tamako market 1


I was just thinking the other day how the traditional shoujo market is dead. Dead as Palm, Handspring, Webvan, Pointcast, Spiral Frog, Flooz, and Nortel combined. Modern shows either lean josei like Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Hataraki Man or they’re based on reverse harem otome games or they’re yaoi– not exactly a fitting genre for a traditional middle school girl. If the last great traditional shoujo anime is Cardcaptor Sakura, then we have a problem. So, of course, Kyoto Animation’s newest project features cute (but not sexual… I mean, not even a hint of fanservice in the bath scene) heroines doing cute things, with a wise-talking animal mascot, older men who are semi-okay role models, a girl who sounds like a dude, and a boy who has a crush on the main heroine but can’t really express it. What is this?! If Tamako can transform into Moon Mochi Princess, then this show is definitely shoujo. Yes, in 2013, we have gone so full circle that the moe genre has turned into what shoujo was circa 2000. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see where this show is going.

(Or as Gollum would say, “The Kyotoses… they are tricksies!”)

Most of the staff comes from K-On!, which is weird in that how many almost all women staff can you think of in anime? Maybe this is one of the factors as to why Tamako Market feels shoujo of yesteryear. Reiko Yoshida, who has been responsible for scripting and composing K-On!, Planet of the Beast King, Kenshin OVAs, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Maria-sama, King of Bandits, Jing, and quite a few more including Aria and Peach Girl. That is a mighty fine resume across quite a few genres. The director, Naoko Yamada, is less experienced with only K-On! under her belt, and, as we know, K-On! became a juggernaut. There was no directory controversy a la Raki Suta. Yukiko Horiguchi is the character designer, and she has been responsible for Kyoto’s character designs for a long time, hence the “Kyoto look.” (She did not do Nichijou or Chu2, which why they look a bit different.)

(I think Kyoto is operating on two teams now. This K-On! team did K-On! and Hyouka while the Tatsuya Ishihara/Jukki Hanada mainly worked on Nichijou/Chu2 while before these shows, Kyoto basically only had 1 team. This arrangement could explain why there hasn’t been a gap in Kyoto shows for the past year and a half… they are growing up.)

By far, my favorite character of the new season. He even has a kickass name: Dera Mochimazui. He’s everything a sarcastic, wise-talking, ungrateful, selfish, glutton of an animal familiar should be. (If only Cerebus stayed fat after gorging on snacks instead of becoming skinny five minutes later… another discussion for another time…) I now want Kyoto to make a variety show featuring Dera, Sakamoto-san, and the cat from Haruhi… of course, hosted by Bonta-kun. Like you shouldn’t watch this.

Tamako is adorable. She is well-descended from a strong line of adorable heroines… if there is anything that is Kyoto’s character calling card, it’s that they do not screw up adorable heroines. Ayu-chan, Nagisa, Yui, Nano, Chitanda, Rikka… and, dear gosh, Tamako might even make the upper half of that list. That is the dream team of adorable heroines. My only complaint is that the mochi hair bands are a bit too predictable and a bit too literal for her role. It’s like if Yui wore a music note hair clip all the time… just a bit too much.

(Though I can kinda see why they did it as without the hair clip, she does look a lot like Yui and Mio’s lovechild, a.k.a. Chitanda.)

The opening, Dramatic Market Ride, reminds me of classic pre-Mononoke Ghibli. It’s cute, it’s playful, it’s colorful, it’s whimsical, and it’s nostalgic. It’s almost like Kyoto decided they wanted to make an anime like how anime used to be made. They are the spiritual successor to Ghibli. (Sorry Goro, but you don’t count.)

Watching this episode did make me hungry for mochi and Japanese sweets. This season, so far, we have a show about a daughter of a mochi shop and a show about the daughter of a chocolate shop. I’m am almost 100% sure that this is just propaganda devised by the elves from Humanity Has Declined to get us to subconsciously produce more treats and snacks for them.

(Moyashimon‘s Professor Itsuki voices the grandfather. I kept expecting him to devise natto or surströmming flavored mochi.)

Baton club seems so archaic and nostalgic too. It’s definitely a throwback… baton club seems like something that would have been popular decades ago and isn’t a newfangled invented club like the SOS Brigade, Home Defense Front, Neighbor’s Club, or whatever flavor-of-the-month club invented as a plot device. It’s definitely no go-soccer.

There are a lot rabbits in this show. Some more obvious than others.

Animation and BGM… top notch Kyoto stuff that we have taken for granted. Until, that is, we watch an episode of Da Capo III and… yeesh…

Three MVPS:

1. Dera Mochimazui. For the name alone.
2. Tamako. For her adorableness.
3. Mochizou’s dad. For his pro-American stance.

10 Responses to “tamako market 1”

  1. Re: baton club. Wasn’t Kinomoto Sakura in the baton club? I seem to recall somthing of the sort. Not sure, since it’s been a decade since then…

  2. Sakamoto-san now has a competitor!

  3. Ok, this show is like the NJ Jets: Bring in Tim Teebow for the glory… only to retain Mark Sanchez as main QB and lol, being totally useless. Fucking bird ruining my SoL, C’mon Man!

  4. Given that they designed the characters from scratch, I would have hoped they could avoid similarities with their previous works… but no. Also I’m shocked and amazed that Tamako forming the baton club herself isn’t something that’s done over the course of the first two episodes.

  5. God why is there a talking bird, cya next season Kyoto.

  6. And no mention of Kyon’s Itsuki as the Florist Lady?

    Jason I’m dissapoint.

  7. @Toiski Sakura was a cheerleader, which did involve batons, but it wasn’t exclusively a baton club. This is why she was so good at twirling her magical staff.

  8. The zoom in on Tamako’s skipping in the OP seriously reminds me of Ushio’s skipping in Clannad AS’ ED ‘Torch’

  9. I don’t know whether or not it is a good thing that Dera has the same basic color-scheme as Kyuubey…

  10. I actually still have a Handspring Visor (and a sweet collapsible full-sized keyboard), and use it frequently. I even have Win 7×64 drivers for it. I’m not sure if that’s awesome, or sad. T_T;

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