Kyoto Animation currently holds a reputation for creating faithful adaptations. However, they are usually weak when it comes to original stories. Although Munto, their first original production wasn’t well received, they didn’t make another one until last winter when they aired Tamako Market, a slice of life story involving one girl, a talking bird and a family ran mochi shop. (Image Source)
The story involves a marketplace in Japan and a girl named Kitashirakawa Tamako who lives her daily life in a mochi shop run by her father. She is very enthusiastic about the marketplace and doesn’t care about romance. She friends with and Kana and Midori and has a childhood friend named Mochizou. One day, she meets a strange talking bird named Dera inside a bouquet of flowers who is searching for a bride. This is where the story begins with several short stories in a span of one year.
While I enjoyed the comedy and cuteness in this show, the time skips during each episode except for the last few episodes made the show feel strange. In one episode, Tamako and her friends goes on a field trip to a beach and a few episodes later, it’s fall and they are looking for a winter outfit for Choi. I would have liked it a bit more if the time skips were something more like K-ON. Even so, each short story was for the most part enjoyable.
As for the characters, aside from Tamako and Dera, most of the characters are not memorable at all. I feel that this show had too many characters. Besides Tamako’s friends, Dera, younger sister and parents, you also have the shopkeepers and teachers, which doesn’t get much screen time. Basically, character development is limited to Shiori, Midori, Mochizou and Choi besides Tamako and Dera, which isn’t a good thing as I wanted to see a bit more of Kaoru. In addition, I was dissatisfied with Mochizou’s development as he clearly loves Tamako, but doesn’t do anything about it just like every weak-minded male lead I had seen in the past 4 years. Even with the lackluster character development, the cast was still generic and resemble characters from other Kyoto Animation shows as seen with Tamako being a nice, but dense girl resembling Eru from Hyouka.
Overall, Tamako Market is an enjoyable slice of life show that has a good number of flaws. While one shouldn’t expect much from the plot, most of the characters are largely forgettable. The large cast became the show’s weakness as they focused too much on Tamako and her friends opposed to the shopkeepers and other characters. Not only that, I felt that the prince ordeal was largely overblown because of the big misunderstanding Choi caused. Despite the flaws, it was a decent attempt at an original story and hopefully from this experience, they will improve on the next original production.
Overall Rating: 8.0/10, B-, Good