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.