Kouhei is a young high school teacher whose wife recently passed away, leaving him struggling to raise and provide for his young daughter. As he does not know how to cook (in addition to just not having the time to do so), he and his daughter survive on store-bought bentos and instant meals.
One day, Kouhei decides to take Tsumugi (his daughter) to view the blooming cherry blossoms at a nearby park. Once there, the two discover a young girl who is crying while eating a large bento lunch. The girl reveals that her mother was unable to make it to their picnic lunch, so she ended up eating all of the food herself. As Tsumugi seemed interested in the food, the girl hands Kouhei a business card to her mother’s restaurant.
A few days later, Kouhei comes home to find Tsumugi fascinated by a cooking show on TV. Feeling bad about not being able to provide a proper meal for his daughter, he decides to take Tsumugi out to eat at the restaurant on the business card. Once there, he finds out that restaurant owner is out, but her daughter (the girl from the park) says that she’ll cook something. The girl’s name is Kotori, and she’s actually a student of Kouhei’s. Unfortunately (as Kouhei soon learns), Kotori doesn’t actually know how to cook much. Nonetheless, she still manages to cook up some rice in a clay pot. Both Kouhei and Tsumugi remark on how good it tastes, with Kouhei promising Tsumugi that he’ll learn to cook good food like this. That is when Kotori makes a request of the two: to come to her place again for dinner in the future.
This was probably the series I was most excited about FI-ing, and I am glad to say that this anime was all that I wanted. I really love series where there’s a cute father-daughter relationship involved. I also really, really love looking at anime food. Fortunately for me, this series has both of those things.
Can I first just say how glad I am that this series doesn’t use food for fanservice? So many recent anime based around food have mainly just used it as a tool to have the characters eat it in a fanservicey way (looking at you Koufuku Graffiti and Shokugeki no Souma). So to get a series that revolves more around the aspect of making food and eating it to strengthen family/friendship bonds was just really refreshing.
And yes, I have checked out the manga for this series already (I’m currently up to chapter 13). The anime seems to be adapting one chapter an episode, which is fine. But I hope that means that this anime will be a two-cour anime; as the manga has up to 35 chapters released currently.
Anyway, about the story itself–this series is basically a slice-of-life series except with a major focus on cooking. I’ve been wanting another series to fill my Naru-shaped hole that Barakamon left; and I’m glad that Tsumugi fills that place in my heart for me. (BTW, Tsumugi is voiced by the same child VA that voiced Naru’s friend Hina in the Barakamon anime!) Tsumugi is such an adorable anime kid. I’m sure there will be some that find her annoying; but honestly, Tsumugi is the main reason I’m watching this anime (well… that and good looking food). Kouhei trying his best to be a good father, and Kotori trying her best to cook good food is also really endearing.
The animation for this series is quite interesting. It seems a bit rough at times, but I think that was intentional in order to replicate the manga’s art style. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it does fit the tone of the series well (in my opinion).
Anyway, I thought this episode was a good start to the series. Some things have been changed slightly from the manga (some extra details were added) but it’s an otherwise faithful adaptation. I’m excitedly looking forward to future episodes. If you like looking at anime food, or just like really heartwarming anime that feature a single father and his daughter, then this is a series for you.
Out of five: