Tamako Market was one of my first KyoAni shows, and I thought it was pretty good when I watched it, but I can’t deny that my enjoyment was negatively influenced by more experienced audience members complaining about the show not being as good as most of KyoAni’s other recent shows. In retrospect, after having seen more of their shows, I can understand what they meant, but there were some problems that I noticed from the very beginning.
Like Dera. Aside from a few isolated scenes here and there in which he provides some very beautiful narration, I found him a very annoying character. I think he was supposed to be there for comic relief, but I don’t think it was really necessary, because the other characters (especially Kanna) were funny enough on their own. The story also bothered me with how unfocused it felt. The short stories at the start were pretty forgettable, and the story with the prince was straight up bad. Aside from those parts of the show, though, the small character moments worked well, the themes surrounding life in the shopping arcade were great, and the family-related story was super sweet.
The latter two of those actually make me consider rewatching Tamako Market, because while Tamako Love Story expands on the TV show’s strengths vis-à-vis the characters and their relationships to each other, the charm of the setting and the family story are downplayed. Overall, I think Tamako Love Story is a far stronger creation than Tamako Market, but the show definitely has its own little charm points.
Speaking of Tamako Love Story, I should probably have devoted a larger part of this post to the movie, but it’s not like I plan ahead a lot, so it is what it is. What a movie it is, though! It’s visually gorgeous, it tells a very sweetly tender story (which I liked even though I felt bad for Midori), and all in all it’s just very fun to watch.