Friday, April 01, 2016

10 Second Anime - Dagashi Kashi - Episode 12 [END]

Hotaru shows Saya the flavor of love while Kokonotsu worries about Hotaru's future. Season Finale.

Episode 12 - "Taberundesu HI and Cherry Poems and..."

"Morinaga Milk Caramel and Sakumashiki Drops and..."


The final episode wasn't really a finale but there was a tiny bit of closure about a minor concern about Hotaru's presence in town. Kokonotsu worries, as part of their conversation from last week which only took place yesterday in Dagashi Kashi time, that his refusal to take over the family candy store is tying Hotaru down to their little town while she keeps trying to convince him. As if you could throw a net on a mischievous dust devil. A dust devil who likes candy and snacks and has a secret crush on a candy mascot.

Hotaru gave a touching answer to why she's still in town. Her ambition is to build the best snack manufacturer in Japan, and while she has the encyclopedic knowledge and curiosity about the history of Japanese junk food, she doesn't have the practical knowledge that only a candy store operator like You, or even Kokonotsu has. That was demonstrated nicely with how Kokonotsu opened up her candy tin with a coin. Sheer willpower doesn't always work without a breadth of knowledge and experience from different perspectives.

Not coincidentally, this is how and where we first saw Hotaru in the first episode. At this same bus stop trying to open that candy tin. The show came full circle but added Kokonotsu along the way. Neat.

Bros Bro Out, Bro.

So, um, is it only girls who use fortune telling candy, or what's happening here? The guys still want to be popular. The last time we saw this interplay, Tou and Kokonotsu used the excuse of trying to understand girls so they could talk to them and by extension be popular guys.

Apparently, that was all convoluted bullshit to keep on using fortune telling candy to help them get popular.

My favorite part of this scene was showing the two little crabs nearby and one was clearly foaming at the mouth in excitement. I love this anime convention in showing the universality that a comedic scene is touching on and making an editorial dig on the characters at the same time. You'll see this kind of thing in any slice of life comedy.

Hotaru the Sane One, For Once.

Well, she didn't regain all her marbles, but she just wasn't loud and demonstrative about it. In fact, it was Saya's dirty mind that put Hotaru in all the strange situations this episode. We'll look at those scenes later on. But Saya always knew when Hotaru was thinking something weird, even if she didn't know exactly what it was.

Tou, her twin brother, is the Hotaru Whisperer! He knew exactly what Hotaru was pantomiming. Plus, he's got a dirty mind too, so in that sense, he's just like his twin sister. Naughty Endou siblings!

Hotaru wanting something more from Kokonotsu instead of just the history of milk caramel tied in neatly with the concluding conversation and how he opened the candy tin with a coin. Hotaru already knows all the history and cultural differences between regions on how a certain snack is treated. She wanted that practical candy store operator experience. Giving her a piece of trivia tying coconut flavoring to his own nickname was definitely something a vendor would tell kids with a twinkle in his eye to sell some candy. Not bad. Not bad at all.

But we know Hotaru is not sane in the conventional sense as we can tell from her rich interior life. And by rich, I mean ca-razy! I believe every episode has taken place one day after another, so she's only been in town less than two weeks. I mention this because it just isn't possible for candy crazy Hotaru to lose her crush on Pocchi-kun in such a short time. She was gossiping with You about it in the first episode too!

Also, Hotaru never displayed any kind of interest in sexual behavior, so when she proclaimed cherry as the flavor of love, she's not talking about first loves or first times or anything like that. She was just reading the poem on the Cherry Poem package. Hotaru is just a candy evangelist on a mission. Like a missionary. And not like the position...

Saya's Dirty, Dirty Mind.

We had barely gotten any hint of yuri except for Saya cleaving to Hotaru in her scaredy-cat stricken ways during the typhoon, but obviously Saya thinks kisses are the flavor of love and she is just superfine with Hotaru sharing her "flavor." Hotaru's mind is filled with nothing but candy, so that punctuated the joke.

I also need to remind myself that it was Saya who insisted on playing doctor with Kokonotsu when they were younger and his mind was filled with nothing but candy. Poor girl just can't catch a break... Although, Kokonotsu's mind is filled with some interest in sexiness now. Saya! Fight-o!

And then they double-downed on the joke of Kokonotsu "tying" down Hotaru! "Stop eating so much candy!" Master Kokonotsu commands it! Hahahaha!

But Saya isn't going to admit that to her brother who was thinking the same thing!

You got a problem with that?! No, no, Saya...

Quintessential Hotaru.

The essence of Hotaru's fanservice is unintentional sexiness animated by passion for snacks further confusing things. We couldn't have a final episode without that happening in the real world instead of the gutter where Saya's mind is all the time. Heh.

Hey, this random bullfrog doesn't mind getting caught in the rain either.

I much prefer looking at Hotaru, thank you very much.

So Long For Now, Not Farewell.

It's still Summer Break. Hotaru isn't going anywhere. There are still tons of different kinds of snacks on the shelves of the Shikada store and in Hotaru's mysteriously deep pockets. I hope to see Hotaru again once the manga comes up with more outrageously unintentionally sexy candy gags for Hotaru to foist on Kokonotsu again. I want to see her slam open that storefront door real soon.

Final Thoughts.

This show was everything I expected from a sexy main character in rural slice of life setting. There was only a premise but not an overarching narrative. There were even nods to the passage of time, such as the big goldfish in the Endou Café getting a much smaller bowl mate. But this is Summertime in the sticks. Time passes slowly here, even with a girl from the big city livening things up.

The basic structure of the show, two or three parts concentrating on two or three different snacks, was comforting and set up all the sexy gags well.

I would have liked to see more of the connection between Kokonotsu's manga character and why she was so similar to real life Hotaru, but perhaps that's not something that has been addressed in the source material. It didn't really matter. Hotaru was still funny, sexy and crazy and that's all we really needed.

The side characters as extensions of Kokonotsu's character and setting paired up well and were welcome seasoning to the comedy recipe, but the meat of the comedy dish was always Hotaru and the small town boy.

I always looked forward to each week just to see what Hotaru was going to do next. That's the best feeling to have for a gag comedy. I enjoyed myself and I would definitely welcome a second season, provided it has a concluding narrative.

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