Tamako Market Episode 6: I Felt Shivers Down My Spine Too
“As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have summer without a haunted house!” -Tamako Kitashirakawa
Summary: With the market in the midst of a summer slump, Tamako and friends decide to put on a haunted house to drum up some business. But with mysterious things happening all around, is there really a ghost lurking about? As the adults struggle to get rid of the spirit, the haunted house goes off without a hitch. In fact, it’s a huge success! In the end, everyone celebrates, and thanks to Dera’s projector eye powers it looks like a strange visitor is on her way to Usagiyama Market.
Impressions: It’s hard to watch a very summery episode like this when it’s snowing outside. Kinda ruins the mood just a bit. But putting the weather aside, this was still a nice episode. It’s not one of my favorite episodes that’s aired so far, but it was still okay. There was still a little bit of humor, but it felt like it was lacking something. Then again maybe that was just the snow.
Just like there has to be a Valentine’s Day episode, and a beach episode, and a festival episode, I guess there also has to be a haunted house episode. When Tamako happens to notice how empty the whole marketplace is, she comes up with a plan to get people out of their summer slump. She pitches the idea to the residents of Usagiyama, and they all agree to help. Gathering up Midori and Kanna, Tamako sets to work. The have a meeting together with Dera at the record shop (duh, wear else?) and it’s fun to see the shop owner setting a spooky mood with his musical choices. Dera doesn’t really understand the point of a haunted house, since to him being scared really isn’t a fun thing. I like being scared but only when I’m watching movies, so I don’t really see the attraction of haunted houses either.
With Kanna’s expert building skills, and a space provided by the bath house, work on the haunted house is quickly underway. Since Shiori is out at badminton training camp for most of the episode and Mochizou doesn’t make an appearance at all, this episode divides it’s attention equally among the whole cast, including the adults who have more of a role to play in this episode. Tamako’s dad see’s two fireballs floating in the street and someone else see’s a salary man covered in blood, which leads to some very silly ideas about ghosts being dreamed up. It’s not helped by some “mysterious” things that keep happening: flowers blooming when they shouldn’t,wet footprints appearing on the bath house floor, udon noodles going missing. They decide that they have try and protect Tamako from these harmful spirits, and keep coming by the girls construction site to offer her various things, like garlic and salt and pouring saki on the ground. It’s vaguely funny, but borders more on silly which I think might have turned me off a bit. Even with the adults all acting like idiots and trying their hardest to convince people not to go to the haunted house, thanks to Dera’s screams of terror after doing a test run through with Shiori, a lot of people show up on opening day.
The funniest part of the episode to me was Tamako’s teacher going through the haunted house with his wife. His blind terror at just about everything, scary or not, was chuckle worthy. More impressive though is Shiori’s logical and to the point break down of why all the “mysterious” and “scary” things that had been happening were actually totally logical and normal. Thank god for Shiori, otherwise those idiots would have kept going with their silly delusions for god knows how long. It’s also funny to see Dera, who is still very much a stranger to the way the human world works, try to pursue Shiori romantically. I would have though her blunt refusal would have deterred him, but I guess our little feathered friend still has his heart set on his glasses-wearing dream girl. For all his awkwardness about how to interact with humans, at least he get’s to go through the haunted house with her. Even if he was scared out of his wits.
Since the event turns out to be a total success, there’s a party to celebrate at which Kanna reveals that she was the one behind the ghostly events. She though that no one would come, so she used Dera to trick people into thinking that there really were spirits of some kind lurking around. I really did not see that part coming, which made for a pleasant surprise. Dera doesn’t much like the idea that he was used, and in the midst of his fit knocks a bottle on to his head which activates his projector skills. We see the prince again, who informs us that someone named Choi is coming to check up on Dera. We see a little bit of her at the very end, with her tan skin and bracelets on her feet and neck. She’s also clearly from the same place as Dera, since they both think that a certain shrine statue is a weapon to throw at your enemies. Judging from the previous, next episode should focus on this new guest and what that means for all the inhabitants of the market. I have a feeling that Choi is going to bring some serious drama with her, and I’m hoping that it leads to some interesting developments, and maybe some answers to questions like: just what the heck is Dera and why can he talk/project stuff out of his eyeballs?
Final Thought: I was kinda hoping for some more Mochizou this episode, considering how last episode focused on his feelings towards Tamako. I though it would have been great to carry that over to this week, but I guess not. Oh well, maybe next week.