The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Tamayura ~More Aggressive~

Masterpiece Anime Showcase: Tamayura ~More Aggressive~, A Thank You For the Past Year and Welcoming the Brand New Year

“A year full of new encounters and wonderful experiences has come to a close. In its place, a new one has begun. I’m sure more encounters and wonderful experiences await.” –Fū Sawatari

It’s been a year since Fū returned to Takehara, and while Fū reminisces about all of the wonderful things that had happened in the past year, she is encouraged to try something new after Chihiro sends her a message. Fū ends up creating a new Photography Club at her high school and meets Kanae Mitani, who had taken a picture of Fū which ended up being featured in a magazine. Although Kanae is nervous about the club, Fū welcomes her with open arms, and seeing the photos leads Kanae to join. The Photography Club thus go on a range of experiences together. Fū and Kanae strive to find photos for a festival presentation, participate in a cherry blossom photography contest and even participate in a photography exhibit featuring Riho’s works, all the while retreading the scenery Fū’s father had once known. Chihiro and Tomo later visit Takehara, and Fū encounters one of her father’s old friends, Nozomu Natsumu, during the Path of Longing Festival; despite his cold manner, Fū is grateful to have met him and hear him speak of their time together as high school students. Kanae has come to greatly treasure her time spent with Fū and her frineds in the Photography Club, and suggests a trip over to Mitarai, where Maon had been planning on going to attend a concert. With the end of year fast approaching, Kaoru decides to host another We Exhibition: this time, everything will be organised based on the seasons, and although the event is a complete success, Kanae is saddened at the thought of having to part ways with everyone. During a New Year’s sunrise viewing with Fū and the others, Kanae finally allows her emotions out into the open, admitting she didn’t wish to graduate because Fū had done so much for her. In the new year, Fū’s celebrates her father’s birthday and goes to get her camera repaired, but begins thinking about how she’ll have to part ways with Kanae, Norie, Maon and Kaoru someday. To take her mind off things, Fū’s mother takes Fū out to the spot where her father had proposed to her and reminds Fū of how far she’d come. On graduation day, Fū, Kaoru, Norie and Maon attend to congratulate Kanae, who’s been accepted into her first post-secondary institution of choice. Looking back on the past year, Fū is immensely grateful to her parents, who’ve made all of these experiences possible. Having spent ~Hitotose~ rediscovering her passions, Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ lives up to its title by having Fū take a bold step forwards and leading her school’s photography club. The phrase is derived from Chihiro’s encouragement for Fū: to be more confident, assertive and decisive. Although she’s quite pensive about things initially, being able to start the photography club and make new memories with Kanae helps Fū to become more confident with herself, and in the process, the pair create irreplaceable memories.

Owing to the plethora of pleasant memories that Fū and Kanae share together during their time in the Photography Club, Kanae comes to realise that thanks to Fū’s determination, she was able to do the sorts of things that she’d only once dreamt of doing. Prior to meeting Fū, Kanae had primarily focused in landscape photography, and since she uses a digital camera, she deletes images that don’t turn out well. Conversely, Fū is fond of photographing the people around her, and a film camera means the mistakes are retained alongside the successful shots. While Fū is Kanae’s junior, her approach to photography is inspiring enough to lead Kanae to try new forms of photography, and she ends up gaining new perspective as a photographer. At the same time, Kanae is also able to spend time with Fū and her friends: the excursions that Kaori, Norie and Maon bring Fū and Kanae on become worthwhile photography outings, as well as a chance to learn more about the girl whose silhouette changed her world. These idyllic and enjoyable days feel as though they’ve come out of someone’s dream, and having not really lived quite so fully previously, Kanae comes to wish that such moments could last forever. Tamayura similarly creates a sentimental nostalgia during its run, creating a warming sense of comfort that one can find difficult to turn away from. However, as important as having these memories are, ~More Aggressive~ aims to convey to viewers that it is necessary to also turn one’s eyes to the future. While Kanae would’ve been happy living in the present, Fū’s outlook suggests that the only reason why new memories and moments can be made is because one takes the initiative of creating them. It is with an eye turned towards the future that the present can be enjoyed and shape the memories that one looks fondly back on, so for Kanae, a part of her time spent with Fū also entails finding the strength to part ways and take ahold of the future. In the end, as Fū had managed to take her first steps forward, Kanae is able to do the same: she’s got support from Fū, Kaoru, Norie and Maon, and so, is able to graduate with a smile on her face, ready to embrace whatever lies ahead. ~More Aggressive~ indicates plainly that so long as one has an open mind, the future will always hold the possibility of creating new experiences that one can add to their memories. Moreover, while people might part ways, the memories will always be a part of people who share time together: farewells aren’t always final, but it does take a bit of courage to take this step forwards. Fortunately, with great company in one’s corner, anything is possible: Kanae and Fū are able to do precisely this, and while they only spent a year together, the learnings and memories help both to look towards the future with optimism.

Because ~More Aggressive~ has Fū seizing the initiative to be a leader, it becomes clear that since ~Hitotose~, Fū is no longer just a passenger in life; during ~Hitotose~, Fū had maintained an open mind and accepted opportunities to learn more about Takehara and her friends. However, these events are instigated by those around her. Conversely, the decision to start a photography club signifies how Fū has both made peace with the past and found new joy in her life, enough now to want to share her feelings and expressions with others through photography. Although Fū remains nervous, she also gradually becomes more confident in communicating her thoughts to others: at ~More Aggressive~‘s beginning, she is unable to articulate the Photography Club’s functions to others and botches her introduction at the club president meetings, but as she accepts opportunities to perform at festivals, participate in contests and even submit work for a professional exhibition, Fū finds her footing and is able to guide Kanae, too. Fū is no longer a mere passenger at the end of ~More Aggressive~, becoming a driver possessing a better sense of where she’s interested in going. It is though a combination of support from friends and family, as well as Fū’s own resilience and open-mindedness that allow her to reach this point: as Fū’s mother tearfully notes, Fū was able to do all of this of her own accord, welcoming people into her life and embracing all aspects of life, both the good and bad, as they come. This is consistent with how Fū approaches photography: she keeps all shots whether or not they turned out well, and this symbolises both the enjoyment of happier moments, as well as being mindful of learning moments. The sum of these learnings are valuable to Fū, but they also have a tangible impact for those around her: Kanae’s entry into the Photography Club is a turning point in her own life. While she’d been worried about having no drive or direction for the future, Fū and her friends, plus all of the people in their networks, help Kanae to spot something that hadn’t been obvious: people live life at their own pace, find inspiration at their own pace and cast off towards their future at their own pace. There isn’t any need to worry about what others are doing; so long as one can find their own footing, they’ll be fine. Meeting a more confident, capable and aggressive Fū ends up changing Kanae’s world for the better, as well, and in this way, ~More Aggressive~ absolutely does live up to its title, bringing into Tamayura a dash of confidence, knowledge transfer and exciting new opportunities that only result from a combination of friendship, family and an open mind.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Unlike ~Hitotose~, I actively wrote about ~More Aggressive~ after its airing concluded. As the story goes, after I graduated from the Bachelor of Health Sciences programme, I became melancholy as all of my friends were going their separate ways, and a one-in-a-hundred year flood ravaged my province, in turn removing my chance to hang out with friends and do a kokuhaku. I did receive an NSERC USRA and ended up building a peer-to-peer simulation, which allows different computers to focus on computing results for one area of the body, and then transmit this data to a peer on the network so that each machine could also see results from the other groups. However, this was punctuated by melancholy that seemed quite far removed from the beautiful weather we had following the flood, and I lost motivation to watch anime.

  • For no good reason other than for my amusement, I’ll showcase a moment with Kaoru and her shapely legs while she’s chatting on the phone with Chihiro: Kaoru, Norie and Maon had all noticed that Fū seemed off her game, even more so than usual. Having known Fū for so long, Chihiro reassures Kaoru it’s fine, and that this tends to happen when Fū is making a big decision. It speaks volumes to the support that Fū’s had from her friends over the past year, and that Fū is contemplating something big shows that she’s come very far since returning to Takehara.

  • Because my post on ~Hitotose~ didn’t once have a screenshot of Momoneko-sama, I’ve decided to include one here to compensate for that oversight. Fū’s tendency to get lost in the moment whilst search of a good photo creates comedy, although on this morning, her friends aren’t convinced that Fū’s her usual self. After some coaxing, Fū finally makes it known that she wanted to start a photography club at her high school, even though the path to kicking off such a club would require a bit of work. This decision shows that Fū’s now wanting to share her joys with others, the same way her father’s photos touched the hearts of many. In retrospect, I might’ve benefited from watching ~More Aggressive~ while it was airing: I finally started in September, when my open studies term began.

  • While ~More Aggressive~ did help me to relax, the melancholy I found myself amidst meant that I ended up missing the series’ main themes. The approach of winter, and thoughts of a wasted summer left me in a depression, and I found myself longing to be somewhere like Takehara whilst lamenting the shortening days and cold weather. I’ve always wished to revisit ~More Aggressive~ under happier circumstances, and as such, after I watched ~Hitotose~, I figured that, rather than waiting for September 2023 to do a ten-year anniversary reflection, I figured now would be a good time to go back through ~More Aggressive~. This time around, I feel that I got more out of ~More Aggressive~ than I did eight years earlier.

  • For Kaoru, Norie and Maon, concern turns to excitement as they cheer on Fū’s efforts to run her new club after Kazutarō pulls some strings and manages to secure approval for the Photography Club. However, it’s not easy-street just yet: besides needing to attend club president meetings and give an introduction in front of the entire school to explain her club’s functions, Fū must also recruit for new members. Things become more complicated after Mutsuko Shimokamiyama, a new instructor whom Kazutarō has asked to advise for the Photography Club, becomes excited about photography competitions and shows a magazine sporting a photo that Kanae Mitani, one of the seniors, had taken.

  • While Kaoru, Norie and Maon become worried that Kanae might show up to challenge Fū’s Photography Club, they decide to help Fū out in whatever way they can: during one club meeting, Kanae does show up, but promptly leaves. As it turns out, Kanae is very similar to Fū in disposition, and she’d simply been too nervous to ask about joining that day. These sorts of misunderstandings create the impression that Kanae is disapproving of the Photography Club where in reality, nothing of the sort holds true. I imagine that seeing Fū’s friends also would’ve left a lasting impression on Kanae: while they’re somewhat clumsy, they’re also well-meaning and kind.

  • Kazutarō had only a limited presence in ~Hitotose~ outside of the classroom, but his puns are supposed to be legendary in terms of how bad they are. While a bit hot-blooded, he also cares greatly for his students, and goes out of his way to assist them however he can. ~Hitotose~ had suggested that Kazutarō has a crush on Chimo, and he goes out of his way to impress her however he can. As a teacher, Kazutarō is also highly competent in spite of his bad puns. He ends up suggesting that she participate in a local festival to improve her confidence, and Fū accepts, feeling that it’s a fine chance to also get word out about the Photography Club.

  • Without Norie, Kaoru and Maon around, Kanae is able to share a one-on-one conversation with Fū, clearing up the confusion that had arisen during their first meeting. Kanae is voiced by Ai Kayano, whose resume includes GochiUsa‘s Mocha Hoto and Saori Takebe from Girls und Panzer. It turns out that Kanae had long wanted to meet the wistful-looking girl from her photo; Kanae normally prefers shooting landscapes, but had always hesitated when it came to human subjects. Under the Path of Longing that night, Kanae was filled with a desire to take this moment, and this single photograph would set her on a course to meet Fū, showing how certain moments can bring people together in unforeseeable, but ultimately meaningful ways.

  • With Kanae now a member of the Photography Club, activities entail shooting photos around their school. Kanae is impressed that Fū is able to simply walk up to people and ask them for permission before taking a picture. Fū herself has never realised it, but when she’s in her element, she’s very composed and confident. Kanae herself begins ~More Aggressive~ more timid than Fū had been. Spending time with Fū helps her to mature and become, in the series’ words, “more aggressive”. This phrase sounds a little unusual in English, and I imagine that it’s a bit of wasei-eigo: in the context of Tamayura, it simply means “more confident and assertive”.

  • On the day of the festival, Kazutarō burns his hands while serving customers, leaving him unable to play the guitar. Chimo was originally set to sing for the presentation, but since she’s busy tending to Kazutarō, this leaves Fū and Kanae to go ahead with the show themselves. While they’re initially embarrassed to sing a modified version of MomonekoOndō, they soon find their rhythm and begin performing more earnestly, impressing the crowd with both the show and photo display. This moment shows that when it comes down to it, both Fū and Kanae can do what they set their hearts to. During this time, Fū also becomes curious about a photo of a blossoming cherry tree that her father had taken years ago.

  • Fū’s mother explained that their father had planted one for her, and one for Kō, when each had been born, then left the location a mystery so that he could one day take them to find them. While this would never happen, on the day of the performance, Kō and Komachi had ended up following Momoneko-sama to the trees. Overjoyed, Fū takes a photo of the moment, and finds the tamayura phenomenon in the resulting photo. That Fū and her friends end up finding these cherry trees on their own is a superb metaphor for Fū’s learning to support herself in the aftermath of her father’s passing, and this moment is a particularly momentous one, since the coveted tamayura make an appearance.

  • From a technical perspective, tamayura are better known as backscatter: this normally occurs when camera flash picks up airborne particles like dust or pollen, or matter on the camera lens, creating artefacts in the resulting image. While such artefacts are typically seen as undesirable, Tamayura changes this and supposes that what would normally be counted as a defect is in fact, a blessing in disguise. This particular interpretation of backscattering speaks strongly to the themes in Tamayura and reminds viewers that what’s unexpected, or even unwanted, can actually be beneficial, creating memories and experiences far exceeding one’s original expectations.

  • When Mutsuko asks if Fū and Kanae are interested in participating in a cherry blossom photography contest, both accept with enthusiasm, but are troubled by the fact that since it’s so late in the year, most of the cherry blossoms have fallen off the tree. Kanae is understandably disappointed, but Fū manages to turn the day into a chance for exploration. After the two swing by Café Tamayura, they run into Sayomi, who damaged her Mazda 5 and is working to earn enough to pay for the repairs. She agrees to take them to a special spot where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

  • On the day of the excursion, while Sayomi’s banner causes Kaoru and Norie no small amount of embarrassment, the spot she brings everyone to is nothing short of breathtaking. Fū and Kanae take many wonderful photos here, and although Mutsuko is shocked to learn that the deadline for the competition had long passed, both Fū and Kanae ended up having a wonderful time anyways. A longstanding lesson from Tamayura that I still find myself in need of mastering is precisely this: things don’t always go according to plan, but sometimes, surprises end up creating something that far exceeds expectations.

  • During the summer vacation, Fū hits the beaches alongside Kanae, Kaoru, Norie and Maon. A quick look around finds that, while there aren’t any beaches within walking distance of Takehara, islands within the Seto Inland Sea host some pleasant beaches. During the summer, the Seto Inland Sea can become quite warm and reach temperatures of above 20°C, making it perfect for swimming. Fū is more interested in photographing the sights of the beach. If I had to guess, they’re at Ōkushi Beach on the western edge of Osaki-Kamizima Island owing to the presence of mountains.

  • Riho unexpectedly appears with one Harumi Kawai, who knows of Fū’s father through their work together. From what ~More Aggressive~ shows, Harumi was Fū’s father’s junior at work, and this reveals that Fū’s father was a travel agent. Much about Fū’s father remains unknown in Tamayura, and a part of the series’ joys was watching Fū slowly learn more about him through all of the people whose lives he’d touched in some way. It turns out that Harumi and Riho have a surprise planned out for Fū: back in Takehara, they invite her to join them on a trip to Onomichi, a town about 30 kilometres east of Takehara, where Harumi plans on looking around for spots that could be worth including on a tour of the area. While Harumi suggests that she wants Fū’s perspectives to help guide things, she and Riho actually do have another reason for suggesting this trip.

  • Par the course for any outing in Tamayura, ~More Aggressive~ shows how the smaller moments and the unexpected can prove more enjoyable than what was originally planned. Harumi conveys this to Fū: back when they’d worked together, Harumi had been quite the stickler for plans and during their first assignment together, Harumi had promptly shot down Fū’s father and his plans to wander off the beaten track. This part of Fū’s father is imparted in Fū: both share a love of wandering and exploring, and here, I note that I’m quite similar to Harumi in that I prefer following a plan, but if something crops up that causes me to go off-mission, I’m able to roll with it. This happens frequently when I go for strolls nearby, but I’ve also done something quite similar during a trip to Kelowna and Penticton with the family two years earlier.

  • We hadn’t planned on half of downtown Penticton being closed on the day we visited, and I only was able to find one restaurant that was open, Bellevue Café. We thus spent the morning exploring the SS Sicamous before enjoying a brunch here, where I ordered their huevos rancheros. On the same day, after I had planned out a trip to a honey farm in Kelowna, I was surprised to find the big farm had closed for the day. A bit of quick thinking allowed me to find another place to visit, and that particular vacation ended up being super relaxing. I still could improve on my adaptability to changing situations, but I do think that compared to the me of eight years earlier, I’m a ways better now. Tamayura is a love song to the Setouchi region and its immense beauty: the Seto Inland Sea’s regulating effect on temperatures means the whole area has a moderate climate and consistent temperatures year-round.

  • The climate of the area is, in short, perfectly suited for providing Fū with an unending stream of opportunities to discover and explore, although looking back, I would imagine that no matter where Fū had been in Japan, with the right people beside her, Tamayura would’ve conveyed its messages all the same. Between Harumi’s knowledge of destinations and Riho’s professional photography skills, the work gets finished on short order, and this in turn allows for Harumi to focus on what they’d come to Onomichi for beyond her work obligations. The day had been quite special, as Fū was able to learn a little more about the work her father had done, as well as check out some of Onomichi’s sights. However, there’s actually quite a pleasant surprise around the corner for Fū, as well.

  • Riho and Harumi bring Fū to a local bakery with some superbly fresh and delicious looking breads: while such breads are usually associated with breakfasts or lunch, I have picked up a few meat buns and pizza buns and calling it dinner during times where I couldn’t sit down to a standard dinner. In Tamayura, food plays a significant role – whether it be the okonomiyaki at Hoboro’s, or the sweets Norie creates, food adds another dimension to a memory; Fū will forever recall the bread she enjoys before heading over to their last destination for the day. For me, ~More Aggressive~ reminds me most of the poutines I had on campus while the food trucks were over during my time as a student. I still remember watching ~More Aggressive~‘s finale in 2013 with Waffle & Chix’s legendary Fried Chicken Poutine in hand, and since then, I’ve become somewhat of a poutine connoisseur.

  • It turns out that the big surprise that Harumi and Riho had planned for Fū was to take her to a Bed and Breakfast run by an older couple who’d known Fū’s father. Long ago, the couple’s children had moved out, and they’d wanted to start a Bed and Breakfast, but things had seemed quite difficult. While Fū’s father and Harumi were in Onomichi, they ended up visiting, and during a conversation, Fū’s father made was once a seemingly outlandish idea feel more and more like a reality. This moment is particularly touching, in showing the positive impact Fū’s father had on those around him – for Fū, it’s the surest sign that even though her father is gone from this world, the wonderful things he contributed to endure.

  • More so than even ~Hitotose~~More Aggressive~ is a celebration of Fū’s father’s life, and bringing Fū to this particular Bed and Breakfast was meant to show the owners Fū is doing well. It’s a bit of an emotional moment, and for Fū, the day ends up being memorable both because it shows how things like a positive spirit and photography can bring dreams to life in unforeseeable ways, as well as how kindness connects people together. Through Harumi, Fū also learns about what her father had done for a living, and in retrospect, being a travel agent is something that someone with a keen eye for creating memories would be suited for. In turn, Fū provides feedback to Harumi and suggests that the best tour experiences seem to come from allowing people to connect with one another through open-ended events: this outcome helps Harumi structure a more enjoyable tour, and ~More Aggressive~ indicates that one act of kindness always deserves another.

  • Once Fū’s back in Takehara, their next major adventure comes when Sayomi offers to drive Fū and her friends all the way over to Shioiri so that they can meet up with Chihiro and Tomo. This drive is not a joke: a quick glance finds that the fastest possible route has a road distance of 775 kilometres and requires around ten hours and eighteen minutes to complete. To put things in perspective, this would be equivalent of driving from my hometown to Regina, Saskatchewan, one province over. The main difference is that our highways have a much higher speed limit, and a distance that would take over ten hours in Japan is something we can cover in three quarters of the time.

  • This speaks to Sayomi’s incredible endurance, although folks wondering about whether or not her Mazda 5 can handle this shouldn’t worry: the Mazda 5 is a brilliant vehicle. Conversely, when Sayomi does arrive in Shioiri near Chihiro’s place, inattentiveness causes her to nearly hit a brick wall, and she manages to stop only just in time. Having driven now for over a decade, I appreciate that ~More Aggressive~ is exaggerating Sayomi’s poor driving habits for comedy’s sake, but this is the sort of thing I complain about vociferously whenever I encounter it. Fortunately for her, Kaoru and the others are on hand to, similarly vociferously, make it clear that they’re not happy about Sayomi’s driving. These funny faces are particularly funny, and Maon’s expression here actually brings to mind the likes of ARIA‘s Akari Mizunashi.

  • For Fū, Kaoru, Norie and Maon, it’s great to see Chihiro again. This time around, Chihiro brings Tomo, and while Tomo had been similarly shy, once she opened up to Chihiro, she chatted away like a tree full of birds. Like Norie, Tomo has a very boisterous personality, although both express themselves differently: Norie tends to squeal in joy, while Tomo asks a seemingly endless stream of questions. Although Tomo seems conscious of this, everyone around her is quite understanding of this and do their best to answer her questions where they can. It becomes clear that everyone gets along as well as peas in a pod might, and once the introductions are done, Tomo and Chihiro take everyone on a tour of Shioiri’s best spots that only locals might know about, including a burger joint that serves burgers worthy of Big Jud’s in Boise, Idaho.

  • That Fū is able to share her thoughts so candidly is another not-so-subtle sign that she’s recovered much of her original spirits. When Tomo asks Fū, Fū is able to be truthful about things, and in this way, Fū is able to help Tomo connect better to her, as well. This sort of sincerity is one of the details that made ~More Aggressive~ so enjoyable to watch. During my first experience of the series some eight years earlier, I commented on how I found the atmospherics to be highly relaxing, but otherwise, didn’t really touch on the themes and small details that really added to Tamayura. I’ll take a bit of time to reflect on my younger self and note that this was because back then, I was a ways more immature and less attuned for these details.

  • According to those older posts, I was in the middle of applying for medical school at the time (I didn’t outright say so, but back then, I held aspirations for a career in medicine). In these posts, my younger self gives every impression that having Tamayura around was simultaneously helpful in allowing me to unwind and, for the duration of an episode, not worry about what the applications’ outcomes would be, but at the same time, it also reminded me of how much I had missed out on during the summer after I graduated. I write at length lamenting how I wasn’t able to travel. Looking back, I was being very ungrateful. That summer, I did end up heading out over to Jasper and Edmonton during late August for a short, but still relaxing and enjoyable trip, during which I picked up the fourth volume of The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan while waiting for a table to open up at The Keg.

  • The me of today knows better, and this is one of the reasons why during the past two years, the inability to go places hasn’t really affected me anywhere as strongly: rather than lament what I can’t do, I’ve focused all of my efforts towards bettering my own situation. This time around, I’m happy to say that my efforts are purely for myself, and in this way, I feel that I was able to apply the lessons from Tamayura to my life more wholly than I had eight years earlier. As it was, being able to go back and rewatch ~Hitotose~~More Aggressive~ has given me the chance to enjoy both series anew: especially in the case of ~More Aggressive~, I feel that I’ve gotten a great deal more out of Tamayura this time around. Going through ~More Aggressive~ again also means that at present, I feel like I’m really able to say I made peace with some of the things I regretted in the past.

  • I suppose this is appropriate: this is, after all, a New Year’s post, and entering 2022, there is much to be grateful for, and much to look forwards to. Back in ~More Aggressive~, during a sparkler competition during the summer festival, Fū is able to experience anew the feelings she had when her father had photographed her during said competition. This side of Fū was one I never expected to see, and as such, knowing that Fū also has a talent for remaining so perfectly still that her movement is imperceptible, adds new dimensionality to her character. In the end, Fū only reaches the quarter finals, but she still has a wonderful time and shows her friends that past memories are a source of inspiration for her now, rather than a cause for grief.

  • Chihiro accompanies Fū back home to Takehara, where she meets Kanae and Mitsuko for the first time. The fireworks photos that Fū had taken turned out quite blurry, and while both Kanae and Fū are discouraged, Fū ultimately picks up a few tips from Riho (use a low ISO, a small to mid-range focal length and turn the flash off), and Riho invites Fū to participate in a photography exhibit she’s presenting in. Fū feels that she has to earn her place at something of this calibre and promises that, if she can shoot good fireworks photos, then she would submit something for the exhibit.

  • When she and Chihiro recall a promise they’d made as children, where they’d try to find a secret spot Fū’s father once brought them to, they express an interest in taking another stab at finding it. However, Kanae had accepted one of Sayomi’s invitations for a random adventure, and Sayomi ends up pulling everyone aside to a spot far from the festival, from which to watch the fireworks. Despite the show being much smaller, Chihiro feels that this is the spot Fū’s father had been thinking of. The two shed tears at the thought of having been fortunate enough to fulfil a long-standing promise, and ultimately, both Fū and Kanae end up with good fireworks photos.

  • Ever since Fū started the Photography Club, her second year back in Takehara has progressed at a breakneck pace, and even in a series as laid-back as Tamayura, time is flying. Autumn soon arrives, bringing with it the Path of Longing festival, and as yet another reminder of how Fū is more proactive now, she and her friends are active participants now, helping to set the event up so that others may enjoy it. Here, Fū and Kanae make one of the bamboo shoots festival ready by drilling their patterns into it, and the choice of art they provide mirror on their being thankful about all of the people in their lives.

  • At Hinomaru’s shop, Fū gets her latest batch of developed photos back. The focus on showing how Fū and her friends spend appreciating ordinary moments like these exemplify how Tamayura places a great deal of worth on everyday occurrences that we take for granted, acting as a reminder to treasure them because nothing can last forever. Even the act of going to a shop in order to get film developed is now something from a bygone era: I vividly remember that in the early 2000s, digital cameras were just coming onto the scene, and in their excitement, my parents bought one, but never bought a proper memory card for it, so said digital camera could only hold around 32 photos in its internal memory. The image quality was also eclipsed by regular film, so the digital camera became more of a novelty. A few years later, digital cameras with an acceptable 4 MP resolution began appearing, and that was when we finally switched over.

  • Nowadays, the average smartphone sports a 12-16 MP back camera, and using onboard algorithms, can take stunning photos. The world has changed dramatically, and the act of sharing photos has now gone from going to a print shop and ordering prints to mail to friends, to throwing them up onto WhatsApp or FaceTime. In this way, the world shown in Tamayura is also a bit of a love letter to an older time, when things were slower and people could really enjoy being in the moment. Upon returning to Café Tamayura, Fū and her friends run into Nozomu Natsume, a severe-looking man who was friends with Fū’s father and Hinomaru back when they were high school students. He’d come to Tamayura to meet Fū, but his blunt manner swiftly angers Kanae: when he critiques the composition of Fū’s photos, Kanae can no longer hold back and counters that there’s a joy in Fū’s photos.

  • However, Fū’s mother points out (likely for out benefit) that Nozomu’s always found it tricky to properly express how he feels about things. To take their mind off things, Fū and Kanae spend the day photographing the Path of Longing, and here, they run into Riho, who’s attempting to capture an image of Momoneko-sama. However, even with her professional experience, a DSLR camera and remote shutter release, Momoneko-sama eludes her best efforts at a photograph. It’s something that further ties Fū together with Riho, being a reminder that there are some subjects that can elude one’s desire to capture, regardless of their skill level, and but this isn’t something to lament.

  • Fū and Kanae head back over to Hoboro with Riho, where they run into Nozomu. When Chimo overhears Nozomu commenting he’ll probably go somewhere else for dinner because the taste of the okonomiyaki he once knew might have changed, she storms out and dares him to at least try the classic okonomiyaki before commenting. In the end, Nozomu finds himself eating his words; Chimo’s creation perfectly matches the okonomiyaki he once remembered. With dinner over, Nozomu offers to cover everyone’s bills, before everyone heads out to take in the gently-lit streets of Takehara’s old town during the Path of Longing festival.

  • As it turns out, Nozomu still fondly recalls his time as a student, indicating that back in those days, he, Hinomaru and Fū’s father had done some pretty bone-headed things together. He apologises to Fū for not being able to offer anything more substantial, but for her, being able to hear about how her father had always been free-spirited and lived his love to the fullest extent possible. It turns out that Nozomu had been glad to finally meet Fū in person, and he asks that she keep on photographing the way she does now. Although people count me as being quite personable, I sometimes do find it hard to express myself, as Nozomu does, and while this does appear to be a shortcoming, Fū’s mother comments on how the harsher Nozomu sounds, the more he’s struggling to put his feelings into words.

  • From what we’ve seen, then, it’s easy to spot that Nozomu greatly misses Fū’s father, and likely refers to him in a distant manner to avoid recalling the grief from his passing, as well. Seeing that his spirit lives on in Fū gives Nozomu something to smile about. Nozomu is yet another example of how patience is vital towards understanding someone: whereas Kanae and Norie struggle owing to outward appearances, Fū’s gentle and patient disposition means that she is able to speak openly with Nozomu, allowing him to open up, as well. Admittedly, this is a skill that I am always in the middle of learning; it’s all too easy to make assumptions about others without making an effort to understand their own circumstance and thoughts, but as I am shown, both in reality and through works like Tamayura, there is always a story behind people worth listening to, and that, upon listening, one may find that people can be more similar, than different, to oneself.

  • When Kanae realises that there is a finite amount of time between the present and her graduation, she is seized with a desire to do a photography trip. Towards ~More Aggressive~‘s final acts, the focus shifts over to Kanae, who has come to cherish the time she’d spent with Fū and the others. Having seen the level of passion and sincerity that each of Fū, Kaoru, Norie and Maon pursue their interests, Kanae begins to feel a little left behind, as well. The photography trip ultimately becomes a larger experience when Kaoru determines they’ll be hosting another We Exhibition, and Maon’s parents invite everyone to Mitarai for a concert.

  • Kanae’s feelings are something that I’m sure everyone has experienced at some point in their lives; there are days where it can seem like everyone around one has a concrete, well-defined game plan for their future, where as one does not, and for Kanae, she’s also envious of the fact that everyone had a pivotal moment that encouraged them to start on things. However, ~Hitotose~ did indicate that while people pursue their own goals, they may also lose sight of the progress they’ve made, especially if they’ve not reached that goal yet. A major part of things as the New Year approaches is Kanae coming to terms with the fact that graduation is inevitable.

  • I certainly felt as lost as Kanae did eight years earlier; being in open studies was my gap year, and in the moment, it did feel as though I was spinning my tires. In retrospect, that particular gap year ended up setting the stage for my graduate studies work. During the winter term, I enrolled in an iOS class after speaking to my supervisor about my unsuccessful medical school applications, and in that class, I worked on creating a navigation system for a mobile version of the lab’s game engine. This project was quite unrelated to what I would work on in graduate school, but my supervisor ended up using it as a demo for Jay Ingram to show how we could do 3D fly-throughs of anatomical structures. Jay subsequently asked, could the same be done for the brain using a newer, more efficient game engine?

  • I was tasked with finding the answer using Unity, and within a week, I had not only found the answer was “yes”, but I’d also put a prototype together. This laid the groundwork for the Giant Walkthrough Brain, which itself would form the basis for my thesis work. From a career standpoint, this was the turning point, the milestone that Kanae had been seeking out. She ends up speaking with Kaoru and Norie, as well as Maon’s parents, and from the latter, she gets an answer chock-full of wisdom: people hit their milestones when they hit them, and there’s no need to rush things, because everyone’s different. Maon’s father compares it to waiting for the tides; everyone will set sail eventually, but different people set sail at different times. Kanae is encouraged, and comes to realise her magic moment was when she decided to take the plunge and join Fū’s Photography Club.

  • While out and about with Fū earlier, Kanae had encountered a beautiful girl with raven hair singing a song. When this girl spots Kanae, she greets her with a smile before continuing on with her song. Later at the concert, Kanae is surprised to learn that the girl she encountered is actually the performer. As far as I can tell, she’s never named in Tamayura, but the credits lists her as being voiced as Micco, a member of the two-person band Marble. Micco provides the vocals, and on stage, Tatsuya Kikuchi provides the acoustic guitar. I would imagine that the singer’s likeness is to Micco.

  • Maon is overcome with emotion: it turns out this singer is who had inspired her to one day perform at Otome-za, and it can only be described as fate that she’s able to see this singer perform again. To be able to see such a show in the presence of those most important to her is greatly inspiring for Maon, and in this moment, I couldn’t help but feel the warmth, too, attesting to how well Tamayura is able to convey emotions to viewers. Curiously enough, the song she sings here, 希望のカタチ (Hepburn Kibō no katachi, literally “The Shape of Hope”), is Kaoru’s image song. The Tamayura OST is filled to the brim with warm, sentimental and nostalgic songs that have brightened up my day.

  • Having taken several photographs they’re both proud of, Fū and Kanae end up submitting several to Riho’s exhibition. It is clear that Fū and Kanae’s craft have both improved enough so that they feel confident enough to accept an invitation to showcase their work alongside that of a professional. Towards the end of ~More Aggressive~, the pacing accelerates greatly, and afterwards, the We Exhibition is hosted. Something I failed to notice previously was the fact that Kaoru had done a theming this time around: the showcases are all designed around the seasons of Takehara, with sights, scents and tastes surrounding each of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Kaoru has evidently upped her game with this second We Exhibition; it’s more organised and bolder than the first.

  • This time around, Kanae and Komachi are both present to help out, and even Chihiro sends over a special tapestry that she’d made with Tomo, depicting each of Fū, Kaoru, Norie and Maon in their element. Reflecting the girls’ confidence, this second We Exhibition sees a full house from the very moment it opens, and ~More Aggressive~ spends less time on things, showing how once everyone’s gotten things down, the event proceeds very smoothly. Fū and Kanae are both able to speak of their photographs, Kaoru feels more at home in talking about her potpourri techniques, Norie’s more confident in showcasing her sweets, and Maon’s story is something attendees look forward to.

  • The second We Exhibition feels almost like a side note, secondary to the growth each of Fū, Kanae, Kaoru, Norie and Maon have had: whereas the path to the first We Exhibition had its share of challenges, this time around, things proceed more smoothly, and Fū is able to even include Komachi and Kō’s participation right from the start to create a more cohesive experience for attendees. The second We Exhibition thus feels bigger, more polished and reflect a year’s worth of progress, but at the same time, viewers see a little less of things, too, to show that at this point in time, everyone’s grown enough so putting on an event like this is straightforward.

  • For me, the We Exhibitions have always represented the act of seizing the initiative to do something memorable, and in doing so, came to serve as the culmination of a year’s worth of experiences for Fū and her friends. However, by definition, the nature of the We Exhibition means that Fū has not only made these personal discoveries, but on top of this, is sharing her experiences with the community. By giving back to Takehara, the We Exhibition is the ultimate way of saying thank you to Takehara and its residents for having been an essential part of their journey.

  • This year, Kanae joins Fū and her friends on their New Year’s Eve Shrine visit while Fū’s mother and grandmother speak with Maon’s parents about how far everyone’s come, and how in supporting one another, everyone’s been able to elevate one another to new heights. After praying for another wonderful new year, the girls return to Café Tamayura for some rest. Fū and Kanae spend some time reflecting on the past year, bringing tears to Kaoru, Norie and Maon’s eyes: that Fū was able to shape someone else’s life so profoundly was the surest sign that she’s able to fully stand on her own, and her friends are filled with indescribable joy at this. However, the moment’s calm is shattered when Sayomi shows up with another adventure in mind.

  • Unlike the previous year, where her lethal driving sent her Mazda 5 over a ditch, this time around, Sayomi’s decided to go for an ocean sunrise instead. Compared to the screenshot I had in my original discussion for ~More Aggressive~, this sunrise is far sharper, far richer in colour. My old screenshots look positively drab and faded by comparison. This comes as a result of my using the BDs as a source for my images, but the improved image quality can also be a metaphor for the fact that I return to ~More Aggressive~ with a much different outlook on life, and for this, my resulting experience was far more colourful.

  • The prospect of a new year fills everyone with joy, but it is here that Kanae realises that now that the We Exhibition is in the books, she must turn her eyes towards her own future. Not wanting the year to arrive, Kanae bursts into tears and admits that she’d wanted these joy-filled days with Fū, Kaoru, Norie and Maon to last forever. Tamayura had held the viewers’ hands throughout its run and made it feel as though we were there alongside everyone, every step of the way. The tears Kanae shed here feel correspondingly tangible, and I was gripped with a wish that Tamayura wouldn’t end, either. Such a moment is befitting of a finale, but ~More Aggressive~ chose to show this as yet another moment to remember: the finale is set during the spring, around Kanae’s graduation.

  • Three months later, Fū and her friends celebrate Hinamatsuri (Doll’s Day), a religious festival in which ornate dolls are laid out to celebrate marriage and family. Fū’s camera has malfunctioned, and she’s taken it in for repairs, so on this Hinamatsuri, there’s no chance to capture photos. This leaves Fū to enjoy the day through her own eyes, a befitting message for ~More Aggressive~‘s finale. Here, Kō and Komachi show up, much to Norie’s chagrin. Kanae appears shortly after with her trademark Pentax Q, intent on photographing everything in sight.

  • As it turns out, Kanae’s made it into her first choice of post secondary and is now awaiting graduation. She’s all smiles now, and the others are happy to hear that Kanae is doing well. The girls subsequently swing by Hoboro, where they learn that Chimo and Riho are going on an all-Japan tour to find the best okonomiyaki places around and gain the inspiration to help Chimo up her okonomiyaki game. This does sound like a wonderful idea, and looking back, okonomiyaki does feel like poutine in the sense that once the basics are present (a wheat-flour pancake with a special sauce and mayonnaise for okonomiyaki, and fries, gravey and cheese curds for poutine), the sky’s the limit. It might be fair to say that besides lighting my desire to visit Japan and eat okonomiyakiTamayura ~More Aggressive~ also made me into a poutine connoisseur.

  • It therefore should not be too surprising that when I hear ~More Aggressive~‘s opening song, Maaya Sakamoto’s Hajimari no Umi, my mind immediately goes to thoughts of enjoying a good poutine and watching a lone motorbike travel along a highway along the Seto Inland Sea. The imagery from the latter comes from Fū’s mother taking her on a short day trip as a means of giving Fū some time to enjoy the world even without camera in hand. They end up visiting Ōkunoshima (more commonly, Bunny Island), a place that was once a chemical weapons development site, but in the present day, it’s become a tourist attraction, famous for its large rabbit population. Even without her camera, Fū greatly enjoys the moment, and it suddenly strikes me that I’d completely forgotten that Fū and her mother visited Ōkunoshima together.

  • The final stop for the day is a gorgeous viewpoint overlooking the Seto Inland Sea: Fū’s mother explains this is where her father had proposed to her, and remarks that Fū had done something momentous, of not only being able to pick her self up after his passing, but also move forward. and seize the future. ~More Aggressive~ ultimately presents the idea that recovery is an ongoing process, and in some cases, being given the right encouragement will allow people to pick themselves back up. Going through Tamayura again has renewed my interests in visiting Japan, and now, on top of an onsen trip, I’d be interested in planning a trip to Takehara and its surroundings, too.

  • This is something I’ll look at in the future; for the present, all eyes are on getting my new place up and running. Back in ~More Aggressive~, Fū’s camera is brought back to an operational state just in time for Kanae’s graduation, and Kanae is now in fine spirits; no matter what happens, they’ll always have their memories of one another. Kanae will always think of Fū as President Potte, and several classmates, upon overhearing this, applaud appreciatively. Fū later returns to the Photography Club’s room and promises that she’ll do her best for the club in the new year, before expressing thanks to everyone who’d made the past year such a memorable one.

  • With this, my time in ~More Aggressive~ draws to a close. I will note that I have previously written about all four parts of ~Graduation Photo~, and reading through my old posts for each of Signs, Echoes, Longing and Tomorrow, I am happy to say that in graduate school, I found my path anew, and moreover, it was through ~Graduation Photo~ that I determined on the career that I would work towards. Altogether, Tamayura is a series that accompanied me through some tougher, uncertain times, and for having been a constant source of encouragement, positivity and inspiration, I count Tamayura a masterpiece for having tangibly improved my life and shaping my world views.

  • With 2021 in the rear-view mirror, I can say that the past year had been unexpected, full of surprises. There were some low points, but there were also highs, as well. I believe that I have succeeded in meeting the resolutions that I had set for myself, and exiting 2021, I take with me several new memories and experiences I am immensely grateful for. The only reason that I was able to accomplish my goals was because of consistent support from family and friends, as well as my peers in the anime community. For this, I’d like to thank my readers for accompanying me through the previous year.

  • To all of my readers, old and new, I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year! 2022 is a brand-new slate, just waiting to be explored, and while there are circumstances now that can make some things challenging, readers should be familiar with the fact that I am an optimist and a pragmatist through and through. Irrespective of what challenges lie ahead, it is my responsibility to handle things in a professional and measured manner. As such, I welcome 2022 warmly: no one will know what 2022 will entail, but the constant is that I whatever I get out of this new year is going to be determined how much I put in, and I look forwards to yet another year with both the people around me, and you, the reader.

Here I now stand, at the beginning of a new year. When I began 2021, I made the resolution to be “open to whatever opportunities arise that require my skills” from a professional growth standpoint, while my personal goal had been “maintain strong relationships with those who matter to me, such as keeping in touch with old friends”. I believe I’ve succeeded on both counts: I’ve become somewhat familiar with Java server and Android development as a result of having taken up a new developer position back in April, and spent some time catching up with friends as able while forging new connections. 2021 was also surprising in that I became a homeowner; between a new job and a new home, the past year has definitely been full of surprises, surprises that I certainly hadn’t foreseen coming into 2021. It is hard to say for sure what the future entails, but as Tamayura suggests, the future is friendly to those with the resolve to take those first steps forward, and a willingness to let others into their lives. As such, my 2022 resolutions are simply to be my best self. That is to say, I will strive to work hard and do right by those around me to build the best possible future, all the while enjoying the most of the present. The themes and learnings from Tamayura have had a nontrivial impact on my life, having found relevance from the time I was a student, right through to the present. ~More Aggressive~ had helped me to take a step back and count my blessings at a time when my future seemed uncertain. At the time, I had graduated from the Health Sciences programme with an Honours Degree, but at the time, I was not sure whether or not I’d be pursuing a career in medicine or software development. Between this, all of my friends parting ways and a failed kokuhaku resulting from a flood that ravaged the province, I’d been feeling very down to the point of sitting out all anime that summer. I ended up learning about ~More Aggressive~ once my gap year started (during which I was taking courses to satisfy medical school requirements and for an eventual entry into computer science), and while watching the anime, I found myself appreciating the sort of experience that Fū went through whilst leading the Photography Club. The cathartic, gentle atmosphere helped to take my mind off the fact that I’d just lost an entire summer, and although things wouldn’t truly recover until the next spring, when I was offered admissions to graduate school and accepted an invitation to work on the Giant Walkthrough Brain, the relaxing and moving story within ~More Aggressive~ did help to get me through a difficult winter. Having the chance to rewatch ~More Aggressive~ under dramatically different circumstances has only resulted in increasing my appreciation of this second season, and this time around, I was able to pick up on nuances that I missed out on eight years earlier: while things were quite tough back then, accepting an opportunity to better my situation via graduate studies set me on a course to where I presently am, similarly to how Fū was able to create new joys and memories with Kanae as a result of her decision to start up a Photography Club.

A School Trip For Just One Day: Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ OVA Review

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”  —Hilaire Belloc

Set between episode eight and nine of Tamayura ~More Aggressive~, this OVA was released a little more than a month ago and as per its title, depicts the girls’ one-day trop to Onomichi after Maon comes down with a fever, resulting in her missing the opportunity to go on a school trip to Okinawa with Fū and the others. When the girls pay her a visit once they return, Norie discovers a sketchbook that Maon was hoping to fill with memories of the school trip, and is moved to tears upon noticing that it is completely blank. Realising that Maon has also become upset over not being able to go, Fū suggests that everyone take her on another school trip just for them. The girls decide to go to Onomichi, where they participate in all the local tourist activities whilst Maon starts filling up her sketchbook. By the end of the day, Maon manages to completely fill in her sketchbook, thanking Norie for crying for her that time.

  • Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ was aired last summer, and I began watching it in September at a rate of roughly one episode per week, finishing in October. It’s been around a year since the series began, and the OVA has been out for quite a while, although I only got around to watching it recently (read, this post is hot off the presses).

  • The locations and activities the girls visit and partake in are typical Okinawa fare. The last anime I watched featuring Okinawa was Soni Ani: Super Sonico The Animation and before that, Azumanga Daioh.  The martial arts style I’ve trained in, Gōjūryū, also originates from Okinawa: as previously alluded to, Okinawa is better known for meats rather than fish. Before I move on to the next image, I would like to note that this beach scene is precisely what comes to mind when I hear Rie Tanaka’s “Midori no Mori”.

  • Those who have been reading this blog closely since around last year will have noted that I’ve mentioned about a lack of time to travel. However, I’ve since taken a step back:: as noted in a previous post, I think that a trip to Japan next summer would be viable and are planning towards making that a reality. The present challenge now is picking a destination, and whether to go with a tour group or do a backpack trip, complete with hostels and fumbling the language.

  • Norie’s tears act as the turning point in the episode, and I found myself empathising with Norie and Maon. Apparently, individuals with a stronger empathy are more likely to experience similar emotions to those in their environment or from stimuli, which would account for why people may cry during particularly emotional moments in TV and movies.

  • As far as destinations in Japan go, I am inclined to do a tour that allows me to visit historical areas of Japan, especially the Kyoto region, or else do a food tour of Hokkaidō. It may come as a surprise, but despite my interest in anime, my intrigue for Japan lies largely within their historical elements and cuisine. As such, exploring locales such as the Ginkakuji and Nijō Castle, or enjoying Jingisukan and various seafoods would be more rewarding than going to a maid café in Akihabara.

  • Before this Japan trip, though, it’s passport-renewing time. Amusingly enough, my driver’s license is also about to expire. As it stands now, I’ll need to renew both, but since both require one other form of identification, if I renew one first, I’ll have to wait a while to renew the other while I wait for whichever one I renew first to arrive by mail. This means getting my driver’s license done first, since I don’t imagine I’ll need my passport until December.

  • As to why that is the case, I’ll presently keep that to myself and return the discussion to Tamayura. Chihiro and Tomo make a short appearance in the OVA, while Sayomi and the others do not make an appearance.

  • A sharp-eyed viewer will notice that, save one scenery image, every other image has more than one person in it. This is no coincidence; as an anime about people, I feel that screenshots with more people seem to capture Tamayura‘s spirit far better than would images having fewer people.

  • After Fū’s previous trip to Onomichi, the girls decide to stay in a Bed and Breakfast, albeit a different one than when Fuū had went last time. The previous one was styled after a Western home, with standard beds, but this one is more traditional and has futons instead.

  • In my final reflection, I noted that I was enjoying a poutine while watching the finale. Today, I decided to grab a poutine from the Smoke’s Poutinerie downstairs before returning to watch this episode later in the day. Contrasting the last one, which had fried chicken and maple syrup, this one has the traditional gravy and cheese, providing a welcome accompaniment to the episode. One would question the wisdom of having poutine on such a hot day (temperatures reached  32°C by afternoon before humidity), I am celebrating the successful implementation of a mini-map in the brain visualisation model.

The Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ OVA is a welcome addition to the series; as per its original run, the OVA is highly relaxing and heartwarming to watch. Travelling with friends lies at the OVA’s core, with the central idea being that it’s who one travels with, rather than where, that produces the most precious of memories. When Maon misses a school trip owing to fever, her friends step up to the plate and offer to help her create new memories where she had missed them before. Norie’s role comes across as particularly important: whereas she’s typically the ever-cheerful character, here, her emotions are brought out and show just how deeply she cares for Maon. Indeed, vacations and even short journeys are memorable precisely because of who one is accompanied by. Fū had previously visited Onomichi with Harumi Kawai and Riho in the TV series: with knowledge of the city, she helps Kanae plan out this trip. Over its course, the girls have a wonderful time, and viewers come out of the OVA with a sense of warmth and tranquility that Tamayura is known for. Throughout the entire series, the relaxed pacing and touching moments belie Tamayura’s core message that through adventure and open-mindedness, many memories are created, to be treasured.

  • The aforementioned mini-map took a few days to implement, since the algorithm was a little tricky to work with, but today, I finished the constraints and the map works as it should. This location is almost certainly real and could be recognised readily by those living in the area, reflecting on how much attention is paid to the backgrounds in Tamayura. Onomichi is located in the Hiroshima prefecture and has around 148000 people. Known for its temples and parks, the city faces the inland sea.

  • As of late, I’ve resumed my hobby of doing pencil sketches. A cursory check on most search engines finds that no one else has done a talk on the OVA. This would make my reflection as having one of the earliest collections of screenshots online.With that said, it is quite understandable why talks are rare: there isn’t much to talk about in a single OVA, and this “review” is really more of a personal reflection.

  • Onomichi is known for its ramen, which is a variation with a touch of fish paste in the stock, as well as chopped green onions and pork oil to accentuate taste. It is a popular local dish, and lines at shops can get quite long. I haven’t had ramen for quite some time now (probably since Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ ended), but was able to enjoy python, ostrich and kangaroo sliders at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth with several friends, followed by a Skyrail ride over the fairgrounds by nightfall. The night concluded with fireworks with a supermoon in the background, marking the first time I’ve seen a fireworks show since 2011.

  • Maon’s sketches capture all of the fun the girls experience during their day in Onomichi. Contrasting Renge’s sketches, Maon’s sketches are equally impressive, being colourful and convey the emotions of a moment with a gentle and polished art style, reflecting on her progress since she decided to pick up sketching (back in the TV series: I cannot quite recall which season).

  • After Fū mentions “Chain Mountain” as a point of local interest, Kanae suggests actually climbing it, evoking Sayomi’s enthusiasm for doing things. Despite having some reservations, Norie decides that ascending the hill would give them some physical activity and in turn, make dinner taste better, which convinces everyone to participate.

  • Kaori and Norie help Maon up the last steps of the climb, which takes roughly half an hour and is considered to be moderately strenuous. However, as I am wont to believe, the view at the very top is well worth the effort it takes to get there, and as noted long ago, there’s a location not too far from where I live that provides a beautiful overlook of the city’s northern edge. There’s a breeze up there on most days, and last week, I hiked up there with a friend to enjoy the scenery by evening.

  • Maon realises that she’s down to her last sketchbook page and thanks Norie for her tears, as well as everyone for making the sketchbook a tangible reminder of all the memories she’s shared with them on this short trip.

  • Two other girls are encountered at the hilltop; one of them initially feels that the climb was unfruitful, since no one else was expected to make it to the top, but are pleasantly surprised to find Fū and company already present. Plenty of photographs are taken on this short trip, but they feel secondary to the trip itself, and curiously enough, the images lack the namesake Tamayura, which appear in images of great sentimental value.

  • Cheese goes extremely well with fresh-baked bread and tea. As the girls set about relaxing, I’ll take a few moments to note that today, the air where I live had a distinctly Suzhou-Hangzhou quality to it, fueled in part by the high temperatures and the smoke from regional forest fires giving the sky an orange tinge: even at nine in the evening, temperatures remain a steady 29°C, and thundershowers are sweeping into the region.

  • Before turning in, Maon takes one last look at all of the drawings she’s created. As I’ve reached the end of this post, I’ve swept through to make sure things are ready before publishing. Tamayura stands near the top of its field as a slice-of-life anime, and I’ll close off by mentioning that in two days’ time, I will turn my sights towards a K-On! Movie talk as the two-year anniversary to the home release arrives.

Besides praising the OVA for reminding me about just how easygoing and sentimental Tamayura is, it may also be appropriate to speculate on what’s likely to happen for the future, as a special announcement is to be made on August 3. Whatever the announcement is, it’s important enough to warrant a 5400 Yen attendance cost and the attendance of six of the cast’s members. There’s a limit to what can be announced at this event: we’ve seen the girls go through first year of high school after Fū returns to Takehara in season one, and the second season has shown Fū taking the initiative to start a photography club, befriending Kanae and making plenty of new memories in the process. It would seem logical that this announcement will concern a continuation, either in the form of a movie or third season, that would deal with the excitement and melancholy associated with graduation. Kanae has already graduated, and now, it’s the girl’s turn to complete high school and move into the future. I am okay with either alternative: a movie would provide the space and scale that would allow Tamayura to explore unexplored frontier for the series, while a TV series would offer a more episodic depiction and permit for events to be explored with more detail. Both have their downsides, as well. A movie is much less accessible, and the wait would be more substantial, while a TV series may not fully capture the spirits that would be possible in a movie. Ultimately, though, whether the continuation be a movie or third season, one thing is for certain: it will be quite enjoyable to watch.

Summer 2014 Anime

Observant readers will have noticed that I’ve got no first episode impressions written out for the Spring 2014 anime offerings so far: this is because over the past month, things became a little hectic with my iOS project and the logistics associated with accepting an offer into the Graduate Studies program for a Master’s degree. Besides these priorities, I’ve been trying to catch up with my blogging, making sure that I’ve gotten all of my Winter 2014 shows concluded, and finish the backlog of posts I’ve acquired regarding some of the adventures I’ve had in PC gaming while completing this year. Time is a limited resource, and so, instead of keeping up closely with the anime offering so far, I’ve opted to get the blog back up to speed. Owing to how things are working out, I’ll do “final impressions” for all of the anime that I did end up following for Spring 2014 (right now, besides Knights of Sidonia, I’m also watching The Order is a Rabbit and Nanana’s Buried Treasure) somewhere in late June. For the time being, though, having taken a look at the summer 2014 offerings, I am quite excited, but before then, Spring 2014 has to end, and with it, the long anticipated Gundam Unicorn: Over The Rainbow special. As mentioned earlier, this collides directly with Otafest, and this year, I’ve pre-ordered, so I can get access to several days. The schedule was released yesterday evening, and from the looks of it, I may have to stick around longer to do everything I intend to do this time around. I’ll work out the logistics later, although in past years, it’s taken an average of four days for my copy of the Gundam Unicorn episode to arrive after the listed release date. I’ll address these things as they happen, so for now, let’s turn our attention to what fabulous anime await in the depths of summer, when the days are long and warm.

There are at least four shows that already catch my eye, plus three OVAs. Glasslip looks to be right up my alley, fulfilling the niche that Tari Tari did two summers ago (only this time, there’s no MCAT breathing down my neck). Aldnoah Zero has a rather exciting premise and looks to satisfy my wish to watch a science-fiction mecha anime. Lastly, while I was disappointed with the shift in attention towards the end of Sword Art Online, I am quite interested to see how gunplay and über-micro applies to Sword Art Online II, which will deal with the Phantom Bullet arc (set in Gun Gale online). Two other anime, Sabagebu! and Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita, will satisfy the casual slice-of-life category.

Besides the anime, there are also the Girls und Panzer OVA (finally with a concrete release date of July 25), as well as OVAs to Tamayura: ~More Aggressive~ and Non Non Biyori. Reviews of these OVAs will definitely be made over the summer, and with such exciting times, I’ll do my best to write my usual style for all of the anime I’m following (i.e. first episode impressions, midseason reflection and final reflections).


Tohko Fukami is a 17-year old girl from Fukui Prefecture, who dreams of becoming a glass artisan.

  • I loved Tari Tari, and I am quite interested in seeing a slice-of-life show set during the summer again. Three years ago, I went on vacation with a tour group of the New York region and had the opportunity to visit the Corning Glass Museum, where I watched a glass blowing demonstration: the artisans made it look easy and I was reminded of the glass factory in Sora no WotoGlasslip will doubtlessly be a coming-of-age story about Fukami’s aspirations. This time, instead of music, craftsmanship will be the focus: as I’ve followed a very academic path in life, I am greatly looking forward to how PA Works tells the story of someone who will follow the apprentice’s path. This series will probably be similar to Tari Tari and Hanasaku Iroha in terms of atmospherics and execution, featuring beautiful artwork and inviting, warm music.

Aldnoah Zero

In 1972, an ancient alien hypergate was discovered on the surface of the moon. Using this technology, humanity began migrating to Mars and settling there. After settlers discovered additional advanced technology, the Vers Empire was founded which claimed Mars and its secrets for themselves. Later the Vers Empire declared war on Earth and in 1999 a battle on the Moon’s surface caused the hypergate to explode shattering the Moon and scattering remnants into a debris belt around the planet. Cut off from Mars, the remnants of the Vers Empire established several massive orbital space stations within the debris belt and a ceasefire was established. 15 years later, in 2014, an attack on the Vers princess during a peace mission causes the Empire to launch a new attack on Earth, this time determined to conquer it once and for all.

  • Giant mecha and an interstellar war with aliens caught my attention quickly enough. I’ve seen some of the PVs and I think there’s a princess involved, although everything else will have to wait until the series begins airing: there’s not very much information floating about Aldnoah Zero at the moment, so patience will be a virtue here. With that said, Aldnoah Zero is directed by Gen Urobuchi, who had previously worked on the Fate/Zero series (which I’ve never seen before) and also has directed the powerhouse Puella Magi Madoka Magica series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. If some of the darker elements about warfare make their way into Aldnoah Zero and present a unique perspective on conflict not covered by something like Gundam Unicorn, this series could very well capture my heart the same way Gundam has.

Sword Art Online II

This is the second season of Sword Art Online, and is set to cover the events in the Phantom Bullet arc.

  • The PV shows an aqua-haired girl lying down in the prone position, aiming down her sniper rifle’s sights while the camera pans around and highlights her assetsSword Art Online has its moments of fan service, and although I don’t mind the view (having come quite a long way from the old days when I would not watch anime that had too many free anatomy lessons), I do wonder what the Phantom Bullet arc entails, having never read the light novels myself, hence my decision to follow the second season. This time, my expectations are different (not lower, just different): instead of going in and expecting a story about the implications of virtual reality technology (which, with things like Oculus rift, Leap, Kinect and 4K displays, may actually surpass the depictions in Sword Art Online by 2020), this time, I’ll be looking for the depiction of a shooter-type MMO and seeing how well that environment fits in with the story.

Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita

The story is about the life of a high school girl, Nanako, and her senpai, Yukari, who end up becoming the town’s local idols (locodol) upon the request of her uncle.

  • I imagine that this series will probably take after Wake Up, Girls! in styling and atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed Wake Up, Girls!, and although the group is much smaller, Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita will probably provide a small story about two girls and their experiences in the entertainment industry. The prima facie lighthearted story means that most major reviewers will probably skip over this, and time permitting, I will focus my efforts onto discussing the anime that are less well-covered.


Middle school girl Momoka is dragged into joining one of the strangest associations at her school, the Survival Game Club. Its members participate in various forms of paramilitary training under the watchful eye of charming and alarming president, Miou.

  • Sabagebu! (Survival game club) is superficially similar to Stella Women’s Academy: High School Division Class C³, a series that was short and amusing. This will be my third “girls with guns” anime now, and given that I’ve been playing Battlefield 3 for some eight months now, I am quite curious to see how this one will turn out. As of late, it looks like I’m following a lot of moé anime (much more than usual). I do this because anime of this class provide an atmosphere that acts as a good counterweight to more serious fare (and the more serious shows I watch tend to be a counterweight for moé anime). Like Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita, I foresee that Sabagebu! will not be well-covered, and so, I’ll step up to the plate with my own unique style of discussion and use of non sequiturs.

Tamayura ~More Aggressive~: Final reflections

“Everyone will eventually go their separate ways. That’s why I want to preserve this precious moment now.” -Fuu Sawatari

We’re a ways into the Fall season now, but I’ve only just finished Tamayura ~More Aggressive~. I will immediately say that I should have watched this during the summer, when I needed the healing aspect the most. Calming, relaxing and friendly, ~More Aggressive~ continues on the events from ~Hitotose~, and this time, I got the feeling that the anime was gently reminding viewers that even the most familiar (and sometimes mundane) locations can nonetheless be host to memories of incalculable value. As I watched Fuu and her friends spend time with one another, exploring local attractions, I realised that this was exactly the message I needed during my summer, which, while immensely productive research-wise, was underwhelming with respect to travel. Traveling was something I had hoped to do following convocation, but that wish never was realised, and thus, I am now awaiting the most hated of seasons: winter, when there is next to no sunlight at my latitude for the next seven months.

  • There is quite a bit of travel in Tamayura ~More Aggressive~; at the second half’s start, Fuu, Kaoru, Norie and Maon visit Chihiro and Tomo in Shioiri, Yokosuka, Fuu’s hometown.

  • We’re a month and a bit into yet another academic year, and though I am involved in refining the computer models I built during the summer, I’ve got a bit more time to actually partake in my hobbies. Of course, I saw no fireworks during the course of my last two summers, having outright missed the displays last year celebrating the Stampede Centennial events because I was studying for the MCAT and set to do a practise exam the very next day.

  • For the summer events where I am, participants tend to wear more casual apparel (or even cowboy gear) in place of Yukatas. I might be thinking on it a little too much, but now, I wonder what doing an exchange program to Japan would be like. I’ve noted previously that anime is a totally insufficient means for portraying Japanese culture, especially in comparison to an opportunity to go there myself, not as a visitor, but as a student.

  • Fuu returns the favour to Chihiro and invites her to Takehara for a festival, fulfilling her promise to take the latter to the “Secret Spot” that her father once watched fireworks from. A long time ago, my parents wondered what it would be like to watch fireworks from inside the city’s landmark tower. The fireworks went off below us and the thunder was muffled: the thrill in fireworks stems from being under the show and being able to feel every burst or crackle the fireworks themselves make.

  • Some technical details about photography are present in ~More Aggressive~, but, like K-On!, the emphasis is not about such aspects of an activity, but rather, the fact that individuals are able to do these activities together. It is quite surprising and depressing to see fans forget that this is the core aspect in anime; I have several friends who watch House and Scrubs: they find the shows to be entertaining and don’t raise complaints because of any inaccuracies that may be present.

  • Nozomu Natsume is one of Fuu’s father’s classmates, but is not shown here. Despite his harsh critique on Fuu’s photos, he acknowledges that he appreciated Fuu’s father emphasising love in photographs over any technical prowess.

  • I’ve taken most of the Thursdays of this term off so far, making use of the time to study or work on applications. After lifting weights bright and early, I’d return home to work. During noon-hour, I enjoyed ramen, and once, a calzone with a side of deep-fried, grated potatoes while watching Tamayura ~More Aggressive~. Today, I enjoyed the fried chicken poutine from Waffle & Chix while finishing the finale. It’s surprising as to how well fresh cut fries goes with southern gravy and maple syrup.

  • Fuu and Kanae’s photographs are featured at a local exhibition after Fuu consents to give it a shot. It brings to mind several symposium I’ve participated in as a result of my work with the LINDSAY Virtual Human team.

  • The “We Exhibition” makes a return: armed with their experiences from the previous year, Fuu, Kaoru, Norie and Maon put on improved presentations. The event proceeds very smoothly, and Kanae finds herself wishing that such fun times could be eternal.

  • Fuu’s mother and grandmother discuss how quickly time has passed wth Maon’s parents, reminding me of how much time has passed even between now and when Tamayura ~Hitotose~ was airing. The last time I watched this series, I hadn’t completed my undergraduate education or written my MCAT yet.

Fortunately, not all is lost. The DragonForce song Seasons outright states that “No winter lasts forever/The seasons pass and the sunlight will shine/On my life again”. This isn’t directly relevant to Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ per se, but I suppose that Seasons is about cycles, and how light will return after the darkness. The aspect of an era ending is one that permeates the second half of ~More Aggressive~: now that Kanae is graduating, both she and Fuu feel a sense of longing as their time together draws to a close. As her exams approach, Kanae feels increasingly isolated, that those happy times she shared with Fuu and company are coming to an end, but the time the finale rolls around, both Fuu and Kanae realise that it is the fact that they had such memories of their time together is what is important. Both girls’ passion for photography has provided the means to both bring them together and will subsequently provide them a tangible means of recalling such happy memories.

  • Shinto elements remain strong in Japan despite the introduction of Bhuddism during the Asuka period. It’s common practise for anime to depict their characters going to a shrine and praying for a blessed year during New Years.

  • Sayomi’s driving technique border on insane: the girls here react in fright after Sayomi takes her hand off the wheel and eyes off the road. Maon’s expression is particularly entertaining.

  • Seeing the first sunrise of the year brings to mind a K-On! OVA, where the girls sleep through the twelfth-hour marking the new year, but make up for it by seeing the first sunrise. BY comparison, I tend to stay up later and wake up at around 1000 the next day.

  • While some of the scenes in ~More Aggressive~ might be a little choppy or inconsistent, the good aspects decisively outweigh the bad ones, and this sunrise is a perfect example as to why I say this. The water and sunrise are worthy of Frostbite 3; from me, that is a compliment.

  • I wonder how many viewers got some of the proverbial dust in their eyes whenever the girls tear up. Tamayura in general executes emotions quite well: one of the main criteria I have for whether or not a show (not just anime) is worthwhile is whether or not I can feel what the characters on screen are feeling, whether it be excitement, sadness or even fear. TamayuraCLANNAD and Kanon stack up with things like The Dark Knight Triology and Skyfall in terms of being able to transmit emotions to the audience.

  • The Doll Festival is said to be flamboyant and graceful, although we don’t get to see much of it. In the finale, Fuu’s camera breaks down, and she takes it to Maestro for repairs. Without a camera for much of the episode, Fuu sees the world with her own eyes rather than through a camera lens, gaining new perspective on things.

  • Kanae proved to be a welcome addition to the Tamayura series; despite being as shy as Fuu, she is very friendly and found inspiration in Fuu’s passion for photography. Despite a hesitant start, she becomes friends with Fuu and comes to terms with her future. After leaving the photography club to study for her entrance exams, she returns to visit after being admitted to her first-choice of a post-secondary institution.

  • Fuu’s mother reveals how thankful she is that Fuu is about to move ahead now; taking her to a beautiful viewpoint, she reveals that this is where she had proposed to her father, lifting Fuu’s spirits after she begins feeling a little melancholy at the prospect of everyone going their separate ways in the future.

  • Kanae thanks Fuu from the bottom of her heart for all the things they were able to do over the past year. Graduation is portrayed in anime as a time for goodbyes, and when friends move their own separate ways to pursue their own dreams and visions of the future.

  • The last words in Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ are simply “arigatou”, or “thank you”. Reception to this installment was positive, although many viewers were left feeling that the series ended on an open note and could potentially see a third season. Whether or not this will come to be remains to be seen, but if there is, I’m almost certain to watch and discuss it.

Fuu’s mother remarks on how far Fuu has come since they had moved to Takehara, reminding viewers on just how much has happened in the space of Tamayura ~More Aggressive~. Over the course of a year, Fuu has taken the initiative to start her own club and put in the commitment to maintain it, Approaching photography with her fullest and best efforts, Fuu is able to come to terms with her father’s passing and in the process, her energy and enthusiasm is passed on to Kanae, who subsequently becomes “more aggressive”, as well. ~More Aggressive~ places a great deal of emphasis on Fuu and her memories with her late father: instead of lamenting what could have been, Fuu ultimately cherishes what has come to pass, and in doing so, is able to move on. Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ is a fitting sequel to Tamayura ~Hitotose~, although as it stands, I’m left wondering if there is a possibility for a third season, which will see Fuu, Kaoru, Norie and Maon graduate, going their own separate ways.

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.