It’s been almost 8 months since I last did a full recommendation post. But I feel like there’s no lacking of recs from me seeing I’m always eager to do a great rec post to y’all! And starting this month I’ll featuring one my favorite reads recently.
I love slice-of-life series! They just make feel so good and appreciative of life in general. I love the simplicity of what most these kinds of stories try to convey. And because how it is structured, it’s easy to consume this kind of manga and understand the message effortlessly. Amaama to Inazuma 「甘々と稲妻」 by Gido Amagakure by is one of those series that I fell hard. I love everything about it. I love the father-daughter relationship. I love the cooking aspect. I love the characters’ interactions. It’s cute. It feels nice. It’s just one of those series that puts a huge smile on my face.
“I pour all my heart and soul into our meals!” “Of course I’d want you to eat my delicious food…”
—Tsumugi’s mother (Chapter 01, Vol. 01 Page 33)
Amaama to Inazuma is a story of single father Kouhei Inuzuka, and her young daughter, Tsumugi. His wife died and he was left alone taking care of their daughter. Being single parent and person who had great partner who took care of them, these changes were not easy to get used to. Now he has to prepare meals for his daughter—something that his late wife exceled in doing. He wanted his daughter to eat a good meal, something freshly made. Then they stumbled across a small restaurant, though temporarily closed, the daughter of the owner (Kotori Iida) invited them in, even though she herself wasn’t good at cooking. But she wanted to feed the father & daughter a nice meal, something Kotori’s mother does well in this restaurant. The three of them together decided to learn how to cook together! Thus the start of their little cooking sessions!
From now on, Dad will make delicious food like this, so let’s eat and enjoy it together, okay?
— Kouhei Inuzuka (Chapter 01, Vol. 01 Page 40)
I loved the idea that first meal they ever done was well, rice! As Asian myself, rice is a very fundamental part of our meal! I can’t live without rice! Sticky, fluffy rice! 米はうまい! So they did the most basic, solidifying the concept of how the story will run. The little cooking session they do might sound monotonous or routinely but what Gido Amagakure-sensei does well is integrating these meals into the story. Like he’s not just showing us how to cook food (because both Kotori and sensei were newbie, they follow recipe in very slow-paced manner hence for noob like me, I understand the idea of the food they are preparing quite easily) most of the time these meals represent something about them! Cooking food for someone special is meaningful!
This is hands down a good-feel series but when I was watching the anime last season, there were moments that I saw myself tearing up a bit. And you should know by now that I don’t easily cry, but it just how the story is written can easily tug your heart—not because it was sad or dramatic. It just makes you feel. I can’t even begin to describe the emotional prowess of this manga but oh boy I feel everything. When they are happy, you smile. When Tsumugi is sad or when the father & daughter had little fight you want them reconcile already. You root for their good relationship! And speaking of relationship, yes I do like Kotori for sensei though the story doesn’t gear to that point yet (hinted though not explored yet) but it’s not completely hopeless. Let me just say that sensei needs to open his eyes a little. ;D Haha, I love the idea of them being a whole family! I just want, you know!
So if you’re up for something nice and gives you family happy feels~! I highly recommend Amaama to Inazuma. And come on who can say no to this budding loving family～!
※ JP quotes came from my own copy (if I mistyped it, do tell!) English translations by Maigo