We begin this week's Tamako Market with rather a blast from the past, as we catch a glimpse into the youth of Tamako's parents before... well, before they were even close to being her parents.
Although Tamako might think that Mochi Day is the centrepiece of this week's episode, it is in fact all about love, and more specifically we zoom in once again on Anko's budding relationship with her classmate that we first explored earlier in the series. While Anko's eagerness to give young Yuzuki some mochi is understandable, there's something "off" about her behaviour that soon attracts the attention of those around her.
In short, Anko's ennui is down to the fact that Yuzuki is about to move house and transfer schools, and what's more he's set to do so on Mochi Day himself. Paralysed by her indecision as to what she should do with regards to sending him off, or even whether she should do anything at all, it's up to her friends to intervene and give her a nudge in the right direction. In the meantime, we finally find out the source of the song that has been so redolent of memories of her mother for Tamako - believe it or not, it's a song that comes from a source decidedly close to home...
No matter how much I've ragged on Tamako Market over the past couple of months I know a good episode of anime when I see one, and this was a decidedly good episode of anime. After a somewhat disjointed early few minutes, the episode managed to nail everything that it wanted to pull off - Anko's behaviour and indecision was a nigh-on perfect interpretation of the struggles of youth when it comes to love and friendship, and there was something surprisingly satisfying about the quick, feel-good reveal regarding Tamako's father. Throw in some more reasonably funny moments and that usual Kyoto Animation attention to detail and you have by far the most enjoyable instalment of this show to date. I still have no idea what the point of Dera and Choi is at this point in the show, and it remains the clumsiest slice of life that KyoAni have served us as a whole, but this week gave us a glimpse of what Tamako Marketcould have been if only it had found its inspiration much sooner.