Tamako Market follows Kitashirakawa Tamako as she lives out her daily life in the Usagiyama Shopping District with the sudden intrusion of a talking bird named Dera, who brings about a flurry of unusual, interesting activities. An adorable story with lovable characters is truly what sums up this anime. This is a typical Kyoto Animation anime and I loved it with all my heart. (Well, I loved it with enough of my heart to give it four stars...)
Story: 15/20 To be honest, the plot was probably the weakest part of this anime and that's still saying something because it's pretty good. The plot that was introduced in the first episode (Dera, who came from a faraway island in the south, ends up in Japan as he searches for a bride for his young prince) was buried under several other plots throughout this anime until the final episode, where it resurfaced and was like "Hola, bitches~ You forgot about me." Of course, there were numerous reminders about the fact that that's the main plot every few episodes, but that still didn't stop me from forgetting about it. One thing I particularly love about the story is that it seems very light-hearted at a glance, but if one digs deep enough or simply looks a bit further into it, one will realize that it there are many underlying feelings. (Details in Character section.)
Animation: 9.5/10 Tamako Market's animation is exactly what I'd expect from KyoAni. It's smooth, bright, and has an extra touch of "kawaii-ness" (aka "moe")! It really suits the plot and characters of this anime. I won't forget to mention that it's close to being flawless! This animation is without a doubt one of the best of Winter 2013.
Sound: 8/10 Suitable openings and endings are a must for me and Tamako Market met both of those requirements. The opening drew me in with the vivid-coloring and bright, peppy emotion within the voice. It's perfect for an anime like Tamako Market! As for the ending, I believe it represents the more mellow, melancholy aspects of the story and certain characters' emotions. They're both very wonderful. The voice-actors did a fantastic job! (I can't believe Daisuke Ono voiced Kaoru. It shattered my image of him being a 100% ikemen, but my respect for him has grown tremendously.)
Characters: 9.5/10 I strongly feel that the characters are what make this anime as great as it is. The plot is basically built on layers and layers of characters' bonds with each other. KyoAni excels at creating character bonds, and this time they really went all out and magnified the bond of the Usagiyama Shopping District as a whole. Every character contributes something to the district and when one person suffered, everyone suffered in some kind of way. That was truly amazing and it was something I've never seen accomplished so well before. Every character has unique, memorable traits and quirks that make me it quite easy for me to love all of them. (I can easily name an odd trait or two about each character on the spot, but that'd take up too much room. It's rare for me to remember the name of every single character in an anime, but it happened with this one!) I could go on and on for days about the characters of this anime, but I'm sure you guys wouldn't like that. I'll just settle with saying that the characters are easy to relate to, fairly realistic, and will make you feel some kind of an emotional attachment, one way or another.
Overall: 8.2/10 This may truly be my favorite anime of Winter 2013 because it's so cute, light-hearted yet emotionally stirring, and fun to watch. I didn't have a moment of tedium in the 12 episodes of Tamako Market! If you're looking for a sweet, slice-of-life anime, you may want to look into adding this to your to-watch list. Looking for sci-fi/action? It'd probably be best for you to stay away because you're definitely looking in the wrong place!
This anime actually turned out better than I expected it to be. Granted, it does lack a focused story and a succinct plot which could have it score better in the story department. But a light hearted and comedic anime such as this has its own merits as well.
The anime starts out slow and almost failed to grab my attention to continue past the second or third episode. But it does pay off and the show gets more and more interesting after that and you can really see how all the characters in the anime have their own unque personality and something fresh to add to the cast. In the beginning, I was skeptical about one of the main characters being a talking bird, but it does grow on the viewers after awhile.
It could have improved if the ending was better as it felt a little too abrupt. Definitely recommended for viewers who just want a simple anime to pass the time, its funny and engaging in its own way.
Final Verdict 2 star Not Really "that good": Tamako Market has been one of the latest moe/slice of life Kyoto has marketed and dished out after the famous K-On!. Despite my first impressions I tried to look past all the fluffy moe-fanservice and looked at it as a new idea once the curtains opened, and for what I got it was just ok. Tamako Market is a very cute fluffy anime + a hilarious talking bird. If K-On! had no music, not completely school based, with a talking bird it would probably turn out something like this. I am not saying that is a bad thing, because the show does go in directions not commonly taken such as adding a magical element in this case a talking bird to the mix. (plus K-On! was a decent anime in it's own right) Overall some people who are a big fan of moe and lack of intense story will enjoy this one way or another. With the upcoming focused romance movie in April, I can only hope it will save the series as it's own entity of what this could have been.
Animation: The easter egg/pastel colors and flawless animation style also add a nice touch to the overall show. Obliviously it gets a star here.
Characters: Now as for characters: Tamako is nothing too special in my opinion a cute hardworking slightly ditsy girl, nothing that we haven't seen before *ahem* Yui *ahem*. The boy/love (Mochizo?) interest is much appreciated since we did not see any in K-On!, but what makes this show is the bird, Dela MochiYucky to be exact. (I mean he is even in the title in the title sequence) Without him the show would be like K-On! without nothing much to look forward to and be too slow. He helps add some milk to the coffee (no pun intended ;). Midori, (Tamako's friend) is a bit annoying mainly because her character does not really go anywhere or at least Kyoto decides not to tell us where she stands. I found myself confused with her because she was hard to figure out. Does she like Tamako in a romantic sense? Some scenes would suggest yes to this, but in a way I think she realizes she can't win and ends up being a little creepily overprotective of her to vent all that energy. Almost everyone gets an episode dedicated to them if I can remember it was Tamako, Chio, Shiori, Tamako's sister, Tamako's Dad, and Mochizo and Midori. Overall though Tamako is not as likable as she could be and Dela is the only one holding it up so no star for this one.
Music: The music was very upbeat and entertaining. The little classic Kyoto band sequence is hear in episode 9 and is a cute love song. (Darn you Kyoto, I can't bring myself to hate it.) The opening is what you would expect from Disney if it could swallow sugar plum pie and Blossom from the powerpuff girls (everything nice). Surprisingly I found that even though the ending theme has better animation, I found myself more willing to listen to the opening. Even so I think it did what it needed to do so it gets a star.
Story: What this suffered from I'm afraid is a little lack of focus. One minute I thought it was gonna be only about Tamako and her day to day interactions, then it became a person in the market back-story, then a...bride ceremony and then back to moe fluffy goodness. The ending felt forced and would have held up better if the "story" did not go all over the place and actually got us to care for these characters more. No star for this one.
With the main protagonist being a cute and energetic high school girl you can expect most of the things you'll see in the anime. For example, her friends, her school, her club activities, but most of all her families mochi shop.
Of course something strange happens in the beginning, that triggers the main storyline. But most of all Tamako drags us with her over the market and in her life. We get to see her interactions with her friends and family who all have very individual personalities. Most of all we get to see how they all care for one another and how everyone interacts. It truly is a cute, slice of life anime, maybe a tad to sweet for some, but certainly worth watching.
The director for this series is Naoko Yamada, that means the animation looks a lot like Hyouka, K-On! and Kyoukai no Kanata. This fits the cute and energetic fibe the characters have, making you love them even more. It also means that the attention for even the smallest movements is present. A really good job on the animation, but nothing greatly impressive. Still a great choice for Tamako Market.
Beginning with the opening and ending songs, these songs will lift you up and make you feel good about yourself, certainly fitting the personality of the main characters. The souds thoughout the episodes are mostly really simple songs, that fit the situation. Except for in the coffeeshop, where the guy plays records and these always seem to help out the situation. Either in a emotional one or just for the comic relief. The sounds and music are befitting for Tamako market.
Sweet and caring, but still individuals with their own problems, businesses and love crushes. Everyone fits in, making conflict somehow something of another world. While the energetic characters really help to draw you in the story, they maybe a tad to sweet for some people, but that just goes hand in hand with the whole series. They fo fit perfectly for the story and they are pleasent to watch.
Throughout the anime, we see things about the characters and find out about their lives. No one is just there for appearence, everyone has a story.
Tamako Market is a light, easy-to-watch series. With sweet and caring characters, if you like this kind of thing or just really want to watch an anime and not think to much this is certainly something you would enjoy.
It's also one of those anime that is you start watching, you'll watch it straight through.
This review contains no spoilers.
Cute. It was relaxed, charming, often funny, and occasionally emotional. They kept everything light and enjoyable. Even when the series touched on heavier topics, it was done in a way that brought no negativity upon the viewer, but was endearing instead. The concept was nothing special, but it had enough uniqueness and was executed in a way that made it interesting and fun to watch.
Vibe: Animation + Sound [7/10]
Simple and suitable for the show. The animation was cute and colorful. They managed to incorporate the music as a part of the storyline itself, which was cool. A lot of the time the characters were listening to or knew of the songs being played, which had an interesting variety. The opening was a good representative for the fun, energetic series while the ending was more mature and artistic, and yet still perfect for the charm of the show.
The characters were fun to watch. Even though most didn’t have any back-story, it was easy to feel like you knew their personalities well. Tamako, the main character, is just lovely. She’s so simple and yet it was easy to fall in love with her. I feel that there was some room for a bit more character expansion, mostly for Tamako’s friends, but the way they cleverly and subtly provided some history on Tamako and her family was informative, yet not overbearing or distracting. I was hoping for a bit more regarding certain relationships between characters, and there was one that I didn’t feel very clear about.
If you can sit back, take a breath, and appreciate a feel-good series that makes you smile, Tamako Market is a great choice. After finishing an episode or two, I always felt more positive, friendly, and like I wanted to go give someone a hug and tell them nice things.