“Hey, wanna play in the pool together?” -Tamako Kitashirakawa
Summary: It’s summer and you know what that means: School Trips! Beaches! Swimming! Fireworks! Love triangles? Mochizou and Midori each vie for Tamako’s affection, Tamako fights with her inability to swim, and Dera just tries not to get eaten.
Impressions: Two things straight away: 1. Props to Tamako Market for giving us an episode with cute girls in swimsuits without any fanservice and 2. Mochizou can just exit stage left with his little ear blushes. That part just killed me, I mean really, way to stab me in the heart with an ice pick there. As far as “Beach Episodes” go, this was a pretty good one. It was sweet but not overly so, and the “drama” was quickly resolved (or at least momentarily put aside.) Dera’s continued harassment by a variety of local animals was great as comedic relief. It was another all-around satisfying episode.
Continuing the theme of every episode focusing on one character, this week it’s Mochizou’s turn in the spotlight. As summer presses on our poor boy has his head in the clouds, trying to figure out how best to get Tamako to at least notice his feelings. While the girls all go to the swimming pool to help Tamako learn how to swim (’cause boy does she need it), Mochizou is left with only his thoughts to entertain him. You can tell he’s a good kid, because even in his fantasies, Tamako’s still just wearing her school swimsuit. No bikinis, boobs, butts, or anything else of the like here. It goes well with the very “pure” and almost retro feel of the show. Dera gets involved after interpreting the wind chime that Mochizou hung in his window as an invitation to a party. Getting love advice from a pompous, over-weight bird probably isn’t the best idea (especially when that bird tries to teach you a very strange courting ritual dance) but Mochizou does it anyway. Together the two hatch a plan that involves smuggling Dera on the school trip in order for him to act as a go-between for Mochizou and Tamako. Ideally, this would end with Mochizou finally being able to confess his feelings to Tamako, but Midori overhears them and interferes.
While in previous episodes, her feelings for Tamako were left up for personal interpretation, I think this episode makes it pretty clear that Midori likes Tamako. She becomes ever-so-slightly jealous of Mochizou, and the two of them get in an argument over who knows Tamako best. Dera hits the nail on the head when he tells them that they are “birds of a feather” since both of them are struggling with their feelings towards the same girl. Midori gets Mochizou to back down in the end, and then continues to monopolize Tamako’s attention. When she asks Tamako point-blank about how she feels about Mochizou and then herself, Midori seems happy and assured when Tamako answers that she see’s Mochizou as a friend and that she loves Midori. I have a feeling that Tamako just meant she loves her as a friend, but I think that Midori felt reassured that she was closer to Tamako’s heart than Mochizou. That reassurance is what (I think) helps Midori accept Mochizoua as a rival if you will. She doesn’t feel as threatened by him, and even though he seems willing to back off (since he’s convinced that even if he confessed it would lead to nothing), Midori gives Mochizou the okay to like Tamako. The two make up right in time to join Tamako, Kanna, and Shiori in watching the fire works go off.
On the lighter side of things, we learn that Tamako can’t really swim, which leads to some pretty funny situations. Her attempts at swimming in the pool are silly, and the fact that she has to wear floaties to swim in the ocean is kind of hilarious. Kanna is a pretty funny swimmer as well, as she tends to sink “like a hammer” after swimming a couple of feet. I can only dream that I’d be able to wake up from a nap as energized and happy as Tamako after their swim test. Dera is also solid this episode, with his continued encounters with the local fauna. I think the attacking seagull was my favorite of the bunch, since seeing Dera struggling to fly away from it was especially funny. It’s hard to tell what next weeks episode will be about from the preview. It seems something exciting is happening at the market that has all the shop keepers in a tizzy. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what’s got them all riled up!
Final Thought: How cute was baby Tamako with her huge glasses and baby Midori? I just wanted to pinch their little cheeks!