「小さな恋、咲いちゃった」 (Chisana Koi, Sai Chatta)
“A Small Love Blooms”

To me, this was the best episode of Tamako Market so far. It kept the fuwa-fuwa slice-of-life atmosphere and the pitch perfect jokes (still mainly centered around Dera), but the episode’s driving force (Anko’s feelings) was both more subtly developed while still coming to a satisfying conclusion. Plus, they managed to spring another (slight) surprise on me in the end. While I have long called myself a KyoAni skeptic, it is undeniable – when it comes to slice of life, KyoAni shines.

Anko-hime and the Festival

I feel like I missed the reason for Anko’s conflicted feelings about the festival. There was certainly an element of her being tired of being a mochi maker’s daughter, where she has to help out in the shop when she could be out with her friends. Yet was there a trace of wistfulness there as well? Where once she got to play Anko-hime (side note: hng~), now that time has passed. Maybe she misses it? There were hints of something like that when she was helping the children get ready for the parade, using the same words that calmed her before. Maybe she misses it, but by the end of the episode it was clear that she had come to peace with the festival, and even grown to like it in her own way.

Edit: it was almost certainly because she had memories of her mother from past festivals, such as the one shown in the first scene. Thank you dear commenters for reminding me of this, and also whooops!

Anko’s Little Love

KyoAni are being shifty ones this season. No one expected Dera to talk before Episode 1, and while Midori’s feelings were noticed by some, they were a surprise to the rest of us when they became clear in Episode 2. Yet here we got my favorite surprise so far – a beautiful switch and bait with the good-looking Ikemen-kun and the kind Megane-kun. Just like Midori and Kanna, I initially thought it was Tatsuya-kun (Igarashi Hiromi) who had caught Anko’s eye, so when it was revealed that her crush was Yuzuki-kun (Fujimura Konomi), I damn near whooped with glee! Score one for the kind-hearted glasses boys!! Viva la gentle nerds!!

But Anko’s mega-cuteness aside (though I could watch an entire episode of nothing but that, hng~), I enjoyed the sentiment of the episode. For a little girl she probably didn’t really know, but whose place she remembers so vividly being in, Anko missed a chance to spend time with the boy she liked…but in the end, her efforts were still rewarded. Anko really is a good girl for picking the nice boy, and it’s a good story that rewards them both. To quote Dera’s ending narration:

“Even if your feelings or wishes do not come true, or if things don’t go as you planned, on another road grows another flower. A new flower blooms there. Ah, nice bath.”

The bath part probably wasn’t important. Moving on.

Dera & Mochizou Switch Places (Sort of)

Once again, Dera was the funniest thing about this episode by far. From Tamako fattening him up to the great golden tori chase, he was just hilarious! He didn’t push the plot forward much this week (aside from clueing in Tamako and co as to where Anko was hiding), but I think a lighter hand may be the key towards using his character effectively. Other notables: his forcible landing on Anko’s head, the fat Dera hat, and him enjoying being the star of the parade waaaay too much. I swear, that bird is too pompous for his own good. I love it!

But one of the funnier things to me was how Dera and Mochizou traded places in a way. Whereas usually it’s Dera who is the butt of all the jokes, this week he was looking good in his dashing robe and gold paint while Mochizou was getting made fun of for his name and looking pathetic after carrying the shrine. Poor guy! He can never seem to show his best side in front of the oblivious Tamako.

Tamako is Still Dense

Speaking of, Tamako is still dense. I have a question though – why is it that when Tamako is dense about love, it’s cute, but when it’s a male character it’s annoying? Where double standards go, women – whether in reality or in fiction – are almost always the ones who get the short end of the stick (heads out of the gutter, people), but this may be one of those times where guys aren’t so lucky. Is it?

Well, no. The problem is that male characters are frequently the main characters of romances, and are made dense to stretch the story out. This is slice-of-life with a dash of comedy, so even if Mochizou was the main character and oblivious to Tamako’s love, I don’t think it would grate too much. Okay, sure, perhaps dense male characters can’t be cute quite so easily, but they can certainly be funny, and that would work just as well. No foul!

Still, I really enjoyed it when Midori mentioned how she was kind of relieved that Tamako is so dense. A smart girl, that Midori. Tamako’s denseness is the only reason she hasn’t noticed Mochizou’s blatantly obvious feelings, and thus the only reason Midori still has a chance. Well, that and the fact that Tamako’s sexual orientation is unknown, unless love towards the shopping district or mochi counts.

Looking Ahead – Midori or Mochizou?

The preview hints at some more fun in rabu-rabu land next time. Will it center around Midori? Mochizou? Both? All I can say for sure is that chances are, Tamako will still be dense, and Dera will be ridiculous. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Anko-hime comes to peace with the festival, & grows closer to her crush as well. D’aaaww! #tamakomarket

Random thoughts:

  • Loved how it took a while for Tamako to realize how heavy Dera had become. Her neck must be super strong by now! Like I’m talking the Hulk’s neck grafted onto a Japanese schoolgirl’s body. You’re welcome for that mental image.
  • I like how Anko is always wondering when Dera will leave, even though he’s the only one who calls her An. He may be a creepy bird, but he is a gentleman, and he listens to your requests. That counts for something, right?
  • Once again, I shouldn’t have been surprised that Anko’s crush was Yuzuki-kun, because KyoAni hinted at as much from the get-go. If you go back to the first scene he and Tatsuya are seen, it’s Yuzuki that speaks first, causing Anko to hide. Sure, she could have hidden on the assumption that those two would be together, but it’s not likely! It’s the little details that make these things fun.
  • Dera-chan is like Tamako Market’s gold painted Bond girl, except…in all ways but the gold paint. Fortunately for us.

Full-length images: 03.




  1. @Stilts

    Eh? I thought it was kinda obvious that Anko was conflicted about the festival because her mother passed away as hinted in the flashback sequence and sort of enforced in the later part where she took over her mom’s ‘role’ in helping the child dress up…

    …Not that I’m telling you how to do you job of course! Excellent Article! (>_>)

    *Changing topic*

    Funny how the two sisters are so different when it comes to love eh? EH?

    1. Ohhh, that makes sense. I didn’t remember that the Hikasa Youko-voiced character was her mother (or realize she was voiced by Hikasa Youko until I went back and checked just a minute ago…clearly I wasn’t paying enough attention to the beginning on my first watch through), but that makes sense. Memories of her mother, ka…

      And don’t worry, I appreciate it when things are pointed out that I missed or don’t know, provided they’re done politely (which you most certainly did!).

    1. Urobuchi Gen would probably concoct this as Dera falling into a sinister plot by Tamako and the people at the shopping street to stuff him as fat as possible in time for Christmas and was too late when he realized what was going on. XD

      Kinny Riddle
  2. adorable episode as usual. Love Dera’s poses and moments :3 side note that reminds me I should go buy some legos and make Dera. Cause i can’t own a real bird with that much personality. T^T sniff sniff

  3. I really am enjoying that this show seems so open and honest about exploring love and friendship in so many ways. And I’m really happy that they seem to be turning Dera down to a 5 or 6, when I was scared they were going to turn him up to 11. But they’re using him so well, both as a story driver with him getting Shiori to come to the store twice, and as an additional side story, like this week with the golden adornment on the shrine.

    And everyone commenting on Tamako’s dense nature is great. 🙂

    1. Agreed. Mind you, I quite enjoy shows where the comedy is turned up to ridiculous levels…but this is not the kind of show where that would work well. A little ridiculous and silly works great, but it needs to be kept in balance. This was the best example of that so far.

      1. Yeah, I’m not really someone who enjoys comedy hijinks that are too over the top (for instance, Nyarlko-san was probably about my limit). And in this show especially, keeping a nice measured level works so much better. For as ‘wacky’ as the whole setup seems in Tamako Market, they are doing a tremendously good job keeping the show intimate and accessible.

  4. Very good point raised about the denseness of the female characters being cute but pretty darn annoying for male characters. I agree that one of the reasons is that dense male characters usually appear in romcoms and dense female characters appear in slice of life anime.

    Another reason I will point out (which is somewhat similar to the romcom vs slice of life point), is that usually dense male characters appear in shows with plenty of fan service. Half naked girls jumping around saying everything she possibly could to say “LOVE ME” and the male character being completely clueless about it usually results in viewers inflicting the biggest facepalm they ever had onto themselves.

    In most shows with dense girls, usually the male characters do more subtle things, even “cute” things in some cases (i.e. Mochizou in episode 1 dwelling over giving Tamako the present or trying his best for her at the meeting in episode 2), and is usually not as blatantly obvious. I suppose if the male pursuers were the ones running around half naked that the police would be called instead…which again is another stereotype.

  5. I think we are going to get some development with Tamako and Mochizou on next week’s episode “We Spent the Night Together”. Let’s go Mochizou! Don’t let the chance slip away!

  6. This the weakest episode for me. Though I just attribute that the reduced screentime of Dera, so I’ll admit I’m slightly biased. It really depends on the viewers opinion on the bird. His skit as a golden festival statue was funny though. An is adroable to watch at least, though that’s pretty much as straight as KyoAni has ever done. They’re practically the masters of Moe exploitation in the anime industry, thankfully they do it very well.

  7. I was just as surprised as Midori and Kanna when it was ‘revealed’ that Anko has a crush on the boy with glasses. What a pleasant surprise nonetheless, especially since he was nice enough to give her omiyage despite her not going to the museum.

    The bird chasing scenes had me laughing quite a bit — loved the juxtaposition of the record shop owner reflecting on the most quiet day of work for him with the group chasing after Dera.

    Next episode’s title kinda seems like a confession from Mochizou is on the way, but KyoAni went out of their way to make the preview seem like it can go for either Mochizou or Midori. Either way, all that was shown was Midori is watching something from afar and Mochizou is so embarrassed his ears are burning bright red. Can’t wait for next week! I’m always looking forward to Wednesdays now.

  8. I’m really looking forward as to how KyoAni’s going to develop the other characters that haven’t had their spot in the limelight yet. They really know how to make their slice-of-life works (which I agree that it’s the area where they really shine) feel sentimental, full of warmth and feeling. I don’t get that kind of feeling very often when I watch other slice-of-life series.

  9. Viva la gentle nerds!!

    Yes! We are the best, er, I mean — Yes!

    I loved the switch-up with the cup-string conversation between An and Mochizou! It’s all about protocol; over.

    One thing that caught my attention (to detail) was the background music. It’s difficult to find a good word for it,
    but like the flow of this episode, each piece fit so well and it just sounds like it was so thoughtfully produced.

  10. – For all her childish antics, it’s impressive how Anko displays a little maturity where it counts. That scene where she actually stayed to serve as moral support for the girl she helped get dressed was a nice touch.

    – It’s also nice to see how close Shiori has gotten to Tamako and her family in the sense that she gets to help in the family business. Her carbonara must have made a very big first impression. I assume Midori and Kanna are just as close to the family but for someone who Tamako just met recently, it’s simply great.

    – Interesting how for Tamako’s sister, the roles are reversed where it’s the girl who’s crushing on the guy. Yuzuki-kun is definitely lucky that the shopping district’s resident cute imouto has her eyes set on him. I didn’t see the twist right away so way to go KyoAni!

    – I must have missed something in the previous three episodes. The reason I thought Tamako didn’t mind Mochizou calling her dad “Otou-san” was simply out of closeness and possibly some very very very slight mutual feelings. Only in this episode did I realize Tamako was THAT dense.

    – Midori’s Lego bird was a nice touch too. A shame it can’t be used. I wonder if Kanna could have fixed up something to replace the broken bird statue.

    1. Kanna to the rescue! Girl got skills. I’m sure she would have. But I’m glad she didn’t cause we would have been denied a hilarious chase scene with Dera. xDD That itself was worth it. I was laughing so hard when it happen. Screw the budget on that scene, make it all go fast and comical for laughing purposes.

  11. Dera sure looked glorious this episode, from the pimp jacket to all covered in gold paint (had to laugh at the scene where they’re chasing him – the music guy doesn’t even look surprised, so stuff like that must happen there often).

    Though I didn’t think this was the best episode (I still like the second one the most, I think), I do like how the show keeps jumping around viewpoints and focusing on different characters each episode – keeps it varied. Watching these characters interact is just amusing, really.

    And nice bait and switch, Kyoani. Really didn’t see coming that Anko’d go for the kid with the glasses. With the way he acted, he must also be aware of her shyness and how to deal with it – he had the guts to just sneak into her house and give her the fossil, anyway. Loved the way Anko was messing with Mochizou too, by the way.

    I think I would get frustrated with Tamako if this was an actual romantic comedy, but this isn’t, so here it’s just funny (especially because romantic entanglements are obvious to every other character). I hope there will at least be some resolution though, at the end of the show. Looking forward to next episode, anyway, cause the preview did make it look like we’ll have some progression on that front, at least (what with the title and all).

  12. I should note Dera makes a lot of puns that get lost in translation.

    3:17 「小さい男ではない」”chiisai otoko de wa nai” “[I’m] not a small man” He’s using this figure of speech to mean he’s not someone who comes across as thinking on the small scale, but the pun is he’s saying he’s literally not small. 😛
    21:52 This one I’m somewhat unsure on. He is combining 良お湯 “good hot water” with よゆう meaning “easy”. Saying something along the lines that the bath is good, but the previous phrasing was well put in his opinion.

  13. I love watching this show after hours of burrying myself into my books for my upcoming exams, it gives me a light comedy to laugh at and a story to be related to!! I loved this episode, I wondered though from what Dera said in the end, did she like the other guy first but when she saw this one she liked him? Or she liked him all along, damm you poetic Dera!

    I actually lover Dera xD my gosh, every increase to his weight is so visible I kind of think of it as a story on its own :p thanks for your review! Go Mochizu!

  14. Dera-chan is like Tamako Market’s gold painted Bond girl, except…in all ways but the gold paint. Fortunately for us.

    Oh God! Get that image out of my head!

    Seriously, I at least found some of the antics with Dera funny. Especially the chase scenes.

    An was adorable. The girls however are nuts using a grill in the bedroom.

  15. My God, that bird will die of obesity.

    All I know is, is that if the next episode revolves around Midori, my feelings will be very conflict about Tamako and Mochizou pairing. Well if it revolves around her feelings for her that is.

    This episode makes me want to root for Mochizou so bad because you see him making a strong effort to look good for Tamako. And I hate seeing anime characters work so hard only to see it go in vain. But if the next episode revolves around Midori’s feelings again like in episode 2, I think I may die. Seriously. Follow by loud screams of “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME KYO ANI!?”

    Kind of ironic when you think about it, episode one was all about Mochizou and Tamako being cute together and everyone was fine with that, it wasn’t until episode 2 came out that made everyone so conflicted about it. Is Kyo Ani trolling us viewers by showing us an awesome shipping potiental pair only to throw another one the following next episode!? I see what you’re doing there Kyo Ani.

    1. Tamako Market is too lighthearted a series to let Mochizou’s efforts have ZERO effect for the whole season. That’d just be too cruel; it might be funny, but the show isn’t really into that kind of humor. I don’t know if it’ll be the next episode, but he’ll get his chance. I’m not sure we’ll get much romantic development, but he won’t be totally ignored the way he is now, either. Besides, Tamako asked him specifically for a birthday gift, so I still have a strong suspicion she isn’t as dense as she appears.

      1. We shall see next week! It would be nice if she showed a little more that she isn’t that dense. I think if she knew it may be harder for the viewers to see 2 shipments into development cause one will get hurt over the other. Its funny how we always root for either in many animes when the one they are after tends to be a dense person, but we never consider how things would be if the the one they were after had actually feelings for either.

        Instead of hopeful cheers of “ooo I want them together! It shows that they care! etc etc” it would turn into “well that sucks. That person already lost… and they tried so hard damnit.” Since Tamako is light hearted as you stated, I doubt Tamako will start noticing right away, it appears that it’s ‘safer’ if she remains dense in this situation for the light humor of the show.

  16. What we have here is a mega-dose of Anko being adorable. From calling herself Anko in third person whil simultaneously telling people to call her An, to an adorable case of puppy love, to looking incredibly cute as Anko-hime in the flashback, to… well everything else she did, period, she was just utterly adorable. She made this a wonderful episode.

    In other news… seriously, Dera, develop some willpower. At this rate you’re going to die as a blob of fat in Japan without ever finding a bride for your prince. For that matter, how overdue are you on that? You’ve been here for months, and you don’t even know how to get home. Stop overeating, start exercising more, and go figure out how to find that bride you’re supposed to be looking for. And no, it is not any of our girls, drop that idea right now.


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