「恋の花咲くバレンタイン」 (Koi no Hanasaki ku Barentain)
“A Valentine’s Day Blooming with Love”
Valentine’s Day comes to the shopping district, bringing with it love, celebration, and sage words from a gentlemanly bird to a confused young maiden. Already this show is going in another direction I did not expect, and I couldn’t be happier.
Tradition vs Innovation – Valentine’s Day in the Shopping District
The age-old question: is it better to stay true to the traditions of our predecessors, or forge into the vast unknown and try to remake the world into a better tomorrow? These high-minded questions are tackled via the vitally important medium of mochi. Okay, so it’s not as lofty as all that, but I do enjoy watching Mochizou and Tamako’s fathers fight (even if Mochizou calls Tamako’s father “Otou-san” as well…cheeky boy!). Given Tamako’s penchant for developing new types of mochi, I have a feeling we’ll keep seeing this little skit play out through the series.
Where do I fall on the issue? On the side of innovation of course, but then again I’m an American, a people with comparatively little tradition, so big surprise there. Fortunately Tamako agrees, even if her father doesn’t…usually. I have a bone to pick with this show! When Tamako’s father went all deredere, I squealed about how cute it was. A crotchety middle-aged man is cute? What is this show doing to me!?
Bijin Mido-chan and her Secret Feelings
One of Tamako’s strong points is that she’s a straight-forward and simple girl. Those traits don’t lend one’s self well to character development though, so it’s not surprise that, for the time being at least, it’s not Tamako who is leading the charge. No, that honour goes to Mido-chan. First, let me say that I was surprised about how KyoAni was pumping up Mido-chan’s bijin (beauty) credentials. Not that she isn’t cute, it’s just that all the girls are cute. It was a bit jarring that she was held up as so popular and pretty, especially when she doesn’t have that “cool beauty” aura that usually nets a girl both male and female admirers. KyoAni’s character designs backfired!! Though only a little.
Time for me to delve a little bit into the “meta” game, of how well (or not) this story is being told. After Episode 1, I had some reservations about Tamako Market. I thought adding in Dera Mochimazui was a great move because it helped to differentiate the show from all the other slice of life ones, but I wasn’t sure how injecting actual plot would work. Why would a slice of life show focus on plot when that’s not the genre’s strength?
That said, this episode assuaged my concerns by fully integrating the fantastic elements and treating them like they were no big deal. Everyone has already gotten used to having a talking bird around, and even Dera Mochimazui’s projector ability was played for laughs. Episode 1 was perhaps a bit too crazy, but that has to do more with expectations than anything else – who expected the bird to talk!? Now it’s all been integrated into a lot of low-key humour and cute, warming moments. Looking good so far.
Next week we’ll see the proper introduction of Shiori-chan. As for Dera Mochimazui, he’s not set to leave until spring, which hasn’t come yet. But will he even leave then? I guess we’ll see!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Valentine’s Day in the shopping district. While Tamako is is focused on mochi, Midori is focused on…Tamako!? #tamakomarket
- I can’t decide, is Tamako cuter with her hair down, or with glasses on? Answer: both, hng~
- Cups on a string? What is this, the 1980’s? They should be texting memes on their iPhones! But I don’t hate this about Tamako Market, not in the least. It’s like the whole shopping district vibe…a simpler place, and a simpler time.
- Now Kanna sneezed on Dera Mochimazui too. Is he going to end up thinking he inadvertently gathered a harem? Down, creepy bird, down!
- For all I give Dera Mochimazui crap (and will continue to do so), you have to give him credit. He may be a pompous feather-brain, but as Mido-chan noted, he’s a gentleman. Still, to answer his question, no – no one wants to give you chocolates on Valentine’s Day, you creepy bird. FOREVER ALONE!!
- In case you didn’t notice, I (Stilts) have taken over covering this show from Zanibas. Normally we try not to switch writers around, but after a superb first episode Zani has decided to pick up Kotoura-san. I suggest you check it out if you haven’t already…if the first episode is any indication, it may just be this season’s dark horse.