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Tamako Market

January 29, 2013

Had been looking forward to this new original anime series by Kyoto Animation and adored it from the first episode on. Following the daily life of endearing lead character Tamako, her family and friends at the shopping district, “Tamako Market” is simply charming, as sweet as mochi.

Thanks to the quirky element of talking bird Dera, “Tamako Market” comes across as an eclectic mix of heartwarming slice of life like “Tamayura ~hitotose~” or “K-ON!”, spiced up with some “Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru“ style madness.

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That same subplot of talking bird Dera ending up at Tamako’s place while looking for a bride for his country’s prince may not appeal to everyone though, and after only three episodes do feel the series could have worked just as well without this gimmick.

Still remains to be seen what impact Dera’s background story will have on the overall plot, though his character has been an essential catalyst on several occasions, like Shiori getting to known Tamako.

Am actually most curious to see how Midori’s character will evolve, considering her character description suggests that she’s in love with Tamako, and a few scenes from episode two and three reinforce this suggestion.

Since “Tamako Market” already has the generic childhood friend hopelessly in love with the oblivious main character in Mochizou, will the series really do something more serious with Midori’s character or is she just written as such to appeal to the yuri inclined fanbase?

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It would be quite a treat to see a slice if life show like “Tamako Market” explore a yuri pairing, instead of giving vague hints that amount to nothing as if it were a run of the mill harem show. No doubt a biased view since I am a yuri fan after all, but I’d like to see them explore this in a light hearted fashion, all without staying too vague or becoming too dramatic or serious.

As expected the animation by studio Kyoto Animation is excellent, though do feel the level they achieved on “Hyouka” and “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai” was somewhat higher. Perhaps this is just an impression as the overall familiar animation style of “Tamako Market” is a bit more plain in comparison.

The visual resemblance to “K-ON!” should come as no surprise considering both series are made by Kyoto Animation, directed by Yamada Naoko with character designs by Horiguchi Yukiko.

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The voice cast of “Tamako Market” seems largely populated by voice talents who do not have many well known performances credited to them yet. Newcomer Suzaki Aya delivers an excellent performance, perfectly voicing Tamako such that it accentuates how Tamako is a lively girl whose radiating presence making her loved by all in the neighbourhood.

Bespectacled Shiroi is voiced by Yamashita Yurie who also voiced Yuuka in “Shangri-La” but overall doesn’t have many other roles credited to her. Midori is voiced by Kaneko Yuki for whom this seems to be a first performance.

Overall am really charmed by this series and am quite curious to see where it will go, even though will likely enjoy it just as much if remains a lighthearted show that doesn’t commit to much except the character’s daily lives.

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