Episode 8 – Deaimon: The Recipe for Happiness
Maybe I’m missing something or just being an unreasonable bugger about it, but I’m having a hard time seeing how Nagomu and Kanoko broke up due to a “misunderstanding”. Even with this week’s flashback to give us more context, it felt less like Kanoko didn’t understand what Nagomu was asking for and more gave him some sort of arbitrary test of how much he loved her. that she may not have really expected him to let her go can be understood by the fact that she clearly left at least one pair of shoes in the hallway, but given that the man was crying because he thought his father was dying and his response was, “goodbye,” I don’t think he can be blamed for ‘failing’ his emotional exam. Even though Nagomu is impulsive and overly dramatic with his feelings, tears are hard to interpret like he’s really upset, and it always gets Kanoko wrong for just walking out rather than talking things over.
For what it’s worth, I think she regrets it now. She comments that she wasn’t at her best at the time, and although she has thought about it and matured, she may not have reached that point yet, even though she is on the right path. Nothing shows this like the lengths she goes to to get Nagomu a brown hat like the one he lost when Itsuka’s mother showed up unexpectedly; he’s private that he can’t find it because to him it’s more than just a silly hat. It is a link between his past and his present, a reminder that he did once played in a band, just like when he was in Tokyo, the chestnut reminded him of the family candy store he left behind. It’s a tangible physical object that he can touch and say, “Yes, those two people were me,” and that’s extremely important to him, especially as someone who’s never really shaken the guilt for choosing music over wagashi when he was younger. . That Kanoko realizes that’s the best demonstration of the person she can be when she’s not mired in her own issues, and her conversation with Nagomu’s former bandmate helps her to switch. After all, as he points out, the leaves change no matter where fall lands, and it’s a natural cycle.
I think Kanoko is changing. I’m not sure I’m sold on the idea of her and Nagomu getting back together, because what she did to him is one of the hallmarks of a toxic relationship, but if enough care is taken to show that she is growing as a person, that could be a good thread. Seeing Nagomu from the outside last week broadened our view of him as a character, and seeing Kanoko from the inside this time around is a step in the same direction, as well as one of the most important parts of a good slice-of-life show: we need to understand the nuances of how the characters grow and change. We may be halfway there, but it’s still not too late to get Kanoko and Nagomu working.
While we wait for that, I’d just like to take a moment to bask in the glory of Itsuka’s friend who dressed up as umibozu for Halloween. You gotta love a kid who decides to go as a monster that specifically overwhelms ships, and I’m not saying that just because a year two of my friends and I went as Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and the executioner and put on a skit at every door. The jack-o-lantern treats are another nice touch and a surprise, as you wouldn’t expect traditional Japanese sweets to satisfy the random western holiday crowd. It’s just another way this show manages to keep things interesting and fun, and I can’t wait to drool over the confections we see next week.
Deaimon: the recipe for happiness is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.