38 CommentsAnime Analysis / By Scamp /

If you prefer the childhood friend in Dagashi Kashi, you are bad and wrong

Dagashi Kashi - 08 - Large 23I’ve increasingly seen people watching the Japanese sweets show Candy Crus-sorry, I mean Dagashi Kashi, who are expressing their preference for the character Saya. This childhood friend archetype is indeed an agreeable character with her beady eyes, infectious smile and a snagle tooth that evidently runs in the family. She’s so cute, you just want to protect that smile. I feel like even the manga author himself must have been caught up in the love-fest for this character as the latest episodes have focused more on her. I am here to tell you that you people are wrong. You are everything wrong with anime. You are destroying the industry one waifu declaration at a time.

Dagashi Kashi - 07 - Large 13Let me ask you, what is Dagashi Kashi about? It’s about this kid who doesn’t want to take over his father’s candy shop but then this odd lady comes to their poky little village with the sole intent of convincing this kid to take over that shop by rekindling his love for Japanese sweets, or Dagashi. For those in Japan who grew up buying these dagashi, it’s probably an entertaining nostalgia trip for the sweets you used to buy as a kid with your little bits of pocket money. However for dirty gaijin like myself, it’s this interesting look at a foreign culture through a curiously specific lens. Because Hotaru, the odd lady in question, buys so far into the advertising intents of the dagashi, her shilling of the products bring each advertisement to their logical conclusion through each segment, whether that’s drug or alcoholic addiction or nunchuck battles using incredibly long gummies.

It’s an entertaining and original idea. There’s a good back and forth where Hotaru’s enthusaism for the product lets the more socially awkward teenagers get swept up in her games. It helps that Hotaru herself looks like she came from an alternate dimension or time period. The clothes she wears makes her look like a high class maid at a flower show. She seemingly sleeps nowhere in particular or has anywhere to sleep. She’ll just randomly show up at the candy shop to shill the latest and greatest sweets. I quite like the idea that she’s actually Coconut’s mother, come back as a ghost to convince him to take over his father’s shop. It would explain why she gets on so well with Coconut’s dad. In this girl Hotaru, they have the physical embodiment of what makes Dagashi Kashi unique.

Dagashi Kashi - 01 - Large 20Then there’s Saya, who is a tsundere childhood friend. That’s about it. Don’t get me wrong, she’s an entertaining one of them. But she also exists in 500 million other shounen romcoms. The segments involving Saya revolve around her not being able to tell Coconuts she likes him. Or about some memory they shared together as kids where he did something nice for her and she’s liked him ever since. The latest episodes have felt like they’ve been focusing increasingly on her and as a result have gotten a lot less interesting. We had a festival episode recently which had practically nothing to do with dagashi and almost entirely consisted of Coconuts and Saya having a romantic date together. It was the same episode we’ve seen in countless other series. If you liked this episode, what you are basically saying is that you prefer to see served the same generic pap you’ve been getting for years and years and years over something genuinely unique in the genre.

Dagashi Kashi - 07 - Large 17Yes I am truly going that far with this. Saya is cute and all and I actually kinda like her. But I must resist for I see what lies that way. It’s the endless circle of samey material. It’s getting plain white bread and cheering. I say to you now, do not accept this! Hotaru is where salvation lies. Hotaru represents change and innovation. Hotaru is where our future should lie. Do not accept any substitute. #Hotaru2016

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  1. Posted March 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Hot takes from the bad taste blog

    • Scamp
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      You’re just scared because you know I’m right!

  2. megaroad1
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I hope this doesn’t develop into a shipping war of sorts. I must admit I’m only watching this show because of Hotaru to begin with. She’s one of the most excentric and peculiar characters I’ve seen in a while. Saya is nice, but so is the tree that I can see outside my window.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Hope it doesn’t turn into a shipping war. I mean, Hotaru is the ghost of Coconut’s mum, that would be weird

  3. SFN
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Clickbait titles in 2016, eh? MAL articles are a hell of a drug.

    At least it wasn’t “Top 10 Reasons Why You Are Bad and Wrong If You Prefer the Childhood Friend in Dagashi Kashi.”

    • Scamp
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      It’s only clickbait if writing THE TRUTH is clickbait

  4. Erif
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Scamp, liberator of anime, voice of the peoples.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Make anime great again

      • Erif
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        I actually just went and watched the first episode, and I can already tell the Saya/Coconut relationship is going to be the blander part of the show. :/

  5. El Goopo
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Honestly it sounds like you’re having to try WAY too hard to make this show fun and enjoyable. I mean overthinking about who Hotaru is and now shipping wars? These aren’t the signs of a show that’s very fun on its own merits, but relies on the fandom to do all of that work for it. But hey, fun things are fun, so carry on.

  6. DP
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t watched a heckuva a lot of shounen romcoms, but I thought the typical conceit was that the childhood friend almost always loses the protagonist. If that’s the case, wouldn’t Saya “winning” actually be a repudiation of the basic “generic” formula?

    Anyway, what’s wrong with generic formulas, if they’re well-executed? Not to compare the Dagashi festival episode with the Bard, but aren’t all of Shakespeare’s plays pretty generic in their plots? It’s the execution that matters.

    Finally, isn’t what you’re really saying with this screed that you prefer the fetish-y aspects of Hotaru to the plainer Saya? Which is fine, by the way! But I don’t think you need to slather it in so much self-righteous indignation.

    Different strokes for different folks, and all that…

    • Outcast
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 3:34 am | Permalink

      “…but aren’t all of Shakespeare’s plays pretty generic in their plots?” <— Shakespeare did it first though, they're only generic in hindsight. Look up "The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples".

    • Scamp
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Yeah but well executed original is far better than well executed generic by several orders of magnitude.

  7. Mr. Anon
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    You’re not wrong, but Saya is the cutest and your favorite anime is shit.

  8. Ken
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s not that Hotaru is best girl, it’s that she’s the only non-boring person in the show.
    I used to work with someone like her when I had a job at a bakery. Very high energy, enthusiastic and fun to be around person. But I would not want to be around her when she came down from her sugar high. She can turn from super sweet to bitter sour real fast.

    Anyway this is not my favorite comedy this season. Konosuba rules.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      The real question about Hotaru’s suger high is how long until all her teeth fall out and she gets diabetes?

      Oh wait, she’s already dead and I don’t think ghosts get diabetes so never mind

  9. SFN
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    That “It feels weird to write after Shinmaru left” tag…


  10. Inushinde
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Hotaru’s irises look like jawbreakers, Saya looks like she’s spent the last twelve years of her life staring at a bright light. I think we all know who the winner is (it’s Jawbreaker Eyes).

    • Scamp
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      I will grant you that if we’re solely comparing eyes, Saya wins that contest easily

      • MusubiKazesaru
        Posted March 21, 2016 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        I prefer Hotaru’s crazy eyes over Saya’s fish eyes.

  11. Mormegil
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m not engaging in these waifu wars!

    To be honest, I’m just happy Saya and Hotaru get along so well. It’s kind of refreshing. I was afraid there’d be some jealously involved, since Saya’s into Kokonotsu.

    • Ken
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 2:22 am | Permalink

      That’s true. Hotaru would be happy if Saya and Kokonotsu got married. They can both run the candy store. Or open up a combo coffee/candy shop together.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      I quite liked that bit too when they were just in the cafe chatting about dagashi and shooting the shit in general. It was a nice moment

  12. 45am
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 3:44 am | Permalink


    Make Dagashi Great Again

  13. Posted March 13, 2016 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    I thought I was the only one wondering where Hotaru slept at night!

    • eternia
      Posted March 14, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Ghosts don’t go to sleep!

      • Posted March 21, 2016 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        Well, now we’ve seen her house. New crack theory: Dagashi Kashi‘s Hotaru is the same Hotaru from Non Non Biyori. Something happened out there in Asahigaoka that changed her into a Jawbreaker-eyed dagashi freak…

  14. Posted March 13, 2016 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Personally I’d skip both choices and go with the Amazoness from Arakawa Under the Bridge: because all good retro Japanese confectionary promotion should come with muscles and a Wonder Woman costume

  15. Both are bad options
    Posted March 13, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Sorry scamp, but Hotaru is not that great. She was cool in the 1-4 first episodes, but she became an extremely repetitive character and she is boring as fuck. Saya is just the tipical generic childhood friend, yeah she is not as annoying as the 99% of the childhood friends, but she is just a stereotype. Both are bad options as waifus.

    • Shadow
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Everybody nows that To-kun is the winner out of all.

      Bros before Hoes!

      • Both are bad options
        Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        True, To-kun is the best.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      I think that’s more a statement that the show ran out of ideas that Hotaru being bad. The fact that it went over to generic romcom childhood friend routines shows this.

  16. Nagisa33
    Posted March 14, 2016 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    Best girl is the mom from Erased. Not many best girls to choose from this season bc it’s is the only show I’m watching. Muwhahahahaha!

  17. Shikamaru
    Posted March 14, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t like red nail polish so Saya wins.

  18. Shadow
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    i think people are reading too deeply into this series.

    This series is one of those series that happen in an eternal summer break. There used to be more series like this back in the day, but now they have been overtaken by cute girls doing cute stuff and boring the hell out of me.

    But this series follows the pattern of the crazy antics in the middle of an eternal summer break.

    The purpose for the show is to give nostalgia to the locals, random cultural knowledge to the foreigners and finally LOLs and family friendly fan service.

    Do not read too much into it. Its not worth it. Its like if you suddenly start to read to deeply into one of those moe crap animes like Kon.

    Just enjoy the kawaiiness and the crazyness of best girl Hotaru and likable tsundere Saya.

    • 49 Cent-o
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I believe you are reading too deeply into the matter of whether other people are reading too deeply into this show.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 15, 2016 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think I’m reading into it anymore than you? Apart from the jokey ghost thing, I’ve basically said the exact same thing as you did

  19. thatguy
    Posted April 11, 2016 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    You make sound arguments but its just too hard to resist Saya ;_;

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