Amaama to Inazuma – 01 (First Impressions)

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The Gist: Kouhei Inuzuka is a high school sensei raising Tsumugi, his Kindergarten-aged daughter, alone, following the death of his wife. Life is hard, but in simple ways, and he’s surrounded by good-hearted coworkers and doing his best. One day, while visiting the cherry blossom festival, they encounter Kotori, a sad high school girl whose mother stood her up.

His daughter forms a bond with the girl quickly and, later, they share a meal at the girl’s family restaurant. Simple challenges, emotions, and understanding ensue. It’s the best show airing this season.

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This show rocks because it nails the quiet, simple life following a major emotional loss. The cast does not fountain tears, no freakouts; just bags under their eyes, eating poorly, and not being socially outgoing. They are desperate for normal contact and routine but do not know how to get that.

Endou Rina does masterufl work voicing Tsumugi. The slightly off language is believable, as are the behaviors, wants and needs. Tsumugi is super charming and her in episode arc—making her father aware that they haven’t been eating together, so much as in the same house—was a gut punch.

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Truthfully, the audience that probably won’t enjoy AtI is younger and probably hasn’t experienced this kind of tragedy in their life. AtI is quite pretty, but it doesn’t have the special effects flair of doesn’t have last year’s Dead Mom Piano Tragedy (AKA Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso).

Nor is there a magical element nor a love element nor anything other than what it is: slice-of-life for a 30-something dad, completely unprepared to be a single man raising a little girl.

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If you’re looking for sincere, grown-up anime, where drama can be treated with an artful hand, I honestly can not think of a better choice than this. Check it out.

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4 thoughts on “Amaama to Inazuma – 01 (First Impressions)”

  1. Franklin, I knew I could count on you to give this show the mark it deserves =D. This show gave me flashbacks to Barakamon and Usagi Drop. With this show and ReLife, this season is quite dominant in the slice of life department.

    1. I noticed that too — and Endou was actually on the voice cast of Barakamon, but not the lead. (she was the shy girl)

      But this is way more grounded than Barakamon. Sweet, youthful characters, but it replaces Barakamon’s humor with the quiet sadness. It will be interesting to see how much humor comes into AtI over time, since the opening credits show several other children and their moms,

      The moms and play group aspect of the show really excites me and my wife as viewers. I guess you can say, not only is it really well done as a show, but I’m a perfect audience match to receive it. Much more so than the rest of the staff anyway ;-)

      1. Definitely leaning more towards the Usagi Drop side when it comes to themes of parenthood. I hope the show can still keep a decent amount of humor though, as I found Kotori quite humorous.

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