Anime of Tomorrow
Tamako Market Ep. 1
Winter 2013 (12 episodes) (more info)
Immediately, the first instinct of anyone who lays eyes on Tamako Market is going to be, “this looks like K-ON,” which should be no surprise, because the art designer is Yukiko Horiguchi, the writer is Reiko Yoshida, the director is Naoko Yamada and the producer is Kyoto Animation—so basically, the entire team that made K-ON is back together to make Tamako Market. But if these ties to K-ON are turning you off, it should also be noted that at least some members of this team also made the recent hit, Hyouka and Kyoto Animation also has a long history of all-time great anime titles like Haruhi Suzumiya and Full Metal Panic. So don’t prejudge.
I think this series is going to resonate with me more than with the average anime fan because I’ve actually been to several shopping districts in many different Japanese towns and cities. These are wonderful places that resonate with the part of me that enjoys the atmosphere of the mom and pop, old downtown districts of America, which are still alive and well throughout Japan. And my feeling right away is that Tamako Market has done an amazing job of capturing that personality of friendly people who enjoy their work and have built a close community of small businesses who are always there for each other and their customers.
But the real strength of Tamako Market lies in the terrific double act that comprises the two main characters. Tamako’s polite, cheerful personality is such a contrast to Dera Mochimazzi, the rude and gluttonous cockatoo that forces himself into her home in which the downstairs is a mochi shop. They play each other’s foils so well and I can already tell this is going to be the driving force for some terrific dialogue. Along with her colorful friends which includes a kind of Romeo and Juliet family rivalry with the son of the mochi shop across the street and just general all-around silliness, this is shaping up to be a great moe anime.