KyoAni, to thine own self be true.
It’s interesting that the trend in the early reaction to Tamako Market seems to be that two camps have emerged – “I like the series because I love the bird” or “I hate the bird but everything else was cute”. Well, you can put me in the former camp – Dera is certainly the most entertaining element of the show after two episodes for me. But there’s no denying that the people behind this series are very good at what they do – the only question for me as a viewer is whether I like what they do enough to stay with the show to the end.
look like this and talk to each other on tin-can (actually ramen cup) telephones, all that seems perfectly normal. But it’s a fantasy world, undeniably – albeit one that KyoAni can create better than anyone else in the business, and one that holds tremendous commercial appeal.
Midori (Kaneko Yuki), who stands to be the most important as she’s in love with Tamako, and Kanna (Nagatsuma Juri), who fulfills the requirement for the lidded-eyed, soft-spoken oddball genius (the preview shows us the 4th member of Tamako’s band, the “cool girl” to be introduced next week). Nothing here is too fresh, but it’s not offensive by any means – Midori’s feelings aren’t played for laughs, though there’s no indication Tamako reciprocates them. The school scenes inevitably drag a bit, though, as there’s the feeling of watching a rerun even having never seen the show before.
Tamako in a bunny suit, and the introduction of more of the market oddballs. The most interesting element here is that Tamako seems more in-line with the thinking of Mochizou’s Dad in terms of innovation, with the potential for some conflict – though everything here is so soft-pedaled that I’m sure it’ll never get too serious. There are some possibilities here that intrigue – the aforementioned conflict over tradition vs. innovation (though that’s admittedly old hat in anime), Mochizou (he at least is somewhat unusual for the genre in that he wears an earring) and Midori competing over Tamako, and of course Dera’s sub-plot with the Prince – but it’s very much an open question whether any of them will be pursued with enough intensity to really matter. My gut feeling is that plot is going to be less important here than in Tari Tari, which was willing to go to a dark place with Wakana’s arc and gave us a fairly involved conflict for the finale. That’s no certainty of course but if that’s the case it’s going to come down to two things – how much the focus stays on Dera and his antics, and how much appeal watching Tamako and her friends being cute holds for you.