Tamako Market Episode 12: Another Year Ends [FINAL]
“Life isn’t only made up of farewells.” -Kunio Yaobi
Summary: Things draw to a close at Usagiyama Market, as the arrival of the Prince has everyone obsessed with him (cue “Obsessed” by Mariah Carey). Tamako, under pressure from Dera, finally spills the beans about why she wants to stay and not be married off. She kindly turns down Mecha, who surprises everyone by saying she wasn’t even a candidate in the first place due to an error on Choi’s part. The royal family departs, and things come full circle, but this time around Mochizou is finally able to give Tamako a birthday present (even if said present includes a little bit more than what he bargained for).
Impressions: zzzZZZzzzZZZZzz…whasdat? Is it over? Yaaawwn…What a boring ending! Jeez-louise, could you be more anti-climatic? I don’t really know what I was expecting, but it certainly should have been better than this.
The arrival of Mecha has everyone all in a tizzy, dragging him around and asking for his picture and autograph. They get so caught up in it all that they forget to open their shops, which distresses Tamako, who’s reminded of the day that her mother died. I’m going to sound like a terrible person for saying this, but the moment that Tamako starts to remember that day was one of only two parts of the episode that I enjoyed. Not because I like seeing little girls cry, but because it was one of the only really emotional moments of the episode (if not the whole series). For a very brief second, there was more to Tamako than just a dense, bubbly girl. She became just a little bit more human, and I wish we could have seen more of that throughout the show. Of course it was also really sweet to see Midori, Dera, Kanna, and Shiori immediately rush to comfort her as well.
Tamako finally also explains, in a very round-about way, why she doesn’t want to marry the Prince. This is something that I think she could have done much earlier, because it was pretty obvious from the start that she was never going to go with him regardless of the pressure that everyone was putting on her to leave. Thank god for Dera finally asking her straight how she felt about marrying. Part of me wishes that it could have been more dramatic. Instead of going the cutesy route of “here are all childhood memories, look at how cute everyone is”, I wish she would have said all of it with more force. I’m probably doing a bad job of explaining this.
I just wanted the whole thing to go out with more of a bang. Like Choi finally confessing (instead of the too-subtle cop-out that made it seem like Choi might also have a mark underneath her necklace and thus might actually be a bride candidate , Tamako boldly declaring that she loves the market too much to leave, or even Mochizou telling Tamako not to go because he loves her. Something else other than the “oops we made a mistake we’re leaving now” ending that happened. Everything ended much to smoothly and problem free. Then again, given how the shows been so far, I was probably hoping for a bit much there.
Choi and Mecha leave, after telling Tamako that she isn’t going to be a bride after all. Dera stays around for a bit, but then decides to leave without saying goodbye to Tamako and Anko, because he doesn’t make girls cry. Tamako’s desperate running around in search of him at the end was the other part of the episode that I liked. I was genuinely distressed at the thought of her not getting to say goodbye to our fine feathered friend, and I think it would have made for a better, more bittersweet ending if she’d not seen him again.
But nope, Dera comes back in the same way that he came to Tamako originally. Good for Mochizou for finally being able to give Tamako a birthday present, but boo on the show for having Dera come back in said box. Why did I watch any of this if over the year that went by in the show, literally nothing was going to change? There’s something to be said for having simitry in a series, but this was ridiculous. Everything just goes back to how it was in the beginning, except now Mochizou finally can get up enough courage to give Tamako a present? Gimme a break.
Anyway, with Dera and Tamako reunited, Tamako Market draws to a close in much the same way as we found it. It was a boring ending in my opinion, that took the easy way out of some situations that could have led to a little bit of personal growth for at least some of the characters. There were so many things left open or unfinished that it’s hard to be satisfied with this last episode. Like Mochizou and Midori’s feeling for Tamako, for example.
I guess maybe I was expecting different things from this show than I should have (I’m not really a big watcher of slice-of-life type shows). Tamako Market certainly had its moments, and parts of it were almost downright good, but for the most part I’m left feeling…nothing really. It was a cute, well animated, easily digestible way to pass the time, but I’m not sad to see it go, and I don’t think it’ll really leave a lasting impression on me.
Final Thought: I am, however, sad to see that ending go. I freaking love that song. I need to go download it somewhere.