Tamako Market – K-On…but better?


repost from old blog

Spoiler free review!

Tamako Market is a very classic Kyoto Animation anime.  It’s about well…cute girls doing cute things.

Okay, Tamako Market is a slice of life anime about a girl named Tamako who’s family runs a mochi shop in a shopping center…it’s a simple premise.  She meets a talking bird named Dera who comes from a distant island looking for his Prince’s future wife.  And as any slice-of-life anime goes, adventure ensues.

Like K-On and KyoAni’s other cute-girls-doing-cute-things animes, it has a soft and sweet tone to it.  However, Tamako Market has a quirky feel to it that just isn’t present in K-On.  Maybe it’s Dera the (quite frankly annoying) talking bird, or the cast of characters that make up the marketplace.

It really is important to remember while watching Tamako Market, you aren’t necessarily watching it to be intrigued by a fascinating world or complex plot…it’s simply to relax and have fun.  And Tamako Market does that.


One of my issues with K-On was that it just felt so stagnant at times.  Nothing was happening, jokes were used over and over again, and the interactions between the characters were overdone and bland.  Tamako Market’s quirky tone overcomes that.  The 13 episode season was built up of mini-arcs that dealt with various “issues.”  Very few jokes were reused and the story was kept fresh.

My only real issue with Tamako Market is the final “mini arc.”  It felt that KyoAni tried to pull together an actual story (instead of a slice-of-life take) at the very end and just rushed the whole thing.  The character’s motivations and thoughts were not given the chance to be portrayed and as a result everything felt rushed and a mess.  The ending was cute but anticlimactic and lackluster.

While I have to admit that the characters were not super interesting, their interactions felt genuine and heartfelt.  I feel that the characters relationships is what brings Tamako Market it’s charm.  While there isn’t a complete lack of character development, its very minimal and far and in between.

tamakomarket2Let’s talk about our characters.  Tamkao is well, the weak-link in the cast.  She is your standard slice-of-life main character.  As dense as lead and um…that’s the only defining feature of her.  The rest of the cast is charming, but not developed…meaning we don’t know anything about them.  Tamako’s friends are as stereotypical supporting characters as they can get.  Shiori is introduced in a mini arc of her own, and it seems as if she’s going to be a main character but after that, you hardly ever see her. (And have you seen the Pocky in her hair?  Yes, they are Pocky, as they only appear in colors of Pocky flavors).  Kanna is boring.  That’s all I have to say about her character.  Midori is the most carefully written and her actions portray her feelings very subtly.  If she were developed more, she’d probably be the best character out of the cast.

Speaking of characters let’s talk about Dera.  I have to say, I hate him.  Okay, hate is a  strong word.  I felt like they tried to make him like Doraemon and failed miserably.  He lacks charm, is rather bossy and annoying.  But perhaps he is the reason that this anime is so quirky.  Don’t let that spoil your own opinions of him though.

tamakomarket2All the characters are unique to themselves (within the anime) and don’t ever stray from their personality.  I loved the setting of the market, it’s the first anime I’ve watched with a market type setting (I know many animes have these) but I loved the way the market pulled together the characters.  I really enjoyed the mochi scenes in the anime.  It made me want to eat mochi and well, I made mochi (and ate it while watching Tamako Market)

The art is good as usual (the ending has amazing art).  My one issue with KyoAni art is that why do Tamako and her friends still look like they belong in their first year of middle school? (they also look astoundingly like K-On characters)  Audio is good, nothing really stands out to me, nor does it ever fall short of the moment.  The opening and ending are both great (especially the ending)

The take away from this post?  Tamako Market, while it may not be a phenomenal anime, it still is a good anime to watch, given you have the right mindset while watching it.  Watch Tamako Market when you are bored and just want something fluffy and fun to watch.  Don’t give the characters or plot too much thought, because you’re just watching it to relax.

So, is Tamako Market is better than K-On?  Well, if it isn’t obvious yet, I do believe that Tamako Market is a better watch than K-On.  Though Tamako Market stands in the shadow with K-On, it really does outshine it with it’s playful tone and character interactions.  I felt that it made Tamako Market a much better watch.  Never while watching this anime did I feel bored by the story or wanted to skip any part of it.  I will avoid using the word underrated here, but Tamako Market deserves more attention than it does.

Tamako Market also has a movie – Tamako Love Story, which I think is a great movie to watch after finishing Tamako Market.  It really completely wraps up the story.  It’s quite cute.  And something about Mochizou makes him so loveable.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this review!


3 thoughts on “Tamako Market – K-On…but better?

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