「大好きがいっぱいの町、なので」 (The Town Filled With Things I Love)
There’s a saying that great things come in small packages, and Tamayura is definitely one of them. Tamyura is a simple and easy going anime, and something that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s also an original series directed by Junichi Sato and produced through ARIA, a company well known for making anime that can really capture the feel of slice of life.
Tamayura is short. When I say short, I mean short. It runs for exactly 15 minutes and 23 seconds. Throwing time management out the window, Tamayura has a full length opening and ending sequence. The opening sequence is very upbeat with an acoustic guitar strumming alongside Sakamoto Maaya’s singing while the ending on the other hand is a bit mellower, with a slower beat and not as catchy lyrics. Both songs are great in their own light, and I’m very happy that such a short OVA has such high quality music.
With the remaining 10 or so minutes, Tamayura manages to show an entire day of our main protagonist, Sawatari Fu, (Taketatsu Ayana) a timid girl entering High School in a new town she just moved into. Fu’s main goal is trying to make new friends, but she’s extremely shy and unable to talk to people naturally, so it’s a kind of awkward watching her fail to talk to others. It’s shyness to the point where she can’t even introduce herself properly to her classmates on the first day of school. Luckily, our protagonist has her childhood friend Hanawa Kaoru (Asumi Kana) to help build her confidence. Kaoru seems to be the perfect type for someone to lean on. The amount that she cares for and understands Fu is clearly visible – which includes saving her from almost falling off a bridge as she is trying to take a picture and quietly cheering Fu on as she tries to make new friends. It’s the simple joy of having a strong bond with a true friend that makes these two such great friends. She also has a scent fetish. Yes, scent fetish.
The main focus of Tamayura falls on Fu’s camera, a Rollei 35s, and the photos she takes with it. The idea that a photo is special and can create special bonds is something that is highlighted throughout the entire episode. A photo of Fu’s late father is showcased in a local photography shop, and it is this photo that allows Fu to finally make her first two friends. Instead of having Fu approaching others, her photos bring people to her. Removing some of the embarrassment of trying to start conversations with others, Fu is able to not only begin talking to others about her photos but finally is able to make new friends.
The sub-plot of the Tamayura focuses on the Tamayura itself. Literally called “Children of Light”, these mysterious orbs of light randomly appear in Fu’s photos. It isn’t clear if they only appear in Fu’s photos, but what is clear is that they sometimes appear when the subject of her photo is someone who she feels strongly for. I can’t help but think that these orbs of light appearing in her photos mean something, especially when this is labeled as a “Healing anime”. They almost look like the orbs of light that Tomoya saw in Clannad, and those orbs were able to grant the wishes of those who could see them.
With a second episode slated for the near future, I’m really excited in what awaits Fu and her new friends. There are still characters unaccounted for in the opening and ending and it’d be nice to see what goes on in the lives of all of Fu’s friends, not just Fu’s.