During the winter of 2013, Kyoto Animation aired Tamako Market, which is a slice of life show that focused on a girl named Kitashirakawa Tamako who is enthusiastic about a marketplace and of course, mochi. While I have enjoyed the show for what it is, it was slightly disappointing at the same time since Mochizou couldn’t gather enough courage to confess his feelings towards Tamako. Not to mention, most of the show was spent mostly on her friends or Dera.
As the title suggest, Tamako Love Story finally addresses the shortcomings of the television series that viewers have been wondering all along: Will Mochizou finally have the guts to confess his love towards Tamako and will she accept it?
The movie starts in the beginning of spring after Dera, Choi and the Prince returned to their island three months back. Now, Tamako is on her last year of high school and her friends are thinking about what they are going to do after graduation. At the same time, Mochizou is considering a career in filmmaking and plan to study film studies in a university in Tokyo. However, he was reluctant to tell Tamako about it until he walked home with her and talk to her on a rock bridge in the river. After reminiscing the past, he finally told her that he will be going to a university in Tokyo after graduation and then, confesses that he is madly in love with her. After hearing his confession, she fell into the water and shortly after, ran back home with no idea how to react to it. The next day, her friends and family started to realize that Tamako is acting strangely. After she told Midori about what happened a few days later, will Tamako finally confront her feelings towards him?
While there are some light-hearted moments, I felt that the movie’s execution was better since it focused mainly on the romance that the directors couldn’t cover in the TV series. I have to give them credit since Mochizou finally gathered the courage to confess his feelings towards Tamako after failing so many times in the main TV series. While it’s funny to see her act strangely even though she felt depressed at times, I liked the fact that they showed flashbacks of their childhood and even Tamako’s mother. In fact, her love song played a role in helping Tamako recognize her feelings for Mochizou and address it. Even though I can admit that her mother was a terrible singer, the thought of her recording it for her husband matters more than the quality.
In the end, Tamako and Mochizou did not kiss each other, but at least they finally realized that they are now a couple. I admit that Tamako Love Story was heartwarming, light-hearted and somewhat dramatic at times. On the other hand, I was slightly disappointed since the change that happened after they become a couple was superficial. Even so, it’s understandable considering that they knew each other as childhood friends for a long time before coming a couple. Despite these flaws, I think Kyoto Animation done a good job showing the romantic aspect that was neglected in the television series while maintaining top-notch production values. Sure, a kiss would be nice, but I guess that is too much to ask from the movie. Still, I can’t help to think that they might have made this movie for people who were initially disappointed in the series.
As for Midori, I kind of felt sympathetic towards her since she didn’t win. Nevertheless, one has to admit that childhood friend couples needs to win once in a while.
Overall Rating: 8.4/10, B, Good
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