「和と一果」 (Nagomu to Itsuka)
“Nagomu and Itsuka”
A sweet story with a tinge of comedy in all the right places.
「和と一果」 (Nagomu to Itsuka)
“Nagomu and Itsuka”
All right are you tired of me yet? Don’t worry you won’t be seeing any more of me until next week. That being said, I think we found the one. I wasn’t really expecting Deaimon to pull at my heartstrings like it did, just at the first episode. I wasn’t exactly bawling during the first episode per-say, but the emotion and soul behind the work are already pretty prevalent and made me gasp for air when it ended because all those emotions came flowing up. The ending sort of provided a release from the story being presented on screen. And I can already smell from 50 feet away how this anime will destroy our collective heartstrings.
The story goes as follows. After 10 years of living in Kyoto by himself, Irino, Nagomu (Shimazaki, Nobunaga) gets a package delivered from his family who runs a Japanese sweet shop called Ryokushou; Turns out his dad has been hospitalized and he can’t help himself but make his way home. At the station, he gets mistaken by a young girl, for her dad. Yukihira, Itsuka (Yuuki, Kozue). Turns out this girl has been working diligently with Nagomu’s dad, at Ryokushou. Despite that, it doesn’t end there. Irino, Heigo (Koyama, Rikiya), and Irino, Fuki (Ohara, Sayaka) were left in the care of Itsuka and now have formally/informally accepted her as a daughter and adopted and received her into the family. Nagomu is taken aback by this because in his mind he was the one who was going to inherit the shop. However, his parents have other plans and have already chosen Itsuka as the eir for the Japanese sweets empire. So now Nagomu is handed the role of the deadbeat son who comes home only to take, but Nagomu knows this fact and he decides it’s time to prove himself, to well, himself, and his parents and the shop alike.
The premise alone is already insanely interesting to me because it’s not common for Japanese people to adopt orphan children, however, because of the situation, of how Itsuka was almost thrown at them, Fuki and Heigo had little choice but to comply. There’s a stigma surrounding orphans in Asia and it’s not one of empathy.
Already this show is vibing like Usagi Drop or one of my personal favorites Barakamon where children and adults are thrown into the parent-son role by destiny’s tide. The same goes for Deaimon, Nagomu is asked by his mother Fuki, to try and act like a parent to Itsuka. Nagomu has a knee-jerk reaction to this of course, because he himself doesn’t think he can be that parental figure that Itsuka looks up to. He has to clean his act and has to do it fast. And that’s something that takes guts, time, and energy that maybe he’s not so willing to accept. However, his failing music career leaves him little choice. He’s part of a band called the Hazelnuts? (is that right?) where the whole band wears silly hats and performs on stage, to an empty crowd, they are some kind of light rock music group. So in a sense, he takes in stride and thrusts himself headfirst into the situation he has been given.
The show follows the daily lives and intricacy of the Japanese sweet shop, we get to see the behind-the-scenes of how sweets are made, and how they treat customers as well. Nagomu has a lot of empathy for the craft and cries as he says goodbye to the sweets he sells to some customers. In fact, Nagomu has already quite grown on me, from the way he decides to try and enter the shop from the backdoor, to the way he takes life in stride and wants the easy way out, to the way he takes action and decides to work his hardest at the shop.
As the episode comes to a close, Itsuka answers the shop’s phone and receives an order for 100 green Mugwort Jouyo Manju, everyone is super happy about such a large order and gets to work immediately making the sweets. At 360¥ a piece that’s 36000¥ roughly equivalent to $290 USD ($365.08 CAD) or $5,846.52 MXN! （＊〇□〇）……!
The next day comes and well this rich ass customer isn’t showing up, just regular walk in’s wanting to buy one or two sweets or be seated at the table. Of course, Fuki suggests calling the customer’s number, nonetheless, the phone has been disconnected and they come to the conclusion that it might have been a burner phone and the customer on the other side of the line decided to play a prank because Itsuka is yet but a child.
Whoever this customer was, we already hate them.
But Itsuka doesn’t give up and decides to go and sell the Manju on the street, she isn’t exactly having the best of luck, as no one really pays attention to her. It’s not until Nagomu show’s up with his guitar and starts singing that everyone starts gathering and some oba-chan’s buy the sweet because of its antioxidants properties, plus it’s a sweet treat. An avalanche starts cascading and they sell out by nightfall. Nagomu swaps two sweets and puts them aside, and shares them with Itsuka, the ending rolls around and I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Already I can tell I’m going to fall deeply in love with Deaimon as found family emotional stories like this are one of my guilty pleasures, not only because they usually break stigmas but also because of how wholesome and precious they are. Let’s get ready to feel all the feels and collectively cry at this wholesome and most possibly sweet story with just a tinge of comedy in all the right places.