Dagashi Kashi – 10

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This week’s DK starts off with a little mystery, as Tou is confronted by an out-of-breath, distraught Hotaru who has been running in her stocking feet, takes Tou’s hands, and begs him for help. But with what? What is her big issue? And where are her shoes?

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After the credits, we’re in Coco’s store, only Hotaru isn’t there. She hasn’t come by for two days, which to Coco isn’t just bizarre; it’s a little scary. When he doesn’t find her at Saya’s cafe either, the two pay a visit to Hotaru’s massive house for the first time, and find Hotaru in her pajamas and a surgical mask, looking very much the worse for wear.

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They mystery deepens as Hotaru seems to freak out whenever she sees Coco’s face. And while she seems interested in the snacks he brought for her, she always ends up recoiling in fear, and can’t complete a sentence without wincing in pain multiple times.

Turns out the mouth ulcer she had last week—and continued to torture with pop rocks and the like—has only gotten worse, swelling her cheek to a ludicrous degree.

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When pressed for answers, Hotaru tells them the tale that led to her encounter with Tou the other night. She used Pop-a-Fortunes to try to wish for her mouth to heal before a new Baby Ramen flavor release, but the candy instead tells her to go on an “outing”, which she goes on immediately (without putting on her shoes).

That led her to Tou, who gave her advice to abstain from candy until her mouth fully heals. That way, the candy will taste even better, since absence makes the heart (and stomach) grow fonder and all that. The only problem is, that abstinence has led to candy withdrawal.

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When Hotaru just can’t hold back anymore, she has to be physically restrained by both Coco and Saya. Her cuckoo clock snaps her out of her trance, letting her know to take her disgusting-looking but lovely-smelling homemade medicine.

That “medicine” turns out to be the culprit behind her increasingly huge mouth ulcer: it’s made from a combination of powdered pine, melon, and “American Cola” drink mixes. In other words, it’s pure sugar.

Upon learning Hotaru’s cure (and her candy abstinence) is a sham, they take off, leaving her to continuing drinking her nasty—and very harmful—witch’s brew. But what’s the daughter of a candy company to do?

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Dagashi Kashi – 08

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Well, that was certainly the strangest start to a Dagashi Kashi yet … I thought for a moment I was tuned into the wrong show! But I liked the reveal of Tou telling a ghost story during a stormy night at Kokonotsu’s place, which only his sister is scared of. Knowing Tou, if he can freak out his sister Saya, that’s at least something, even if Koko and Hotaru don’t react.

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Around the time I was wondering what candy, if any, was the focus of this segment, Tou whips out the “Ghost Story Gum.” Hotaru has collected and read all 144 stories, which explains why she’s not scared by any of them.

As for Koko, he gets hung up on the narrative inconsistencies, for which Hotaru has an answer: the people who write the stories are corporate slaves! If there’s a meta-commentary on anime here, it’s too subtle.

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From there, we transition to a Tou who is simply unreasonably into cup-and-balls, after watching a YouTube video of people popping off tricks with the thing. He desperately wants to be cool and popular, and thinks— quite absurdly—that an $11 child’s toy is the answer. Say what?

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Tou is immediately hostile and dismissive when Saya shows up (wanting to hang out with Koko, not him), but as usual Master Saya shows the boys up with some sick cup-and-ball action that puts the YouTubers to shame, then soaking up Koko’s praise with glee.

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Embarrassed by his lack of cup-and-ball progress, Tou runs off to the shore, where Koko follows him. Tou then whips out “Pop-a-Fortune”, a button candy with packaging that tells your fortune. The boys go from health to homework to seeing a girls’ panties, with mixed results.

‘Mixed’ pretty much sums up this episode…along with ‘sparse’. The art is great as usual, and there are a few sporadic chuckles to be had courtesy of Tou’s absurdity, but all in all it’s a quiet, inconsequential week.

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