Being a single parent is rough.

Summary:

Kouhei overworks himself and gets sick. Seeing this, Tsumugi decides to venture out of their apartment while Kouhei is sleeping. She plans to run to Kotori’s place to ask for help in treating her sick dad. Even though it’s a scary journey for the five-year-old Tsumugi, she manages to get to Kotori’s place all in one piece. Unfortunately, Kouhei wakes up while Tsumugi’s still out and he gets worked up into a panic when he realizes that she’s not at home.

Magi Girl’s alter ego (that dark haired witch character) is surprisingly “dark” for a magical girl anime aimed at kids like Tsumugi.

As Tsumugi and Kotori walk back to Tsumugi’s apartment, they see Kouhei looking frantically for Tsumugi in the shopping district. Tsumugi happily runs towards her dad. Kouhei, however, yells at Tsumugi for leaving the house alone. After all the effort Tsumugi made to be brave for her dad, having her dad scold her for her efforts causes her to cry. Tsumugi throws a massive tantrum within the shopping district, and refuses to let go of Kotori’s arm. Kotori then suggests that the two go back to her place, and Kouhei reluctantly accepts.

I appreciated that the anime expanded on Tsumugi’s viewpoint during this segment.

This scene hurt to watch.

At Kotori’s restaurant, Kouhei and Tsumugi sit across from each other in silence. Seeing this, Kotori decides to cook up some rice (like in the first episode) in order to have some good food to cheer the father and daughter up and hopefully resolve their issue. Fortunately, Kouhei and Tsumugi manage to make-up even without the food. While what Tsumugi did (leaving the apartment without her dad’s knowledge) was still wrong, Kouhei does praise Tsumugi for being so brave (but obviously tells her that she shouldn’t ever do something like this again).

Kotori is so focused on the two’s conversation that she forgets to watch the rice, and it gets a bit burnt. Although devastated at first, Kotori realizes that she can still salvage it. Remembering what her dad did in the past, Kotori decides to make gohei mochi. As this does recipe does not involve using knives, Kotori manages to make them all on her own; although Kouhei and Tsumugi also join in to help out a bit towards the end. After their gohei mochi is cooked, the three eat it happily in silence.

Kid!Kotori is adorable!

My Opinion:

Wow this episode was surprisingly heartbreaking. Seeing Kouhei and Tsumugi in a bad mood towards each other, and especially seeing Tsumugi CRY always makes me feel bad. Fortunately, Kouhei is a good enough dad; and Tsumugi a good daughter, that they do eventually make up in the end.

No one was really completely in the wrong in this situation. Tsumugi knew better than to venture off on her own, and she did it without her dad’s permission/knowledge to boot. But it was for a good cause, and she was at least smart to go to Kotori’s place (a person she’s familiar with). Kouhei yelled at his daughter without understanding the circumstances, but you can’t blame him for being upset. I’m not a parent but I am old enough to realize that not knowing where your kid could be is a terrifying ordeal. And again, I have to say; Sweetness and Lightning portrays Tsumugi as a very realistic kid character. She has a massive meltdown in this episode, and unlike in episode 3; this one is much more dramatic and much less “cute.”

This episode veers pretty far from the manga material. It’s actually a combination of two chapters: the first half of chapter 14 and the second half of chapter 10. In chapter 10, Kouhei and Tsumugi get separated while at a summer festival; but Kouhei scolding Tsumugi and Kotori making gohei mochi is basically the same. In chapter 14, Kouhei gets sick and Tsumugi goes off to Kotori’s place. The ending to the chapter is different than the anime in that Kouhei doesn’t wake up until after Tsumugi gets back home. He doesn’t scold her for wandering off (as they already dealt with that issue in chapter 10), and Tsumugi already knows that she’s “in the wrong.”

To be honest, I actually like the anime’s take on the issue better. The plot seems to work better and the two chapter plotlines blend together basically seamlessly. There was also a lot of anime original content, as we got a look into Tsumugi’s imagination while she was making her grand “adventure” to Kotori’s place.

Overall, a sad episode but it fortunately gets happier again by the end. I think this episode personifies the series’ title (“Sweetness and Lightning”) the best—in life, we’ll always have our problems or conflicts; but at least we have the means to resolve them. And also there is good food to be had.

Out of five for this episode:

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