Thursday, 14 March 2013

Tamako Market - Episode 10

It's school festival time (don't worry, this isn't Hyouka so it only lasts a single episode), and the baton club have landed themselves a prime position in the schedule's festival.  In other words, it's time to knuckle down and create something fitting for the occasion!

After much discussion about what their on-stage performance should involve (with Kanna's suggestion of "firefighting acrobatics" shot down quickly and repeatedly, in the end it's left to Tamako to deal with the costumes - a smart choice as we get to take a peek at Choi's impressive sewing abilities - while Midori is put in charge of the performance's choreography.

Although initially thrilled by the prospect of creating this, Midori soon finds that choreography is far, far more difficult than she perhaps imagines as she struggles to come up with any ideas at all.  Rather than turning to her friends for help, she remains determined to go it alone, and the longer she struggles with this mental block the more impossible she finds it to admit her troubles to Tamako and Kanna as she wears herself into the ground with worry and attempts to drum up ideas.  Eventually, the other girls realise what's going on in plenty of time to assist and ensure that all goes smoothly come the big day.  Oh, and Tamako is the princess that Dera was sent to look for.

That throwaway previous line almost exactly mimics the big problem with Tamako Market to this point - it introduces some interesting ideas, does nothing with them for considerable periods of time, and then suddenly returns to them out of the blue by throwing something out there; something that was, on this occasion, entirely obvious from episode one to boot.  In a wider context, this episode worked reasonably well, powered along by Midori continuing to be the show's easiest character to relate to with a plight that I'm sure many of us have suffered from ourselves in the past.  That doesn't really excuse the fact that Tamako Market has delivered a lot of fluff throughout the series when it seemed to promise so much more, and no matter what it does in its final couple of episodes it's hard to imagine it being seen as anything much other than "just another slice of life show" by the time it's finished.

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