Tamako Market Review — B+

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Tamako lives in a shopping center in a family of Mochi makers. A talking bird comes to live with her family.

This is another KyoAni show about cute girls doing cute things. It’s the same formula as they used with Haruhi, Lucky Star, Clannad, K-On, Nichijou, Hyouka, and Chuunibyou (basically, everything they’ve ever made except Munto, which was crap). Some people might accuse them of lacking originality. But I don’t think anything could be further from the truth.

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Sure, superficially the shows are similar. Cute moe girls do stuff. But KyoAni uses this formula to tell a different story every time. Hyouka was a mystery show. Chuunibyou was about growing up. Nichijou was… Nichijou. K-On was about… well, cute girls doing cute things—but—-

Thematically, I think that Tamako Market is the most similar to Chuunibyou. Both explore ideas surrounding growing up and the refusal to do so. While Chuunibyou is about growing up and putting your childish hobbies behind you, Tamako Market looks at the idea of growing up and leaving your family and your home behind. The main idea being, it’s okay not to leave home. The main character in Tamako Market is not Tamako Market, it’s Tamako’s neighborhood. It reminds me a bit of a Japanese magical realism story, along the lines of the early chapters of A Hundred Years of Solitude or House of the Spirits. I’d be interested in seeing the story of Tamako’s family play out over multiple generations like those ones.

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Despite everything I just said, Tamako Market is mainly about cute girls doing cute things. Yet it does so well at this that I don’t mind. Kanna~~~~ please grow up and marry me~~~

  • Storytelling – B – Relaxed, humorous and gives off a magical nostalgic feeling.
  • Voice – A – So cute, colorful, with sassy talking birds.
  • Characters – A – Kanna: A++++
  • Attention Grab – B – Not the kind of show to get your blood boiling, but I maintained my interest throughout.
  • Production – A – Looking good as always with KyoAni.
  • Overall – B+

RecommendationsChuunibyou, Tsuritama

5 thoughts on “Tamako Market Review — B+

  1. Please don’t get me wrong but what’s so special about Kanna? It’s the girl which constantly talks about construction and tools, no? Perhaps I’m not refined enough to see her appeal but she’s last in my personal cuteness ranking for this show (Anko > Midori > Tamako > Shiori > Choi > Kanna).
    I’ve been sceptical about this series when it started but it somehow grew on me in an unobtrusive way. Agreed, it may not be an “A” show. The stories quite often were inconclusive or overly clichéed (e.g. Kanna thinking too hard about the school festival act in ep.10). The bird was a nice storytelling device but otherwise way too annoying. The other shopkeepers were your typical quirky stock characters, much like the students in Kuragehime.
    But I think the “B+” is well deserved, and I would rate it even somewhat higher than Chuunibyou. The characters were super cute. They were perhaps not as well-developed as in Hyouka but still had their own personalities. I loved how ever so happy happy Tamako finally left steam in ep. 11 when she was confronted w/ the marriage idea. Also, there were so many aspects which were just hinted w/o being resolved (e.g. Choi being the true princess candidate or Midori x Tamako).
    Anko and Tamako in ep. 11 was the best scene ever!

    1. Eh??!!! Kanna’s adorable! She’s so nerdy, she does whatever she wants and she couldn’t care less what anybody else thinks. I think that’s great. My ranking would be Kanna > Midori > Shiori > Anko > Choi > Tamako (and I like Tamako, and all the guys too actually, great cast all around). You do have a point about the shopkeepers being typical quirky stock characters though. Except Tamako’s dad, I think he falls between Kanna and Midori in my ranking.

      I’d rate this one higher than Chuunibyou too.

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