「今年もまた暮れてった」 (Kotoshi mo Mata Kure Tetta)
“Another Year Ends”
Another KyoAni slice of life comes to a close. Tears were shed and conclusions were had – or not, as was the case. There were some though, and some smiles as well, which is probably fitting for this show.
Best Friend Dera
Dera is many things. He’s ridiculous. Gentlemanly. Too fat to be recognized by his osana najimi. But of everything that Dera is, he’s a really good friend. That thought struck me when he asked what Tamako felt about this whole prince-coming-to-marry-her situation; did you notice that no one else had really asked her that yet? Of everyone she’s known for nearly her whole life, the one who was looking out for her the most was the silly bird she met only a year ago. I don’t hold that against the others, but I hold it in favour of Dera. Silly he may be, but he’s a true friend as well.
Definite Conclusions…Or Not
Here’s a point that I know may annoy many. In the area of definite conclusions, we got one. Thanks to Dera barging in an declaring Tamako unfit to be the prince’s bride by way of loving her current life too much, and after Tamako came in and politely declined, it appears that–what, it was the scent of those flowers all along!? Gah! That’s a very Tamako Market thing to happen though, so I’ll let it go. At least that’s taken care of.
But, almost nothing else was. There was Midori and Mochizou’s love for Tamako, Choi’s love for her prince….hell, even Dera actually leaving the market isn’t a sure thing! On those, the best was Choi possibly getting her prince, by way of the pointed close up on her neck, where the mole that would qualify her is bound to be (if you want to believe it’s there, that is). Dera staying for at least a little bit longer…well, I’ll admit that I smiled at that, but I wish he would have decided to stay forever! For a second there I thought this was a story not of how Tamako leaves the market, but how Dera stays. If so, the punch was pulled. That’s realistic, of course – deciding to move to a new country permanently is not a choice to make lightly…you can ask Enzo on that – but that doesn’t mean it’s not disappointing. It just goes to show you what I’ve always said – reality in fiction is overrated. There’ll be a Stilts Out Loud on that one of these days, sports fans.
As for Midori and Mochizou’s love…well, okay. Here’s the thing – this is slice of life, and it has never tried to be anything else. But it was set up like it was more. It was set up with all these things that just begged for resolution, and we got almost none of them. To me, slice of life shows are the best when they’re low-calorie and easy to enjoy vessels of pure, concentrated relaxation – you just sit back, enjoy the fun antics, and end up refreshed by the time the credits roll. On that count – and I can’t wait for the flames this comment is just begging for – GJ-bu was the superior slice of life this season. While, as I said with Sakurasou’s finale, leaving some things open for us to imagine can be wonderful, leaving plot points that were broached during the season unanswered feels dissatisfying.
The Best Birthday Present
While I disagree with Dera’s stance on leaving without a word – tears of love don’t count, and letting Tamako get it out would have been the kinder route! – it was a poignant moment when he disappeared, and she ran off to find him. Fortunately, Mochizou gets major points for not only finally “remembering” her birthday, but giving her the best present of all. Awwww!
Looking–Oh. This is it.
As with all KyoAni shows, Tamako Market has been an interesting one. I guess the only thing I can say now is…erh, I’ll finish this in the final impressions below!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – One thing is resolved, while everything else is left as is. Fuwa-fuwa to the end~ #tamakomarket
- I just realized…I still have no idea why Ono Daisuke was voicing Kaoru. I just got used to it. What is wrong with me!? …eh, I’m okay with it.
- Tsundere papa unilaterally changes the prince’s name to Mochiumai. I will miss tsundere papa!
- On a similar note, I will miss Kanna so, so, so, soooo much! And Tamako is going into evil mode now too? Woohoo! That’s character development I can believe in.
- Is dat some more chu2koi right there? That’ll do…though I would have preferred more Full Metal Panic. It’s so long overdue!
Full-length images: 20.
KyoAni are known as the unrivaled masters of slice of life, and that’s not a title I will dispute. When it comes to the subtle nuances that are required for the form, they really are unrivaled. For slice of life, the devil really is in the details, and nobody does details like KyoAni. This held true throughout Tamako Market’s run – a hand obscuring Midori’s face, a look from Tamako to Mochizou, and pretty much everything that Kanna did were all examples to that effect.
The main problem I had was that while the story was told like it was slice of life, it was built like it was a light-hearted romance/drama. From Midori and Mochizou’s loves to the whole will-she-marry-the-prince plot, the ingredients for something deeper were there, but they were never utilized. It seemed to have a fetish for the status quo, deliberately resetting any progress between episodes. Changes took place, but they were all inside the characters, and they never manifested externally in anything but the smallest of ways. That’s fine for a slice of life story – but when they built such obvious areas where resolutions were desired, it began to grate.
In the end, it’s hard to know how much of this series will stay with me. Some moments – in particular the crux of episode 9 – were good enough that I do believe I’ll remember them for some time to come. Almost everything else I will be surprised if I remember, though…with the exclusion of Dera. Of anything, Dera was the one part of this show that consistently made me laugh, consistently moved the story forward, and is the only element that felt fresh and unique. A talking bird, in a slice of life show? And it worked! Dera was great, and his seiyuu Yamazaki Takumi was the best of everyone. Though I also think I’ll remember Kanna, simply because she is fantastic.
But I think I’ll bring this back to my old stand-by question – was this entertaining? Yes, it was. Any disappointment stems from potential squandered, and a setup that made me hope for more than they ever intended to give. What we got though was entertaining, as I consistently laughed and/or felt all warm and fuzzy each and every week. In my book, that means a lot.
Let’s end with a (slightly modified) quote from Dera himself:
“The season may end, but some things never do. You may not see them with your eyes, but when you look with your heart, you can.”
Thank you for reading my silly little posts for another season. Until next time, my friends!