Sorry for the slightly late review! School just started back up for me again and I kinda needed a bit of a break from reviewing.
Tsumugi and her classmates have a sleepover at their school/daycare. For dinner, the kids all help to make curry with rice. As she eats, Tsumugi is reminded of her mother’s home-made curry, which had raisins in it. Kouhei decides to research this particular recipe to recreate it for Tsumugi. He eventually manages to find Tae’s (Tsumugi’s mother) handwritten cookbook, and faxes over the curry recipe to Kotori.
A few days later, at Kotori’s place, the three make curry based on Tae’s recipe. Tsumugi, who had practiced with a kiddie knife at the sleepover, shows that she knows how to use a knife (somewhat). This shocks Kotori, whose fear of knives has caused her to shy away from them.
Eventually, the curry is finished, and everyone digs in happily. As they eat, both Tsumugi and Kouhei recall a happy memory of Tae. On the way home, they both talk about the memory. Suddenly, Tsumugi becomes somber. She realizes that her mother is never coming back, and that it is now her dad that is cooking the special home-made curry rather than her mom. Seeing Tsumugi upset, Kouhei starts to promise never to make the curry again; but Tsumugi refuses this and says she’ll eat it. Kouhei picks Tsumugi up and carries her back home.
Damn, this episode’s ending was harsh. How dare you give us such a happy episode and end on that note? Although it’s apparent that Tsumugi had known that her mother was dead for a while, I don’t think the severity of what it meant really hit her until now. And ouch was that painful to watch.
Once again, the cooking portion of this episode was kind of quickly glossed over for plot instead. The setup of this episode was really great. The made-at-school curry reminded Tsumugi of her mom’s curry; which motivated Kouhei to find out the recipe; which led to them cooking at Kotori’s place and reminded her (Kotori) of her phobia towards knives. Then actually eating the curry reminded them of Tae and led to Tsumugi’s realization. A lot of plot-points were hit in this episode, and it felt fairly natural. Since it had a significant focus this time, I get the feeling we’ll finally deal with Kotori’s fear of knives in the next episode.
Although I always thought it was kind of bizarre that Tae’s face was never fully shown in the past (I mean, Kouhei and Tsumugi had to have remembered her face right?); I realize now that it was done for impact. We finally get a clear view of Tae’s face in this episode, during the “happy flashback.” And wow is it a powerful scene.
Anyway, this was a good episode. Honestly, I did feel that some parts of the episode were a little slow (a third of the episode was spent on Tsumugi’s school sleepover), and that ending still destroyed me. However, this is also probably one of the more realistic and honest portrayals of grief out there. So… thanks Sweetness and Lighting, for not glossing over real life struggles while also not milking it for cheap sorrow at the same time.
Out of five: