The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Tamako Market- Another Year Ends

Upon Mechya’s arrival, the whole shopping district’s attention shifts towards him, while Tamako feels a little confused by everything; the empty shopping district begins to remind her of when her mother died. When asked by Dera about what she thinks of the whole bride business, Tamako talks about how much the district has meant to her over the years. Tamako rushes to turn down Mechya’s proposal, only to learn that she isn’t actually a candidate, as Choi has misunderstood things. After the girls see them off, Choi and Mechya head back to their home country, only to realise they’ve left Dera behind. Come New Year’s, Dera attempts to head back home by hiding himself in a bouquet, only to wind up in a box Mochizou has ordered for Tamako’s birthday and end up right back on Tamako’s doorstep.

  • This is the prince of the southern island, a character that does not make a major appearance until the very end. Of course, this is a short talk about the finale, and as such, spoilers abound.

  • Anko has a distinctly familiar feeling: throughout the entire series, she appears very similar to Azusa Nakano in terms of appearance and personality.

  • While the entire series appeared to be building up Mochizo’s unrequited feelings for Tamako, and the rather complex love dodecahedron forming up, this notion is never really elaborated upon, instead, being regarded as more of an aside. 

  • To reaffirm that the series is purely a story about unique people in a unique setting, Tamako embodies the whole notion of being unable to really sense the feelings of other people in her surroundings.

  • Ultimately, Tamako Market is about how the warm and friendly atmosphere of the Usagiyama market is able to take seemingly unusual turns of events in stride and maintain their normal lives.

  • I do not believe I have introduced Choi yet: she is a fortune teller from the southern island that Dera comes from who is sent to check up on Dera and help him search for a bride for the Prince. She ends up staying with Tamako until Dera’s communication function can be fixed.

  • As per usual, this is an image that represents most of the main cast. From left to right, we have Shiori Asagiri, Kanna Makino Tamako Kitashirakawa, Midori Tokiwa, Anko Kitashirakawa, Fuku Kitashirakawa and Mamedai Kitashirakawa.

  • Tamako Market ends up being considered a healing anime in my books: the weaker story seems secondary compared to the fact that this anime can successfully invoke a sense of warmth and melancholy in viewers. If the opening and ending songs are anything to go by, the opening song seems to be more upbeat and welcoming, while the ending song has a distinctly more melancholic air to it.

  • Earlier, I noted that the presence of shows with K-On!-type animation was particularly problematic in Suzumiya Haruhi’s second season for some vocal viewers. The fact that K-On!-style characters are common suggests that the design is aesthetically pleasing and thus, marketable.

  • The main take-home message I picked up from one of my senior English courses was that every story has an initial equilibrium  and the rising action, climax and dénouement act to drive a particular situation towards a new equilibrium. In Tamako Market, the new equilibrium reached is that Dera stays with Tamako.  

Tamako Market ends up being a simple anime that brings one unique element to the table: an anthropomorphic bird, Dera, that does much to add to the comedy behind the series. This single element lends itself to all kinds of amusement, whether it be Dera’s adherence to his homeland’s customs or the consequences of a diet, making each episode a riot as far as Dera is concerned. Overall, the series began as a simple slice-of-life anime about everyday life in the market district, but the narrative shifts suddenly in the final episodes, with elements that would have warranted exploration in greater detail: Tamako’s announcement and dismissal as a potential bride was an element that did not appear to contribute to the story overall. However, this does not appear to be a concern- as a whole, Tamako Market does an outstanding job of selling itself as a story about the daily life of Usagiyama market’s shopkeepers and their families, and perhaps more visibily, how the close-knit environment here allows them to maintain balance in their life even as extraordinary events occur. This simple, warm environment allows the anime to excel at invoking a sense of happiness and nostalgia in its viewers, even if the story does end up getting the short straw in the end.

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