I Felt Chills Down My Spine Too
The shopping district has been lacking business and customers recently, so that can only mean one thing: A spooky haunted house to draw in the people!
Yet another stereotypical “slice of life” anime episode, and also an eventful one. I’ve noticed they always like to have a haunted house, whether it be at the school cultural festival (I’m sure you could think of one anime or two just off the top of your head) or… wherever. In Tamako Market, this is different. The haunted house idea isn’t to scare people away. Much rather the opposite. And actually, I like that they still have the element of a “stereotypical slice of life” in them, but they put a small twist on it to make it a “Tamako Market” thing. Same with last weeks episode with the swimming and etc. However, that being said, I feel like they’re really not focusing much on Tamako’s school life. I mean, maybe that’s because I like seeing what they get up to in their school and most slice-of-life anime are set in schools, but it feels like there’s a bit of mystery and I’m curious to know more about Tamako at school, her baton club, and other characters too. But then again, as the name suggests, it would be natural the anime would be more based in the shopping district. Nonetheless, it seems we won’t be getting much of an insight as to what’s going on in Tamako’s school yet.
As we see in this episode, the Usagi Mountain shopping district looks a lot more quiet than usual. Which is odd, since we often see Tamako running about all over the place, running errands and talking to people. It was quite the contrast… It made it already feel a bit strange and almost spooky. So naturally, Tamako being Tamako, she called all the shop keepers in the area for ideas on how they could bring customers back into the shopping district… And she suggested the idea of making a haunted house attraction to bring people back into the shopping district. It was certainly an odd idea but still, as soon as you hear the idea of a haunted house, you know it’s also going to bring along a few cheap laughs. Although I can say this episode was a little disappointing in the comedy department, however, it seems we can learn a lot more about people who seem to portray themselves as being all big and mighty but are really huge scaredy cats… cough Dela-chan cough…
Tamako, Midori and Kanna eventually find a good location in the shopping district for the haunted house: What seems to be like an old garage. As I’ve said before, Kanna seems to still be a bit of a mystery to me, however her quirky personality is something that really attracts me to her character, as she soon shoots out a tape measure and begins to measure all the dimensions of the garage. I… Think Kanna may be a bit of a kuudere. But an adorable one at that. I still want to know more about her though. Yet, later on in the episode, we learn she’s not as dull or as boring as we think she might be.
As the trio begin to collect materials for their haunted house, Dela hands out flyers advertisting it. I’m still…. Confused as to what the crazy straw man is printed onto it, or how that’s supposed to be spooky, but, I can’t help but laugh as it actually did draw in customers. I don’t know. Maybe Tamako’s innocence and sweetness is what did it? Either way, we also learn in this episode that Dela has a huge crush on Shiori (like we didn’t know that already). As he flaps around, getting all embarrassed about the situation, Kanna soon heads over to him. They’re in trouble. Or something. And, as we find out later on in the episode, this was only just the beginning of a master plan. Kanna’s really a genius.
Spooky happenings are going on in the shopping district too. What’s even going on? We can already tell this, well, was probably a prank, since I highly doubt that Tamako Market, a sweet moe slice of life anime could drastically turn into a mystery sci-fi kind of thing. Who’d have thought, Tamako’s dad, a big fatherly figure, who wants to protect Tamako and Anko from all evil beings, could be scared of such a thing! Yet again more banter and arguing unravels with Tamako’s dad and Mochizou’s dad… Inevitably. But no, Tamako’s dad wasn’t lying. He really wasn’t seeing things. Loads of other spooky things started popping up all over the shopping district, and… Well… Who’d have thought grown adults could have gotten so scared over such things. It was actually so ridiculous. They were thinking of getting… An exorcism?! A blessing?! They sure are very spiritual in Japan…
Of course. Their ridiculous imaginations soon lead to all the shop keepers pouring sake around the haunted house location, putting a string garlic around Tamako’s neck, a plate of salt… Oh what else? Just to fend off any beasts or monsters and the like. Come ON. You’re grown adults and you believe in such supersticions? None of the girls understand what’s going on though. If 3 high schoolers aren’t phased by it, then I’m sure grown adults really shouldn’t be either.
A little while later, and the haunted house is really coming together. Straw man is the main attraction! The customers are beginning to be reeled back in too. Seems like Tamako’s crazy ideas really are going along smoothly. Who’d have thought huh? If that happened in real life, I’m sure… Well… I’m sure that wouldn’t work so well. Especially if it were a haunted house made by 3 high schoolers at that. Ugh. But if one thing, the shop keepers imaginations have been running wild, what with all the talk of a haunted house. Footprints at the baths? Flowers suddenly blooming after taken out of the greenhouse? One serving of udon missing? HM. I DON’T KNOW. THAT DOES SOUND PRETTY SUPSICIOUS TO ME. MUST BE A GHOST OR SOMETHING. no. just… no.
More and more people are being dragged into the haunted house, and it’s gradually growing closer to the opening day. Who’d have thought huh? In the middle of a boiling hot summer, in a perfectly safe and calm shopping district that such ghostly beings could be roaming around. And to do such outrageous things too! Either way… It’s really building up the atmosphere. And by this point, I was looking forward to seeing how the haunted house would turn out. Apparently it really is haunted?! Nah. Just the crazy imaginations of grown adults.
The shop keepers decided to tell Tamako and friends about the spooky happenings. Shiori calmly explained what had happened. Footprints at the baths? Obviously just the wet footprints from where someone had run across ther oom. Missing a serving of udon? Maybe you gave the udon to some stray cats. The flowers that magically bloomed after taking them out the greenhouse? Completely normal. Thank you Shiori. You may have just saved the sanity of the shop keepers of the Bunny Mountain Shopping District. And with that, the haunted house is opened!
The haunted house was a great success! Even Shiori and Tamako’s teacher was scared to death by it. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful story to tell the rest of your classmates, huh? Although that being said… I doubt Kanna, Midori and Tamako were exactly that scary enough to frighten a fully grown man, but hey, this is Tamako Market, and I think everyone in this anime must be a bit crazy in one way or another. I don’t think they really squeezed out the most of this opportunity as they could have done. I thought this episode had a lot of potential to be funny, but no… The haunted house may have been a success with the customers in the Tamako Market world, but in reality, it wasn’t so much. Hence why I’d probably only rate this episode a 6/10.
At the end of the day, the shop keepers all gather together for a meeting, Midori and Kanna included. They’re a bit confused on two things though. The two mysteries that were waiting to be solved… And what on earth did Kanna meant when she said they were in trouble to Dela? The disembodied souls? The office worker? Actually. That was Kanna, up to mischievious tricks. Maybe the success of the haunted house really was not down to Tamako, but rather Kanna. She needed more people to drag in, and did her part by helping create spooky stories to make the shopping district seem haunted. I actually… Laughed at this part. It seemed so unexpected of Kanna, the shy and quiet, dull expressioned girl who just sat there at the back, aloof from the others at times. She really had a few tricks up her sleeve, and I hope to see her pull more funny pranks sometime soon. Mysteries were all solved at the end of it.
Except for… One mystery. I feel like we haven’t paid much attention to this recently but… Aren’t we forgetting who those mysterious people are who supposedly know Dela from a foreign country? Well… Looks like we’ll learn more about that soon. There’s still so much more I want to know and I’m curious about, like who are those people? Where are they from? How do they know Dela? What do they want? I’m sure we’ll get our answers soon, as we finally reach the half way point of Tamako Market.