Note: The following review was written a long time ago, before our migration to WordPress and when our reviewing skills were still noob-level. Apologies.
Prequel to Tamako Love Story
Produced by: Kyoto Animation
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life
Number of episodes: 12
Tamako Kitashirakawa is the eldest daughter of a family who runs a traditional mochi shop named “Tama-ya” in Usagi-yama shopping district. One day, Tamako encounters a strange talking bird named Dela Mochimazzi who was found among a bouquet of flowers. Dela then resides in Tamako’s home. The series follows the everyday life of Tamako, her friends, family, neighbors, and a peculiar bird.
From left: Oji Mochizou, Asagiri Shiori
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 moons
Story – 8/10
I first found out about this anime from Danny Choo and have been waiting for it’s release ever since. This is actually an original story by the team from Kyoto Animation that worked on K-On! (Psst, notice that if you just change the hairstyles of the characters, you’d get the five girls from K-On! again). Having loved both seasons of K-On! for it’s humour and moe-ness, I didn’t expect anything less from this anime.
Similar to K-On!, everything about Tamako Market will make you smile. It’s an incredibly happy, positive anime with enough quirk to keep the humour flowing naturally through each episode. In slice of life standards, in my opinion, KyoAni does some of the best and this anime shows that as well.
That reminds me, in K-On! there wasn’t any romance but there is in this anime, and that’s also one of the reasons why I like it. The love story (well, one-sided love story) between Tamako and Mochizou is just perfectly cute. Seeing how bashful Mochizou is around Tamako is just one of the things that makes this anime even cuter.
There is also love shown on different levels in the anime. Sisterly love, marital love, infatuation… even though some of it is played off as jokes in the anime, most of it is done very sweetly. As Dela says: “everybody loves somebody”, and that’s the main theme of the show.
Character – 9/10
The reason why we love (or practically worship) KyoAni here at Eleven Tsuki is because of all the little details they put into each character. Not only does it bring out their personalities more, it actually gives them the ability to tell a story without any dialogue. If you look closely, there are things you can infer just by watching the main and side character’s movements, and that leads to more than a few hidden gems in the show.
But more importantly, since this is a coming-of-age story about love, this attention to detail really pays off for them. It just adds a sweetness to romance that the straight-forwardness of Shoujo series will never get.
Personally, I also love the more subtle individual character development that KyoAni does. There are no big revelations or extraordinarily dramatic occurrences. There are just tiny miracles that change the way people think; something one person has said, or a little secret that has been revealed that changes the way the other character acts. It really isn’t obvious at first but when you compare the before and after, the change is there. And I think that’s more realistic since most people change in tiny steps, not giant leaps.
Visuals + Audio – 9/10
The visuals and audio were great. As usual, there were the similarities in character design that KyoAni is infamous for, but I liked that they expanded their character range this time to include many reoccurring side characters from all age groups. Proves that they can do other types of character design just as well. Also, the background art was as beautiful and detailed as always. Same goes for the high frame rate and how clean the art was.
As for the audio, I liked it in the same way I liked the K-On! OST. The background music helped set a lot of the cheerful or thought-provoking tones, and the OP was catchy as well.
Among other KyoAni anime, this is not the one with the most depth. Everything about it is very simple, light-hearted, and very moe (although not as moe as K-On!). Yet, it is still one of the company’s most enjoyable series, mostly because of its lovable characters and lighter take on love. The little details they put in characters really shine in this series, and there are some really heartwarming moments. Perfect if you’re looking for something to watch and relax.