She’s the Cute Daughter of a Mochi Maker
It’s the long awaited Tamako Market that everyone’s been talking about! Everyone has had high expectations to find out exactly Kyoto Animation had been up to, when they announced they would be releasing Tamako Market instead of the 3rd series of K-On. So, as you can imagine, many were excited for the release of the anime, and so many people squeeing over the adorable protagonist of the anime: Tamako herself!
I became interested to know more myself, and waited patiently. Finally, when the first episode had been released, there were a few mixed opinions on it. I don’t think the first episode really did the anime much justice, because I know it’s probably something you’re going to have to get into over time. It was a very hectic first episode, to say the least. The anime started off with a bit off a tad bit confusing: Too much going on at once. First of all, you see Tamako and her friends Midori and Kanna skipping around town, but suddenly, the scene cuts off to a quirky looking bird laying in a field… Heavy breathing… Tense music building up… Tamako walking around the shopping district… Ah! I’m lost already! I really had no idea where they are going with this anime. From what I read about it, it was going to be about a the daughter of a mochi shop owner and her adventures and everyday life, but right now, I thought it was about to turn into some strange new kind of Sci-Fi! But no, it just turns out this eccentric looking talking-bird was actually just sitting amongst a flower pot in a florist, and this was only just the start of this bird’s adventures with Tamako and friends!
Eventually, after a lot of “Sunny Love”s from the opening and kawaii from the opening, Tamako – OF COURSE – strolls into this florist, out and about, just admiring the pretty flowers on display, when suddenly, she leans in closer to admire one bunch of flowers, to notice the odd bird, laying… Well, looking as if he was dead amongst the bunch! Suddenly, bam! The bird flings itself right into Tamako’s face! Oh no! And so, it was fated that today, the odd pair would be stuck with each other for well… A while. This bird was just not at all who he seemed to be at first though. Smitten by Tamako’s adorable face, he begins to flirt with the girl almost right away upon sight of her. As the florist and Tamako go over to inspect the bird, it ends out that the bird… Can talk (of course)! Speechless, Tamako scoops up her new feathered friend, and storms out the shop, then throws him across the road! The poor fella just wanted a friend, Tamako!
And so, Tamako Market begins.
The bird ends up growing attached to Tamako, and perches itself upon her head. I’m pretty sure if anyone had an odd talking bird perched upon their head, they would be pretty frightened too, so I can empathise with how Tamako was feeling. As the pair wandered about town, they had a little bit of idle chit chat, and Tamako soon realised the bird wasn’t as scary as she first imagined he would be. Good for you, Tamako, but I would still be a little worried about that bird, if I were you. Eventually, as they head home, they run into the arguing pair of two mochi maker’s: Tamako’s father, owner of the family’s mochi shop and her friend Mochizou’s father, owner of “Ricecake Oh!Zee” They’re both rival mochi shop owners, so naturally the aruging was only the beginning of the banter between the pair we would see.
Eventually, as the pair manage to split the fight up, Tamako’s younger sister Anko walks in to find her father, her sister and Mochizou all inspecting the funny bird that Tamako had discovered in the florist. Here we begin to learn more about him. His name is Dela Mochiyucky (which didn’t really go down well with Tamako’s father, a mochi maker) and was looking for a bride… Hence why he became so attached with Tamako. It’s at this point I’m beginning to lose what the heck is going on in this anime anymore. It’s becoming too much, a little too strange for my likings, and it really irks me how Tamako hasn’t just gone and ridden of Dela already, but then again, I guess if she did, the anime wouldn’t be so “interesting” or “comedic” I suppose.
So naturally Tamako and her younger sister decided to go to the baths that night to wash, and coincidentally, Mochizou happened to be “going” to the baths at the same time… As well as Dela. How odd is that. Sometimes, you can just easily predict what is going to happen, and you wouldn’t be far off in imagining as to what could POSSIBLY happen now. As they all go to get changed in separate changing rooms next to each other, the bird begins to flounce around, in the hope he would perhaps get a nice glimpse of dear Tamako getting undressed. It seems that that wasn’t going to happen. Launched back over to the other side of Mochizou, poor old Dela’s luck really isn’t going his way at all today, being thrown around all the time. Prediction correct? Almost!
Eventually, we meet more of Tamako’s friends at her baton club: Midori and Kanna. They take a break from practise and begin to discuss that New Year’s Eve is fastly approaching, which is also Tamako’s birthday. It’s a tradition in Japan that you eat mochi on New Year’s Eve, so the mochi shops are always extremely busy, that even Tamako’s family ends up forgetting it’s her birthday, so usually they never celebrate… And so does everyone else. Everyone forgets about poor old Tamako. You can see where this is going again. You can almost predict where each event is headed whilst watching the anime, every funny encounter and etc, which is good I suppose, because it still does equally give you a good old chuckle. Even all the other shopkeepers from the shopping district were planning to give Tamako a good birthday surprise she really deserved this year… Well, PLANNING.
The anime is very sweet, and takes a break from the quirkiness and eccentricity and comedy as we learn more about Tamako and her family, as she tells Dela her mother died when she was young, as she wanted to know what the song was that she used to sing to Tamako when she was younger, hence why they visited a record shop. It was a really heartwarming moment, and it really made me feel sad for Tamako as she spoke about her mother so kindly and greatly, yet was so curious to remember all the memories she used to spend with her.
Days pass by, and as Dela soon makes himself at home in the Kitashirakawa household, he begins to let himself unwind, but his quest to find his bride isn’t furthering, and instead finds a strange love for mochi… Growing fatter and fatter each day, however he was determined to go out and find his beautiful bride. See, at first I couldn’t really get this, and found it a little too weird, yet, I realised that it’s the funny little moments in the anime like this that really make me chuckle. Something so odd and so strange, it’s almost so unbelieveable, as you grow to learn more about the flirtatious bird, the more stranger the anime becomes so even if it sounded normal at first, it does has it own little twist on things. Eventually, as more drama unfolds, as Dela begins to choke on some mochi, all the shop keepers nearby from the shopping district and Mochizou are headed out to give Tamako her presents! Everyone from outside hears the strange confuffle and rushes indoors, saving the bird from choking to death on mochi…
It’s finally New Year’s! Everyone heads back home… Until… A bad feeling dawns upon them. THEY FORGOT TO GIVE TAMAKO HER PRESENTS, OF COURSE. AGAIN, JUST LIKE EVERY SINGLE YEAR, THEY FORGOT ABOUT TAMAKO’S BIRTHDAY. Poor, poor Tamako. Maybe one year they’ll remember.