By Dustin Cabeal
At first glance, Dagashi Kashi is a ten-minute-long candy commercial. There is no denying that, it’s a candy commercial through and through which is why I almost gave up on the first season of the show. If I hadn’t run out of shows to watch I may never have discovered the wonderful story that’s running alongside that candy commercial.
The premise seems ridiculous due to the first aspect of it. A small-town candy shop owner is being recruited to work for a corporate candy company, but he won’t take the job until his son gives up his dream of being a manga artist and takes over running the candy shop. The heir to the candy company has come to convince the son that he’s perfect for the store by giving him daily challenges.
Yes, that’s all a bit ridiculous, but if you focus in on one element, you’ll find that’s the underlining story for the show. A son following in his father’s footsteps. What was always impressive about the first season was the conflicting emotions this scenario presented. Of course, you don’t want to root against someone’s dreams. That would be admitting defeat on your own and who the hell wants to do that? But on the other hand, you see how well suited Kokonotsu is for the job. You see how he and his two childhood friends are a cornerstone of this town, but desperately want to leave the town and make it big out in the city. In that way, the story also becomes a strange point, counterpoint about living in the big city compared to a small town.
Much like the first season, the first episode of the second season is more candy than character driven. We get a tease of the future of the shop which is run down and tattered and then flash back in time, picking up near the end of the first season. The posters and opening reveal a new character, that looks like Kokonotsu’s mother if you ask me. She’s not in this episode though, but I am very curious to see how this change affects those previous elements I talked about.
Kokonotsu’s father has bailed on him again, leaving a really shitty stand-in in his place. Seeing candy all the time makes Kokonotsu crave real food, and almost on cue, he says something that summons Hotaru. He even makes that joke. Hotaru goes into an in-depth retelling of the history of Big Katsu… that is after she drinks a soda to refresh herself from sprinting to the shop. The history was okay, but both of the candies covered in this episode were pretty weak. They had a similar theme of being a food product that had to change and adapt and ended up being a candy/snack food. There’s never a challenge thrown down, and Kokonotsu seems to defeat Hotaru rather easily, but it was a nice refresher on the style and tone of the series. The second part covers Peperoncino, which is a ramen type dish that can be prepared different ways. It was okay and again just a simple way to reintroduce the four kids.
The animation is a bit cleaner this time around. Granted time has passed, technology is always improving, but it was nice to see the same consistent look, but cleaner. It wasn’t like Konosuba, which seemed to take a step back in the animation department upon its return. What I continue to enjoy is the fanservice, because it’s so incredibly tasteful in the way it’s handled. Hotaru is anime beautiful. She has a dynamite figure, wears a Lolli style and has crazy fucking eyes, but again it's simply gorgeous. The animators never give a panty shot or anything, but they do make her dress swoop up like a gust of wind hit it but keep it tasteful. It still falls into the fanservice category, but it’s just amazing how more attractive her character is compared to other anime that goes full-blown fan service. It’s that whole, “less is more” argument and something that I wish anime would figure out. The physical comedy is still spot on and while there’s not a lot of it this time around, what’s there works.
As much as I like this show, the first episode was a bit weak. I’m not ruling it out because again, it’s a refresher episode and I know that if the same team is involved that it’ll be fine as long as I stick with it, which I will. I am slightly concerned about the fact that the show is now only twelve minutes long instead of twenty-four, but we’ll just see how that plays out. It’s still a candy/snack commercial, but at some point, you just stop caring about that. Hell, I don’t even care if I ever try either of these two products in real life, but I’m strangely glad to learn about them thanks to this show. At the end of the day, Kokonotsu’s father is a Youtuber, and that’s enough for me to want to see the rest of this season and anything else they do with the story.
Dagashi Kashi 2 E.01
Studio: Tezuka Productions