Take a stroll down a random street in Japan and you will enter a market arcade full of life, joy and sound. It’s vibrancy is only matched by the beaming personalities of the towns folk and that of the wonderful character of, Tamako Kitashirakawa, who’s love of the market arcade goes to drive the passions of everyone around her in all that they do. What if they come to find out that you are to marry a prince? OR that you live with a strange talking bird who’s family name translates into, ‘Bad Tasting Mochi’ while you house him in your family’s Mochi shop? Tamako Market attempts to deliver all of this in a compact, twelve-episode run.
What Tamako Market gives us, is a story that is neither to full nor too emotional. It gives us a charming look into the life of a high school girl that is just trying her best to carry on each day with a smile to her face and the burning passion to keep her mothers memory alive. The story that follows her is the story of a girl who’s life gets swept up in the chance that she may be the bride to be for a strange man from a far off island nation. While the story doesn’t end with them married it does end with them realizing that the fortune telling of the island’s local girl have been partially wrong. While the story is really short, just only twelve episodes, it is a story that is light of heart and a joyful experience. I have to say that I expected a love story but I got something more. An anime that just flowed like an everyday thing, it made not effort to stem at one genre or another and its story, while brief, never made an attempt to rub itself in your face as you watch it, though it of course presents situations that escalate the plot. The growth that you can see with the characters while not there physically is there mentally. We peek into a period in their lives and they advance ever so slowly with the anime’s progression. I like it a lot and it is very nice in the sense that you get to see some change but not very much at all. With anime like this, it is always a mental progression that is the most noticeable.
What captivates you instead is the breath taking art. It is nothing flashy by any means at all. It doesn’t do anything to make it standout but it’s vibrancy captivated this viewer. I do not understand why I am drawn so much to this anime’s particular art and color choice, it just has such a pleasant aesthetic that I cannot help but feel wrapped in a blanket of warmth. This anime really feels so much more alive than any other previous anime that I have seen. While I am not positive it is the color doing this or the combination of terrific voice acting, it does have a super profound affect. Please just watch that opening sequence above and tell me that this anime just doesn’t look inviting or cuddly. It’s other-wordly. The voice acting in this anime is just superb. We watched the Subtitled version on the, Anime Network whom also happens to have an English Dub available for those of you who are into that, it still was an amazing piece of work. The voices match the personalities so well that they blend and give the anime that much more vibrancy. I love Tamako’s voice actress so much. She did such an excellent job with her emotions and her happy moments that it is really hard not to hate her character at all! She just has so much joy and jubilation to give out to her community that it just spills out into the real world.
I think what this anime wants to convey is that love we all share for just the community we live in, for those individuals that help to make the days worth it or just that much more enjoyable and or bearable at the very least. While it may not be an exact relation it is something that is both personal and personable. This anime has an approachable atmosphere that I cannot express more than I already have stated. It is an anime that has something for everyone and I feel that the characters, story and art all have the same awesome effect no matter the person looking at it. For myself it was the art this time around and not the music. This isn’t too say that the music is not impacting, rather it is the art that is speaking volumes for me this time around. The art is taking the place of the music and that is profound to me, while not at all new, it still is interesting to us here at OGZ in the very least. The music is there in this anime and while it didn’t strike us as much as the art style of this anime has, it still is soft, elegant and beautiful to say the least. It is very pleasant and it is super awesome to have accompanying the anime. Now the opening is a perfect peppy beat that helps to shape that anime into what it is, even if you have not given it a chance yet.
In review of what I have stated, this anime speaks volumes to anyone that watches it. Whether or not you are into it for the story, you can rely on the art or maybe even the characters themselves to channel your love and passion for the anime. This anime is truly a first in which I can state that with high confidence, you can find a different way to love this anime. You can love it for that glorious and beautiful artistic style, you can love it for the voice actors/actresses or you can love it for the story and soft melodies that play throughout the anime’s 12 episode run. The art is something that is on another level all together. If I had to have a list of the most gorgeous looking anime, this would rank high, if not number one for our metaphorical list. This anime will make you laugh and feel at home with its whimsical and carefree nature, rather than trying to get you in with ‘plot’ and or over the top action. It is an anime that can run at its own pace but still carry its weight forward with it. If you were touchy about the Japanese dub, then give the English dub a whirl. I do not know how well it is nor how it sounds but I do know that there is always an option for everyone out there!
Tamako Market can be enjoyed via Hulu or The Anime Network! While I would usually link you all, they do require memberships to watch! So give either service a try or if you already have one, then awesome!