「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.

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Storytelling Impression

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.

Looking Ahead

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

Random thoughts:

  • 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.

Full-length images: 10, 11, 21.




    1. “Anyone can love anyone they want.” Well, Tamako loves the shopping district!

      ^^ Like I said, Tamako is a straight-forward and simple girl. I don’t think she’s given any thought to such things, so no serious thoughts to giving choco have been made. She will in time though, I’m sure.

    1. I, for one, root for TamakoxMido instead of TamakoxMochizou. I swear, it’s nothing to do with yuri thing~~~!

      The world is too populated as it is; all powers for more same-sex couples. I am not one myself, but I’ll root for this. We don’t need to add “another” (anime) child into the mix, ahem, ahem. Well my reasoning will only work if they adapt for children or goes no child, though.

  1. Stilts, that birdie is way too fabulous, to be honest.

    Look at its face and the way it’s strutting in the 1st photo. Too fabulous and it’s a crime.

    The animation style (not the design necessarily, but the way animation moves) reminds me of 90s Miyazaki films for some reasons.

  2. @Stilts

    While the cup on a string is a nice touch- what’s far more telling about the closeness of their relationship is the hand signals that they both use and understood immediately =D

    1. Yeah, I especially liked it when Mochizou used the hand signals during the meeting (when he just as easily could have whispered) and she instantly understood them. They really do understand each other well.

  3. Tamako + Mochizou = too cute for words. They get along so well and are so cute together without actually being cute (what?) and it would be nice to see the whole “childhood friend” thing develop into something other than that for once.

  4. A possible love triangle? With one side yuri? Oh my! Not that I’m expecting either side to go anywhere, but it’s still fun! I enjoyed this episode about as much as episode 1, despite the different styles. A light mood is good for me, and those heart mochi scenes were great!

    Seriously though, what is that bird?! XD

    1. There’s something to be said for the fact that a love triangle involving Tamako x Mochizou x a guy who is gay for Mochizou is far less likely to happen in anime. This one still doesn’t seem like pandering though, at least not as we’ve seen it so far.

  5. I really love the warm and friendly atmosphere given by how close everyone in the shopping district is, with the slight exception of Tamako and Mochizou’s dads. That’s the impression I got from seeing how everyone’s so eager to help Tamako out with her idea. For somebody who was against the Valentine’s day theme, Tamako’s dad’s love-love heart mochi was pretty romantic and perfect for the season. It was kind of harsh but Tamako’s reaction to the whole thing was just so cute, how she tried to keep herself from laughing. Still that’s a cool dad right there. And Stilts speaking of all the cute girls, I’d want to see more of carpenter’s daughter Kanna. Her plans for a chocolate house, I didn’t expect, along with her threat to hit Mochizou with a hammer. Oh and more Anko-hime and Sayuri too.

  6. Are you ruling Kanna out as Midori’s love interest? They seemed awfully close when they were watching the video.

    Speaking of the video, if you plug the input into the bird’s mouth, do external speakers plug into the other end?

    Tamako’s dad’s dere moment was very cute and well done. Just how you would expect him to deal with the situation.

    Maybe the cup’o phone was because they used to do it that way when they were younger before they got cell phones.

    This isn’t doing it for me. It has flashes of KyoAni brilliance but the overall feel is flat. I’ll stick with it for awhile longer, but it seems like they stuck a bunch of characters together and then tried to come up with a story built around them.

    1. Speaking of the video, if you plug the input into the bird’s mouth, do external speakers plug into the other end?

      Thank you for ruining my afternoon. THE IMAGES, THEY WON’T GET OUT OF MY HEEEEEAD!! *cries*

      As for the show overall, as you may recall from chu2koi, I’ve always been a bit of a KyoAni skeptic, finding them to be technically adept enough to deserve their top-tier reputation, but not the genius storytellers that make proper use of their animating skills. In fact, it’s almost like they’re got Misaki & Jin on their staff…the animation, direction, and pacing are all generally fantastic, but the stories lack some essential spirit.

      Thus far, Tamako Market has not disabused me of this opinion. That said, it’s slice of life, so I don’t expect it to. This is a show type that works very well for KyoAni because it doesn’t need to resonate to some insane degree…if just needs to be cute, funny, and lightly enjoyable, which is certainly is. Plus, it’s original material, so who knows what make come next!

  7. Very pretty design and animation. Cute episode, I’m getting the slice-of-life vibes really strong
    with a crazy bird thrown in to mix things up a bit. Throw in some cavity-inducing yuri, and this
    show has it. But, there’s definitely more to it too; I’m definitely interested in seeing where…

    I loved the cups-on-a-string. It kinda tells me that they’ve been doing it since they were very
    young, and it adds the uniqueness to their relationship – I mean it’s something only they can
    do with each other. So cute, too.

    @Stilts – I sincerely hope you do not find a cure for your long posts – Excellent!!!

    1. Actually, this one was close to 1K words, which I’m pretty happy with. It’s only at 1.5-2K that I start wondering whether I’m writing a blog post or publishing an impromptu novella, lol

      1. I was writing a novel by that point, lol. And not one of those small paperbacks you grab to kill two hours on a plane. I mean a real thick one, a Stephen King-size book that could kill a man. And I loved it! XD

  8. Dera is probably the least KyoAni thing that KyoAni has done in years and I mean that in a good way. Its even better that everyone just doesn’t care that there is a Fabulous bird with projector eyes in their midst. This show is like an odd fusion of Looney Tune logic combined with KyoAni’s signature moe.

    I’m also impressed at how Midori was handled. It may be the goggles talking, but it seemed that she did have a thing for Tamako. Still it was handled subtlety and tastefully and I like that.

  9. Despite this is the only beginning of the story, the kyoto’s newest anime is fall of my expectation that no impacts in this story… I mean like K-on or Clannad, I found no strong point of this….

      1. After watching Clannad Afterstory a few times it finally dawned on me exactly what that episode was all about. True it was there to reintroduce everyone to the cast, but there is a massive amount of foreshadowing in that episode.

  10. Oh so Stilts is now covering this? No wonder it felt more…crazy? Heh.

    > A crotchety middle-aged man is cute? What is this show doing to me!?

    I know how you feel Stilts. Sort of. I want a Dera dakimakura. Freaking crazy.

    Anyway I enjoyed the 1st ep, and this one much much more. I look forward to dying from overwhelming cuteness in the future. (love-dovey mochi heck yeah!!!)

  11. when watching the first episode, it was like KyoAni is doing an experiment, (the director trying to make a comedy and it is not good!)
    in this second episode, I feel like watching “From Up on Poppy Hill”.

    its my opinion.

    1. -both Kanna and Tamako have their own quirks (a chocolate house and mochi for valentines?)
      -how heavy is Dera Mochimazui supposed to be, anyway?
      -gosh, how hard is it for a tough acting guy to express his appreciation of valentines day…(I feel sorry for Tamako’s father)
      -Dera’s transmission turned into a background event instead of the focus of the moment…gg

  12. I went into this episode rooting for Mochizou, but by the end, am rooting for Midori as well. KyoAni handled Midori’s feelings superbly, with such understated details and subtleties that it felt so real. It was also touching how both Kanna and the record store owner sensed that something was up with Midori and addressed their acceptance and support without being obvious about it. So no, Stilts, I don’t think your goggles or anyone else’s are on too tight… she definitely spent the episode confused over whatever she’s feeling about Tamako.

    I knew I’d love this show, but since I remained in the dark on the details, had no idea where it was heading… well, if the way they handled everyone’s characterizations in this episode was any indication, it’s going to go down as a favorite of 2013.

      1. I think Waver didn’t have her feelings hurt too much.
        While you’re on the topic, I loved how Shiro kicked Kotomine and dashed away after seeing Saber.
        I really wonder what Shiro’s family name was at the time before meeting Kiritsugu.

        Giorno Giovanna
  13. Hmm, the bird was kind of annoying in the first episode but now I see his importance for the show. He is just up everyone’s business like some busybody with too much time on their hands. Might as well make the best of it since he is too fat to fly away. hee hee

  14. I figured Mochizou was the person Mido was interested in…but I do think there were yuri vibes as well…

    I love how Mochizou fell asleep holding Gangan. With the singular exception of his name he is a very relateable character.

    Also loved Dere-dere dad. Mochimazzi is surprisingly perceptive!

  15. d-LaN
  16. Midori is like a love-afflicted, smarter Ritsu. And to think that the “love affliction” she’s having is with Tamako… *nosebleed >\\\<

    I'm actually glad the character design is like this xD

  17. You know a show has potential to be full of win when you have a tsundere dad. XD

    Dera makes himself useful, not only by keeping Midori company (but alas, no chocolate for his efforts), he acts as the shopping street’s unofficial video player. Perhaps they could consider plugging an HDMI cable into him for HD quality videos.

    Kinny Riddle
  18. The cuteness~ level is too damn high!

    That bird really has some personality. Pretty cool, when he double functions as a projector, and as a video recorder. His prince sure looks pretty cool! Also loved the way he ate the sunflower seeds. Perhaps he should change his diet so that he can fly again?

    And yeah I really hoped Stilts would pick this up, cos of his amazing job at reviewing Chu2Koi. No worse when watching another KyoAni show eh?

  19. Yuri vibes are good vibes is something I have a tendency to shout aloud too often but at the same time, I can’t help but smile at the type of relationship Tamako and Mochizou have. The kind of understanding and simple sweetness that seems to resonate between them is one of my more favorite aspects to the already brilliant show.

  20. Well I’m surprised I thought that I had been blinded by my yuri goggles but it seems most people came to the same conclusion. I wonder what kyoani is going to do with all this Tomako love if we’re not confusing Midori’s feelings, if anything.

  21. MochizuxTamako is what I root for, MidoxTamako uh erm, then it’s just another anime with the same twist of girl-love, I hate those, I just hope the love in this episode was a shallow friend one xD I don’t enjoy same sex stuff, don’t get me wrong, its just uncomfortable in actual life, and weird in anime.

    That aside, it was such a fun episode! I enjoyed watching it, and I love the voice actor for her dad’s, dam, he’s so cool xD as for cup on strings, I’d probs think that she hvn’t given him her number and its something they’ve been doing since they were kids :p I think I’m loving the dad right now xD as for Dera, well, -.-‘ creepy bird, thats it!!

    Thanks for your review, appreciated, M, xx

    1. As opposed to every other anime with only boy x girl couples?

      Nothing wrong with tossing us a bone once in a blue moon. It’s also probably not a stretch to say most yuri fans will expect the yuri character to lose. Gee, wonder how we became so pessimistic. If you don’t want yuri characters, I’m pretty sure you have a lot of other series to choose from. We on the other hand, will take any scrap we can get.

      1. Ship whoever you like to. I have no objections to that. He’ll, I do too.

        Rather, it’s how people are going “eww. Yuri. Do not want. Gtfo of my anime” on both English and Japanese sites that saddens me. As painful as it usually is, i’ve survived on delusions and fan art for so long and would be glad if Midori just exists as a known yuri character. And while you haven’t wished the gay away, there are those that certainly have.

  22. Mochizou is likable and all but seeing Midori all sad/hurt/conflicted over her feelings for Tamako makes me want to root for her. The panicking when Tamako reaches for her hair, the way she has to dance around the topic to find out if Tamako has someone she likes, how everyone else but the target of her affection quietly notices (and sweetly encourages) her feelings. Ahh. I don’t want her to have her heart broken, like so many, too many, one sided yuri characters have before her.

    And KyoAni, please don’t cop out with a Kanna x Midori just because Tamako has to go with Mochizou. I suppose I should already be thankful they’re not making her the yuri GAG character.

    …Unless – and it’s unlikely what with the all love is the same, it’s okay to like anyone lines – this is all just some sort of epic troll and Midori actually likes Mochizou, in which case… I need a less painful interest. Like firewalking or something. Orz

    T-This won’t end well, will it. Oh my yuri-loving-heart. I can’t take anymore heartbreaks, but I keep looking for more losing battles anyway.

    mazohisutojanaiyo. tada yuri ga suki dake da.

    1. And the huge smile on Midori’s face when she runs after teasing Tamako…
      Now this is where you test your goggles.

      No goggles:
      Midori was having fun teasing Tamako

      Midori was glad Tamako doesn’t have someone she likes yet (though being asked by the target of your affections if they will ever find love must hurt)

  23. I’m already enjoying this far more then kyo-ani last 3 outings. They just gone back and made things fun again. Hope they keep it up. Also I’m glad it’s 12 eps, nichijou and hyouka just felt too long for what the show offered. Keep it short and sweet like chuunibyou.

    1. Agreed. While a good long show can be fun, there’s something to be said for knowing how much time you need to tell a story, and using exactly that amount of time, not just dragging it out to make more money. Of course, that wasn’t necessarily Hyouka’s problem, it just kind of bored me :X Well done, buuuut yeah. It happens.

  24. 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?

    What’s that Stilts? Why is there plot you say?

    Well… Who knows… It could go anywhere..

    Anyway after catching up with the show. I must say I’m quite intrigued where this show is going. I really didn’t trust what I read in the internet about Midori and her pure love for Tamako. I’ll be damned that it is true.

  25. The one thing I admire about this show is the amount of detail the animation staff invested into each episode, from the infrastructures like road signs and shop names, residential areas and the shopping district, right down to the wares displayed inside the shophouses (particularly the florist’s shop).

    Not sure if anyone else has commented about this, but I chanced upon this amazing video about a group of fans who personally tracked down and located some of the famous landmarks featured in the two episodes of TM thus far. The video can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O9e4TesS9E&feature=player_embedded
    Credits to these individuals for their efforts, I wish I could visit Tama-Ya shopping district and try out those delicious mochi too~ =D

    Original link taken from: http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/01/15-1/video-fans-visit-the-locations-referenced-in-tamako-market-anime

  26. Midori is definitely in the closet for Tamako and our love triangle is formed!

    Somebody said Kon was cute girls doing cute things, Tamako Market expands that into cute people doing cute things.

  27. Heh, guess I wasn’t the only one who noticed the yuri vibes, because they were so blatant that it went into subtext. I wonder if they’re actually going to do something with it, might be interesting if they did (in a storytelling perspective, not a girl-on-girl is hot one).

    Loved the tsundere dad too, that moment made me laugh out loud. And any series that can make me laugh out loud is one I’m keeping my eyes on.

    I enjoyed this episode and this series so far, contrary to my expectations when going into this. I quite like the atmosphere they’re portraying and they know how to keep a slice-of-life series interesting.

    As for Kyoani’s storytelling, Stilts, in my opinion it rather depends on the source material as well. While they might stumble here and there (and quite frankly, who doesn’t? Even my favourite shows of the year have screwups if you nitpick them), they’ve certainly proved to be capable of it with shows like the first season of Haruhi, or for more recent stuff, last year’s Hyouka (that show had strong character development and interesting *main* mysteries, for one). ‘Course, I’m not expecting an epic plot for this show, though.

  28. Yeah, i was really confused about the whole pretty girl business too.
    Seems like they were pushing a new definition of stereotypical asian beauty here or smthn weird

    ima stick to my long black hiared yamato nadeshikos.

  29. lol, is the bird building a harem?

    Wonder if the people from Dera’s ‘video call’ going to come into the main story and bring in the ‘finding bride’ aspect or will it purely be school life and shotengai life?

    Amidst the K-ON moe moe chara design theres still the mystery of Dera.
    That made me want to continue watching.

  30. Anyone knows about the song that begins playing when Midori is at the coffee shop ? I absolutely loved it. The record (a 33rpm by the way, yes I timed it ^^) says “MARILOU – Un Lieu de Rencontre”, but looking at the current singer going by this name I found no mention of that particular song. Any spotted any mention of it in the episode credits maybe ?

    1. you know what? the song is really “Un Lieu de Rencontre” by Marilou.
      because as in any media, any songs used in the video must be credited. so i looked for the song title in both opening and closing credits.


      probably it’s a different Marilou from previous century, cos i listened thru the Marilou who is born in the 90s, totally different singing voice.

      what im guessing is, if possible, it will be release in future soundtracks.. IF the publisher has clearance to publish the song, that is..

  31. I guess I was one of the few who thought that Midori had a crush on Mochizo, because every time she went starry eyed he was in the frame. I guess I just didn’t have my yuri goggles on tight enough, or perhaps I just didn’t expect it to ever turn out this way. Honestly I love this new development. It reminds me of Tomodachi no Hanashi, a manga where you have these two friends who are so close that you begin to wonder what if (not to mention Midori and one of the girls from the manga, Moe, share a striking similarity in appearance and circumstances). Hopefully this little stitch in Midori’s character will get some more development later.

  32. Oh wow. I’m extremely impress with the way Kyoani handle this. In the middle of the episode I kept getting subtle hints of Midori being perhaps in the closet but I was thinking that maybe my yuri goggles were on rather tight and I was imaging things. But after watching the entire episode I’m glad that I was right about it. And it was done in such a classic way too! Bravo Kyoani. Seeing Midori’s struggls makes me really want to ship and root for her and Tamako together.

    But I also like Tamako with Mochizo. They’re so cute together. Augh!! I hate this!

  33. Seriously, the second an anime episode revolves around a characters sexuality or struggles it instantly a must watch show.

    Like “Okay, you got my attention. Carry on.”
    Has anyone notice this?


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