Once again this anime made me smile so much. Damn Tsumugi being adorable.
The second episode takes place immediately following the first one, resuming the end scene. Kotori, the daughter of the restaurant and one of Koheis students asked if he and Tsumugi would come back to eat at her restaurant again. In the last episode it was framed in a ‘lets have dinner’ date kinda way, but we all know Kotori isn’t that brazen.
Kouhei originally says no, because ethically its probably wrong. He cant be eating with another student, people would misunderstand! He speaks with a senior teacher about it, who conformed that when he was a younger teacher he spent lots of time outside school with students. I personally have an experience with a teacher outside of school. They’re pretty cool if they don’t hate your guts.
So armed with the decision to speak to her mother about it, Kouhei and Tsumugi head over to Kotoris place. Her mother isn’t there. She was called to work, and Kouhei originally goes to leave. Tsumugi stops him, she wants to eat the good food. We all know that Tsumugi is Koheis life right now and he agrees. They make the pork stew all together, with Kouhei doing the cutting of veggies. Its so cute to see him struggle with the size of the veggies and the thicknesses. He has no clue how to cut the veggies.
When making a better bento for Tsumugi he did not have veggies because they intimidated him. Its clear he is not confident in the kitchen. Never the less Kouhei cuts the veggies and Kotori flavors and tastes the stew. It turns out that Kotori has a fear of kitchen knives. The explanation is no given on why though.
When the food is cooked Tsumugis eyes sparkle and she eats it all up.
In the third episode it becomes a bit more than food. Kouhei as a parent is tested on how well he listens to his child. We all know he wasn’t listening when it came to her food preferences, but when she is facing an ethical dilemma, he.. He doesn’t dismiss it but he doesn’t confront it. He probably doesn’t know how to deal with it, or he thinks he’s dealt with it. Tsumugi was called a thief by a classmate when she did not steal. Two of her friends gave her their portion of clay so that she could mold her set of clay cutlery for her clay Hamburg steak. The classmate did not like that and called her a thief.
When it came time too cook, she was significantly less enthusiastic. She was obsessed with having Hamburg steak, but when they were making it she was quiet and did not want to participate. It was only after Kotori pushed Kouhei to listen to his daughter that things were resolved. Tsumugi bawled her eyes out for a while and Kouhei listed the ways in that she was not a bad girl. Afterwards they ate happily once again and the episode ended.
The progression was nice. It’s a reality that parents will think they are doing right by their kid when in reality they are missing a lot. Missing the lack of interest in store bentos was one thing, but noticing one issue isn’t the only issue Kouhei has probably missed. Tsumugi is probably thinking about her mom a lot, and he will have to confront that truth as well.
Tsumugi behaves like a child, which is a good thing. She pouts and whines and wraps her jacket over her head and crawls on the floor when she’s upset. She is not mature, she sings her Magi-Girl theme song and relates it back to the real world, (there was a bad guy made of kitchen knives on Magi Girl. He was scary too). She is so innocently happy about receiving clay and genuinely upset about being thought of as a bad girl. Her emotions are so.. Out there that its refreshing, comparatively so from her father who I have yet to see be upset. The mother was not seen, or mentioned in these two episodes at all.
Kotori… I do not believe she is interested in Kouhei romantically. She likes having them around, she enjoys her mothers cooking, and I think having someone else around to eat with, cook with, and cut her veggies is why she is so intent on them coming over more. Her mother seems to be a bit on the eccentric side, being a celebrity tv chef, so she may be lonely. I think she is the mirror image of Tsumugi. Her mother makes great food but is never there to eat it with her, whereas Tsumugi had crap food but her father was there at dinner. This is just my speculation. We don’t know how often her mother is at home. We just have not met her as of yet.
Now on the animation side, It was similar to the first episode. The art style was not hyper realistic but it was anatomically correct. There were no horns sticking out of anyone or obscenely large muscles. Everything was in its place and physics was generally adhered to.
Now Tsumugis hair was less bouncy than in the first episode. It did not sway and swish with her every movement.
The backgrounds would blur depending on how many people were on the screen. If there was one person who would be focussed on, the background blurred slightly. If there was more than one, all 3 of our characters, then the backgrounds remained in focus. The blurred backgrounds are a great way of making sure the viewers focus is drawn to the character speaking.
The way the food was positioned and the unevenness of the finished product was a good detail. Sometimes the eggs were burnt and the corners were brown or the onions were not cut at the same size. The small details are what makes the story believable. I believe that Kouhei is struggling to cut that giant Daikon. I believe that the onion was tricky to cut. These are beginner chefs, Soma-kun is not in this little diner.
The character progression is headed in a good direction. Each character had a dilemma to work out and things ended up temporarily fine. I still wanna see Kouhei break down a little. Perhaps if the series covers another 6 months time, to the 1 year anniversary of the mothers death he will finally show some emotion. Nil then, He can cut onions with swimmers goggles.