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A photo still from Old Fashion Cupcake. Nozue and Togawa are sitting outside, taking a selfie while holding donut drinks.

Daily Helping for January 21st, 2023 – Old Fashion Cupcake

Sometimes I wish TV shows were longer. But sometimes they are exactly the length they should be. And when it comes to Old Fashion Cupcake, it is most definitely the later. This ridiculously adorable, and yet also surprisingly deep show only runs five episodes of about 25 minutes each. And it’s perfect. I love it when shows know exactly how long it will take to tell the story they are meant to be telling, and then stick to that.

In this case, Old Fashion Cupcake tells the story of Nozue, a 39 year old office worker with no ambition and very little joy in his personal life. One day, while out on a business meeting with his younger colleague Togawa, he watches two teenaged girls joyfully taking selfies together. He laments that he doesn’t have the same zeal for life, and Togawa basically goes, “Challenge accepted!” Cue multiple episodes of Nozue and Togawa visiting dessert restaurants every weekend, taking lots of photos, and generally trying to enjoy life as teenaged girls. And of course, along the way, they fall in love.

As I said, this show isn’t very long. But it still manages to pack in a remarkable amount of plot and character development. Both Nozue and Togawa go through a very real and relatable character shift over the course of the series. But Nozue’s in particular was very affecting. Watching him realize that his fear is holding him back in so many profound ways is something I think most people can relate to. I know I certainly can. It’s one of the many reasons why this show is equally adorable and moving.

One final note. I absolutely loved the reverence that Nozue has for the way that young girls experience life. Teenage girls are so often treated as pop culture’s universal punching bag, so it was so refreshing to see them treated with respect in this show, even if they weren’t main characters. I wish all shows would take this approach.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!