The Gist: Kouhei is slowly getting used to cooking meals for Tsumugi, but his caution for food safety leads him to overcook everything. Tsumugi doesn’t mind but Kouhei is determined to get better…with Kotori’s help.
Meanwhile, Tsumugi wants to make her father a present (hamburg-steak and plates) and her friends give her their clay so she has extra to work with. This goes absolutely sideways when Mikio accuses Tsumugi of being a thief and, after shoving her, gets his arm scratched. Tsumugi curls into an adorable ball—her kindergarten dress literally over her head in shame—and doesn’t unwind until the end of the episode.
This week was packed with great moments big and small but the final reveal is the best. Behind her tears and frustration, Tsumugi isn’t truly upset with the fight so much as she’s upset it thwarted her making a present on her father’s birthday. A birthday he’s even forgotten and, judging from Tsumugi’s possible flashback, she learned and marked in the calendar with her dead mother.
Drama aside, AtI is a great watch. From their occasionally horrifying faces to Tsumugi hiding in her cubby face-first – the art and writing for the children is spot on. Bizarrely, the treatment for the adults is much more average and Kotori toes the line of clunky, render wise.
We also got to see Kotori’s mother this week. She was on live morning TV promoting a quiz show to air later in the evening. To Kotori’s horror, her mother chose to go wearing a cute sailor suit and calls her out on TV. Also to Kotori’s horror, her mother actually looked really good in the sailor suit…maybe even better than she would herself.
You could probably already guess that Kotori’s mother existed and/or wasn’t dead from the illustrated cooking instructions, but it was a cute aside all the same. At least it makes it clear that Kotori isn’t abused, so much as lonely. Companionship aside, we know she’s not even neglected, as her mother leaves her wonderful meals to eat.
The Verdict: another week and another slow, lovely, believable glimpse into these characters’ lives. It lacks the first episode’s bold reveal and simplicity and, if I had one complaint, I can’t remember the musical score, but this is good anime through and through.