First Impressions – Tamayura: More Aggressive

Be! Aggressive! Be, be aggressive!

Trying to explain the appeal of Tamayura is a bit like trying to explain to someone how Animal Crossing is so addictive. It’s not so much about the content, but the atmosphere. The first season wasn’t exactly a revolutionary story, but it had enough iyashikei power to sooth any raging beast. In hopes of getting those feel-good vibes again, I’m here to see what season 2 has in store.

Tamayura 001

The story recap isn’t exactly necessary given that not much has happened, but it’s nice to get a bit of a refresher on the characters. All that really happened in season 1 was that Fuu slowly became more serious about taking pictures, got help from her idol, and then encouraged her friends to do the same with their own hobbies. There’s some drama thrown in as Fuu tries to get over the death of her dad, but it’s never the kind of heavy drama that makes you overly anxious. This season is all about being “more aggressive.” In case you have the memory of a concussed goldfish, Fuu mentions it a dozen times throughout the episode so you won’t forget. She’s going to be aggressive and by God, you’re going to know about it!

To be fair, a lot of this repetition is just to set the tone and ease us back into the Tamayura frame of mind. Fuu has learned to take excellent photos, follow her dreams, and accept the death of her dad, but she’s still a bit airheaded. All that’s left is for her to become more proactive – not just about photography, but about the whole “human interaction” thing. It’s a noble goal, but you know at heart she’ll always be someone totally deserving of nicknames like Potte and Fuu-nyon. However, I do hope she makes some progress.

Tamayura 002Tamayura 004

All that “aggressive” talk wasn’t just talk, either. She decides to start up the Photography Club halfway through the episode, which initially worried me. I didn’t want this to become another anime set primarily in school where it’s the “cute girls in _____ club” formula. I let out a sigh of relief when Fuu told her mom about it and was gently praised for starting a club her father would be proud of. This isn’t just an after school club where cute girls flop around and eat sweets, but a meaningful club Fuu is trying desperately to form so she can grow as a person. There’s a lot of depth to that. That’s not to say there won’t be cake. If there’s anything I remember vividly about season 1 it’s how mouth-wateringly delicious all the desserts looked.

Season 2 looks like it’s promising to deliver on everything that made season 1 good. It’s still firmly focused on photos, friendship, and the death of Fuu’s dad. However, there’s still a lot more that can happen to Fuu as she enters her second year of school. It’s only episode 1, and I already felt myself melting a little inside from how sweet the ending of the episode was. I’m not usually a sucker for the warm and fuzzies, but Tamayura pulls it off so effortlessly.

Tamayura has just one turn-off that sometimes annoys me. Fuu’s friends teeter on the edge of grating almost constantly, and I’m always on edge for them to do something stupid and/or irritating. Having to deal with a whole OVA where one of the characters communicated exclusively through whistles gave me enough fill of that gimmick to last me the rest of my life. I don’t know what I’d do if she hadn’t learned to speak properly. There’s also the fact that everyone is on some sort of extreme end of the spectrum. If someone is shy, they are so shy they won’t talk to anyone. If they’re outgoing, they’re nothing less than an 11 on the loudness scale. There is no real “in between” so everyone feels more like a caricature than an actual person. There are some new characters on the horizon (Tomo-chan and the stalker girl with grey hair) so we’ll see if they’re any better. My only other gripe is that the animation seems a bit worse than I remember, although admittedly my own memory may be at fault here.

All in all, this really is just more of what season 1 was about and I’m completely okay with that.

Tamayura 008

1 episode in and we’re already on cuteness overload



A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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35 Responses to “First Impressions – Tamayura: More Aggressive”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Yet another anime where I’ve missed out on a previous season. Aah, what is this streak of bad luck I’ve been getting lately?

    By the way, it looks like you’re branching out on genres, OC. I’m as surprised now with you interested in something as slice of life-ish and cute as this as I was when you said you were into shows like Senran Kagura, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls and Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride.

    In all honesty, something like this rarely gets my attention but if it’s enough to snag the Queen Sadist of Metanorn, then it’s worth checking out even if it doesn’t look on par with the slice of life yet romance injected Ano Natsu de Matteru. And the talk of a Photography Club already makes me think of the recently completed Photo Kano.

    • joojoobees says:

      I think Tamayura is less like Photo Kano, and more like Hitohira (which is a good thing, because Hitohira was a pretty good show).

      • BlackBriar says:

        I’m not familiar with Hitohira so I can’t relate. I need a crash course of the series to better understand your opinion.

      • Highway says:

        Boy, I wouldn’t have linked Tamayura with Photo Kano at all. But I like both of them.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’ve branched out over the years, but probably not as much as you think. I blogged the original Tamayura OVA way back when Hato-kun still wrote for the site (it was a tag team post). I’ve always kept an open mind for ecchi shows as well…Highschool of the Dead was the first show I blogged alongside Shiki. However, I definitely do try and watch more shows each season even if I feel like it has next to zero appeal for me. The only thing I still avoid like the plague is straight-up romance and shoujo.

      I’m unsure if you’ll like Tamayura, but you could always start with the OVAs for a test run. They’re pretty short, so if you don’t like it you haven’t wasted that much of your time!

  2. skylion says:

    Thanks for the review OC, glad to see you.

    I remember when Hitotose originally ran. Since I do dig the slice of life shows, I checked it out w/o seeing the original OVA series. I am very glad I did. I recall a hard work week, and some rather personal matters that weighed on me mighty heavy. And it was nice to have a good iyashikei program come along, like a warm bath to soothe me.

    More Aggressive doesn’t have to change any of that; nothing is required for it to be different than what has come before. The story is simple, and yet the process is incredible.

    • Overcooled says:

      Thank you~ I too remember Tamayura consoling me on rotten days. It really is like taking a nice, warm bath.

  3. Highway says:

    This show is just so nice. Watching this first episode put me right back in the earlier show. And even though the show is so positive and supportive (or maybe because), I still found myself with my eyes damp near the end of the show. It’s just so obvious that everyone in the show (except maybe that little brat who likes Kou from the first season) really cares for everyone else.

    I never found Maon’s whistling to be too much of a problem, maybe Norie’s mania is the most grating thing, but other than that, the show’s just fun and lovely.

    • skylion says:

      I probably found Maon’s whistling somewhere between your reaction and OC’s, but much closer to yours.

      Awww, Kou’s little jealous friend? I’m sure she’s sweet in her own way. She’s just got to much tsun right now.

    • Overcooled says:

      It makes you cry tears of joy, which are the best kind. I feel the same. The way everyone is so supportive kind of motivates you to want to try harder too.

      Norie is rather annoying at times, but Maon’s whistling was just too much of an odd trait for me. She does it the right amount now though, so no more complaints there.

  4. Namika says:

    Be! Aggressive! Passive aggressive!

    I couldn’t resist 😀

    • BlackBriar says:

      Nice one! That’s a big contrast of aggressive. Though I’m not sure if that’s the kind Fuu’s aiming for. 😀

      • Namika says:

        It’s probably not. I don’t watch this anime, so I don’t really know ^^”

        • BlackBriar says:

          It’s my first time watching this series so I was just basing what I said on assumptions.

  5. Highway says:

    People (including me) have been making a joke about “More Aggressive” (or ‘moa agureshibu’) since it was announced, but hearing Fuu say it makes it seem perfect for the show. The relative nature of the phrase works, and thinking that Fuu would keep thinking to herself “I need to push more, Which choice should I make?” really sets up this series well.

    We’ll see how she does with it, but I am liking the naming more and more.

    • skylion says:

      I was hoping for either zombies, or for it to turn boxing anime, cause we don’t have boxing animes anymore.

      • Highway says:

        I don’t know if ‘we’ ever had boxing animes. Boxing’s like at the bottom of sports I’m interested in. 🙂

        • BlackBriar says:

          I think boxing is a very scarce sport in anime. There’s only a handful of them and it’s a safe bet they’re already at a certain age.

          Here are the names I found: Ashita no Joe, One Pound Gospel, Ring ni Kakero, Ganbare Genki, Nozomi Witches, Slow Step.

          • skylion says:

            I’ve seen a bit of Joe, and used to have many volumes of One-Pound Gospel. This was back when I used to read just about anything Rumiko Takahasi put out. Mermaid’s Kiss, Ranma 1/2, Takahasi Theatre, Maison Ikkoku….

      • BlackBriar says:

        Well, you might have to wait until Fall 2013 to get something close to that. Look for the name Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! It’s not boxing but female pro-wrestling. Does it come close to what you had in mind?

        • skylion says:

          BB, after a whole summer of three Mahou Shoujo programs and more SoLOLi evar! This one may be needed…

          • skylion says:

            Wow, Fall looks all kinds of impressive as well.

            • BlackBriar says:

              So far, 2013 has been more promising than 2012. And the third season of Phi Brain should air in Fall as well.

            • Overcooled says:


            • BlackBriar says:

              That got your attention. Yeah, did you forget? A third season was announced for 2013 and since we’re in Summer, that just leaves out Fall 2013 for it to air.

  6. joojoobees says:

    I hope they do more crafts and show festival preparations. I loved that about the first season. It was like visiting an exotic location, or watching a National Geographic special or something.

    • skylion says:

      Yeah, I enjoy that about the show as well. The Lantern Festival was a real treat for me. Oh, and the Okonomiyaki

      • Overcooled says:

        I love living vicariously through them. It all looks so lovely and fun. I just wish I knew of more restaurants that had okonomiyaki near where I live! I want to have it on the hot tables like they do….

        • Highway says:

          “more”? I can’t even find *one*. I’m lucky to have yakisoba and udon.

          • skylion says:

            We had a Benihana near where I lived, but they never did okonomiyaki until they changed names when the place went belly up. I like mine with tons of cabbage and bonito and more dried seaweed than humanly possible.

            • Overcooled says:

              I guess I should be glad that we have a handful of places that serve it instead of…zero.

              Mmmm bonito flakes and seaweed. The toppings for okonomiyaki are so damn good that sometimes I just make plain rice and cover it in all the sauces and stuff. It’s just that good.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Hmm… That actually makes this sound a little more appealing. Well, I’ll give it a few more chances before making a concrete decision to keep watching.

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