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.|
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.
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.
1 episode in and we’re already on cuteness overload