“Though your wishes may go unfulfilled and your best laid plans go awry, on a different path, a different flower will bloom anew.” -Dera Mochimazzi
Summary: It’s festival time at Usagiyama Market, and little Anko is the only one not feeling the festive mood. She’d rather go with her school friends (and her crush) to the museum, but instead she has to help out selling mochi! Will everything work out for Anko in the end? and will anyone ever finally start calling her An?
Impressions: Continuing on with the “things that must happen in an anime series” mandate, this was the festival episode. This was also the Anko episode, and boy, isn’t she just cute as a button? On the surface this episode revolves around Anko trying to go on a “date” with the boy she has a crush on, but I think the subtext of the episode focuses much more on why Anko really has such mixed feelings towards the festival. Tamako Market continues it’s trend of being a sweet, and very subtle show, which continues to make it such a joy to watch every week.
Little Anko has a little crush, as we find out this week, and it’s surprisingly not on the boy you’d think! Part of An’s dilemma is that the market is having a festival on Sunday, which is of course the same day that her friends want her to come with them to the museum as part of a school assignment. An’s crush is going to, so she’s extra disappointed to find out that she can’t go because she has to help out at home. When her Grandfather suggests that she get up early and finish all her work before noon so that she can still meet her friends, Anko quickly agrees. With help from Tamako, Kanna, Shiori, Midori, and to some extent Dera, Anko is able to finish early. Just as she’s leaving though, Kaoru the florist asks for her help dressing the little girls who are taking part in the festival. Having played the role of princess for the festival before when she was small, Anko decides to stay and support the younger girls instead of going to the museum. She ends up having fun, and Tamako is even able to get her to really have fun selling their special limited edition mochi when Anko’s crush walks by. Embarrassed to be seen yelling, she runs upstairs and hides in her closet. Tamako, Kanna, and Midori try their best to lure her out, but it’s only when the goofy glasses-wearing boy comes up with the souvenir he bought her from the museum that Anko finally comes out. It turns out he’s the boy she had a crush on all along. They’re very cute together, and seeing the two of them is like visual cotton candy; fluffy and sweet to the point were it almost hurts. While Kanna and Midori picked up on Anko’s having a crush right away, Tamako doesn’t get it, even at the end when it’s pretty obvious that there’s a little “first love” in the air.
Part of the underlying story though, isn’t so much about romance as it is about growing up, even if it is just a tiny bit. The episode starts with a scene of An dressed up as a princess and everyone calling her cute. Even though it’s never addressed head on, I think part of Anko’s problem with the festival is that now she’s to old to play the part of “princess” anymore, even though she wants to be fussed over. When she get’s called in to help Kaoru with dressing the little girl who’s in the same place that Anko was in, Anko has a very important moment that everyone more or less faces at some point in their lives. It’s when you realize that you can’t be a baby forever, and that sometimes you have to be a little bit of a grown-up to help someone else. If you have a younger sibling, you might know what I’m talking about; it’s like the moment you accept that you have to the eldest in order to protect or support your younger brother or sister. For me, it was not crying at times (even though I wanted to) so that my little brother could, and so that my mom wouldn’t have to divide her attention between two crying kids. So even though An is still a little kid, she kinda of realizes that she needs to step outside of herself and be an older sister to this little girl so that she wouldn’t be scared like Anko had been.
Elsewhere this episode, Dera has to step in as the shrine topper, after the original breaks. Midori’s offering of a Lego bird replacement first is hilarious, as is the chase between residence of Usagiyama and Dera, who isn’t really keen on being painted and stuck on top of a shrine. Mochizou tries in vain to get closer to Tamako, first by offering to help out making Mochi so that An can go on her trip and then by helping to carry the (very heavy) shrine around. Since Tamako didn’t even pick up on the fact that her little sister liked someone, you can only imagine how oblivious she would be to her friends feelings towards her. Next episode looks to be the required “Summer vacation episode where there must be bathing suits of some kind and also romantic tension” which hopefully the way this show has been going, will be presented in a way that will put a twist on a very standard situations.
Final Thought: No record store therapy moment this episode. At least, not really. Mr. Record Store Owner did complain about how empty his shop was, but I did miss his advice giving and cool music playing segment. Oh well. Maybe next week.