“This is the cultural festival where hearts flutter.” -Dera Mochimazzi
Summary: With the Cultural Festival fast approaching, the Baton club has drawn a prime time spot to give their performance. As team captain, Midori takes it upon herself to come up with the choreography, but she ends up struggling with it to the point of making herself sick. Will Kanna, Tamako, Shiori, Dera, and the rest of the team be able to help her out? And what exactly is Choi talking about when she tells Tamako that she’s the Prince’s bride-to-be?
Impressions: It’s not a real anime without at least one beach episode and one episode with a school festival right? Especially with a KyoAni show. At least this one focused more on the events before the festival than the actual event, which in that regard was a nice change of pace.
Midori takes center stage again this episode. As the captain of the Baton Club, at first she excited to take on all the responsibilities that she heaps on herself, including coming up with the choreography for their routine. As the episode goes on, Midori struggles more and more to come up with something, but she just can’t. It’s hard to see her fighting with herself, because I think we’ve all been in similar situations. Sometimes the pressure you put on yourself ends up paralyzing you. Everyone else in the Baton Club seems to have no difficulty getting their assigned tasks done, which makes is even harder for Midori to admit that she’s stuck. Not even a visit to the local coffee/record shop can help her mental block. The stress of the situation really gets to Midori, and she ends up getting a bit sick. Tamako and Kanna kind of notice that somethings off with their friends, and when Shiori tells them about what she heard Midori talking about in the bathroom, the three of them head over to Midori’s house to see what exactly the problem is.
I really felt for poor Midori, because admitting you need help isn’t always the easiest thing to do. She kind of breaks down when she finally admits that she hasn’t been able to come up with a good dance. Of course, her friends are there for her since this is the warm and kind world of Tamako Market. It’s a very heartwarming scene, seeing Tamako hug the crying Midori and just letting her cry it out for a second before saying that they’ll all work on the dance together. Dera does his comic relief schtick, and tries to give them some helpful advice on dancing, but it backfires and just makes everyone laugh instead. In the end everything works out (of course) and their performance goes off without a hitch. Mochizou even films the whole thing. Or rather, he films Tamako. I’m really hoping that now that Tamako’s been chosen as the bride for the Prince, Mochizou will finally step up and tell Tamako how he feels about her.
That was probably the best part of the episode for me. As much as I like Midori and “the power of friendship” kinda of scenes, I’m really more interested in seeing where this whole bride storyline is going to go. Ever since episode 1, we’ve been hearing about how Dera (and later Choi) are looking for a bride for their Prince. And ten episodes later, that storyline is finally advancing past the point that it’s been at since the beginning. Choi has been intrigued by a certain smell that seems to come off of Tamako since she arrived, and this week Choi catches a glimpse of the mole that Tamako has on her neck which Choi calls “the dark sign.”
Those two things seem to be clues that Choi has been looking for in her search for the bride. What’s going to happen now that Tamko’s been identified as a potential candidate for marriage? How’s she going to react? What exactly are the requirements that need to be filled to be this bride? I don’t think wild horses could drag Tamako away from the Usagiyama Market, so will the Prince come to her? Or will they kidnap her? I’ve got my fingers crossed that they keep up with this plotline, and that maybe the mystery of Dera the talking bird/video projector will be explained (with two episodes left, you’d better hope that they’ll give us at least some answers).
Final Thought: Did I mention the turtles?