Cockblocked Romance in Tamako Market

Some girls just want to have fun, and some girls just want to make mochi.

Tamako Market has been airing for a little over a month now and has settled into a strange pattern of mixed genres. At some times it’s a young girl s’life detailing the every day occurrences of a shopping district. There are also inklings of romance, mainly between the lead and the boy across the way, but also include the many failed attempts of Dera Mochimazui, puppy love for the little sister, the impending arrival of the bride-hunting prince, and even a possible yuri pairing. The presence of Dera also casts a fantastical flavor. Yet none of the particular categories take the lead on defining the intentions of this show. As it stands now, I view TM as a thoroughly watered down romance, chock full of cockblocks. Despite all the love floating in the air, the show is determined to prevent any sort of satisfaction from being had by anyone.

The most ridiculous block is personified by the talking bird, Dera. Easiliy enamored and on a mission to locate a bride for his so far unmet master, Dera unfortunately stops himself from succeeding in love. His newfound addiction to mochi results in a flight-defying weight gain that makes it near impossible for him to conduct his duty in a timely manner. His notions of love also center solely on the customs of his fellow birds and he makes no distinctions for the differences of humans. This attitude makes for some of the better jokes in this show.

Somewhat similar to Dera, Mochizou has no one but himself to blame for his failure in love. His awkwardness around Tamako, combined with her denseness, makes it impossible for him to confess his feelings. It almost feels like KnT all over again, only this time I’m yelling at the guy to act. His confrontation with Tamako’s friend, Midori, made it all too clear that no progress will be made for the remainder of this season.

Most interesting of all the cockblocks is Tamako’s devotion to her mochi shop and the surrounding shopping district. There is nothing else that absorbs her attention but her dedication to advertising the family business, making and creating new mochi, and participating in the district’s community. Seeing such focus in a girl that young is both rare and awe-inspiring. Look no further than her mochi hair ties to understand the amount of love she holds for the family business. If it weren’t for her business mind, I’d peg her as your typical genki girl, so the spin this show took was a pleasant surprise.

All of these impediments not only block any romantic progress, but also promise additional frustrations. I hold no doubt that Dera’s prince will soon arrive and I have a feeling that he’ll set his sights on Tamako and give poor Mochizou another reason to fret. What this will bode for the harmony of the shopping district, though, is another thing entirely. Tamako may have to come to a decision about visiting a new land or staying with her beloved mochi. There’s also her career survey to consider–another outcome that seemingly has only one clear answer. Whether or not I’m right still remains to be seen, but I’m willing to bet that the puni confections will win the girl.

Happy early Valentine’s Day! I might be alone this year, but I plan on having a chocolate feast and watching sappy love anime <3
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13 thoughts on “Cockblocked Romance in Tamako Market

  1. Nothing else mattered on the show other than Midori’s quest for “gold”. Screw Mochizou and his cliche “I’m too much of a pussy boy to confess”,nunaces. Midori should win. Frankly, that’s all I talk about when analyzing this show…if you stopped by once a moon during your quest to find a new apartment/home. now whether any progress will be made in Midori’s quest after episode 5 is anyone’s guess. I highly doubt a PURE confession will be made. I repeat, screw Mochizou.

    Honestly, there’s nothing else to this show than that. You got more out of it than me (As I had predicted) because you’re a connoisseur of fine dining. I just eat. Heck, my only other compliment to this show so far, besides the quirky shopping district and its owners is how omega-kawaii Tamako and her buddy look in the bunny outfits. That’s all.

    1. Midori’s over protectiveness of Tamako was so quickly abandoned in the face of her discussion with Mochizou, that I had a hard time taking it seriously. I’m hoping that if this prince that arrives does go for Tamako, that we see some actual confident wooing! Not forceful like some anime like to portray, surprise kisses and all that, but an actual attempt by one to convey his feelings to the other and win her affection.

      As for my apartment hunt, I’m currently moved in, though there are some complications for the next week. This means I’m having to use the media center’s free wifi or my cell for browsing the net >.< It makes keeping up with anime and blogs week to week difficult! I'm also making job interviews a priority, so again, crunch on time. I can't wait until I get internet installed.

      1. Which is exactly why despite my support of Midori, I have many doubts her quest will go anywhere. Heck, I’m even doubting it’ll continue after episode 5.

        Good luck on your job hunt Marina-chan. Hope to see your restaurant opening its doors again when your daily life has settled down a bit. My mind is hungry and your posts are quite the delicious treat.

  2. As Overlord said, Midori is the only thing that I’m really care for at the moment. I’m afraid they might make some weird Midori x Mochizou ship later on, but I seriously hope that’s not the case.

    I mean, what does the show even have to offer? It does a little bit of romance, a little bit of slice of life, a little bit of bird being weird, a little bit of… island people stuff and so on. It doesn’t really do anything well at all. It seems to push the romance aspect a lot, but it’s not really that interesting since probably nothing will come out off it in the end.

    I just wanted a moe slice of life series that focused on this cool marketplace. It’s at its best when it does just that.

    1. I find it somewhat telling about the show’s success that viewers are feeling more intrigued by a girl with much less screen time, Midori, than by the main character and even the magical bird. I agree that more focus on the district itself is desired, perhaps some time spent on Midori’s toy shop. I’m again assuming that with the prince’s arrival will come a lot more time spent intone district and his effect on it.

  3. The titles of the episodes indicate that the show somewhat strives for a slice-of-life rom com. I like it the way it is. Of course, exploring more the history of the district shops and their owners would be more than welcome. I am especially very intrigued with the florist.

    The bird is fabulous and I must say it’s the one character I greatly enjoy up till now. Tamako has some refreshing traits for a moe girl, but well, she’s still a moe dough, which doesn’t please me per se. I had high hopes for Midori and in fact I kinda thought her love would be Kanna, what with the ed scene with those two in the closet. Last episode though, I got frustrated at her. I sympathize much more with Mochizou that at least tried than her who was a mean jealous coward. The only thing that gives her some slight excuse is her age.

    1. Despite my frustrations with the love in this show I am still enjoying it–not as much as I thought I would, though. The florist is indeed a fascinating person who I would like to know more about, along with the owner of the record/coffee shop.

      Along with Midori, I’m also curious about Kanna. At the moment, she’s a blank slate who hardly opens her mouth. I’d like to see how her and Tamako became friends when they were little.

  4. As you say, a lot of the cockblocking of romance in the show comes directly from Tamako, who is unbelievably oblivious to romantic feelings. I thought it was priceless when Midori expressed relief at Tamako’s obliviousness when applied to Anko, because that meant that it wasn’t just her feelings that were getting ignored. And it’s really kind of weird that Tamako is so out of touch with romantic feelings, because she’s certainly not tone-deaf with respect to other feelings. My favorite scene of the show so far was in the episode that introduced Shiori, when Tamako invited Shiori for coffee, and they had that pitch-perfect quiet scene in the coffee/record shop. And Tamako’s gentleness in drawing Shiori out and befriending her, making her feel more comfortable, was just great.

    And it seems weird that the show seems to now be setting up Tamako as the love interest for the tropical prince. I don’t see how she gets from Miss Oblivious to In Love With A Picture Enough To Relocate to a Tropical Island.

    1. Ah! I agree that that coffee/record shop (we really need a name for this place) scene with Tamako and Shiori was really well portrayed and beautifully exhibited each girl’s personality. They’re both such gentle souls and are the type of characters I wish I could befriend and be like, sort of like ARIA’s Akari.

      I’m pretty sure that Tamako will have no interest in going to the tropics, but I do look forward to her perhaps opening her eyes to the heart bubbles in the air all around her. Poor Mochizou really has no hope of getting her to reciprocate his feelings, what with his impossible hesitation and roundabout way of talking to her.

  5. I can no longer tell the significance of the bird anymore other than eating up all of Tamya’s mochi. He is meant to be finding a bride for his prince but yet he has made no progress. I have the feeling it might be Tamako but since there hasn’t been a clear hint there is still room for doubt. Though if that happens to be the case, then what will happen with Mochizou? Also if you have seen the newest episodes, Choi, the tropical girl seems to have been thrown in the picture claiming to help look for the prince’s bride as well. All there is left is the prince to show up. Though I am quite confused on how this show will end up I believe it will surprise us all.

    1. The bird really has taken a back seat in the show, which is a shame given that he was the star of the beginning and the draw to Tamako Market. Moe blob Choi doesn’t seem to serve much purpose now either since she’s settled in at Tamaya.

      1. Ah, I’m actually so glad that Dera has become a true supporting character in the show. My biggest fear at the beginning of the series was that he would end up with ‘Wacky Supporting Character Syndrome’ and end up being turned way up to the point where he dominated the show. If it was a different show, that might work (although I’m not sure how much I’d enjoy it), but in this show, it’d detract from what I think is really the great relationships throughout.

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