years and they wouldn’t feel anachronistic.  Dagashi Kashi is very much timeless and that’s part of its appeal.  Also part of its appeal is that I learn something new every week about Japanese sweets – “Bontan-ame” with edible rice paper – who knew?  This is the sort of stuff someone who didn’t grow up in Japan would never learn unless a silly show like this one taught them, and I love it for that.

 

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4 comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more. For me this series really hits me squarely in the funny bone – I have literally lol’d a couple times every episode thus far, and yes…part of what makes it all so effective is how endearing the characters are in the midst of all this silliness.

    A wonderfully effective adaptation, even if it really is rather niche subject matter. XD

  2. D

    The third episode was more enjoyable for me than the second, purely because of the full cast. If it’s just Hotaru geeking out to Kokonotsu, then it gets tired quickly, Add Tou (who I like purely because I get the impression he thinks he’s being cool with his shades and Hawaiian shirt, when he’s not), and Saya to the mix and there’s a lot more to it. With the dad as well (I’ve never heard a Keiji Fujiwara character I didn’t like) that just tops it off.

  3. Btw…you mention Boku Dake and Shouwa Rakugo in the top of the A tie, then Dimension W near the bottom of the A tier (or the top of the B tier, perhaps?), and then the dropoff, where afterwards series like Dagashi Kashi begin.

    Where does Shirayuki pt two fit in there? I would have thought for you it would at least be on par with Dimension W or perhaps even a little higher. Are you unimpressed with what you have seen thus far for some reason?

  4. I forgot it, TBH. You’re right – I’d put it with Dimension W more or less at this point.

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