Golden Rec – Okashi No Ie / Candy House Review [Accidently Kelly Street Where Friends And Strangers Sometimes Meet]
Okashi no Ie, revolves around the daily lives of people hanging around the Sakuraya candy store; the owner, Taro, (Joe Odagiri) who has taken over the shop from his grandparents, spends most of his time in the store’s backyard with his childhood friends, Saegusa and Reiko, as well as regular customers, Kaneda and Shimazaki, discussing about every thing that pops in their minds.
disclaimer – this post was written by a very sleepy kipzizz for dramajjang.co only –
The plot is as simple as it can be and that means it can either be a hit or a miss, depending on how the characters develop- thankfully, Okashi no Ie has a wonderful cast that breathes life to their roles in a simple yet meaningful way. Actually, “simple” and “meaningful” could perfectly describe the whole series.
It’s a story about grown ups that have yet to leave behind characteristics of their teenage stages; they keep hanging around the same place they did as kids, and don’t seem to long for anything different or have aspirations for something “greater”; they are content with their everyday chit chats and leisuring around.
Taro, (portrayed wonderfully by Odagiri who knows how to be effortlessly casual but can turn it up in the subtle moving scenes), grew up with his grandma after his parents and grandpa passed away; he might come across as a carefree, borderline-idle man, but he is considerate and has a big heart; in fact, he still keeps the candy store around despite not making any real money, not only because it is the place he cherished the most as a kid, but for the sake of his grandmother since it was his grandpa that opened that store originally.
Reiko (Machiko’s expressions when Taro and Saegusa acts like 10yrs olds are hilarious of their own!) an old childhood friend and classmate of Taro (and Saegusa), returns to the place she grew up after having divorced; she tries to make ends meet for her and her son, and eventually re-develops the bond she had with Taro, confiding and offer companionship to each other.
Saegusa, Taro’s best friend dreams of being a screenplay writer but finds it difficult after being turned down repeatedly; that doesn’t stop Kaneda and Shimazaki, long life customers, to appreciate his “lines of wisdom” when Saegusa usually blurts out lines he would like to include in his (hopefully!) upcoming projects.
Grandma Akiko would like to see Taro going on with his life and feels that the Candy Store is a barrier to that; however, she supports him any way she can, having been there for him as a mother figure his whole life.
The best thing about all the characters, is that they’re presented as individuals you could really come across in your daily life; the random conversations (loool there was a mention of the Greek crisis in one of the early episodes, don’t feel bad for not being able to help Taro and Saegusa, NOBODY CAN!) they have, that rise from casual thoughts while being cozy and shifting around, are so spot on.
Everyone’s relatable and you feel that their concerns and mind of state is very similar to what a large portion of us is going though- In fact, I felt like I was in my balcony and watching the neighbors (not you Kwon!) go on about with their daily lives.
I suppose the candy store, represents an accessible and uncomplicated place where you can just relax and enjoy your favorite candies; sweets are usually associated with our childhood where everything seemed more beautiful, colorful and it was decorated from the so called blissful ignorance. While most of the characters might come off as “stuck” in their adolescent stage, in a way that stage is always with us.
I remember reading in a book once (Jorge Bucay’s) how when we’re at our 15s, that means we (have been and) are also 14, 13, 12 and so on- same applies for our 25s, 35s, 45s etc. We are still the babies, youngsters, young adults we once were; there’s no way we can simply dismiss some of our behavioral patterns when those patterns have been a huge part of the person we were, of the person we are; but when the going gets tough, it is the adult in us that has to take the lead, and not the kid. The adult in us will take care of the kid inside- that means believing in you and chasing after your dreams.
All Okashi no Ie’s habitants have dreams of their own they want to achieve, but somewhere along the way got sucked, a bit more than much, in their too familiar place, possibly halting their progress; you have to let go of the comfortable state you’ve been in order to move forward. And that is the journey our hero(es) go on embarking amidst the very colorful and gleaming candies. (seriously, some shots of them in the EDs, invite you to eat your screen! As does Toro’s magnificent cooking pics!)
The music also plays a huge role in bringing out the nonchalant atmosphere with piano pieces that are carefully crafted (the intro piano theme looking at the sea is stuck already in my heart and mind) surrounding the somber photography of the series.
All in all, it’s a tale about rediscovering yourself, figuring out what you want while keeping the important things with you- the everyday kindness that nobody notices until you realize that you offered it to others and you received it from them as well. Mundane can be very beautiful with the right company afterall!
It’s as great as necessary to have a place where you can let off steam and just slurp on a lollipop looking at the stars; but it is also essential to find the balance between being complacent and being productive. At some point, it’s about time to become a cool adult and lead the way for the young ones! (as my favorite Naruto character would say!)
I absolutely recommend it- I had a great time watching this short but beautiful drama, and I got a hunch you will too!
Farewell but not goodbye Okashi no Ie, I shall remember you everytime a store owner brings down their blinds and a cat meows at the sound!
(otonadaroooooo!) Overall grade : 9,43/10