English Name:

Tamako Market

Japanese Name:



Kyoto Animation

Episodes Watched:


Posted on:

06/Mar/2019 at 21:35

A highly disappointing anime from Kyoto Animation

From the studio which has brought some of my favourite anime comes these bland and boring anime, which many seem to love, but I don't know why.

I have seen people compare Tamako Market to K-On, and I honestly don't know how any comparison can be made, beyond them being from the same studio.
From all of the KyoAni series I have watched, I would have to put Tamako Market at the bottom... and I gave up on Haruhi Suzumiya as I couldn't get into it.

The problem with Tamako Market is it's a whole lot of nothing. We have no reason to care about the characters or the plot, we're just watching normality happen, with nothing to really stand out.

Let's start with the OP. It's a very good song, very easily gets stuck in your head, but it has a dark secret. The OP doesn't really set the scene for the anime in any way.

If you watch the OPs for K-On or Hibike Euphonium, without any sound, you can tell both of them are about highschoolers in a school band. You can tell K-On is all about having fun in that band, whilst Hibike Euphonium is about playing on a large stage in front of a huge audience. By the end of the OP you know what the anime is about, what level of seriousness you can expect out of it, and what the end goal could be.

Then we look at Tamako Market's:
We've got a girl who appears outside a shop with people she seems familiar with, that's her family.
Then she is the centre of attention amongst a load of adults, wearing a top hat with a baton, then making a bird appear out of a hat... Maybe she's into magic?
Now she's skipping around a shopping district, greeted by smiles. Ok, she gets along with everyone in the shopping district that her family's shop is in.
And now she's breaking up her father fighting with someone else. Maybe there's going to be some conflict between her father, or the entire shopping district, and this other man?
She continues going through the shopping district, quite happy and full of life.
Then she's in school with her friends.
Now we see this fat bird again, it must be important to the plot... but we have absolutely no idea what the plot could even be yet.
More of her with the baton, leading her friends this time, shortly followed by a lot more people.
More magic style stuff with the baton.
And finishing like the end of a musical/stage show.

So to summarise the plot, based solely on the OP. Tamako, who we can safely assume is the girl seen throughout the video, is a friendly and happy girl, who's into magic or stage shows, and is going to lead everyone through a potential conflict which is going to arise in the shopping district where she spends all of her time.

It is nothing like the actual plot, and the plot itself is absolutely pointless... But we'll talk more about that later.

I want to try and keep this review as a mixture of good and bad throughout, instead of focusing on everything which is bad first. 

So I think it's only right to talk about my favourite part of the series, when Tamako finds her song.

[spoilers ahead]

A few times before the second video linked in this review, Tamako is seen struggling to remember a song which her late mother used to sing to her. Then one day she happens upon her father singing it, and it makes for a wonderful father/daughter scene, which brightens up Tamako's day, and makes her father extremely embarrassed.

It's a very sweet family moment, along with some very good character development in such a short space of time. It's a real shame it's a very stand-out scene in the series, with nothing else coming close to it.

I spy a dull plot

What even is the point of Tamako Market? There's a story there, but is there?

A bird finds Tamako and thinks she's the girl for his prince, but for 10 episodes does nothing about it. Then the prince comes, Tamako has a little meltdown, then goes back to her daily life the next day. 
That's the entire series summarised for an idiot, and I wish I was skipping a lot of interesting little subplots in that summary, but I'm not.

The subplots we get are:
Tamako's little sister having a crush, which moves away.
Tamako having a baton performance at school.
Mochizou having a crush on Tamako.
Tamako finding the song her mother kept singing.
Tamako getting a medal for shopping a lot in the shopping district.
Dera getting fat off of mochi.
Tamako likes mochi.
Dera has a crush on Shiori.

All of these are all so riveting, that it took me a while to remember them. I'm probably forgetting some of the boring ones, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter. None of them do anything to advanced the main plot in any way, nor do they really get touched on much.

Let's just talk about the baton performance at school for a second. So remember the OP? The baton was a quite obvious part of the video, and wasn't a subtle thing used once. Well it could have been anything in my opinion. Tamako's club has less than an episode of screen time in total, and had no effect on the story whatsoever, she could have been in the occult club, and none of the other stories would have changed... it may have made the haunted house scene more memorable, but that's about it.

Minor characters steal the stage

I am all for minor characters, I think they can be some of the better characters in a story. But when Kanna, a girl with about as much presence as Akari from Yuru Yuri, and Anko, the main character's little sister, stand out as the best characters then there is a problem.

When watching Oreimo, you may think Saori is the great character, but you would still say Kirino is obviously the main character, and you couldn't imagine the story being told with Saori as the main character. But with Tamako Market, the story is so weak, and has so little substance that anyone could be the focal point, and it wouldn't really matter too much.

Kanna's personality is a lot more human than Tamako's, in my opinion, and I would love to have seen more of her.

Anko on the other hand, is very obviously a young child. She has the perfect balance of knowing her place, and wanting to push the boundaries. Whilst Tamako just does what she does, and everyone seems to love her for no apparent reason.

But then the rest of the supporting characters are just that. Apart from what we know of Mochizou, we don't know anything about anyone else in the cast, nor do we care. There's just a bunch of people, and we have to try to remember who they are.

All in all, I was very disappointed with Tamako Market.

A lot of people really praised it, saying it was as good as, if not better than, K-On. I wouldn't have even thought they were by the same studio if I hadn't looked, as K-On is leaps and bounds better than Tamako Market.

It's a little disappointing giving a low score to an anime a lot of people seem to really like, but I just can't justify giving it a high score.

Next review will be of Another I think, so that's going to be something completely different to pretty much everything else reviewed so far. But that's for next time, so until then じゃね!see ya