First Impressions – Tamako Market

Kyoto Animation’s first original anime about a fabulous talking bird…er, I mean about a mochi shopkeeper’s daughter~

With the end of Hyouka and Chu2koi where are fans of KyoAni going to get their next moe slice of life fix? Fear not! Because you can look forward to Tamako Market, which brings back the team that worked together on the very popular K-ON! So can Tamako Market fill our hearts with that familiar moe moe sickness? Find out with our epic first impressions post!
Kyoto Animation is one of those few studios that has such clout that any work by them is a big deal. Tamako Market is extra special, since this studio almost exclusively produces adaptations. I have great respect for the studio, even if it has squandered its immense talent with melodramatic tearjerkers or cute girls eating cute cakes, but last year’s Hyouka showed that they were still capable of magic. So as usual, I came into this show as an optimistic skeptic.
I have issues with mochi. It looks like a magical type of food brought straight out a fairy tale, yet I can’t bring myself to like the taste. Time and time again, I will buy mochi-related items on grocery store runs only to realize that this adorable treat just isn’t to my tastes. I want to like it, I really do! But I can’t. Tamako Market is a good show, but I can’t shake the sudden cravings for mochi that will inevitably end in defeat. u_u
Gomen for the late post! However, here we are with our thoughts on Kyoto Animation’s first non-adaption anime, Tamako Market! To be honest, this is the only Winter anime (other than AKB0048′s second season) that actually caught my interest before the start of the season, so I have some high hopes for this adorable series.~

Foshizzel// Within the first few minutes just like their previous series KyoAni treats us to some amazing visuals, but hey everyone knows that fact already. I really loved the short interaction at the start between Tamako and her two friends from school Kanna and Midori showing us how carefree Tamako is, even though that type of happy-go-lucky character is really nothing new to most of us. While it is nice to see a main lead character with such nice friends I kept getting Nichijou vibes from the various town folk that lived near Tamako because most of them seem crazy in a good way, like Kaoru Hanase which I started calling that “moe man” at least I think it’s a dude? I mean that character is voiced by the amazing Daisuke Ono after all. Along with that character that stood out we have Mochizou who instantly appears to have a crush on Tamako? Did anyone else think that Anko was more of an Azunyan clone or is she more like Mio in terms of features? I think it’s a hybrid creature called a Mio-nyan!

Tomako Funn (3)

So who was the most awesome character so far from the first episode for me? That would easily be that random yet hilarious talking bird named Dera Mochimazzi! I swear the moment he started to speak I just couldn’t stop watching my screen. Besides having the ability being to speak I guess he is also a perverted animal? Like that whole scene where he tried to peek on Anko and Tamako in the bath, I guess even animals have an eye for certain things which made me laugh even more. So who was your favorite side character? I am curious to see how Tamako Market explores possible “romance” between Tamako and Mochizou; however at the same time I would prefer if they left that part alone because the romance portion of Chu2koi kind of made things dull for me but it did not prevent me from watching! I just was not all THAT interested in it.

What a fantastic first episode! I mean visuals were good, but how about the story? What are they setting us up for? Personally I like the whole cute girls doing cute formula a lot, but since there is at least one male running around who has an interest in Tamako I guess they will probably throw in some random romance to spice things up? Course who knows maybe it will take Mochizou six or seven episodes to work up the courage to ask her out even though to me romance and KyoAni just does not work for me. Besides hints of that possibility, I guess the same could be said about one of Tamako’s friends? Her bio does say she has an interest in Tamako which equals yuri shipping?! Not that I really care because I am here for the moe and oddball characters like Dera. Speaking of that hilarious talking bird what the hell was with the ending when his eyes started to glow?! I can only guess that is his way of saying “OH CRAP I FORGOT MY MAIN MISSION” So what did you like about this first episode?

Tamako01 - 2

Ivlln// Tamako Market was not at all what I was expecting, but somehow it also felt exactly what I should have expected. That is to say, I had no idea that this would be a slapstick magic realism comedy, but that actually seems like exactly what Kyoto Animation was building toward with their works in the past couple of years. What a welcome surprise this was! I’m not very familiar with magic realism, so I’m excited to see what this show will do with it, as it’s a very powerful tool, in very capable hands in this case. The episode wasn’t exactly filled with them like, say, Nichijou (nor were the bits as energetic or audacious), but the slapstick was overall very amusing, with the Excalibur-like talking bird Mochimazzi stealing the spotlight from his first appearance. Thanks to their technical excellence, these guys really excel at physical comedy.

The story hasn’t left an impression on me yet, but it wins major points from me for not going the everyday-life route. How refreshing was it to see time jump all the way to New Year’s Eve upon Mochimazzi’s comment about taking leave by then? And with next episode invoking Valentine’s Day, it looks like we’re set to jump forward another 6 weeks. Speeding along the timeline like that isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it makes the point that this is a show where things happen (I don’t expect Kyoto Animation to produce anything remotely like Mysterious Girlfriend X). Already we saw a bunch of stuff set up this episode, such as Tamako’s search for her dead mother’s song, or everyone forgetting to give Tamako her birthday present each year (one of those magic realism elements?). Not to mention Mochimazzi’s mission and those 2 kids projected from his eyes at the end (is he a robot? An alien? Or just unexplained?).

Nothing about the show has wowed me yet, but it was very pleasing to watch. The visuals aren’t jaw dropping like Hyouka‘s, but it still has that KyoAni shine and attention to detail. I’m not holding my breath for this to be another Haruhi or Hyouka, but it’s nice to see KyoAni take on something more ambitious than their mundane moneymakers. Consider me still skeptically optimistic.

Tamako01 - 1

Overcooled// If I was in charge of directing Tamako Market, I’d make it all about the bird. I wasn’t expecting him at all, but it didn’t take long for him to swoop in and steal the show. You see, Mochimazui is the only character in the show who acts differently from the ever-smiling cast of adorable moeblobs. He isn’t there to talk about friendship or the joys of running a store, but to spit condescending insults at anyone within earshot from a perch upon Tamako’s head. He’s a narcissistic jerk who freeloads off Tamako and expects to do nothing in return. It’s just so wonderful to have someone like Mochimazui being so rude in a world of impossibly nice people. I love him! I wouldn’t mind the whole story focusing on where he came from and how those birds learned to speak. Is he even a bird? Is he an alien? A robot? Mochimazui is a mystery. A very, very sassy mystery.

However, the story doesn’t focus on “the adventures of Tamako and Mochimazui.” I can’t even really say what the focal point is, because there doesn’t seem to be one. Episode 1 introduces a whole slew of ideas at once, making it a little confusing which one will be the most important one. Aside from Mochimazui, we also have Tamako tending the mochi store, looking for a song her mom used to sing for her (before she died), a possible love interest, and a group of friends at school she does baton twirling with. I’m sure mochi is meant to be the main plot, but it certainly didn’t seem that way. I hope all these little subplots become balanced and form one, focused story that doesn’t meander.

I think Tamako Market is one of those shows that is remarkably “okay.” My enjoyment almost solely stemmed from watching Mochimazui’s antics. Everything else was just background noise that I quietly sat through without really caring about. In that way, it’s a very forgettable show considering that all I can recall are random lines spouted from Mochimazui’s beak. Although it’s not the most impressionable, it is rather fun to watch when you’re just relaxing at home. It’s painfully cute, so you won’t go without your weekly fix of moe this season if you watch Tamako Market.

Tomako Funn (4)

Hoshi// Ah, I already adore this show and it’s only been the first episode! I’m such a sucker for these cute characters with their moe voices and the fabulous bird Dera that has captured the attention of almost all its viewers. Not to mention I’m in love with the romantic angle of the story, where the rival shop owner’s son, Mocihzou, has a thing for Tamako. It’s so old school and adorable! (Mochizou overall is a cutie, really.) Anyway, as everyone has previously said, the plot hasn’t really centered on anything so far, with only a few tugs at some plot strings that will be hopefully revealed in full later on in the show. With all these bases laid out, I feel that Tamako Market’s story has the potential to be as interesting as its oddball store keeper characters. I imagine everything lining up in layers and then being smashed together to create this swirled, colorful plot for us; if done right, of course. Slice-of-life shows are usually difficult to maintain interest, but Kyoto Animation seems like they’re pulling out all they can to add pizazz to this series. What I love most about Tamako Market is that it’s a quirky, seemingly simple slice-of-life show. It’s full of fun; even the time-skipping, while somewhat annoying for me, fits the show as it creates this fun, chaotic atmosphere. Plus, IT’S JUST SO CUTE. What am I supposed to do? Ignore it?~

Preview:

Tamako01 - P

It seems Tamako will be showing Dera more of the shop, simultaneously giving us a sneak peek into her daily life aside from the frantic days we were shown. Until next week then~!!

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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57 Responses to “First Impressions – Tamako Market”

  1. Highway says:

    I liked the show a lot overall, and it’s a lot of fun, even if the rest of this post sounds like a lot of complaining.

    For this show, I have really one complaint and one fear. The complaint was that it felt… well, not really rushed, but like it was going somewhere, and it had to get there, so let’s get through this part here, and get to the next part. There were so many interesting setups that got blown through with absolutely no expansion. Tamako’s birthday, Mochizou’s crush, making mochi, the baton twirling, the market community… it felt like they thought they had to get everything in this episode. The only thing that felt like it got anything close to enough time was Dera.

    And that leads to my fear. I fear that the show will get wacky supporting character syndrome. Supporting characters are usually caricaturish, cartoonish and outlandish figures that are over the top, because they have limited screen time, and mainly serve as plot drivers. But because they’re so outlandish, people get attached to them, and clamor for more of them. So they get both Flanderized and given more screen time, in response to demand.

    And to me, Dera is a perfect candidate for this. The problem is that when it happens, that character tends to suck up all the oxygen in the room, and leaves very little for the rest of the cast to do. And the show’s already thinking that it’s got too much stuff to do in the time it thinks it has to do it. The other storylines seem more interesting to me than a constant procession of Dera’s antics. So I hope that they calm him down with respect to how much attention he gets.

    • Yukarin_YY says:

      In danger of changing name to Dera Market:::::::
      Sassy, obnoxious, and at the end of the episode, Fat. that just rounds up the loop.

      Dera comes off quite mysteriously, some random talking tropical bird that projects holograms. Also, how does he even ingest mochi? Pretty sure that’s not normal for birds, and if he’s a robobird, how did he get fat by eating °A°

      • d-LaN says:

        Anime. Let’s just leave it at tht.

        Lol Dera Market. I’m fine with Tamako but Dera is stealing the spotlight XD

        • BlackBriar says:

          It’s not often you see a side character hogging all the spotlight over the lead. Moreover, he’s a bird of all things!!

  2. HannoX says:

    That bird! Dera raises this from just another moe, slice-of-life show. He’s hilarious and so far is the best reason for watching Tamako Market. He’s rude, condensending, arrogant and crazy, a great counterpoint to moeness of Tamako and the rest of the cast. But Highway is right that there is a danger in Dera taking over the show. The main focus should be on Tamako and her interactions with the other people in the market and how all of them (especially Tamako) deal with this insane bird.

    There’s also a lot of setups in this first episode, ones that hopefully will pay off later. For example, we see why everyone forgot to give Tamako her presents this year, but why have they forgotten in previous years? And why don’t they just give them to her the next day? Later on in the show is she going to get dozens of presents all at once?

    Whatever future episodes hold, so far I’m thoroughly hooked on Tamako Market. If only they can keep it up…

    • lvlln says:

      Given the title, surely the show will largely, if not mainly, be about Tamako and her friends in her shopping district, but I hope that bird remains the main character. He’s just too great of a personality, and there’s plenty in his story that’s worth exploring.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    They say three is the charm and Kyoto Animation has another possible winner in their hands. I was on the fence about watching this but did anyway because I was checking out other shows and decided to give this a shot just to be fair. The pairing between Tamako and Dera easily stole the show. I may stay on this for Tamako’s moe charm and Dera’s cluelessness and arrogance. What might be a continuing source of comedy is Tamako’s father, played by a well chosen Keiji Fujiwara, trying to cope with Dera’s last name.

  4. d-LaN says:

    Lol at scene stealing bird! Dera practically hijack the show the moment he appears XD

    PS Just curious, why does Mazui uses Mochiyucky instead of Mochimazzi? Also tht one MANRY florist ;)

    • Yukarin_YY says:

      Probably so that people who don’t know much Japanese can get the joke
      mochiMazui – mazui = bad

      YES dat florist
      omg wtf Hewajima Shizuo’s Seiyuu

      • d-LaN says:

        Hewajima Shizuo…. WTFood indeed.

        PS: Is tht Mayaka and Chitanda I saw?

  5. Yukarin_YY says:

    DERA IS TOTALLY A MECHABIRDIE.
    which I wasn’t suspecting

    I’m waiting for that prince to come out and explain this
    Also, that florist! AHAHAHA when I heard that the Seiyuu of Sato from Working!! was voicing the florist, I laughed, but now that I actually watched the episode, I’m doubting her (?) gender

    • lvlln says:

      The inclusion of the male cross dresser is certainly an unusual touch. I wonder if the show will do anything specific for him or her. Simply having a character like that, as just another normal member of the cast, would be an unusual but very welcome move for an anime.

      • Highway says:

        I think it would great if they just play it straight. I’m going to guess that they can’t resist at least one or two gags about it throughout the series, but having it be just “Kaoru The Flower Princess is just another of our friends and neighbors” is nice to see.

  6. PrimeHector says:

    want to eat mochi now..

    • BlackBriar says:

      Can anyone give an idea of how mochi would taste? It’s sparked some curiosity.

      • Yukarin_YY says:

        I guess it’d be most similar to a marshmellow. but much more stretchy and soft, not a sugary but sweet I guess

        • BlackBriar says:

          I’ve seen a few times in anime, which seems to be a popular food and it looks like fried dough that you can add with almost any toppings.

          • Yukarin_YY says:

            I’m not too sure on the process of making mochi myself, but pretty sure it’s not fried (;=v=)

            idk check Wikipedia lol he knows everything
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mochi

          • Overcooled says:

            Yeah, it’s like a marshmallow or even a softer kind of chewing gum. The most remarkable thing about mochi is the texture, because the taste is actually bland and only slightly sweet. I don’t really like it very much, but it’s worth trying.

            Oh, but there is mochi ice cream which is ice cream coated in mochi and that is actually pretty good since there’s only a small amount of mochi in it. :3

            • skylion says:

              I have enjoyed it as a snack. It is exactly as Overcooled says.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Then I’ve got to try it one day. It’s sounds interesting given the multiple opinions.

            • skylion says:

              Plain mochi will not take you very far. Too get a good feel, just imagine eating flavourless taffy. You get the texture, and a slight hint of sweet, but that really is it. If you want a more traditional snack, green tea mochi, and azuki bean mochi is perhaps the best. Unless you enjoy very bold tastes, avoid the mugwort mochi that Tamako mentions at the beginning of the episode. That’s some strong stuff.

  7. KLACMAN says:

    give don’t yet should i watch when 1st saw trailer seem bit don’t know.

    til bird appear did they pull a rio http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_%28film%29 on anime watching?

  8. Amutofan123 says:

    Aww man, I like this show. I like it a lot. In fact, it’s the only show that I’m watching this season other than stuff that is carrying over from last season (I already dropped everything else I was planning on watching and will probably drop Amnesia). Shows like these are good every once in a while. Light, comedic, silly, and super cute! It has a nice, large cast of characters. AND THAT. FUCKING. BIRD. He’s great! So yeah, this show is fun so far and hopefully it stays that way.

  9. akagami says:

    Guess I’m one of the few that doesn’t like this. First pic in blog, from left to right – gyaru (that color looks too fake)? those balls in the hair(fffffff)? yui?

    Character designs look plagerized from all the different series KyoAni has done in the past.

    I still might have given it a couple more episodes, but that talking bird just killed it for me. For some reason I just don’t like that bird. Can’t say why, other than the bird seems out of context in a moe show? (shrug). Though it seems everyone else and their mother loves the Dera bird.

    What is mochi and what’s so good about it anyways? On wiki it looks just like some mushed rice molded into some funny shapes.

    • Yukarin_YY says:

      plain mochi is powdered rice cakes
      squishy, soft, stretchy, yummy =w=
      If you want to try some, go to some Japanese store, if there are any. Don’t eat that stupid jelly mochi they sell at most American stores *facedesk not even close to mochi. p

      • akagami says:

        Mm, I don’t live anywhere near anything oriental, and I live in Canada. I went to a ramen place recently and thought it was pretty good, but my friends said Vancouver was way better, and that the real deal in Japan was 100x better than anything in Canada.

        Mm, sounds like gummy bears but with rice. =P

        • Overcooled says:

          Well, it depends where you are in Canada, but I go to Japanese/Chinese grocery stores for buying things like mochi or cooking ingredients for Japanese food. I guess you don’t have one in your area D:

          Unfortunately, a lot of restaurants here aren’t as good as the real deal in Japan. The katsudon in Japan is HEAVENLY (I had it like every day when I went there) but here it’s just tasty. At least it’s not BAD lol.

          • Highway says:

            I’ve been trying to branch out, there’s one sushi restaurant that sells other food, and I’m not a huge sushi fan, so I’ve been trying other stuff. I like the yakisoba so far, udon was not as inspiring (and I’m getting much better with chopsticks ;) ).

            Bonus: when I went to pick up food on Sunday, I thought “I recognize this song…” that they were playing. Got home and I was right!. I haven’t seen Evangelion in years, tho, I think someone linked the song to me recently, and that’s how I recognized it.

            • skylion says:

              Try the most basic sushi the place offers. Strike up a conversation with the chef if need be. I’ve found that many sushi chefs do love to talk about it; and a staff is always willing to get you interested. I started on simple silverfin tuna, and eventually worked my way up to eel and octopus…..YUM such a great texture and flavour.

              I’ve made yakisoba, and I’ve actually made it to where it is even edible…..What was it about udon that didn’t get you?

            • Yukarin_YY says:

              I hope you learn too hold correctly :>
              most people (including most asian americans) hold it wrong, I did too, for a large portion of my life. I can’t really explain well, but you know, that’s what Google is for lol

              http://tinyurl.com/a5j4wtg

              It was pretty uncomfortable holding it aat first, but if you do it enough it gets into a habit :)
              A great way of testing if you’re holding it right:

              Get a glass of water with ice cubes in it. Now grab those ice cubes with chopsticks. lol YES. I’m serious. It might be better to wait until they are a bit melted (maybe rectangularish) and try grabbing them. You won’t be able to if you’re holding it incorrectly (or unless your chopsticks defy physics/you’re cheating ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)) If you are holding it correctly, you should be a able to do it successfully. The reason being is that, once held correctly, your chopsticks make an angle pointing towards you like this < therefore, the ice stays in place. If you're holding incorrectly it usually looks like a =

          • Highway says:

            Spammy ate another comment. Maybe he thought it was mochi, or the yakisoba I mentioned.

          • akagami says:

            I’ve tried sushi, but like Highway, I just can’t like it… the raw texture has me going (@_@;)

            I did try Okonomiyaki though. That smell really sticks to your clothes! I smelt like fried oil the rest of the day.

    • Tofu says:

      Character designs look plagiarized? What the hell?

      It’s by the same character designer (Horiguchi Yukiko) so of course the characters look similar to the shows KyoAni has done in the past. Horiguchi has worked with a lot of KyoAni’s projects.

      You’re reasoning for not liking the rest is explainable as it’s your own personal taste but seriously… why hate on the character designs for the sake of hating?

      • akagami says:

        I see. Figured since this was an original work while the rest (mostly) weren’t… my bad.

        Character designs mean a lot to me… If I find them negative to my viewing pleasure, then that means the plot or characters have to be that much better to have the same level of viewing pleasure as something that was average all around. Personal preference, just like people dislike certain types of music because they can’t stand them. (shrug).

        • lvlln says:

          KyoAni has been criticized for this, and justifiably so, but their characters tend to have some major sameface going on. Especially since K-On, the moe girls have been very hard to tell apart. Particularly egregiously in Haruhi S2′s characters looking more like from K-On than from the same series’s 1st season.

          • skylion says:

            I honestly don’t know what they are talking about. I could identify any individual KyoAni character in a collection of them all.

            So, the Chitanda/Mio “Let’s see who can be the most shy” OVA is a go, right?

      • akagami says:

        What can I say, I’m superficial ヽ(´ー`)┌

  10. lvlln says:

    One thing I couldn’t fit in the post: the entire setup seems vaguely reminiscent of where Mikuru was living in the very 1st episode of Haruhi. A friendly shopping district, with a haughty talking animal.

    • Highway says:

      I’m guessing that’s the first episode as aired, not as ordered later?

      • lvlln says:

        Yes, also known as Asahina Mikuru’s Adventure Episode 00. Chronologically it takes place right in episode 12 – Live Alive – but every ordering of the series has put it at the top. And for good reason: it’s a near complete introduction to the series’s characters.

    • skylion says:

      Shimasen is haughty? I always thought of him as practical….

  11. skylion says:

    Wow, this is one heck of a tag team. I was spoiling for you guys to cover it. Thank you to everyone for doing such a great job.

    OK. I’m sold. Which is not a hard thing to do. This sort of show is right in my backyard of taste, so to speak. I think everyone knows that I love the slice-of-life programs, that I am a screaming K-ON fanboy, and after the awesome that was Hyouka, and the sheer love that was Chuunibyou, KyoAni is on a roll.

    I see some criticism against the character design here and there on the blogsphere. As Lvlln says above, they kinda deserve it. But, for me, I find it very comforting. I can kinda imagine K-ON, Chu2Koi, Hyouka, and now Tamako Market all sharing the same universe, as it were. And since I will never quite accept the fact that K-ON is over, the design is warm and welcome. Just what I need in a SOL+ series.

    Plus? You guys hit the magical realism button. At one point it was called contemporary fantasy, and in the world of books, it was a place I loved to visit…and still do. The works of Charles deLint, Emma Bull, Will Sheterly, and the Borderlands series of short stories and novels are some of my most loved things; worked with loving care by editor Ellen Daltrow. Just take the real world, and spin it. It happens right at that moment when the wardrobe is still the wardrobe, but it could, should, and just might be a door to another world.

    A world filled with a cypher shaped like a talking bird. Yes, Highway, he does rather suck all the oxygen out of the room. But, rooms are rarely air-tight, and you can see the rest of the supporting cast get a breath or two in while Dera takes a short break.

    What can I say. I am in love with the show.

    The OP looks rather standard for anime…it’s the go-go, ra-ra, hey we gots us an anime happening here folks we all come to expect, but miss if handled poorly. I do love the little bit Tamako has with her sister, Anko. It gave me a little giggle. But that ED is so infectious. I found myself humming it for the past week, and since I just watched episode two, it doesn’t look like that hum is going anywhere anytime soon.

    Yeah, that was me gushing. If we see Yui, or Mio, or Ricchan, or Tsmugi, or (oh my goodness!) Azu-cat jumping out from this production, I could die of MOE. I would be quite happy to….

    • Tofu says:

      Another fellow KyoAni/K-0n fanboy! x3 You’ll be happy to hear that Hikasa Yoko will also be voicing one of the supporting characters in Tamako Market!!! <3 <3 <3

      SO GOOD! x3

      • skylion says:

        Cool. Prolly no a singing role….

        • Tofu says:

          unfortunately no singing role but you can really hear her distinct voice when she spoke out at the bunny meeting in episode 2 :3 I don’t mind if she’s an old lady, she’s still an awesome seiyuu!!

  12. PrimeHector says:

    tamako looks like eru in the ending.

    • Yukarin_YY says:

      ikr I was thinking the exact same thing XD skylion’s avatar is a perfect example :> wouldn’t really be able to tell if not for that cute mole on her neck

      • skylion says:

        KyoAni knows how to butter my bread. Last season it was Rikka Takanashi, before it was Mayaka Ibara, seasons ago it was Azunyan.

        Moe is Good.

  13. skylion says:

    Mawaru Mawaru Record-o

    I really dig that song…

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