Sweetness & Lightning is a cute anime series based around a single father and teacher Kohei, and his young daughter Tsumagi. The two of them have been alone ever since Kohei’s wife died the year before the series is based. One day Kohei notices that Tsumagi hasn’t had a good home cooked meal ever since his wife died. He wishes he could do more more her. This is when Kohei brings his daughter to a restaurant, only it is owned by the mother of one of his students and she is clearly not around. The student is named Kotori. Kohei and Kotori decide to learn how to cook good meals together both for their own reasons. Throughout the course of the series different problems are presented to the three characters which they then must solve. These solutions always result in either funny moments, heart warming moments, or heart breaking moments.
The most interesting part about this series is the way the meals the characters cook are presented. Each episode is based around a specific food item such as rice or gyoza. When they are ready to cook the ingredients needed to cook the food are either presented by the characters through their dialogue, or there is a panning shot of all the ingredients lined up on the counter. Then when they are cooking the food they do it in terms of steps, i.e. first you mix ingredients then you toss mixture into frying pan. The way the show presents the cooking makes it seem like it could almost be used as a recipe though I don’t know if this is actually the case since I haven’t tried to make any of the meals from the show as of yet.
Tsumagi is adorable in the way that most little kids are. Most of the problems revolve around her and either her mother, her friends from preschool, or her father. Kotori is also pretty cute. Most of the bits of humour that are found in this series come from the interactions between Kotori and other characters. The characters are relatable, at least until they enter the kitchen because then it seems like they are trying too hard to make the show all about the food. Their interactions become slightly less realistic and there are a lot of awkward moments.
Sweetness & Lightning is a sweet series about a single father and the way he tries to make his wife’s passing easier on his daughter by learning to cook. It is also about the daughter of a famous cook who teaches herself how to cook despite her fear of knives in order to save something that is precious to her. There are many happy moments. However there are also plenty of really sad moments. This is the type of series you would watch if you like watching things about food and also things that can be sad. I hope that this series gets a second season even though it ended at a good place because I want to learn more about the characters.