By Dustin Cabeal
Okay, so maybe I don’t remember all the fan service from the first season. It could be much, much, much worse than it is here, but it’s hard to ignore it all together. Still, at least it’s somewhat tastefully done… I guess. I mean, I’m watching Killing Bites (terrible name) at the same time, and the stuff in Dagashi Kashi 2 doesn’t even qualify in comparison. But still, you can’t compare one show to the other, the fanservice exists, but it’s realistic. It’s not over the top or gross.
After this third episode, I wish that the show was full-length again. They’re doing a fantastic job of mixing candy and character development, but it’s starting to feel too damn short now. For instance, there wasn’t enough candy and toys in this episode. Also, forgive me for always saying “candy” it’s just that it’s the easiest way, to sum up, the stores that are the highlight of the series. I could use the Japanese word, but that’s not the point I’m going for with the review.
Coconuts, as I will continue to refer to him as because typing Kokonotsu a dozen times is tiring, and Tou are playing a spinning top battle game. Its actually called Beigoma and seems to be as old as the game of marbles. Learning its past was an eye-opener because in a way it’s the grandfather of every single battle game to come out of Japan. There are of course different tops/beigoma to use and spin and Hotaru has a special one. Not that it matters because of course Saya shows up, and she continues her uncanny streak of beating everyone at everything. It’s a gimmick that’s still funny.
The second part of the episode is actually a flashback to Hotaru’s childhood. She visits a different candy shop and even as a child she bosses the store owner around about how to make his shop more appealing to kids. She even quizzes him on different products, much like she does with Coconuts. The ending is a tear-jerker. I didn’t see it coming, and it was just strangely heartfelt. It might be incredibly stupid that the entire plot is centered around Hotaru trying to convince Coconuts to take over his father’s shop, but in a way, it’s Hotaru trying to preserve Japanese history. It makes this added layer of learning the deep history behind every candy, toy, and snack all the more incredible. The story wants to entice you into learning more and thus preserve these histories, and that speaks to me on a personal level.
Usually three episodes in on a show I give up talking about the artwork because there’s not likely to be a change until after the mid-point of the show. This time though, I must speak about kid Hotaru. Mostly because she doesn’t come off as the happy-go-lucky person she is right now, but that’s never explicitly said, it’s just shown in the artwork. She wasn’t adorable or cute either; she was actually kind of annoying. It was a beautiful contrast that came across all because of the artwork. Especially when it flashes forward to the present and you can instantly see a visual change in her demeanor and personality. The artwork for this season has reached another level. Hopefully, others are noticing this too.
The new characters still haven’t arrived. I almost don’t want them to now, but that would be like fighting the wind. Instead, I’m just going to keep enjoying this show and trust that the creators are going to continue to captivate me each week. It is a shame that this is a half-episode though, I’m jonesing for more.
Dagashi Kashi 2 E.03
Studio: Tezuka Productions