Kouhei Inuzuka, a recently widowed math teacher, is struggling to keep his house in order and take care of his daughter, Tsumugi, alone. His cooking skills are atrocious, forcing him and his daughter to eat convenience store bento boxes for dinner.
While viewing the cherry blossoms one spring, they come across a crying girl eating her delicious picnic alone. Introducing herself as Kotori Iida, she invites the two of them to drop by her mother's restaurant (Megumi). One night, Kouhei decided to take Tsumugi out for dinner when they discovered that the restaurant has been (temporarily) closed for some time... and that Kotori can't cook at all. After dinner, Kotori tells Kouhei that she's his student at school and she asks him if they would be able to drop by for dinner more often.
Sweetness & Lightning (Amaama to Inazuma) is a food Slice of Life manga by Gido Amagakure, which was serialized in good! Afternoon by Kodansha from March 2013 to August 2018 with a total of 12 volumes. It was adapted into an anime by TMS Entertainment in the 2016 Summer season, and can be legally viewed with subtitles on Crunchyroll. The manga is currently available on Crunchyroll as well in digital, and it's being printed by Kodansha USA.
This series provides examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation: Some episodes streamline or combine elements from certain plots in the manga. For example, the episode dealing with Tsumugi getting sick only adapts part of Chapter 5. The latter half of the same chapter that ended with Kotori blushing while longingly wishing Kouhei wasn't her teacher is omitted.
- Adult Fear:
- Kouhei fears Tsumugi leaving on her own without telling him where she went. The first time he shows this is in chapter 10, as he gets separated from Tsumugi after she runs off on her own in a summer festival. He yells at her for it when he finds her, however it is shown how worried he was for her when she ran off after he told her not to. It happens again when Tsumugi, who didn't want to break her promise not to do it again, sneaks out the house to help out since he was sick. Kohei just scolds Tsumugi back when she gets home.note
- Both Kouhei and (especially) Kotori show signs of fear when Tsumugi wants to use an adult knife to cut some vegetables in episode 9, since she had just learned to use a kid's knife.
- Beach Episode: Kouhei and Tsumugi go to the beach in Episode 10, but don't spend much time there due to the boiling weather.
- Casting Gag: This isn't the first time Yūichi Nakamura has been a widower with a 5-year-old daughter.
- Compressed Adaptation: The manga was still ongoing at the time the anime reached its conclusion. As such, the anime focuses only on essential elements from the original source. Several details and some hooks are left out on purpose, many chapters (that shared a similar theme) were mixed together to offer one only experience, and the finale suggests an "And the Adventure Continues" ending.
- Cradle of Loneliness: Despite its age and wear, Tsumugi refuses to let Kouhei replace her bag because it was handmade for her by her mother. He later suggests to fix it, instead.
- Does Not Like Spam: Kotori lampshades children's dislikes for bitter or sour foods due to sensitive tongues.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Tsumugi is deeply ashamed of having accepted more than her share of clay, even though her classmates willingly gave it to her.
- Food Porn: This series is all about cooking, and it goes out of its way to make the food look pretty appetizing.
- Freudian Trio: Yuka (Ego), Tsumugi (Superego), and Hana (Id).
- Lonely Together: The basis for Kouhei and Kotori's arrangement. Kouhei is a recent widower who wants to provide a more nurturing environment for his young daughter Tsumugi by learning to cook with Kotori for the kid's sake, while Kotori is mostly on her own because her mother has become increasingly busy with her TV work.
- Maybe Ever After: While they don't get together in the finale, Kouhei and Kotori have their biggest obstacle (Kotori being a student) out of the way, and a teenage Tsumugi even wants the two to couple. The last chapter even ends on the three of them preparing to cook together as always. And while the bonus chapters in the final volume still don't have Kouhei and Kotori together explicitly, they are still close and in contact with each other by the time Tsumugi leaves for college.
- Moment Killer: An averted one of the non-romantic variety, but after seeing how adorable Kohei, Tsumugi and Kotori are while learning about how to cook, Shinobu has Yagi, a trained chef, stop helping out, referring to it as preserving a National Monument. After actually watching them, Yagi agrees and backs off.
- Noob: Both Kouhei and Kotori could not cook at all at the beginning of the series.
- Show Within a Show: Magi-Girl, a Magical Girl anime that Tsumugi is a fan of. She's often seen watching it on TV, and she also has a plush toy version of Mr. Galigali, the show's mascot, plus a whole lot of other merchandise from the show.
- Shown Their Work:
- Slice of Life: This series' focus is telling the everyday lives of the Inuzukas and Kotori, while they are also learning to cook.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?:
- Since Kouhei works as an assistant professor at a high school, he tries his best to be in any school event that involves Tsumugi. Despite some of his efforts, he sometimes comes home late (in any case, Tsumugi's nanny and Yagi take care of her).
- The original reason why Kotori invited the Inuzukas to come over for dinner regularly is because her mom, Megumi, has to deal with things outside of home during the evenings and nights that also allow them supplemental income. She later returns to open the restaurant at least twice a week.