After episode one, I figured the point of Dagashi Kashi was to show us Hotaru’s various schemes to keep Kokonatsu working at the candy store. I expected devious and funny plans and a good deal of tempting via fanservice. Episodes 2-3 showed us that while Hotaru’s goal is the same, the show is less interested in that than honoring and riffing on the idiosyncrasies of various bad snacks. Okay, if they can keep it entertaining, I don’t care much either way. In fact, in a way it reminds me of Moyasimon in how it decides to ignore the story for awhile when if finds something irreverent but fun to explore. In episode 2 we get strategies for eating kinako-bou, Hotaru getting drunk on namaiki beer (because they wanted a cute drunk scene), the uplifting story of fue ramune, and Saya’s utter mastery of menko card throwing.
Episode three continues with eating Buta-men broth in intense heat, not eating kurukuru bou jelly at the pool (part of an evil plan that fails), while the bontan-ame segment gets poetic with lines about removing the rice paper from Endo’s heart, and we learn, from Seven Neon packaging, how candies are made more difficult to eat to extend the time it takes to eat them, important for kids with little pocket money. Sounds silly, but I recall how Tootie Rolls marketing strategy was to show kids how long it took to eat one. So while the show’s plot isn’t moving forward at all, I’m learning a lot about bad Japanese candy.
Decided to drop Divine Gate after episode 2. It still looks impressive, but it’s heavy-handed on the themes, has not a single interesting character and a character or two (Loki) whom I wanted to strangle after fifteen seconds, and it gets damn confusing to boot. This week they took the concept of fathers and tore it to bits. Aoto supposedly killed his, claims he did, anyway. Akane lost his dad, maybe. And there’s the dad this episode who wanted to save his son but couldn’t. Akane is furious at him, never mind that the man was on a cane and the kid up at least twenty feet in rubble. Instead, we get a inane explanation from Aoto about conscious and unconscious. The only person in the show I want to open his mouth less is that weird kid that Aoto can see, who spouts ridiculous proverbs and then goes away. No, I’ve heard enough.
On the other hand, I’m keeping Koukaku no Pandora for now. It’s just as confusing as Divine Gate is, has a few annoying characters, the story is all over the place, and it doesn’t move forward as much as it gasps and jerks from one scene to the next, or even in a conversation. Even the fanservice is ridiculous, given that these are robots we’re talking about. And, compared to Divine Gate, it looks terrible. On the other hand, it’s so all over the place that it makes you wonder where the next bit is coming from. Since it’s a comedy series it can get away with silliness. Also, it’s cute. I might throw up my hands after episode four, but I kind of want to know what happens next. That’s not something I care about with Divine Gate.
Finally, it’s a no-brainer to keep Ojisan to Marshmallow. It’s weirder and funnier than any of the full-length shows, apart from Dagashi Kashi … which also features snack food that’s bad for you … IS THERE A CONNECTION HERE? … Ahem, it also has Wakabayashi, her strange attraction, and Hige’s defenseless confusion concerning her, you can’t blame him. So will he figure it out? Will Wakabayashi have to fling him down and ravish him to get her point across? Who knows?