Tamako Market 05 – Beaches n’ Bitches

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Wow, Tamako Market seems to get exponentially better with every subsequent episode, with this one easily topping both the moe and slice of life charts. With cycling character-driven episodes, you never really know what you’re going to get the next time around. And Mochizou’s? The best so far.

It’s amazing how much depth is given to all these supporting roles (or at least, supporting compared to Tamako) – really complementing all the character dynamics. While I do find that the “main character -> subjected supporting role in the next episodes” is a bit disconcerting (e.g. Anko getting little to no air time, Shiori practically forgotten about), it still is amazing how well these stand-alone stories are all executed. And really, what even happened in the episode? Nothing much, and that’s exactly how a good slice of life can be. Age-old classics of the genre like Aria have proven time and time again that a complex plot is unnecessary; moreover, a simple plot with simple elements (e.g. brooding romances and unabashed feelings) can in fact smoothen the flow for some excellent story-telling which gets to the heart of the content.

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calling it like it is – midori x mochijou.

And here it’s no different. Focusing on Mochizou this time around, Tamako Market blends in some great interactions with Dera (who I at first hated but am increasingly starting to enjoy as one of the greatest characters of the series) and even executes a musing love triangle amazingly well, with hidden yuri feelings and consistent childhood friend issues. Man, this episode really made me question what makes a good series. Watching each scene develop into something truly admirable and hilarious, mixing in a round of emotions (and dat moe), I wonder what makes well-executed generic plots so interesting and yet so divisive among intelligible/sensible fans.

Case in point, I really really enjoyed Toradora! and AnoHana back when I was still an anime newbie. And looking at some quick snapshots, I am again reminded of how much I just love the characters and story in them – despite any true complexity or originality. Perhaps there’s just something perfectly executed in such ‘reconstruction’ anime. But then again, I also have a profuse dislike towards several elements in shows like Sakurasou and OreShura, which occasionally take levels of generic-ness and cliches past all bounds. Does this make me hypocritical? I wonder; hopefully as I watch more anime I can find the answer to this. I would like to believe at least that I am being rational here, and that there’s some hidden reasoning behind the story executions which pinpoints how well I receive them. Will definitely have to rewatch Toradora! and AnoHana to see if I still enjoy the series, or if it was merely a fluke as an anime newbie. But I digress.

aishiteru.

hngg.

To play the heartless critic, Tamako Market subjects too many developed characters into deplorable supporting roles right after their own episode, which seems off-kilter or even anachronistic with where their characterizations were placed in the series. Also, I absolutely love Tamako, as she’s easily becoming my second favorite moe character (beating Elsie for #2 but still losing to Akari for #1). But I just hope they develop her at least as much as the other characters (also, Dera’s overarching prince plot too). I mean, she plays perhaps the most pivotal role in the series, and we’re really starting to lean on a crutch here if Tamako doesn’t get development past her “an even cooler Yui” phase.

All in all, this is easily my anime of the season at a current “high” (7/10). No contender is even close, with JojoMinami-ke, and Sakurasou currently one-ranked lower at (6/10). But at Tamako Market‘s nimbly improving quality, I may even bump my series rating up to how I rank this episode.

Score: Excellent (8/10)
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