Over the years, I’ve talked about some interesting manga about food and drink, but a good number of them haven’t been available in English. Fortunately, if you have a hankering for seeing the joy of cooking (and eating!), then Sweetness and Lightning is there for you.
Sweetness and Lightning follows a high school teacher and single dad, Inuzuka Kouhei, who is too busy to cook meals for his daughter Tsumugi. This has transformed into a daily habit of buying bento for her as an easy way to provide delicious meals, but when Tsumugi starts to miss eating as a family, Kouhei looks for a way to make up for his lack of culinary skills. With the help of one of his students, Iida Kotori he begins to learn about preparing homemade meals and experience the wonder of watching his little girl’s eyes light up after tasting a delicious dish.
Thus far, the series follows the same formula, but a lot of care is put into the characters’ facial expressions as they both work through the trouble of cooking and the satisfaction of enjoying the fruits of their efforts. The series isn’t as over-the-top as Yakitate!! Japan in that Sweetness and Lightning lacks those extreme reaction shot moments, but the two food manga share a similar sense of all-encompassing excitement. It also comes with a recipe at the end of each chapter.
My favorite character is probably Kotori. I think it mostly has to do with her intense eyes and her constant desire to eat, two of my favorite traits.
Sweetness and Lighting is available on Crunchyroll Manga with a premium subscription.
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