Monday 14 January 2013

First Impressions: Tamako Market

Tamako Market

A new section for this year, here I'm going to look at the first episode of new series that come out over the course of 2013, giving my first impressions on them and what my expectations are, if any, for future episodes. The first of these will deal with the latest offering from anime studio Kyoto Animation (whose previous works include K-On!, Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star), titled Tamako Market. Bearing very similar character design to that of K-On!, this series is currently slated to run for 12 episodes.

Tamako Kitashirakawa is the eldest daughter of a mochi shop-owning family in her town's bustling shopping district. One day while running her errands she encounters a strange talking bird named Dera Mochimazzi, an attendant of a foreign prince who has come in search of a bride for his master. The series will follow the life of Tamako, her friends and their interactions with this strange bird.

Straight away its clear that this show lives up to Kyoto's standard of crisp animation. The background is detailed and colourful, and the characters design is superb (even if some do look just like the cast of K-On! with different hairstyles). We don't learn a whole lot about Tamako and her friends and family, but enough to comfortably know what roles each one will be playing in the weeks to come. There's also some real oddities among the cast, including what looks to be a female flower shop owner voiced by a clearly male seiyuu. Whether the series will shed any real light on it is anyone's guess.

This episode alone was dominated by our feathered protagonist, who stole every scene he was in. Whether it was strutting around like a diva or showing a perverted streak in a public bathhouse, all eyes were firmly on Mochimazzi. And with the episode ending on a very interesting note, it seems there will be a lot more to this bird than meets the eye.

It may not give a great deal of the plot away, but the first episode of Tamako Market tells you just about enough to know what kind of show to expect. It has Kyoto's usual stamp of cute and colouful schoolgirls, but with an added dose of craziness which could lead the show in a new and unusual direction. I'm not really sure just what to make of this show overall just yet, but I'm rather excited for the coming weeks to see where it goes.

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