A Small Love Blooms
The summer festival quickly approaches, so life doesn’t ever stop at the mochi shop! But, Anko has other plans in mind rather than going to the festival…
Summer festivals are a big tradition in Japan. Every town in the country is desperate to make their festival the biggest and the best! Plus, the summer festival usually holds many happy memories for most of Japan too. Rewinding back a few years, we see Anko (Tamako’s little sister, for those who may have forgotten) getting all dressed up to be in part of the parade for the summer festival. So cute! But poor little Anko doesn’t like wearing the outfit, but the helpers and nearby shop owners helping dress the children to appear in the parade reassure Anko and tell her to close her eyes and count to ten. This might sound silly and little, but Anko felt better when they all said how cute she looked, and that she looked just like a princess (and, we’ll also come back to this “scene” later…)!
Has anyone noticed Dela recently? He just keeps getting fatter. Over the past few months where we left off from in Tamako Market, Dela has been spoiled rotten with mochi. Tamako can’t stop and leave this fat bird alone. He needs to go out on his quest to find his prince’s bride, and feeding him more isn’t helping, since he can barely fly less than a metre. He’s eaten so much, he can barely move. Anko thinks it’s simply ridiculous: What was so great about mochi? She had grown sick of the sweet snack famous in Japan, and she thinks that the bird is even more stupid for constantly giving into his cravings. Maybe Tamako was a little stupid too, for constantly overfeeding him.
Confused, Anko asks how much mochi he had eaten. “No idea, I’m not the type to dwell on small stuff” – was Dela’s response… He couldn’t even remember?! Well, I mean, to be fair, he had constantly been overfed with the stuff, so it’s probably only natural he forgot (and why would you even count anyway?). Anko’s got a little attitude with her too, though. She seems determined for the bird to lose weight and to bid farewell to him as soon as possible, but, of course, she doesn’t say that, she’s too sweet and kind to. Instead she calls him a chicken. Offended by the insult, Dela huffs and puffs and grows angry with the little girl, however Anko warns him to stop doing what Tamako says all the time, or else he’ll regret it.
The sound of the Taiko drums from the festival can be heard in the distance. Dela’s curious to know what the sound is, so Anko tells him. A festival?! A carnival?! Excited by this news, Dela does a happy little dance: Yet, maybe, ANOTHER chance to find his beautiful bride! “The hearts of young girls grow soft and love fills the air at a carnival!” Yeah, Dela. It’s a festival… Not a carnival. I’m sure there’s a difference between the two… He quickly takes off, and flies across the room over to the open window, before splat! Gah. This bird must be a pain to constantly have to look after him and help him “fly”.
Anko, her grandfather and Dela all sit down by the table and begin to chat about the crazy bird. It seems Anko isn’t the only one growing fed up of their new feathered friend. Suddenly, Tamako runs in, wearing a jacket of some sort that all the shop keepers of the Bunny Mountain Shopping District would wear! Dela notices the girl and perches (or rather flops) himself onto her head. Even Tamako notices he’s gotten heavier than usual. As Dela goes to lighten himself up (he goes to the toilet… oh, this bird…), Anko and Tamako head off to school.
They notice Mochizou’s father across the road also wearing one of the festival jackets that Tamako was wearing. This can’t be good. As soon as Tamako’s father lays his eyes upon his rival shop keeper, the pair begin to squabble and yell at each other yet again. “What’s cute? That’s gross!” “What’d you say?!” “You’re making a fool of yourself, old man!” “Who’s calling who an old man?!” Will the pair ever get along?
Anko walks ahead and as she passes through the shopping district, even everyone knows cute little Anko Kitashirakawa! She can’t stop, she needs to get to school! Loaded with all sorts of food and snacks, eventually Tamako catches up and the sisters run into Kanna and Midori too. They all get talking, when suddenly Anko notices someone walking by! Flustered, she quickly hides behind her older sister’s back. The group of girls all turn to look to see a pair of boys walking down the road, from Anko’s class. Eventually as the boy’s pass by, Anko quickly heads off before any questions are asked. Is it loooove? Of course it was. Of course! … Midori and Kanna caught it straight away, but Tamako, being as dense as she is, couldn’t realise. She thought they were enemies!
Embarrassed and finally at school, Anko is still flustered over the events of this morning whilst walking to school. As she sat at her desk, two of her classmates walk over and invite her to come along to the museum with them all on the day of the summer festival… Along with the cute boy she saw this morning… Her crush! This was a great opportunity! You go, Anko!
But, her father soon shoots down the idea once she gets home. The mochi shop is always too busy on the day of the festival, and they need all the help they can get. Even if Anko is sick to death of mochi, she still has to help out with business. As she lay in her room, Tamako walks in with a very wacky looking Dela on her head, wearing a custom made festival jacket too, that Tamako herself made! As if the bird had to look even more looney than he needed to be. It’s not doing him justice: He’ll never find his bride at this rate.
Suddenly, Mochizou throws the cup and string over to the other open window in Anko’s bedroom, but Tamako can’t talk to him right now as she’s busy, so she asks Anko to talk to him. Mochizou wanted to know if Tamako would be watching the shrine parade on the day of the festival. However, Tamako herself would be busy taking care of business at the mochi shop, but it seemed that Mochizou was desperate to see Tamako and Anko really wanted to go out to the museum too! She asked Mochizou if he would be doing anything on Sunday, the day of the festival. But would he, the son of Tamako’s father’s rival, be allowed to even go near Tamako’s mochi shop?
Anko quickly caught onto why Mochizou wouldn’t mind helping out at the shop. Tamako’s dad thought he’d steal their secret mochi shop secrets. Tamako’s grandfather thought he just wanted to partner up and help make the festival better. Tamako herself STILL doesn’t know why though. Oh god. You can see where she gets her dense-ness from now, can’t you?
But, Tamako’s grandfather suggests that if Anko was to wake up early and complete any jobs she needed to do then, she could go to the museum! Determined, Anko was going to do whatever it woud take to go to the museum to see that cute boy!
It’s the day of the festival, and everyone is hard at work at the mochi shop: Even Tamako’s new friend Shiori comes along to help out. Tamako with her creative mind always finds new kind of mochi to make, and thus, “HAPPI MOCHI” was born (it looks just like the little festival jackets they all wore)! Her dad, again, shoots down the idea, but allows her to only make 20 of them. Special edition mochi, Tamako says!
More trouble along at the festival: The shrine parade float’s golden bird that stands on the top has broken off. Even with superglue, nothing could work! What could they possibly do? And there goes Dela, just trying to flap and fly around (somehow, so he must have lost some weight). There. There was their idea. “Catch him.” The shop keepers chase after the fat bird, and somehow, the bird gets a move on, and gives a good chase, all over the place! Here, there, and everywhere, through the shopping district, but the shop keepers were determined to catch the bird! Eventually, they managed to catch him. He probably caught the eye of a cute girl and immediately spiralled to a near death. Either way, with a bit of gold paint, the shrine float looked 10x better with Dela at the top and no one would ever be able to tell!
Jobs done at the mochi shop, Anko heads off out to her date at the museum!
As the shrine float is now complete with Dela, he was certainly going to be in for a bumpy ride, as the men of the shopping district began to carry it around the area: Even Mochizou! He was disappointed that he couldn’t spend the day making mochi with Tamako, but was hoping she would see him carrying the heavy float with all his strength and muscle around the shopping district, and that she would then immediately fall in love with him upon sight. I’m sure most fangirls got a nosebleed upon the sight of poor Mochizou sweating in the summer heat as he helped carry the float. Ahh.
Remember at the beginning when Anko was dreaming about her memories of the summer festival? The florist asks Anko, as she wanders through the shopping district, to help change the younger children ready for the parade. She agrees, and helps dress one of the younger girls, in the same outfit she wore years ago. The girl didn’t like wearing the outfit, too, like Anko did, and kept struggling as they tried to get on the headpiece, when Anko remembered. “Just close your eyes and count to ten!”. The young girl did, and they managed to fit the headpiece on easy. She didn’t like the oufit though, but then Anko said “You look so cute, just like a princess!”. Awww. Sweet memories.
As Anko soon hurried as she was going to be late for the museum, the young girl looked disappointed that Anko was leaving. Eventually, as the parade made its way down the shopping district, Anko decided to stay and watch the parade rather than go to the museum, and as the young girl walked by, she cheered her on and waved. Aww. Tamako also comes to watch the parade, and as the heavy float Mochizou is carrying goes by, it seems Tamako didn’t notice at all. Maybe one day Mochizou. I think Dela can understand your pain.
Later on in the afternoon, Anko, Tamako, Midori and Kanna all stand outside the mochi shop to help sell the happi mochi to passers by. Suddenly, Anko notices someone walking by: The cute boy she had a crush on! Flustered again, she soon runs upstairs and hides from the boy. She was embarrassed because he heard her shouting to help sell the mochi. Young love, huh?
As Tamako and friends go upstairs to try and find Anko, they notice the golden bird standing on top of the wardrobe: They didn’t know who it was, they thought it was a chicken! How could they! That’s disgracing the name of Dela Mochiyucky! They try to find Anko, but there were no signs of her, until Dela points down to the wardrobe he was standing upon. They try to get Anko to come out, but no luck. Eventually, Midori has an idea, and blows the smell of sweet mochi into the cracks between the wardrobe doors. Still no luck. Kanna tries with some fish… But still no luck. How were they were going to get the girl out the wardrobe? If anything, Anko was just embarrassing herself more: The cute boy comes along upstairs and sees Tamako and friends trying to get her out the wardrobe.
Eventually, with his sweet charms, the girl opens the door, to see the cute boy smiling right at her, with a souvenir from the museum for her. An ammonite. How romantic! As Anko thanks the boy for her gift, Midori and Kanna were surprised it was this boy she liked at not the other (well, they never thought she would go for a nerd), yet Tamako still doesn’t know what on earth they are talking about!
So, after a long day at the summer festival, it was all in all a good day for everyone, even Dela himself. It sure does sound like love is in the air, and maybe not just for Anko.