OP Sequence

OP: 「ドラマチックマーケットライド」 (Doramachikku Maaketto Raido) by 洲崎綾 (Suzaki Aya)

「あの娘はかわいいもち屋の娘」 (Ano Ko wa Kawaii Mochiya no Musume)
“That Girl is the Cute Daughter of a Mochi Shop Owner”

Oh boy, you think you have KyoAni figured out when actually…bird.

A good chunk of the buildup to Tamako Market has been mixed. A common preconception has been, “It’s going to be another K-ON! Cute girls doing cute things!” Those preconceptions are not ungrounded–as a refresher, the director, character designer, and scriptwriter of K-ON! are all reprising their roles in this project. This of course triggers a flag, whether positive or negative, based on our opinion of K-ON! type shows. So if Tamako isn’t just a show about mochi making with cute girls such as Kitashirakawa Tamako (Suzaki Aya), then what is it?

In a conversational interview between Tamako Market’s director and scriptwriter seen here, the dialogue states that in its early stages, the show was to be a magical romance, but evolved into a homely and warm feelings show (partly because of the limitations of a one-cour format). While some may dread what may be perceived as a downgrade, not all elements of the first rendition disappeared, leading us into the first hint that things are not what they seem…

Dera Mochimazzi (Yamazaki Takumi), royal bird of a tropical monarchy, immediately stirs up the pot with his nobly fabulous, energetic, and clingy antics. Hailing from a country where sneezing into one’s face is a declaration of love, Dera’s antics are a foreign observance to the residents of the Usagiyama Shopping District and vice versa. This doesn’t excuse the fact that he’s able to talk, though surprisingly the entire shopping district adjusts to this trait quite quickly. With foreshadow that more magic may be coming to Usagiyama, or at least more tropically tan royalty, life isn’t going to be completely normal for this shopping district this season.

We’ve transitioned from a fairly normal slice-of-life with a mochi focus to a slightly wacky and ridiculous avian comedy (I already expect shipping). Alas though, for that’s not all. Hints of plot seeds have already made their way into episode one. Other than the magical elements, there already exists a more serious plot involving Tamako’s mother and the bond they continue to share beyond the grave. Judging from the reaction of coffee and record shop owner Yaobi Kunio (Tsujitani Kouji) towards the passing of Tamako’s mother, we can expect some exploration of this backstory in a more serious, yet ultimately optimistic tone. There exists as well as a possibly honest exploration of romantic adolescence through suspected-M Ouji Mochizou (Tamaru Atsushi), son of the rival mochi company. While the flavor of this specific plot point rings of a spin on Romeo and Juliet (dat feud), it may be interesting to see just how the “mochi prince” fares with his crush. The signs show that Tamako will at least go beyond the slice-of-life, which no matter the scope, is a plus in my book.

But how big that plus is going to be–no one really knows. The power that a direct-to-anime adaptation has on anticipation is very potent. Any genre can experience the benefits of original material, not just plot-heavy productions. This is perhaps one of the reasons why I look forward to blogging this show–the field of speculation widens without pre-existing material, allowing for a great discussion leveled for all of us. Even though the primary focus is on the common life infused with a bit of spice, I sincerely hope that with this opportunity to write original material, the writers create something heartwarming. I’m not expecting jaw-dropping conclusions here, but if they manage to draw out an emotional scene that warms the heart…I’ll consider that another win for KyoAni.

But even when looking at the show through those lenses if you hadn’t already, Tamako Market definitely will not be for everyone. I guarantee now that this is not a laugh-out-loud comedy where you are expected to roll on the floor, but rather this is one of those productions that are meant to be laughed at occasionally, where the majority is spent smiling at the positive interactions the characters have with each other. You’re meant to have a little smile when many of the people in the shopping district get together to give Tamako birthday presents, and meant to have a little chuckle when they totally forget about it due to Dera’s choking. This world is in no way supposed to reflect reality closely, but rather highlight the good parts of socializing, the “shopping district dream” that the creators wish to get across.

I believe the interview nailed the purpose of Tamako Market well when they spoke about the inspiration. Throughout the episode, Tamako is on friendly terms with all of the people in Usagiyama, where exchanges are casual and always full of warmth and charity. They wished to reflect that microcosm of a mid-20th century shopping district in Japan, where you could get the freshest of produce and ask how to prepare it at the same time, all while talking about the daily gossip of the district. You get this sense that everyone in Usagiyama is family, family with history, where you can ask favors of people casually without fear of judgement. In a sense, the tone of the show reminds me of Summer Wars or Shirokuma Cafe, where both communities meshed well with each other and played off of each other’s strengths. For some this may be off-putting for its lack of negative portrayals or perceived depth, and that’s fine. To say that there is no depth though is ignorant of the emotional depth held in portraying positive interactions between people. There is value in the positive feelings felt when watching people just be good for once, in seeing inspiration not corrupted by reality. Hanase Kaoru (Ono Daisuke), the Florist Princess, wonders what her next present for Tamako will be. Kitashirakawa Anko (Hidaka Rina), desires to just be called An and move away from the mochi business. Ouji Gohei (Tachiki Fumihiko) and Ouji Michiko (Yukino Satsuki) are trying to put a new spin on mochi…with limited success. And of course let’s not forget Makino Kanna (Nagatsuma Juri) who could possibly go Higurashi with that hammer of hers, and Tokiwa Midori (Kaneko Yuuki), who has that slight yuri vibe towards Tamako (hint: I’m only serious about one). In addition to the above, there is a sea of characters whose part will push the episodes forward with their “daily life” moments, creating an atmosphere that warms the heart. If you’re on the fence, give the show a couple more episodes and see how the pace and feel of the show affects you. It may be a bit weird to get into shows like this, but often the hook, if at all, grows over the course of the first episodes, compelling you to watch how their anthology of daily life concludes.

But alas, a decisive factor that may play in are the logistics and presentation. For a KyoAni show, the quality of design and animation are not disappointing. Though not as spectacular a showcase as more recent KyoAni titles such as Hyouka, Nichijou, or most recently chu2koi, the quality is still there, reminiscent of the animation energy closer to Clannad–exaggerated styles when necessary, but sticks to a fairly stable animation. Never will you see mochi made at this high quality framerate other than real life. I am especially impressed with how many facial expressions they manage to have Dera express in such a short time, as they were one of the more enjoyable things to watch this episode. The colors are pretty nice for expressing a cheerful shopping district, with a nice deepness to them that gives a warm atmosphere. The seiyuu, especially the main girls, have done pretty well considering their inexperience, and the supporting character haven’t faltered either. Ono Daisuke does a good womanly impression if you ask me, and Yamazaki’s interpretation of Dera is done really well–although he exudes a sense of snobbery, his ability to switch to a more empathetic state is pretty darn good. While nothing rings of absolute excellence here yet, the production overall is darn solid. KyoAni, as always, does not disappoint in this area.

It is then that the deciding factor lies in how original and heartwarming this production can be. Having been another release in the chain of KyoAni releases, a recent trend uncommon to their usual one-a-year release schedule, I had my doubts about whether the attention this original deserves was properly fulfilled. Having watched the first episode, the glints of potential shine, not as great as chu2koi did in its premiere, but as with all slice-of-life oriented shows, they need time to fully bloom their potential. If you’re looking for a show to warm your heart, come hither to Tamako. If you haven’t already, glance through the interview. If you find yourself entranced by the inspiration, watch onwards. If not, perhaps another show will serve your entertainment. For those who continue from this point out, I am in your care as we watch this show together, where no one really knows what projections will be shot next.


ED Sequence

ED: 「ねぐサ」 (Negu Sa) by 洲崎綾 (Suzaki Aya)



    1. we have to finished this show to decided don’t rush thing but I like this show just like all kyoani It make me smile all episode but honestly rewatched k-on and this show debut is more exciting not just cute girl doing cute thing but OMG hirarious indeed

  1. The vibe I got from watching this episode actually reminds me of “Sore demo Machi wo Mawatteiru”. It is as if this is a Shaft show with Kyoani visual.

    Anyone else feel the same? ^^

    1. That could be interesting when you consider the fact that Dera’s VA Yamazaki Takumi did Kayneth on Fate Zero, whose snobbery is on par with Dera, though Urobuchi-meddling means he’s been reduced to a luckless Mage whose fiance got NTR’ed (unintentionally) by his Servant while he got tactically KO’ed by an unconventional opponent.

      Surely Yamazaki-san deserves a break from having his character tormented by Urobuchi again. 😉

      Kinny Riddle
  2. I must be in a bad mood. It just didn’t work for me. Can’t stand the bird and not too fond of the plot line so far. Kimochiwarui indeed. Now that the bird is fattened up, maybe a roast chicken for dinner?

    1. Perhaps Chitanda is feeling curious about how the story’s going to develop. “Watashi, kininarimasu!” XD

      d-Lan, no they’re not. Chitanda is voiced by Satou Satomi, Tamako is a newcomer called Suzaki Aya.

      Kinny Riddle
  3. Just your ordinary slice of lif-BIRD, BIRD NEEDS TO FIND BRIDE FOR HIS TROPICAL PRINCE.
    Sexy pose Bird Overlord without his Lancer class servant but gaining free food and lodging.
    Kyoani does it again.

  4. I came for the SoL after the chuu2 dissaster and then I found a reject from Rio with an ego bigger than an Argentinian, and worst of all, he’s voiced by no other than Isamu Alva Dyson from Macross Plus! Since this magical BS wasn’t even announced in all the previews, that’s low, even for today standards! C’mon Man!
    Aside from the out-of-place bird, I’ll give TM the benefit of the doubt, at least until mid series. Let’s hope KyoAni don’t mess this as did with the latter part of chuu2.

    But I really hate that ass of a bird.

    1. The best we found from the press releases is that the bird “speaks fluent Japanese”. I suppose we caulked it up to being a parrot, repeating anything others say, and not have a name, or an actual personality that anyone can understand and just be fine with! I really wished they had made that clearer in the summaries before this show began! Right now it’s a pretty big mood whiplash for those expecting a K-On! clone with no supernatural elements!

      1. I have a funny feeling that the whiplash was intentional, seeing how the previews and pre air talks mentioned how the initial idea was more off to the magical side (shame the parrot was all that’s left)

    2. Yea, thought I was in for a treat, then that bird-thing had to go and ruin it all. I was hoping he’ll only be a one episode thing, but now I guess I won’t even give episode 2 a try :<

      1. Was I hoping to be pandered to with moe moe kyun? F**k no.

        I was hoping it to be more of a Yakitate!!Japan/Yumeiro Pâtissière thing, where they’d go deep into the whole mochi making tradition. The difficulties of making different flavours, getting the texture right, etc.

        But no, they had to make it all about some strange bird so full of himself that he actually gets bigger. (https://randomc.net/image/Tamako%20Market/Tamako%20Market%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2034.jpg)

        No wants.

  5. I’m reminded of the movie Ted, but instead of a talking stuffed teddy bear it’s a talking bird being played by the guy who sounds like Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi. And instead of consuming beer and drugs, he consumes mochi.

  6. Before the OP:
    Le me: Hmm looks like K-ON

    Couple minutes into the episode:
    Le me: Dafaq talking bird and Ono Daisuke voicing a female

    End of episode:
    Le me: I’m FIRING MA LAZER..What did I just watch?

    So, is this a SoL about mochi instead of music? Don’t get me wrong, mochi is awesome, but suddenly the bird shows up and added a couple of ?? into the series. This is some serious business by KyoAni. They could’ve omitted the bird dude entirely and made it a SoL similar to that of K-ON, but with the addition of “plot” into Tamako Market, whether it will flop or achieve success is now up for contention. TBH, right now I’m not too impressed with the antics of the bird, the mochi part actually interests me more.

    Paraphrasing a conversation in IRC earlier (sorry I forgot who said what):
    So what is Ono Daisuke doing voicing a female character?
    KyoAni: “Hey we need someone to voice this florist” “I know let’s grab Ono Daisuke”

    PS: Mochis r the best.
    PSS: Hidaka Rina scores yet another imouto role.

  7. Straying from the double take the ED has me doing, I enjoyed the episode. Aside from the talking bird who acts like he’s the hottest thing since sliced bread, the atmosphere of the show is just what we were led to expect here and then some with pretty likable characters. Hope it isn’t just my imagination but it seems like there’s room for the plot to really expand and surprise (more than it already has anyways) so definitely looking forward to what’s to come.

  8. That turned out better than I expected. I confess that I expected much worse from this. The PV’s never really did anything for me and I was expecting generic Kyoani moe.

    My impression changed when they introduced the the fat and fab bird as a character. His bizarre presence, along with every character’s casual reaction to it means that the show now operates on some wacky cartoon logic. Its an oddly refreshing for a Kyoani show.

    There’s also the Mochi. I love mochi, and seeing it made in exquisite detail that only Kyoani animators can do has given me cravings. Time to buy some Mochi when I get to a confectionery shop.

    1. That pretty much sums up my reaction too. My expectations for this show were pretty low, given that this was from the guys who made K-On, and I was, charitably speaking, not a fan of that show. The PV’s weren’t putting my assumptions at ease either.

      Then that weirdo bird started talking and prancing around the market and I had to confess, this is all pretty amusing. His antics are funny, the focus is on him instead of the girls and it’s all pretty cartoony. And yes, that mochi looks delicious.

      I’m not expecting the world from this show, but I’ll keep following it to see where it’s going with this.

  9. You’re right, Tamako Market definitely will not be for everyone
    Imo it’s more targeted toward family friendly anime and japanese audiences
    Btw, is Anko Azusa’s little sister ? XD

  10. I’ll probably get negatived to the ends of the Earth and back because that’s usually how these things work out, but eh, I found it very underwhelming. Apart from the bird, the majority of the characters are very lackluster in personality and come across as being pretty dumb. I’m not a fan of recycled generic character designs from older series either.

    If this is going to be considered the ‘best of season’ then I can only face palm and shake my head. I guess I should praise Kyoani on pandering to the moeblob crowd though.

    Just my thoughts about it~

    P Ko
  11. Well…I didn’t expect much going into the show. I honestly was going to only check this out because of that bird. Scans and CM’s/PV’s and all. Not disappointed at all. Though all the characters are nice…I find Dera~ to be the main attraction of the show (for me at least…others seem to hate him lol).

    Either way will keep this show for Dera! Dera Dakimakura when?!

  12. Even though I didn’t get the “I’m going to love this show” feeling that I got in the premiers of Hyouka and Chuunibyou I like what I saw. Also like always with Kyoani, loved the OP and ED.

  13. After the OP I was expecting more from the bird. Thought he’d be more fun, not such an idiot. Well, early days…

    Otherwise, seems to be a very interesting series. Can’t quite tell what they’re planning to do with it, but right now I’m feeling more “Hyouka” then “K-ON”. Looks like there will be some depth rolled into the fluffiness, and possibly some magic. Normal birds don’t have projectors in their heads!… or talk!

  14. https://randomc.net/image/Tamako%20Market/Tamako%20Market%20-%20ED%20-%20Large%2003.jpg

    Chitanda, is that you? Tamako with her pigtails but dissheveled hair is a mix between Yui and Azu-nyan, but with her hair down she becomes a stunning beauty like Chitanda and Mio, though her hair is shorter.

    While it’s still too early to make any judgment on this series I already love the ED. K-ON’s Don’t Say Lazy was the last Kyo-Ani ED that has such a first episode impression.

    Some unexpectedly amusing castings include Ono Daisuke as the drag queen florist and Hikasa Youko as the Sushi Shop Obasan.

    Kinny Riddle
  15. I was pretty sure the bird’s name was Dero Mochimazui, and is why they had many jokes about mochi not being mazui, but ummai. (mochiummai) etc. Anyway, the subs I got i from was [mazui]

    1. The romaji was a bit debatable, but I decided to use the katakana they provided in the credits. I think that the joke would be TOO obvious if they had named him “mochimazui”–the joke here is that it sounds LIKE mochimazui, but it’s not, hence the joke.

    1. Butter knives are pretty versatile you know 🙂

      But honestly, the only reason why we had an iffy time with putting my name on there is because I’m unsure of how my schedule will play out when school begins (on the 20th no less). Although I hope it doesn’t happen, there may be another writer who takes up my spot when I’m in a pinch for this show ^^.

  16. Love her voice Tamako and everyone so cute I think no drama well we’ll see Tamako really sensitive person (good person) she cares about dat Bird too lol warm heart hope a warm heart anime for this serie chu2 is kind of KO me at the END

  17. Recent Kyo-Ani works have been based near or around the Kyoto and Nagoya area (K-ON, ChuniKoi – Shiga, Hyouka – Gifu) though never in Kyoto itself, until now, with Kyoto’s famous temples and pagodas clearly visible in some scenes.

    Kyo-Ani must be really serious with this original work if they’re basing the location on their homeground.

    Kinny Riddle
  18. So… lets have poultry for dinner, and let the girls get on with being cute without avian interference, shall we? 😉

    (that was a joke, by the way)

    In other news, at quick glances the girls really do like like slightly-disguised escapees from other KoyAni works. Almost makes me wonder if this town is like some sort of witness protection program thing, where characters go to start a new life when their shows end…

    Tamako was really channeling Chitanda in the ED.

    1. I found the bird to be very annoying and distracting from the usual KyoAni cuteness. This is supposed to be “Tamako Market” and not “The DeraDera Show, guest-starring everyone else”. Unfortunately, it seems like the bird is going to be the hook for the rest of the series.

  19. Personally, I feel that this series showcases the talents of Kyoani which they have built up since picking up K-ON!, yet managed to mix it with a story (only a tiny one at this stage) which feels fresh. Moments like these (https://randomc.net/image/Tamako%20Market/Tamako%20Market%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2038.jpg) brought back awesome memories from Nichijou, and other scenes mixed in had a K-ON! feel to it too.

    In other notes – https://randomc.net/image/Tamako%20Market/Tamako%20Market%20-%2001%20-%20Large%20Preview%2001.jpg MEGANE Tamako!

  20. Why does every anime seem fascinated by drawing x shaped buttholes on every animal? All in all another sweet Kyoani show with wonderful, but I do not think I could stay interested in it personally.

  21. Random Hobo
  22. I had no expectation when I saw the anime. The first impression is: is this for kids? but I’ll take it back, the first episode was fun to watch and I liked it. It gave me the cheery note and I felt like an excited kid watching this. I’m not very much into birds talking and their eyes acting like a projector… doesn’t get into my head, but I thought it was magical. I think this show is great and I’ll continue to watch it, definetly.

    Though, someone wrote here that Tamako looks like ‘Chitanda’ and yes! That’s what I was thinking, I was trying to remember who was it that she resembles.

    I like it so far and thanks for your review.


    1. I think the main reason this show (or, pilot episode, more like) is such a base breaker is because we were expecting it to focus on Tamako when it really focuses more on the bird! We’ll see how the rest of the show fares.

      1. I think they are going for the fairy tale motif with the lowly mochi girl becoming the princess. The bird will have its uses but it won’t be the central theme of the show, IMHO.

        All Fiction
  23. Great blog! Sorry to get off subject, but since Nashville is getting a lot of press lately, I’d like to find a great sushi restaurant or Japanese restaurant in Nashville TN. Have you heard of any good ones? There’s a new one called Nomzilla Sushi Et Cetera, but I’ve only seen a few reviews. Here’s the address of this new Nashville Sushi Restaurant , 1201 Villa Place, Suite 101 Nashville, TN 37212 – (615) 268-1424. Let me know your thoughts! Thanks!

    Ike Tuch
  24. I am watching this to fill the K-On!! void, but I have to say this is pretty funny. And I don’t know if others noticed this but
    Show Spoiler ▼

    But the ED was absolutely brilliant. Just the kind of song I like. Time to listen to a full version! I have high hopes for this one! ^_^


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