Junko IwaoAya SuzakiKouji TsujitaniJuri Nagatsuma
Tamako Market
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2013
Director: Naoko Yamada
Writer: Reiko Yoshida
Actor: Atsushi Tamaru, Aya Suzaki, Daisuke Ono, Fumihiko Tachiki, Hiro Shimono, Hiroshi Yanaka, Junko Iwao, Juri Nagatsuma, Keiji Fujiwara, Ken Narita, Kouji Tsujitani, Kumiko Watanabe, Kyousei Tsukui, Naoya Nosaka, Rina Hidaka, Satsuki Yukino, Takumi Yamazaki, Tomomichi Nishimura, Yoko Hikasa, Yoshihisa Kawahara, Yuki Kaneko, Yuri Yamaoka, Yurie Yamashita
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=14908
Website category: Anime 2013
Review date: 19 April 2022
It's the first Kyoto Animation show I've watched since the 2019 arson attack. That's not this show's fault, but in the early episodes I couldn't forget that some of this show's staff would get burned to death six years later.
But never mind that. Let's talk of happier things, e.g. the show itself. It's a happy, gentle, plot-light piece of fluff where everyone's nice and not much happens. I found myself paying more attention than usual to KyoAni's subtle, charming animation. Our heroine, Tamako, is a schoolgirl who lives in a mochi shop in a shopping arcade. She's not a deep thinker, but she's always bubbly and likeable. The opening credits alone will probably be enough to make her win you over. Half of her friends are silently in love with her, which causes cute problems in ep.5.
Anyway, one day a talking bird comes to visit. His name's Dera Mochi Mazui, which in Japanese is a massive insult to the owners of mochi shops. (All his contacts from his home country are also called Mochi Mazui.) People are remarkably unfazed by Dera, so he settles down for a long stay at Chez Tamako. Supposedly, he's in Japan to look for a bride for his prince. In practice, he's mostly interested in overeating and in expressing his enormously high opinion of himself.
Dera's boss (Choi) and prince (Mecha) eventually appear too. There will be mild romantic shenanigans, but they're very mild since everyone looks too young for stuff like that. Maybe the 2014 sequel movie goes further?
And that's it, mostly.
Is it worth watching? Yes, actually. I don't know if I'll ever rewatch it, but I think it's very good and I'll definitely be continuing with the movie. Its plotting might look understated, but it's well and subtly written. There are lots of little character stories going on. If you pay clear attention to each episode, you'll find that each one will be telling a clear story about, say, feelings you can't put into words and a girl who can't bring herself to say what she feels to Tamako. (That's ep.2.) There are things to explore and discuss about all the main characters.
It's light and pleasant. It's very Kyoto Animation, with those character designs that are almost as distinctive as Miyazaki's for Ghibli. It's probably one of their lesser pieces, but it's still full of craft and life.