Tamako Market, while not exactly dislodging Kyoto Animation’s very sturdy foundation and sending it gliding into the busy streets below, is nonetheless a reminder that the studio need not adhere to the formulas of four cute girls doing cute things, or a normal guy and his best friend surrounded by eccentric girls who do nothing but cute things, to make a decent first impression. It just goes to show that The Beatles were 100% correct: all you need is love, a food theme, and a flamboyant, lustful, wrathful, gluttonous, slothful, proud, envious, avaricious talking bird who constantly poses.
Tamako Market really does live up to its pervasive mochi theme to the fullest of its abilities; hell, half of the characters even have that generic “made of mochi” moeblob design. The world that Tamako inhabits is nothing short of a saccharine wonderland, and our titular lead perfectly exemplifies both the strengths and weaknesses of this setting. Never really showing that her perceptions of reality have been shattered by a bird that’s perfectly fluent in Japanese, and certainly not displaying much of a drive to express anything close to a negative emotion, her life by itself isn’t the most engaging to follow. It almost feels completely disconnected from our reality, an insular pocket dimension that’s only tethered to the world at large by the gluttonous, lecherous bird Mochimazzi.
When looking at what the first episode had on display, it’s amazing how much Mochimazzi improves my reaction with his mere presence. Just looking at his smug, self-assured, pudgy face contrasting the barfy cutesy Tamako Market is enough make me smile just when I think I’ll get bored of a cute girl loving every one of Mother Earth’s creatures and being loved in return. He’s the fly in Tamako Market’s ointment, only this ointment is strong enough to give me a headache, and the fly does nothing but eat mochi and wax about how important he is while looking absolutely fabulous. Ironically enough, his inflated sense of self-worth and ever-growing plumpness makes him cuter than everything else the show has, his smug “Don’t touch me, your fingers would only stain my luscious feathers” look far more endearing than the generic moeblobby designs.
I don’t know if it’s good or bad that the character with the most human personality is a tubby Thanksgiving dinner waiting to happen, but if it keeps this up, I have a feeling I won’t mind it at all.