Tamako Market Episode 3: Hot for a Cool Girl
“How are you talking? You’re a bird.” -Shiori Asagiri
Summary: Destiny brings Dera together with Shiori Asagiri, a shy girl from Tamako’s class who he immediately falls in love with. With an introduction from Dera, and a chain of events so perfectly orchestrated that they could only be found on T.V, Shiori and Tamako end up becoming friends.
Impressions: Yay! Tamako’s
harem group of friends gains a member this week. Shiori is the cute, shy, glasses wearing type which I’m sure will melt a few hearts out there (I would maybe even include myself in that group.) It seems like every KyoAni show must have an episode featuring lots of cherry blossoms floating around (it’s probably one of their ten commandments) and that was this episode of Tamako Market. With beautiful scenery (as expected), a nice little storyline about overcoming your own fears, and plenty of goofy faces provided by Dera, I was happy to let myself be swept away this week.
The focus of the story this week is the seemingly cold girl Shiori Asarigi, who we’ve glimpsed on several other occasions. With school starting back up for Tamako, Midori, and Kanna our trio is divided, as Midori (and Mochizou) are in a different class. Tamako tries her darnedest to be friendly towards Shiori, since she’s going to be in the same class, but Shiori doesn’t really seem to interested. Dera (or Dela? not even the subtitles seem to sure on which one they want to go with), who’s gotten quiet rotund, has taken to trying to fly around more and meets Shiori when he runs out of steam and falls out of the sky. She manages to catch him thanks to her trust badminton racket, and takes him “home” to the Usagiyama Market. Of course Dera falls in love with her right away (she didn’t even have to sneeze on him!) and a lot of this weeks comedy comes from his romantic pursuit of her. He constantly drops out of the sky (often on purpose) in order to be caught by her or to have her pay attention to him. It’s down right hilarious when she shoots him down (not literally) at the end of the episode. After her tour through the neighborhood, where everyone treats her kindly since they see her as a friend of Tamako’s, Shiori and Dera end up at Tamako’s house.
The perfectly timed coincidences that happen next are the kind of thing that would never actually happen in real life. Shiori’s mother conveniently will be home late, just as An invites Shiori to stay for dinner which the two of them end up cooking (since Tamako isn’t a very imaginative cook.) Of course it’s a big hit with the whole Kitashirakawa family. Then Shiori’s father let’s her know that their bath is broken, so she goes with Tamako and An to the public baths. She goes home, and in a split-second of hesitation, misses the moment to thank Tamako for a fun evening and to tell her how much she enjoyed it. This in turn leads to much fretting on Shiori’s part on how to best talk to Tamako. I think everyone has been in a situation like hers, where you just missed the right opportunity to say something and then you worry about how to say it once the moment has passed. As someone on the painfully shy side of the social scale, I can sympathize with Shiori’s inability to say what she wants without feeling anxious over it. Sometimes it’s just hard to find the right words. Tamako worries that she’s annoying Shiori, since the other girl reacts very coldly to her at school. At first Shiori wants Dera to speak to Tamako for her, but some gentle encouragement from the best bird ever and a trip to the record shop finally gives Shiori the courage to overcome her fears.
I like how the record shop has been set up as almost not only a very welcoming space but also where characters go to get advice and sort themselves out. With Kunio there to give you some words of advice, while playing nice music and giving you delicious bitter coffee to drink? Yeah. Let’s just say I’ve nicknamed it the record store of my dreams. You can tell that someone, somewhere working on this show is obviously a huge music fan and that the shop and it’s keeper were designed with that in mind. Kunio even holds the records properly! More than anything else in the show so far, the record shop is the kind of idealized place that you would be very hard pressed to find anywhere in the world today. While there, Shiori is finally able to tell Tamako how much fun she had the other day, and while she’s a little embarrassed by her outbreak, in the end she’s relieved that she was able to over come herself and reach out to make a new friend. Shiori was always watching Tamako, Midori and Kanna in the gym while they were having fun and wanted to join them. And now that she’s friends with Tamako, she’ll be able to! Yay friendship!
That’s about it as far as this episode goes. It was cute how Midori told Tamako over the phone that she’d seen Shiori practicing saying thank you in front of the mirror of the girls bathroom (it’s also cute how those two talk on the phone with each other before bed.) I think it made Tamako really realize how hard Shiori had worked to tell her such a simple thing. Next week looks like it’ll be a festival/school play thing, because that’s another one of KyoAni’s ten commandments (“Thou shalt have a festival episode of some kind and thou shalt be clothed extravagantly” or something like that) and little Anko might be falling in love! Awww first love! We’ll see if Tamako Market continues it’s trend of putting a slight twist on what you expect or if they play it straight and give us something we’ve all seen before.
Final Thought: One little thing that I’ve really been enjoying, and that I hope continues into future episodes, is Kanna’s side projects. This week, she says she’s going to fix a broken locker, and low and behold! she does. Or last week with her chocolate house. We see her plans for it and at the end of the episode, bam! the final product. Since we haven’t focused much on her character (yet) it does give a very nice peek at what she’s all about. Namely building stuff and getting things done.