Tamako Market – Early Review

Early Impressions: Tamako Market

Tamako Market Group

In every new season of anime, you always have to check out what Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) is doing. For the Winter 2013 lineup, their new show is Tamako Market. It follows the daily life of Tamako Kitashirakawa, a high-school girl whose family runs a mochi shop in the Usagi-yama shopping district. The scenes mostly take place in the shops and homes of the business owners, and at Tamako’s school.

The unique twist in Tamako Market is Dera, an exotic talking bird that accidentally arrives in the neighborhood, and immediately gets involved in everyone’s life. When I say “talking”, I mean full conversations, playing the role of a persnickity avian that makes himself comfortable, even after it’s revealed that he has been tasked with finding a bride for his homeland’s prince (by projecting a broadcast through his eyes). So “slice of life” anime might not be the best descriptor, as there’s definitely some otherworldly magic going on.

#BIRDSWAG

#BIRDSWAG

Tamako Market is light-hearted, following high school girls around while they get into zany adventures. The “heaviest” conflicts consist of things like whether the shop will or won’t sell heart-shaped mochi. Whoa, that’s some serious shit.

But that’s not to say it has the curse (or blessing depending on who you talk to…) of being as laid back as K-On! I think that K-On would often go waaaay too chill, and it feels like you were just watching girls trying to react cutely to girls doing cute things. There were times I’d watch it and be on the brink of yelling “JESUS WHY DON’T YOU LAZY F*#KS PICK UP YOUR INSTRUMENTS?” I still enjoyed the series (and loved the movie), but the grind was a bit…grinding to say the least. On a side note, it seems that KyoAni gets some hate any time they’re new release isn’t “NEXT SEASON OF K-ON”…which is depressing. If you want a company to plug away at the same thing over and over again, don’t be surprised when they end up bankrupt and out of business.

"Great 'song' ladies!"

“Great ‘song’ ladies!”

Tamako Market has random shop owners with their own quirky personalities. You’ve got the record-shop/coffee house hipster that says something deep and then spins an old tune. The flower shop owner with the creepy dude voice. The old grampa with zany ball-in-a-cup tricks. KyoAni has made a unique cast of characters. Let’s hope they continue to flesh them out.

I’m three episodes into TM, and will be sticking around. I’m not a full-on KyoAni fanboy, but I do love many of their works. I’ll always give them a chance, as I love their art style and the way they take every day conversations and make a 26-episode series out of them.

At this point I’m not sure how “serious” this show will get. There’s a dead parent (of course…it wouldn’t be anime without one). There’s a boy crushing on Tamako. And then there are Tamako’s friends, who have the whole growing pains of life thing going on. But when you juxtapose this with a rotund talking bird and the island of misfit shop owners, you can assume it won’t go too “dark”.

Tamako usagi  costume

Bottom Line:

Tamako Market is one to watch this anime season. KyoAni consistently makes enjoyable shows with personable characters. This one looks to be no different. I don’t think you have to worry about being bored watching girls drink tea and eat cake, or watching an Endless Eight style arc of madness. Light-hearted, funny, and heart-warming adventures ahoy!

Sena likes ’em young?

infantkun

I’m not going to try to judge the parent that decided that this was a good idea. I’ll just assume that it’s a lonely widowed father who’s just looking for the best replacement mother he can find…

By the way, the new season of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukanai NEXT (AKA “I have few friends” or Haganai) is hilarious. It really just rolls from the last season.

Convention Memes – Volume 2

Even though DragonCon is not specifically an anime convention, anime-related cosplay has a nice-sized presence there. They have pulled in some Funimation folks there as well. But if you’ve ever tried to get a hotel room there…this is how we all feel:

DragonCon Hotels...

Now as for my cosplay friends, I think many of them are still flattered when someone stops them for a pic. I also think most them don’t mind being “directed”. That is, they actually prefer when a photographer asks if they pose a particular way. It usually makes them feel a more comfortable, since the photog seems to know what he’s doing. But then you have those photographers that ask for poses that a bit…well, to put it lightly…creepy as fuck.

FryCosplayAss

Yeah, don’t be that guy photogs.

Anime Con or Rave???

http://www.buzzfeed.com/angelameiquan/quiz-anime-convention-or-rave-70fn

RAVEANIMECON

Say what you want about our (sub)culture, but this quiz was actually pretty damn funny. How well can you do on it? 13 images, and you decide whether it’s a pic from a con or a rave…

Of course the only stupid part of this quiz is that most great cons have amazing raves, but I digress.

I “only” got 10 out of 13 right. I should be ashamed…

Biri Bunny – Misaka Mikoto Bunny Girl Pre-Order Begins

Could someone PayPal me a couple hundred bucks so I can purchase this?

Pre-orders started yesterday for this 1/4 scale(!) figure from FREEing. It’s a whopping 410mm (about 16 inches in ‘Murrica), and is friggin’ adorable as fuck.

If you decide to not lend me the money (you bastards) and want one for yourself, you can head over to Hobby Search, Hobby Link Japan, or your fave Japanime figure store and pre-order now. It comes out in June.

TOO MANY NEW PRE-ORDERS. STAHP INTERNET.

Damn it all to hell. Last night the new Figma Kirito figure becomes available for pre-order.

Then tonight this happens…

Asuna figure by Kotobukiya available for pre-order starting tonight ;_;

Anyone ever want to get a second job just to buy selfish things? That’s about where I am now.

I will say that the Figma and Kotobukiya figs are two totally different things. I’ve been on the fence many times about Figma products, as sometimes they look comically toy-like. The ball joints can be huge and glaring eyesores, making everything look cheap.

But that Figma doesn’t look too bad. Kirito’s face is almost a bit too cartoony, but I think it’s still worth a buy.

The Asuna though, is nice…and twice as many $$$. What to do, what to do?