This anime is one of the happiest, cutest and sweetest animes I’ve watched! And I love it.
Although I did have mixed feelings on Tamako Market at the beginning of the anime as it was airing, I feel like my opinion has changed completely on it. Whilst I can’t say I’d say it’s up there, right at the top with the rest of Kyo-Ani’s stuff, but gosh, you can’t help but just love it anyway. I know some who probably are reading this may disagree, and that’s fair enough, because I can understand as it’s a very moe and cutesy anime it may not be everyones cup of tea, but it’s the kind of anime you can watch just one episode of and feel instantly 10x happier when you do watch it.
Maybe it’s for the loveable characters. Like Dela, Kanna, Mochizou, Anko, Midori (although, I can’t say I’m still too keen on her), heck, even Tamako herself. If there’s one thing I noticed with Tamako Market, the characters are all unique in their own ways, and sure it’s very stereotypical and very anime-like, but in one way or another, you can relate to these quirky and eccentric teenagers just a tiny bit. Whether it’s Mochizou’s constantly failure to get Tamako to notice his love proposals, Dela’s perverted-ness (he’s a goddamn bird, gee, I don’t know how I can ever SEE someone relate to a bird, but damn, maybe someone out there can!), Tamako’s carefree attitude and Midori’s constant high expectations to do well in everything she does so she doesn’t disappoint anyway, you can just really connect well with the characters. I feel maybe I can kind of relate to Midori at times too, because like in Episode 10 with the school festival when she was choreographing the baton routine, she was trying hard to do well and to impress everyone, because she doesn’t want to let down her friends and the club, but really, all she did was worry way too much and got herself upset over nothing. I feel that the characters in Tamako Market may just be your stereotypical slife-of-life characters, but there’s a sense of realism in their actions and the way they behave, and maybe it’s what makes you love them so much more because you can relate to them. And for that reason, you can notice their quirks, the odd ways they behave and appreciate their character more.
However I do feel one thing Tamako Market lacked in the “character” side of it is the development in some characters. The series wasn’t too short, so it had plenty of time to work and develop some characters, and maybe I’m missing out on it a bit, but I feel that big, main characters like Kanna and Mochizou lacked that and missed out on that. And that’s a shame, because there were some really interesting personalities and I would have loved to have known more about these characters, but maybe the whole POINT is that Kanna remains quiet and mysterious, and that Mochizou constantly comes across as being a hopeless romantic, however I feel it’s something that they missed out on, after they still kept developing characters like Midori and Anko, for example. Plus, I don’t really know if Tamako Market is going to ever get a second season too, so it’s a shame they missed out on something like this, and this as a whole is one flaw in the anime that let it down for me.
But who can deny, though. This anime was the happiest thing in a rather dull winter season of anime. It brought life back to anime! And sure, it was a very typical slice-of-life, what with its school festival episodes and swimming episodes, but maybe we all enjoy them deep down at heart. Maybe there’s something enjoyable watching different kinds of people from different backgrounds go through the same things and I will admit that there are strong characters in Tamako Market, which is what made it so enjoyable to watch. The swimming with Mochizou and Tamako, the school festival with Midori, the mochi festival with Anko and her crush… Each event had a similar plot pattern, of which most slice-of-life anime hold. A seemingly normal day, a problem, a humorous 15 minutes or so filled with humorous antics and laughs and a solution in which everything returns to being peaceful again and happy again. Whilst it seemed that was what happened in most Tamako Market episodes, the main plot with Tamako being the prince’s bride was really enjoyable and by the final episode, I was actually on the edge of my seat, begging and praying that Tamako was not the princess. Something about it just… Worked. They built up the beginning episodes fairly well, the middle of the anime was brilliant, so by the time you were reaching the end, you had grown so close to the usual Tamako Market life that you didn’t want it to end and you didn’t WANT Tamako to be the princess. It was great, and of course, they stuck to that same old pattern as they always do.
It’s not just about the plot and characters though. The actual content itself was awesome too. I will admit I was on the verge of crying of laughter at times – mainly because of Dela – and its whole atmosphere was so bright and cheerful it made me want to smile and be happy, and has cheered me up when I’m feeling sad, etc etc. And, of course, the animation is still very pretty… Or rather very cutesy too, so Kyo-Ani never fails to disappoint in that side of it.
At the end of it all, Tamako Market boils down to this: Sure, it’s very stereotypical and it probably isn’t one Kyo-Ani’s best works. It lacked a bit of originality in areas, but that’s kind of what happens in most slice-of-life anime like Tamako Market. Either way, there was just SOMETHING about it that worked, and something that couldn’t help but make you smile. Maybe it was the characters, maybe it was the happy atmosphere, or maybe it was the humorous moments that Dela so kindly provided us with, but something about Tamako Market just makes it a little different, and something about it just made you happy inside.