Today I wandered back to give Dagashi Kashi a second look, which didn’t really change my impression of the show overall. The comedy was still pretty hit or miss, the characterization was still kinda thin, and the most successful appeal remained its compelling articulation of rural life. I’m pretty sure I’m just gonna abandon the internet and live out in a shack somewhere in the woods one of these days, and shows like Dagashi Kashi drag me a little closer. ONE DAY!
Dagashi Kashi concludes with one more in a long series of pleasant but not particularly noteworthy slice of life vignettes, offering about as little of a real conclusion as you’d expect from a show about wasting time on summer break. There were some cute character moments here and there, some light sprinklings of fanservice, and a few final explanations of dagashi trivia to see us out. I suppose Dagashi Kashi ended up occupying my “pleasant fluff” slot this season, and as far as pleasant fluff goes, it did its job perfectly well. I liked the atmosphere this show created, and had a pretty good time throughout.
Most of this season’s anime came to a close this week, leaving just those two oft-compared highlights, Rakugo and Dagashi Kashi, to finish the season alone. ERASED pulled itself together to end with as much dignity as it could, given the circumstances of its villain, while Active Raid similarly felt hamstrung by its own weak antagonist. I almost feel tempted to write an article specifically about antagonists now, because the problems with both those shows were so specific and so centered on the ways they handled their villains. Though of course, that article would then end up spinning out into how an antagonist shouldn’t be something you design independently, and should instead reflect the core themes and conflicts of your narrative, and then we’re all the way back at storytelling step one again. Anyway. Some shows ended this week, some shows didn’t. Let’s crack those knuckles once more and RUN ‘EM DOWN!
This week’s episode of Dagashi Kashi sure was an episode of Dagashi Kashi. There is virtually nothing at all to critique in this show, given each episode is very nearly the same, they all have fairly low ambitions, and they all succeed and fail in very minor ways. The show sets itself a low bar and slowly rises over it every single week, occasionally disappointing by trying too hard to be funny, occasionally finding success by leaning into its character relationships. It is a very harmless show.
Anime was pretty great this week! Basically anything would feel like an improvement after last week’s tragic slate of episodes, but this week’s selection was about as strong as you could hope for. ERASED didn’t magically fix the heavy fundamental damage its last episode caused, but it recovered as well as it could with an episode that mostly rediscovered the concept of subtlety. Dagashi Kashi had one of its best episodes so far, and Rakugo made up for its relatively grounded visual storytelling with some of the most endearing character moments of the season. Things are looking pretty okay in animeland at the moment. This may have been a relatively underwhelming season, but with Rakugo on track to become a legit classic, you can’t really call it a letdown.
Dagashi Kashi pulled off a strong episode this week, sticking largely to its slice of life comfort zone while also peppering its one core concept with lots of nice incidental gags. There were good Hotaru faces and nice interactions between the friends and plenty of dagashi shenanigans to be had. Dagashi Kashi doesn’t have to be flashy to succeed, and when it does work, it’s a very likable show. It’s not going to win any awards or break any hearts, but it’s a fun series that I’ve enjoyed my time with.
Editor: Woops! I apparently forgot to post this last week, so here it is.
And making it an even three for three, this week’s third episodic review show also had a pretty lousy episode. This one was lousy in a way I’ve come to expect from Dagashi Kashi, though – it tried to be funny the whole time, and Dagashi Kashi isn’t particularly funny, and so that didn’t turn out well. The show stretched what were essentially four simple jokes out across the four segments that composed the episode, making me feel as exhausted as Kokonotsu by the end. It’s kind of unfortunate when a show is so totally confident in a strength it just doesn’t possess.
Well I guess some weeks have to be disasters. A couple of the shows I’m watching were fine this week, but there were some real terrible episodes in there, and one in particular… I don’t even know what to say. It’s pretty rare that a generally excellent show completely sets itself on fire just a few episodes before the end, but here we are. This is what we got. So let’s get right into it.
Anime stayed pretty respectable this week, offering up reasonable episodes all around. It seems like Rakugo’s going to the only show I can call truly great by the end of this season, though. ERASED just has too many moments where its thriller mechanics drag down its more compelling variables, and though Grimgar is quite interesting and unique, it’s also a very uneven production. The season’s second tier is also somewhat questionable; Konosuba and Dagashi Kashi both regularly gesture towards jokes that don’t work in the slightest, and Active Raid is pretty much just an average crime procedural. The season has managed to hold together to the point where I’m not actively disappointed, but I’m still very ready for the much richer spring season to begin.
That said, at least Rakugo continues to knock it out of the park every week. So let’s start right there as we run ’em down!
This week’s Dagashi Kashi was another episode of Dagashi Kashi. The first half here was actually one of the show’s most endearing segments, as the gang got together to hang out and tell ghost stories while a typhoon raged overhead. It was nice to see how the overall group dynamic has settled at this point, as all four of the friends seem very comfortable with each other, and all contribute something different to the group. Based on the show’s advertising, I’d expected Hotaru to be more of a comic device/unreachable love interest than just another slightly weird main character, but the show is much stronger for the choices it’s made. The second half here was weaker, but Dagashi Kashi is still a fine time.