「あの子のバトンに花が咲く」 (Ano ko no Baton ni Hanagasaku)
“A Flower Blooms on Her Baton”

I’ve got to admit, this episode didn’t strike me. All the usual Tamako Market flair was there, but it was tacked onto a weak-ass frame. No matter how well they executed it, Midori’s crisis was self-inflicted and silly. It lacked any sort of punch, so while I found myself smiling and and even laughing at times, it was nothing like I did during past offerings. C-, could do better.

Midori the Perfectionist

I’ve been told that Midori is cool and dependable before, the key word there being told. I’m talking about back in Episode 2, when we were informed that she was this cool beauty instead of naturally showing us this in the course of the story. Now here we are again, and suddenly Midori is this inescapable perfectionist who is unable to ask for help. What’s going on, KyoAni? Generally they’re able to characterize people smoothly, but with Midori (and Midori alone) they’ve consistently dropped the ball through this series.

But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Midori has certainly shown herself to be dependable before, so you can say she just wanted to maintain her image far more than I expected. If so, they still get mediocre marks because Midori’s whole conflict was silly, self-inflicted, and easily resolved. This smacks of those romcoms where everything would have been ironed out within ten minutes if everyone just sat down and talked instead of jumping to the worst possible conclusion. Why didn’t you just ask for help, Midori!? And when an entire episode is based on a character not doing one simple thing, it’s frustrating for the audience.

As far as execution goes, Midori was spewing hints all over the place. I don’t fault Tamako and the others for not picking up on them (I think most of us would have done the same with a dependable friend who we assumed would ask for help if they needed it…which is the problem once again, but I should move on), but KyoAni bashing us over the head with it lacked their trademark subtlety. Over all, their execution was only meh. Even the crying lacked punch! Okay, so it shouldn’t have been a Clannad-level heart breaker, but for the Kings of Crying to show us a scene that was so weirdly awkward was just…okay. It was okay. I thought KyoAni was better than that. This was like seeing Apple release a product with average interface design. Which to be fair is starting to happen as well, but I digress.

All Hail Princess Tamako!

With the Midori plot line that dominated the episode lacking punch, the only real reason for this episode to exist was to finally drop the whole “yo, I think you’re our prince’s bride” bomb on Tamako. And seeing as that took a total of two minutes of screen time to accomplish, that’s a pretty damning indictment of this episode in and of itself. But I should really stop harping on that.

I guess the real question is, how are they going to handle this final bit? While I’ve enjoyed all the slice of life hijinks, this has been the question that’s been burning in the back of my mind for a while now. (Well, simmering quietly…not much about Tamako Market burns, other’n Mochizou’s love for Tamako.) Taking Tamako out of the market seems horribly cruel, so I’m still hoping for a Choi End once they realize that scents and moles are piss-pour ways to pick a wife. I just hope that these last two episodes are good ones. For better or worse, this will be what people remember the show for; subtle slice of life storytelling might make for a good time, but it doesn’t imprint deeply on one’s memory. For that, we need to go out with a bit more.

Looking Ahead

First of all, a quick side bar – it looks like I ended up ripping into this episode pretty hard, counter to my stated philosophy on such things. Thus, I feel compelled to note that it wasn’t bad, per say. This was a problem of expectations – I expect better of a KyoAni slice of life, especially after a superb previous episode, so when they misstep they’re going to get pilloried for it. That’s a good problem to have – it’s better to occasionally disappoint than be shackled with the soft bigotry of low expectations, to (mis)use a phrase I’m not particularly fond of. Put another way, I only bash them because I care.

As for what’s next…well, I already took care of most of that in the last section, so all I can say is that it doesn’t look like Tamako is leaving quite yet. You still have a chance, Mochizou, Midori! Now get on it before she disappears forever, you lazy kids.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The normal #tamakomarket goodness shackled onto a week shell. You know you’re being silly, right Midori? Eesh…

Random thoughts:

  • I actually kind of want to see Mochizou’s kung fu movie. So Kakkoii!
  • And a random sempai appears. What happened to foreshadowing again?
  • There was a lot of focus on the girl’s legs (or really, their socks). I’m not sure what this says, other than someone on the production team must have a huge leg fetish. Which I’m okay with.
  • Douzo, have a starfish! Erh, wait.
  • “If you think music is only made of sounds, you’re mistaken. Silence is also part of music.” Master is still the best character in every scene he’s in, even when he doesn’t know what he’s saying. Embrace the silence in your lives, my friends…
  • For some reason I like how Tamako’s twintail laid on top of Kanna’s head. It’s the small, moe details that count.
  • Welcome to YouTube fame, Dera!
  • Dera-chan is still the most sparkling thing in this show, though Midori did try. Bishie sparkles, ENGAGE!!

Full-length images: 09, 19.




  1. I say Choi should’ve did the choreography ;p

    This episode wasn’t what I expected.I expected something to match the last episode, but I just wasn’t feeling it.The “drama” didn’t feel like drama and Midori’s tears felt forced.

    KyoAni’s usually good at pulling my heartstrings (stop it!), but this episode felt like a normal episode with nothing big happening, there’s a word for that and I can’t remember it as I’m typing this ;/

  2. This episode isn’t bad, not great either, but it isn’t bad. I just think it suffers for coming after the best episode of the show to date. Still, how else could they have done this episode? I can’t really think of any other way to tell this same story in a different way. Perhaps if it were a Kanna-centric episode instead.

  3. Well, that preview trolled the crap out of me. And here I thought it was Midori reading a love confession from Tamako about meeting up somewhere to be alone forever and everz together, finally putting that poor girl out of her misery, only then would her smile be that bright and adorable..But I was fucking wrong wasn’t I?

    WHAT. Kana cried within the first 5 mins!? I must admit, I couldn’t tell if I should be laughing or feel bad for her. AWWWW. That shit was adorable. Funny adorable.

    BWHAHAHAHA @ Midori’s choreography test.

    Kisssssssssssssssssss. O3O Was I really the only one thinking that?

    I would give anything to actually see Tamako kiss Midori’s forehead if she was in her bed when they came over. That or a simple hand on her forehead to make Midori blush like crazy only to bring her fever back. It’s the little details that count people.

    FINALLY, we have come up to the conclusion of Choi actually making it official by pointing out that she thinks Tamako is the princess. She has only been here for several episodes, and never said anything, nor even ask about that smell. She almost did but the phone rang. But I’m satisfy with her just bringing up to her attention. I was honestly wondering if Midori and Mochi would tag team to do something about it, but the preview doesn’t really revolve around that.. base on Choi’s expression, I think her motion was rejected.

  4. I got more feels for Shiori who clearly wanted to be part of it but can’t because she’s on a different club from her friends. Poor Shiori.

    I did find it sweet that Tamako hugged Midori. She clearly needed that. Everything can be sweeter with just a few hugs.

  5. In a way this episode is down to earth and free of excessive dramatic effect.* Though I do think the expectation got to Midori. That may have stressed her out and blank her mind.

    * IT’S A GOOD THING. Cause that’s how Tamako Market Punies

  6. I guess I’m in the minority. I really enjoyed this episode, so much so that I watched it twice in a row. Here we got to see Tamako and Kanna as supporting characters. How often do you see that? And I think they did well. As side-kicks this episode, they had some good comedy going. One is a natural air-head and the other is a mastermind, er, carpenter. Yet they both are there when Midori needed them. I see this episode as an episode on friendship. It’s what keeps Tamako grounded in real life. Tamoko Market is a slice-of-life show but it’s also a show heavy on personal relationships and community connections. I see this episode as another aspect of that.

    1. I thought the same. I don’t think this was intended to be a strong episode, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when the last 2 episodes will focus on the major bomb of the series. Sure, Midori’s issue this episode wasn’t exactly original, and was probably bordering at levels of silly but I don’t think it was as bad as Stilts’ outburst makes it out to be. There was still a lot of cute scenes and Dera-being-Dera in the episode, so overall, I was satisfied.

      Btw, who else tried to copy Kanna’s pinky-index finger touch when she was at Midori’s house?

    2. Actually, Tamako was a side-character in many other episodes! She’s one of those protagonists that doesn’t do much and doesn’t have that strong a personality, yet her presence affects absolutely everyone around her for the better.

    3. Agreed with starss…Tamako functions more like a side-character in most episode, seeing as there has never been a “Tamako episode”. The closest was Episode 1, but that was as much (and really more) a Dera episode than anything else.

      Ohandalso, my problem was that the central premise was frustratingly silly. I did note that it wasn’t truly bad, but merely suffered from the high expectations I have of KyoAni. But “it wasn’t meant to be a strong episode” isn’t an excuse. If you know an episode isn’t going to be that good, why put it out? Why purposefully release a sub-par offering? The only good answer is that they didn’t think it was going to be sub-par and it just turned out that way. Which is fine, but once again, no excuse.

  7. I agree the premise was weaker than past episodes, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I can recall many times in my past where I should have asked for help, but my ego got the better of me and I tried to rough through things on my own. I’m sure everyone does it at some point. It’s only human to do so. Many times during the episode, Tamako and Kanna made comments such as “it’ll be fine if it is Midori doing it”. All I saw was Midori trying to meet that expectation, so I didn’t see any issue with it. And I had the impression that the crying scene wasn’t meant to be dramatic (unlike K-ON!! episode 20). It was just a light-hearted moment between friends.

    There were many hilarious moments in this episode for me. I also loved Tamako’s twintail on Kanna’s head. But my favourite moment was Shiori talking about overhearing Midori when going to the toilet, and Dera’s reaction was “No! Shiori can’t be using a toilet too!”.

  8. I also enjoyed this episode, though like others it wasn’t what I was expecting.

    I liked Midori more after this episode. She was determined to look cool and not betray Tamako and everyone’s expectations and so felt unable to ask anyone for help. As someone who was once in a very similar situation I felt for Midori in this episode as I know how difficult it can be to admit you’ve made a mistake and ask for that help. Also, watching her procrastinate was adorable.

    Tamako Market is the series that has surprised me the most this season and I look forward to seeing what else it can do in the final two episodes.

  9. Ahhh, this is really bugging me I’ve heard her voice before can’t get a confirmation on it on any sites D:… Anyone know who the VA is when she says “watashi mo itte ii kana?” at around ~5:11?

    1. Oh, nothing. In fact, I quite like it – I think that people don’t embrace silence and boredom enough, which is a shame, because it’s only when you’re not doing anything else that creativity and introspection can flourish. Which is probably why most people get their best ideas while in the shower.

      He just said it and then admitted he wasn’t trying to say anything in particular, so I thought it was funny : )

  10. As quoted from Mr. chill music/cafe man, “Silence is also part of music.” And unfortunately, (if you wanted a dramatic tone) this wasn’t used to the fullest extent, using lighthearted music and gags when the going gets tough. (it’s CLANNAD and Kanon that gotten the best of me D:)

    But then again, Tamako Market it placing itself on the map as a lighthearted and happy show. There were always silly and simple conflicts in each episode containing the simplest of solutions. But that’s what makes this show so enjoyable to me. It’s the fact that a lesson is taught and given every week. Whether its to speak up, embrace and confess your love, or to just let go and have fun. Sometime’s life is just that simple. And while Midori’s problem was handled with it’s flaws (if you TRULY wanted that dramatic tone, which was partially me *.*), I there were some shining moments within this episode (Kanna’s “A revolution may be upon us” in seeing a opening in stealing Midori’s presidential throne/ The parallel mirror scene with Shiori/ and the beautiful use of SILENCE and sounds once Midori snatched the paper away from Kanna) All in all, simplicity is what I truly commend in this show.

    P.S. But alas! The big problem is not solved yet! Who will Tamako choose? Midori? Mochizou? The Prince? Dera? What is this? The Bachelorette?!

  11. There was a lot of focus on the girl’s legs (or really, their socks)

    Amen to that, brother!
    I noticed that in Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, too. I wouldn’t say Kyoto Animation has a
    leg/foot fetish, but someone (there) believes that those are areas not worthy of neglect in their art.
    Choi’s feet were drawn with a lot of detail (e.g. 7:56ish), and for the most part I’ve considered the
    art and scene composure well thought out in this series, which makes it easy/relaxing to watch
    (IMHO because our brain isn’t constantly trying to correct for animation flaws — at least I notice it).

    Midori’s whole conflict made sense to me; being dependable one-on-one is a lot different than
    suddenly finding yourself responsible for a small group’s performance. And they’re your friends.

    I really wonder how this will all play out – it’s almost like the “find a princess for my prince to marry,”
    isn’t the main thread of this series and that, like Dera, are colourful diversions to keep our interest in
    what is/has been a very cute slice-of-life series.

    1. I think you’re right. And yet, they’ll still be judged based on that plot line (and on Dera in general, though I think they’re okay there), so I hope that don’t screw it up!

  12. Somehow the animation was weird in this episode. They kind of skipped a few frames in several scenes (the kung fu movie scene, Midori blushing after noticing Master, Tamako hugging Midori).

    Dera being in despair after hearing that Shiori uses the toilet was too funny.

  13. Really? I thought Midori’s conflict had an emotional punch by the end. I think the difference here is that she kept digging herself deeper when we know from the past that she’s a smart girl who wouldn’t as careless to do that.

  14. The wierdest thing for me about this episode was that random Senpai. She came out of nowhere and just started hanging out with them and laughing all the time.

    Also, Dera’s dance, hilarious. Make sure you get some other girls in the video Mochi 😉

  15. I am late to the party as usual. I am a KyAni respecter; i feel that Hyouka and Chuu2-whatever were excellent beyond essentially anything in 2012. But, yeah, this episode was very half assed. Um, Chuu2 Dekomori near the season end crying. That was intense. This was not.

    For me Kana is my favorite character, the voice actress in particular raises the role above the already excellent writing. Dera is number 2.

  16. After trying to like Midori for the past 9 weeks, this episode didn’t do much to help. She just looked so foolish. Although I absolutely loved the similarities to how she and Shori interacted in episode 3 in front of the mirrors.

    Also, glad I wasn’t the only one who awkwardly appreciated Tamako’s pigtail pooling onto Kanna’s head.

  17. And a random sempai appears. What happened to foreshadowing again?

    I think she was their former captain. She appeared in the first episode though they didn’t show her face.

  18. Let’s just settle it this way…Choi is 98% right, so she has everything right except the fact that SHE also has a mole on her neck, Tamako makes an innocent (as usual) comment about it, and Choi gets the prince. Case closed. Of course, MY ending (as stated earlier) would be – prince shows up, it is, indeed, Tamako , he decides that he and Choi will go to school there while he and Tamako get to know each other, since Dad is no way going to just let her go, Choi is sad and Mochizou almost has a nervous breakdown. Potential love triangles out the whazoo. Too many loose ends. Second season! (this ends the dream for today-amen)


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