「それはあの日のこと、なので」 (Sore wa Ano Hi no Koto, Nanode)
“It’s About that Day”
Something about Tamayura always makes me smile. Somehow, someway, as the anime reveals more about our main characters I feel myself growing exponentially more attached to them. From Fu’s extreme shyness, Norie’s loud and flamboyant attitude, Kaoru’s level head and witty sarcasm, and Maon’s character in general (whistling~). Each character manages to flesh out a different part of my feelings – somehow managing to appeal to all of them at the same time and making me feel fuzzy inside. Without each of the characters balancing each other, I don’t think this show would be nearly as fun to watch. Throw Sayomi and her strange love of finding petite deserted but beautiful areas, and now there is a whole comedy side to this show. Kaoru generally not wanting to be with her sister and Norie worried about the strain of all the walking involved in reaching the places. Somehow this combination of strange characters manages to come together and create an interesting and original story that works off of their personalities alone.
While I’m not a very artsy person, I think Tamayura takes the concept of taking pictures and opens it up to just about anyone who watches the show. I’m not taking about the technical side of taking photos, like the ISO settings or whatnot, but the emotional attachment side of it. Throughout the series it’s been clear that Fu loves taking photos. At the same time she also becomes extra depressed when others notice how her photos don’t seem to be perfect. This isn’t a huge point in the series but it was something that they gave enough attention for me to notice it. With this series staying true to being a “healing anime”, Fu is given the encouragement from Riho to keep taking photos. Sometimes it only takes hearing the memories of others to help put someone on the right path. After a short story of how Riho nearly gave up photography since she couldn’t take the perfect photo, Fu is able to stumble on her own revelation that she takes pictures not for the sake of others but just for sake of taking photos. I wish there were more episodes so I could watch Fu grow more!
Generally speaking, Tamayura’s story is actually really simple. Besides the whole healing aspect, there seems to be a running joke going on too! Playing off of the fact that Norie doesn’t seem to enjoy lots of physical work she treats any offer to go anywhere with Sayomi a threat. Going as far as pointing out all hidden problems that accompany going with her (like walking for TWO hours). Prompting Kaoru to take the opportunity to bully her a little bit – something I think she totally deserves after Norie wouldn’t stop calling her Kao-tan. Besides Norie and Kaoru taking turns having fun at the others expense, Sayomi actually finds another spot for the group to visit. Being only a twenty minute walk instead of a two hour one, the group decides to go by car and parks on the side of the road before walking to the spot. In something that I could only compare with Initial D, Sayomi’s driving looks so intense that even I would probably refuse a ride from her. Good luck Norie! As the group finally reaches their intended destination Fu manages to trip over a small branch and sprains her leg. After almost making me think the episode would end on a sad note, Maestro from the camera shop arrives (with two younger girls)! As he wraps Fu’s leg with a splint and carries her on his back, Fu has a a sudden revelation suited for the end of this series. As she stares at the amazing scenery from behind Maestro’s head, she figures out that the black rock in Kou’s drawing isn’t a rock but really the back of her father’s head! As everyone stares at the impressive view, I was a little sad that Fu admits in her head that she might never find the place where she took the photo of her father. However, the fact that she comes to terms with this and ends the episode smiling got my spirits back up right away.
In an ending perfect for this series, Fu and Kou end up riding back to town with Maestro because he parked 20 seconds away from the spot they were standing at. Leaving the others, frozen in shock, as they watch Maestro drive away. (Remember Sayomi parked twenty minutes away?)
*I totally forgot to mention it, but Fu’s nickname Potte comes from the sound effects Kaoru and Sayomi made in the past. As Fu was trying to walk across an old stone bench, both Kaoru and Sayomi went “Potte, Potte, Potte” as she took each step, and it somehow stuck and became her nickname.
What a ride Tamayura has been. Being the first series (or OVA I suppose) that I have finished; it’s been a pretty fun journey. Entering the lives of Fu and her friends and family, this slice of life really takes the genre and embraces it with full arms. Having an interesting cast of characters, each person in this show helps bring out the fuzzy feelings as they live their normal lives. Fu has her shyness, Kaoru has her awesome scent fetish and sarcastic humor, Norie brings life into the group albeit too much at times, and Maon is just too cute for words to describe. Throughout the past four episodes our group has grown closer together becoming a closely knit group of friends. While I would have hoped for some more character development, I’m glad that I got to watch the bonds that were created and strengthened between everyone.
With the emphasis on Tamayura being a “healing anime”, it’s hard for me to say that it healed anything for me. Seeing as healing seems to be a strong word, I like to think of Tamayura is more of a leisure show that brings some light into all of our lives. The fluffy atmosphere of the show and the simple ideas behind everything are easy to take in but I think everything also has a deeper meaning behind it. Not too ramble on too long but using Fu’s father as an example, he could be an example of something tragic happening in anyone’s life. The four episodes could have been a journey for Fu on overcoming such an unwelcome experience. At the end of this final episode when Fu acknowledged that she probably wouldn’t find the spot that the original picture was taken, it could have also meant that she is okay with not finding it because she is at peace with herself. While this is all speculation, it helps the series fit the term of “healing” right? Plus I’m pretty sure since this show is so well made, that anyone who watches it will take a different meaning out of it.
Taking a quick glance at the other side of anime, since this show is also airing at the same time as Ore no Imouto, I thought it would be worth taking a moment to talk about Fu’s seiyuu Taketatsu Ayana. While I’m not up to date on all the fighting going on about Kirino (also voiced by Ayana), I’ve seen some intense battles on this site alone about her. Essentially Kirino is a bitch, and to come off as one the seiyuu voicing that person needs sound like one, right? When I think how the voice actor for two completely opposite characters are done by the same person, it comes close to blowing my mind. Besides the fact that Ayana is a darn good seiyuu, being able to play two radically different types of characters, I think I might be a fan of her fluffy voice rather than her loud and sharp one and I’m probably a bit biased since I like her more as Fu then Kirino. Still, I think it’s amazing that she’s able to do both sides of the spectrum so well.
All and all, I would recommend just about anyone to watch this series. It’s really short. I mean reallllly short. Bring only four episodes long with each episode being twenty minutes or less, it’s a type of show that you can sit down to and just watch without really thinking too much. I think that if you’re looking for something fast paced that this is definitely not what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something that you can sit down, watch, and then feel happy inside after watching, then this is the type of show for you. The fuzzy feelings alone would make this show worth watching, but with the characters and story to the jokes and the laughs, Tamayura becomes something special. Not only are the characters memorable for their interesting personalities, the plot itself can become fairly deep depending on how seriously you watch this show. For the people out there who think Tamayura is too slow or too boring, I think after watching all four episodes your opinion would change. I understand waiting months for an episode to come out can make the individual episodes seem like they’re boring but by the end, Tamayura will leave you feeling satisfied. When its all said and done you’ll probably be like me and wonder “That’s it?!” because you want more.