In case it hadn't been made absolutely clear during the series so far, Dera is getting fat, and in this eighth episode of Tamako Market the chickens finally come home to roost (sorry, I had to squeeze that pun in there) for our rotund bird of love.
The final straw for Dera is an attempt to clamber into Kanna's latest creation, a custom-made bird house, which proves to be more than a tight squeeze for the poor fellow. Rather than any fault in Kanna's handiwork, it's clear that Dera has literally gotten too big for his boots, meaning that it's time for a strict diet to be put into place - a tricky prospect given Dera's obsession with Mochi, and his standing with the other members of Tamako's family in particular.
To keep him away from any food, Dera is thus press-ganged into being dragged around with Tamako and company everywhere she goes, which in turn leaves Choi following them in tow. This involves both going to school with the other girls under the auspices of visiting as a transfer student, and enjoying a shopping trip with them as she seems to feel ever more at home in the area.
Having been so critical for so much of this series, allow me to throw at least some breadcrumbs of praise in this episode's direction - it made me laugh out loud a couple of times, with its opening scenes providing some superbly orchestrated physical comedy while the simple use of the compound word "birdmington" also gave me the giggles, lover of silly puns that I am. It's a shame then, that this arrives alongside yet another episode where nothing happens - remember when we were trying to get a handle on Midori's romantic proclivities? Or Tamako's admirer? I hope so, because this series sure doesn't seem to. Add in some far less well timed and targeted humour, and no amount of praise for its production values or those rare moments of comedy genius will sway me from my impression that Tamako Market is one seriously mediocre series.