“Sweetness & Lightning” by Gido Amagakure enriches readers with a special story of a single father, his bubbly little daughter and his strange but helpful student.

Kouhei Inuzuka does his best to balance his work as a high school teacher and the sole care provider of his daughter Tsumugi. Six months ago, Kouhei Inuzuka’s wife passed away and now he must take care of all she did for the small family. Juggling his job and caring for Tsumugi are both easy to him, but he has trouble with cooking a proper meal. The many Japanese lunchbox meals, or bentos, are sufficient but he notices his young girl longs for a homemade dinner with her dad—sadly, his skills at the stove nearly make Tsumugi sick! Kouhei’s fortunes change when he finds Kotori Iida, a student from his homeroom class with a family restaurant. This awkward and lonely teen makes a strange offer to Kouhei that might be his only chance in making the family meal Tsumugi deserves.


Kodansha Comics brings Amagakure’s 2013 manga stateside while the anime adaptation of her series airs both online and on Japanese television. Despite 
the heavy subject of death lingering throughout the story, Amagakure fills the pages with a lot of comedy and smiles as her characters deal with the tragedy. Each of the three main characters have a lot of peculiar quirks, like Kouhei’s nearly non-existent appetite and Kotori’s refusal to use a knife, which Amagakure plays within the chapters. Even in the first volume of her manga series, readers see how well developed the protagonists are. Props to the English translating team to pairing fonts with different moods and tones to further elevate the reading experience.

Currently Kodansha Comics has up to Volume Five in English digital release while only having the first two in print. The next installment will hit shelves in late Winter as part of a bi-monthly release schedule. During the wait time, fans can either visit Crunchyroll.com to watch the episodes of the anime produced by TMS Entertainment or make some of the real recipes found inbetween manga chapters. Both will leave you wanting more of Amagakure’s story and maybe something good to eat.

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