I should probably start a tag set for “cooking and eating,” so that if I ever want to go back and look at just HOW MANY of these types of manga I’ve read, I can do it easily.
The back cover copy of Sweetness & Ligtning / Amaama to Inazuma reads thusly:
“Inuzuka Kohei is a teacher who has been caring for his little daughter, Tsumugi, on his own since his wife’s death. He isn’t good at cooking, so they’ve been eating packaged meals from the convenience store. A series of events lead him one evening to a restaurant run by the mother of one of his students, Kotori. Her mother isn’t there, but Kotori does her best to feed them both. It turns out that Kotori is often alone, since her parents are divorced and her mother is frequently not around. The three of them begin to meet and cook tasty food together.”
I read all the collected volumes (a.k.a. tankōbon) that my library had which takes the reader up to Volume 7, Chapter 34: “Favorites Lunch with Shumai.”
Mangakalot, which I linked to in the title above, has up to chapter 40, “Cool Milk Coffee Jelly,” which I’d guess to be another volume’s worth. Baka-Updates suggests there are 9 volumes available in Japan.
There is also a full season of the anime (12 episodes) available on Crunchyroll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/sweetness-lightning, which I haven’t watched yet, as I’m currently watching Elegant Yokai Apartment Life.
As I have mentioned here before, I’m a sucker for slice-of-life stories, but particularly ones about cooking and single/widowed dads figuring out parenting. So, the conceit of this manga was right up my alley.
Lately, too, I find I’ve been craving low-risk stories.
I don’t know what this craving is about, entirely–maybe growing older? Being emotionally drained by the awful of the Trump administration? But, for whatever reason, I have been seeking out happy, easy, non-dramatic manga/anime.
I mean, the biggest drama in Sweetness & Lightning / Amaama to Inazuma so far has been about Tsumugi’s sadness about her mom and fears of death and Hell. Mostly it’s Dad trying to figure out how preschool works, getting along with the moms, and trying not to act untoward towards his student, Kotori.
Yeah… about that–the attraction between Kotori and Inuzuka is, so far, above board. I am a little worried this is going to go somewhere awkward, but, at least by volume 7, we’ve had several moment of of “I like him” / “I like spending time with her,” but nothing more romantic than that. In fact, at a sleepover school trip in one of the volumes, one of Kotori’s friends reminds her that it’s okay to like someone and not know what to do about it. That seems to be where they’re leaving the attraction, which is okay with me.
Least you think I’m a total hypocrite, I’m NOT entirely comfortable with teacher/student relationships in yaoi, either. I have read them, and I will read this. As I’ve long said–hey, fantasies are fantasies, so I’m not gonna judge, even if that goes in this direction. My one and only hard-no squick is incest, and I’ve even read several of those… so, you know.
That being said, I still will put in my vote that I hope that Sweetness & Lightning / Amaama to Inazuma sticks to the platonic vibe it seems to currently have going. I am cheered by the fact that this was published in the category of seinen, rather than say, shoujo, so there is hope for a non-romatic ending.
There sure are a lot of red faces, though. I mean, maybe cooking just makes people flush?
And Inuzuki and Kotori go to some lengths not to be discovered being together too often…. which bodes ill. I do hope that this isn’t the kind of seinen that ends with sh*t hitting the fan and everyone’s lives ruined and no one happy. (Maybe I’m thinking of josei…)
Anyway, if you’re looking for something with good recipes and ZERO drama, I highly recommend this series.
Now I’m going to go back and hunt through my reviews to tag all the “cooking and eating” manga…..
I may be here a while.