It’s almost always imperative to take special note of the direction of a plot, but the near-absence of one in this anime harkens the call of an outlier. I’ll be honest, I have no idea where this show is headed, then again, maybe it wasn’t going anywhere to begin with. Today’s episode is especially “bottled-up”- alienated, ostracised, by it’s friends, Ep. 1 & 2, in the most liberal definition of continuity, nor would it seem that the episode will go out and play with future acquaintances. But, well… perhaps this is the exact sort of anime TM is.
At it’s core, Tamako Market seems to be nothing more than a few cute girls doing cute things. Something done under the guise of achieving an overarching plot that receives nothing more than a passing glance for the bulk of the show- entirely reminiscent of another Kyoani anime. It might still be too early to call, but this stands true for this episode at the very least. Of course, saying that that’s all there is would be a bit of an understatement. This anime dresses up the CGDCT formula with some characterisation. This week, it’s Shiori Asagiri, an intelligent yet coy girl that’s one of Tamako’s classmates, not unlike another Shiori from another anime, unfortunately not paired with the vocal talents of Hanakana, but fortunately with more depth than her doppelgänger.
Last week, we had Midori, and to a lesser extent, Tamako’s father, being dwelled upon. Seeing as to how they don’t even feature heavily in this episode, I’m putting my chips on the non-importance of episode 2. One could veritably skip the 2nd episode, and find no problems accepting today’s episode, and foreseeably the rest of the anime. And with that, I think it’s safe to say that the development on Shiori, who will undoubtedly feature in the future episodes, will be kept to a safe minimal. All the while, Tamako sticks to her two-dimensional, two-dimensional persona, devoid of any need for further elaboration.
Humour is served along the same portions as the last 2 episodes, the visual and extravagance of Dera, an incredibly metrosexual, robotic (?) cockatoo, the adorableness of the girls, peppered with some slapstick. Dera’s boisterous histrionic behaviour this episode in particular is worthy of mention as he attempts to pick up Shiori. So we’ve gone from the comparable innocence of some Yuri, to bestiality? Probably not that far, but still… He’s a bird. To be frank, the character of Dera doesn’t really seem to be that funny in the first place; visually it’s fairly cute, but doesn’t have the same charm that’s invoked by the female cast. At the same time, most of his “witticisms” are as dry and unpolished as his character.
“Dry” and “unpolished” are 2 adjectives you won’t be using to describe this anime’s animation though. The one thing that Kyoani never fails as at delivering has always been the visual feast delivered with their anime, with unmissable vistas that form the backdrop of scenes, coupled with fluid animation articulation that looks almost rotoscoped. This is a pretty anime, and today’s episode exemplifies it.
The episode ends (as always) with some “wisdom” from the narrator. It makes sense given the development of Shiori’s character over the course of the episode, but really doesn’t offer much acumen when you think about it. People get flustered sometimes, people can’t phrase things properly sometimes, that’s fairly common knowledge. Whether or not they actually say it correctly one day or not is another matter entirely. But I, for one, choose not to interpret it as layman conventional wisdom, but rather, the below quotation is a reference to the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein and his language games. Tamako Market just got really really deep.
Sometimes, words are hard to find. Sometimes, words just aren’t enough. The things we want to say never quite reach. But one day, they will.