The Infinite Zenith

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

Tamayura ~More Aggressive~: At the halfway point

Let’s Photo nano de!

I’ve finally reached the halfway point in Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ now. It’s been a calming yet intriguing journey to watch Fuu start the Photography club and go on several adventures for their club, whether it be performing a folk song for their club or going on an afternoon hike in search of sakura trees. Kanae fits in with Fuu and her friends very nicely; sharing a similar timid personality, her interactions with Fuu this season are indicative of the “more aggressive” aspect in the title. Despite still being shy, Fuu has begun to take more initiatives and thus, is able to help Kanae along in her own photography.

  • This is one of Kanae’s photographs; taken on the spur of the moment, it won an award in a contest and initially causes Fuu to think that Kanae might disapprove of her efforts to start a photography club. Such images are always immensely beautiful, capturing a kind of melancholy and wistfulness in a scene that would otherwise be absent if the subject’s visage was visible.

  • Mutsuko Shimokamiyama is a new teacher at Fuu’s school and has an excitable personality. She becomes the advisor of Fuu’s photography club and often tries to get Fuu and Kanae to enter various contests.

  • Kaoru, despite not being voiced by anyone who lent their voices to Kagami Hiiragi or Alicia Melchiott, has some tsundere character where dealing with Norie and her older sister, Sayomi.

  • Whereas Fuu uses a film Rollei 35S once fielded by her late father, Kanae uses a Pentax Q digital camera: their choice reflects on the different philosophies behind each of their photography styles. Nonetheless, both cameras are used to capture heartfelt images, illustrating that it is the context of a photo, rather than the camera, that matters.

  • Kanae and Fuu present the photography club’s presentation after Dougou injures himself while trying to impress Chimo. Singing a song about photography set to the melody of Momoneko Ondo, I found this scene to be particularly enjoyable.

  • Fuu and Kanae become fast friends owing to their similarities; Kanae is immensely thankful to have met Fuu and joining her photography club, mentioning that she lacked the wish to take on the logistic details behind starting a club and getting enough members for it.

  • Fuu eventually finds the sakura tree her late father planted to commemorate her birth. Her resolve to continue following her passions overweighs her shyness and doubts, as Fuu attempts to move forward following her father’s death, and as such, she is more accepting of what has happened now, reminding others that she’s okay with mention of her father.

  • Fuu’s desire to capture images often lead her into unusual positions or situations, where she totally neglects her surroundings for the sake of a better shot. While Ra’s Al Ghul might be displeased, this is the spirit of photography and not the various ninjutsu arts employed by the League of Shadows.

  • The girls express a certain amount of hesitation and trepidation in Sayomi’s constant suggestions for adventure, but always end up coming to enjoy them immensely. Here, they begin a trip to find sakura trees after the ones in their immediate neighbourhood have stopped blooming.

  • Fuu’s use of a film camera means that every shot she takes counts for something, whether the image itself turns out okay or not. Conversely, Kanae uses a digital camera and tends to delete images she dislikes, keeping only the good ones. These are two very different paradigms to photography, reflecting on the girls’ differences in personality but shared objective of photographing happy moments. The difference in cameras admittedly reminds me of the differences in the beam magnum and beam smart gun from Gundam Unicorn.

We’re only about halfway through, but I’ve somehow managed to get twenty screenshots owing to the beautiful scenery around Takehara. As per usual, the artwork is beautiful, and the music is very peaceful. At the time of writing, I’m inundated with various applications for things beyond undergraduate studies; while the applications are very nearly ready, I’m still editing them frequently, and the deadlines are fast approaching. Thus, there is a certain amount of stress to meet said deadlines and produce a solid application. I’d probably be quite disheveled, but taking a 20 minute break to watch an episode of Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ succeeds in allowing me to relax, regroup and continue on.

  • The girls eventually finish their lunch and continue making their way up the countryside with a renewed vigour courtesy of Fuu. This entire daytrip stems from Shimokamiyama-sensei’s wish to sign Fuu and Kanae up for a photography competition in sakura trees.

  • The end results pay off: Sayomi had intended to bring them to a beautiful sakura tree that is one of the oldest in their prefecture. While the girls get some stunning images, they miss the deadline for the contest, but nonetheless have a fun time. The memory of having spent such a wonderful day with friends outweighs the contest, reminding users that sometimes, it is the journey, and not the destination, that matters most.

  • Some places have the tendency of romanising Fuu’s name as Fu. This is incorrect: the corresponding kanji (楓) is pronounced Fuu and is correctly written as Fū, but Fuu is an acceptable alternative, as the bar denotes a prolonged pronunciation of the sound. I tend to use Fuu over Fū because it’s easier to type, and have taken the liberty of replacing all instances of “Fu” over at TV Tropes with the correct romanisation (mainly to impose my will over the editors, but also for correctness’ sake).

  • At the halfway point, Riho introduces Fuu to a travel planner named Harumi Kawai, who was an old acquaintance of Fuu’s father from before Fuu was born.

  • Viewers may or may not have previously noticed there was no image caption here. That was an oversight on my end, and I would have probably noted how calming the backgrounds in Tamayura are.

  • During her trip with Harumi and Riho, Fuu hears about how her father would always deviate from her plans and find fun things by going with the wind, reminding me of my memories of my last two vacations, where we went on roadtrips with a completely open-ended schedule, giving me an opportunity to visit Sinclair Canyon in British Columbia and visit the historic railway station in Jasper.

  • I’ve never actually stayed at a Bed and Breakfast before, typically staying at various hotels in another city while travelling. B&Bs must adhere to safety and health regulations and oftentimes, offer a unique historic experience that hotels may not offer.

  • Fuu and company stop at a Bed & Breakfast inn run by an old couple: they started their B&B after Fuu’s father gave them advice about their venture, and recall that it is thanks to him that they are where they are presently.

  • Later during the night, Harumi gives Fu a much belated congratulation of being born and Fu thanks her for helping her connect more with her father, inspiring Harumi to be more open and connected with her tours.

  • I’m uncertain as to whether or not I mentioned the series’ namesake “tamayura”, a phenomenon in which specks of light appear in images that capture true happiness. It is the only otherworldly phenomenon seen in what is otherwise a very down-to-earth anime, but rather than detracting from the experience, the tamayura serve to accentuate the series’ moments.

Now that the halfway point of the season has passed, I will probably finish off the other episodes in due course and supply an overall reflection of the series, which has turned out to be equally as relaxing as ~Hitotose~ but also succeeds at distinguishing itself from its predecessor. As things currently look, I have a good feeling about ~More Aggressive~ and look greatly towards to the second half. I’m still a little behind on my anime, but I anticipate finishing before Fall 2013’s Coppelion and other anime roll around.

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