Tamayura ~hitotose~ had a bit of a rough start and took a very long time to grow on me, but grown on me it has. My main problem was that I kept comparing this show to ARIA, and expected it to share the same sort of charm, mainly that of setting. There is something so unforgettably enchanting about the world of Aqua and the city Neo Venezia. They bring you a strange yet beautifully blended mix of old world atmosphere and new world technology. Each episode usually included another discovery of the mysteries of the Orange Planet, and Mizunashi Akari was the perfect companion for these adventures. However, Tamayura currently has nothing going for its setting, which mostly takes place in Takehara, Hiroshima, along the Seto Inland Sea. What I should have focused on from the start were the people, objects, and activities in Potte’s pictures.
The setting in Tamayura is, yes, beautiful as a backdrop, but the interest stops there. What really fascinates me are the activities Potte and her friends undertake, as well as their individual quirks that differentiate them from each other.
One of the simplest aspects I like about this show are the moments where the audience gets a split screen view of all their reactions at once. It kind of reminds me of those skits featured in the Tales games (<3 Vesperia). In this specific example, we get to see their reactions to the same food. The differences are minimal, but telling of their personalities. The split screen also reminds me of a page of manga, which doesn’t bother me in the least.
I don’t really have much of a favorite character yet, but I do enjoy Maon’s habit of whistling as a reaction to anything and everything. The whistles are always short, but easily convey a specific tone including surprise and/or pleasure. I can’t say I’ve seen whistles used often in any anime, except as some sort of super secret signal. It’s a cute mannerism of Maon’s that compliments her usual unobtrusiveness.
And almost every episode features an array of delicious foods, sweet and savory. Episode 3 in particular focuses on the difficulty of food photography, how capturing the “delicious-ness” of a food can be trickier than it seems. Anyone who is familiar with the art knows that most of what we see in advertisements are not just the food, fresh from the oven, but a mixture of shiny spray and plastic. If you don’t have the right lighting and setting, your food can just as easily come out looking greasy and homely. Instead of relying on the tricks of the trade, Potte insteads aims to capture not only the food, but also the face of whoever is making or eating it. I know that almost nothing beats the satisfaction taken from seeing someone’s face light up after one bite of my cooking.
What the heck is Momoneko-chan? As the name implies, is it just a peach-colored cat? Is it some sort of fluffy manifestation of the tamayura (specks of light captured in photos)? Whatever it is, Momoneko’s short moments are always welcome; whether it be lazing around Takehara or jumping on little girls’ heads, it represents the softness I’m just now starting to get from Tamayura ~hitotose~.