Tamako Market Episode 7: She Became a Bride!
“I didn’t come here expecting to be reunited with a miniature blimp!” -Choi Mochimazzi
Summary: The arrival of Choi spells big trouble for Dera, who lies about being forced to stay at Usagiyama Market. This makes Choi extremely suspicious of everyone’s genuine kindness, and she works hard to try and not become indebted to them or ensnared in their “traps”. She even tells fortunes to pay everyone back for the gifts they give her. Will Tamako be able to get through to her and convince her that everyone at the Market is really a nice person?
Impression: Awwww, this was a really cute episode! Choi is a very nice new addition to the cast, considering she seems to be the only one able to but Dera in his place. We also have Tomio’s unrequited love for Sayuri, who’s getting married, as a sub-plot, which is also very “awwww” inducing. And, the actual story seems to hint that it’s going somewhere other than just “enjoyable but rather pointless episodes about a girl and a fat talking bird.” So hurrah, for yet another fun episode!
Our new character, Choi, is a cute little girl who I would put as being older than Anko and younger than Tamako. She’s a bit hot-tempered, and is very good at insulting and abusing poor Dera. While I love his conceited facial expressions, there’s something unbearably sad and heartbreaking about his slightly confused, totally submissive, and kinda pathetic faces he pulls when under Choi’s command. Littlel Choi can also use Dera to tell people’s fortunes with the help of a bird-shaped whistle she wears around her neck. Upon her arrival at Tamako’s house, where she find’s Dera and immediately starts to chastise him about gaining so much weight, she’s invited to stay with the Kitashirakawa family. She was forced to come when she and the princes didn’t receive any response to the many messages they had been sending Dera. What she didn’t know was that Dera had to be unconscious for the messages to get through, meaning that the communications device inside him is not acting the way it should. It was a bit hard to watch Dera throw Tamako and the rest of the residents of the Usagiyama Market under the bus by saying they were forcing him to stay against his will and eat all that mochi that made him fat. He really is one conceited bird to so easily place the blame for his own problems on the people who have been nothing but kind to him. Choi really becomes suspicious of everyone’s motives then, and it’s funny to see her try and restrain herself from falling into “traps”, like eating mochi or accepting the other shopkeeper’s gifts.
There’s more to Choi than meets the eye though. Her fortune-telling for Tomio and Sayuri makes her examine her own feelings towards the Prince, who she’s got a bit of a crush on. When she keeps passing out in the bath, Tamako takes care of her and notices that she’s homesick and crying in her sleep. I hate it when shows unexpectedly take a turn for “ouch, you’re hurting my heart!” territory. With a little help from the record store owner, Tamako plays her a recording of the ocean, which not only makes Choi feel better, but also helps her open her heart a bit. She sees that Dera’s been lying about being forced to stay, and gives him a real earful about it, while at the same time accepting the fact that the people around her don’t have an ulterior motives in their kindness towards her. Choi decides to stay until she can fix Dera, and she even tries some mochi. And of course, she likes it!
On the B-side (see what I did there? Ha, record joke!) we have the story of Tomio, the tofu shop owner, and Sayuri, the only daughter of the bath house owners. Tomio is quiet shy, and when he asks Choi to tell his fortune she’s really quick to guess that he’s in love. Unfortunately, she predicts it’s going to be a fruitless endeavor, since the object of his affection (who get’s a reading done next) is going to get married to someone else. Choi foresees a good match and everyone is happy. Instead of having Tomio confess his love in some grand way, and have Sayuri realize she’s been in love with him all along, Tamako Market takes a more or less realistic approach to the situation. Tomio, while understandably a little sad, still congratulates Sayuri on her engagement. He even thanks Choi for giving Sayuri a very reassuring and good outlook on her future. Their relationship of being just friends is what it is, and even though somethings change, somethings were always meant to stay the same. Like tofu. Yeah, sometimes Tamako Market gets deep. Anyway, it’s also frickin’ cute as hell to see Mochizou, who’s back this episode, try to talk about marriage with Tamako. Of course he fails, but hilarious to see him try.
The really interesting part of the episode happens at the end, when Choi and Tamako are walking in the street and Choi smells something coming off of Tamako. Choi seems to know the scent from somewhere and is rather excited to have noticed it. But what does it mean? Is Choi looking for someone with that particular smell? Is Tamako maybe the bride everyone’s been looking for? What will next episode bring (from the previews it looks like Dera is really being worked hard)? Will our fat bird friend finally be able to stop stuffing his face with mochi and loose a few pounds? We’ll just have to wait till next week!
Final Though: Choi’s insults had me in stitches this week. Especially her lines about Dera being big enough to have his own timezone and him being a miniature blimp. Those were both great, and had me laughing for much longer than I should have.