Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Tamako Market - Episode 4

It's festival time for the market district in this week's Tamako Market, giving us some reminiscences about Anko (sorry, An) and her own festival experiences as a younger kid.

It seems that young Anko is growing up as quickly as Dera is growing fat (and boy, is he growing fat), as this week's episode reveals that she seems to have developed something of a crush on one of her classmates.  Shy those she is around the boy in question, an ideal opportunity to spend some time with him seems to develop when some of Anko's friends invite both her and the lad in question to an afternoon at the local museum that weekend.

At least, it would be an ideal opportunity were it not for Anko's responsibilities towards her family's mochi store on that very same day; an extremely busy one given that it clashes with the festival in the district.  Even when Anko's grandfather figures out a way to allow her to get what is required of her done at the store so that she can also leave and visit the museum, it seems as if fate has ordained that she not make it as she finds herself sidetracked.  All's well that ends well though, as it seems that her crush hasn't forgotten about her despite her inability to turn up at the museum...

I feel like it isn't harsh to say this now that we're four episodes into the series, so here goes - I'm really not sure what the point of Tamako Market is any more.  Its first couple of episodes seemed well-placed to set the scene and put Dera into a position where he and his situation could work their magic upon the story, but since that point he's become little more than the comic relief in what is ostensibly just another sweet slice of life show.  There was ample room even within this for Anko's situation to be given some more interesting narrative to work with but no, instead we stay ensconced in our happy little world where any upset is strictly temporary.  Within an idealised comedy world (such as that of K-ON or Hidamari Sketch) it works just fine, but although there are a couple of pretty funny moments here Tamako Market sold us the initial promise that it was going to be something more - a promise that it can still deliver upon, certainly, but one that it's neglecting terribly at the moment.

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