「歌っちゃうんだ、恋の歌」 (Utacchaunda, Koi no Uta)
“Singing a Love Song”
If there’s one thing that Tamako Market does well, and perhaps better than any slice of life show in recent memory – though I drink a lot, so my memory isn’t real good – it’s tell heartwarming little stories with its entire cast where things appear to change, but in reality nothing really has. The changes happen inside the characters, and within us. This time we thought we were getting an Anko episode, but nope! Turns out it was time for tsundere dad to take center stage.
Young Love, Gone Before It Began
Okay, so Anko did get her time in the spotlight as well. I must say that it was kind of odd – coming from some of the other shows I cover, the news that Anko’s crush was moving away came without a hint of drama. Blame it on (or give credit to)Tamako Market’s atmosphere. Still, while I wasn’t worried about Anko being crushed into a tear spiral, I did wonder where they were going with this.
Where they were apparently going was to show how dependable the men in Tamako’s life are. Mochizou, Dera, her father…they’re all as dependable as they are silly. This time, Mochizou stepped up to find out what was getting Anko down, and then took the initiative to talk to her to try to help out. As for Dera, not only is he now grocery shopping, but Tamako instantly trusted him to take care of her little sister – and deservedly so! Tamako is a lucky girl. Anko as well.
As for a certain boy in Anko’s life, dependable he certainly is, but silly he is not. Is it just me, or is Yuzuki-kun going to grow up to be either the ultimate ladies man or the world’s best boyfriend? Either way, as a guy myself I almost hate him, if only out of jealousy. Smoothly saying that he’ll come see Anko on New Years Eve…you sly dog, you! It does go to show you, though…while it can hurt when a friend (or love interest) goes away, you shouldn’t hole yourself up to avoid the pain. Go and talk to them – you never know what good things may happen.
Speaking of Mochizou, that boy sure does have it tough. It’s tough loving the dense Tamako…and yet, she shows signs of something more. When Mochizou only told her that Anko’s “friend” was moving away, she jumped to the conclusion that it was Yuzuki-kun (unless she was eavesdropping on their conversation, which doesn’t seem like her style). She also actually remembered Mochizou’s birthday, and gave him a mochi cake to celebrate. Just as it’s nice to see Anko crushing on the kind boy, I love seeing the beleaguered nice guy rewarded by his dense crush. Happy birthday, Mochizou!
The Story of a Love Song
A whole family named after mochi, eh? And another family across the street! (Except Tamako. I guess they wanted to branch out with that one). It’s silly, but if only for giving us this sweet scene, I’m okay with it.
So rather than an Anko episode, this was at its core an episode about love, as principally embodied by the tale of Kitashirakawa Mamedai (Fujiwara Keiji) and Kitashirakawa Hinako (Hikasa Yoko), AKA Tamako and Anko’s parents. Personally, I think anime lacks enough good stories about parents and family. Oh, there are a few (CLANNAD comes screaming to mind), but they’re mainly under KyoAni’s oeuvre – almost no one else does them. For them, parental abandonment (trope!) is the norm. Which is fine! Yet when I look at this episode…
The reason I really enjoyed the story of tsundere dad’s love is the mixture of innocence and maturity, of happiness with the bittersweet fact that she is no longer there to be with them. It was an adult love story – sad, yes, but such is life. And yet it was so loving, so beautiful, watching these two young kids that you knew would one day grow older and have two beautiful daughters together. Holy hell, I think writing this is making me more emotional than watching it ever did.
Contemplate their story, dear readers, because though it is bittersweet, it cannot be so without being sweet in part. I loved how Tamako caught her dad singing the song that he wrote for his future wife, I loved that he wrote it and performed it for her, and I even loved the words, as unoriginal as they were (though heartfelt! Screw originality – I’ll take honest emotion every time). And perhaps most of all, I loved how Tamako told him that after seeing that video, she loved him even more. No, scratch that–it was his smile at the end. Even now, he still loves her, as much as he did in those days long ago when he wrote and sang for her. A love that does not fade…oh man, I’m tearing up over here. Blasted writing–why does it have to make me feel?!
Making guesses as to what is coming next is futile. It would appear that next episode involves a lot of Midori, but so what? That might mean it’s a 1/3 Midori episode, who knows. All I know is that they’d better start shoveling some character development on their heroine soon, lest the show end with her exactly as she was at the start. Though maybe that’s exactly what will happen. It’s as her grandfather said – Tamako is the same as always, and she probably always will be. I added that second part myself.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A bittersweet love story, x2. Tsundere dad is devastating when he turns on the dere. “I’m singing this song just for you…” #tamakomarket
- I knew it, Dera is fat again! This is what happens when you don’t change the underlying habits that caused the weight gain. Though at least now he has some muscle, so that helps.
- Glutton Choi-chan is sooooo cute!!
- Mochizou and his friends seem a lot like Mamedai and his friends. Coincidence? Ufufu~