Tamako Market – 03

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Spring arrives, and with it a new school year. Tamako is interested in her new classmate Asagiri Shiori, but Shiori won’t give her the time of day. Mochimazzi gets lost and falls from the sky and is caught by Shiori, who takes him home to Tamako’s. She stays for dinner and goes to the bath with Tamako. The next day she can’t find the words to thank her, but she ends up back at Tamako’s anyway, helping her lost teacher make a home call. Over coffee and music at the cafe, Shiori is finally able to express her thanks to Tamako, and the two become friends.

This was a very pretty episode, that made us wish Spring were here already. It also makes the friendship of the devastatingly shy Shiori and the bubbly, friendly Tamako almost a matter of fate. After all, external forces (Mochimazzi and the teacher) drew Shiori to Tamako’s house both times, but she enjoyed herself both times. It was also nice to see how an “outsider” deals with all the generosity and friendliness of the shopping district as a whole. If you’re a friend of Tamako, you’re a friend of theirs, too.

While we’ll admit part of us wanted Shiori to finally blow her stack and verbally unload on Tamako, that wouldn’t quite fit the tone of this series thus far. Instead, she practices thanking her in the mirror, and after some strong coffee and a little music, she’s finally able to communicate her feelings. Tamako and the bird aren’t causing her trouble. On the contrary, she always wanted to be part of Tamako’s world. And now she is. Croquettes and sakuramochi for everyone!…Except Mochimazzi…bird need to lose some weight like yesterday.


Rating: 8 (Great)

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Zetsuen no Tempest – 15

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Evangeline, Samon, and Natsumura meet with Hanemura, who accidentally demonstrates his power by making an entire branch of the Tree of Genesis disappear. They bring him to Mahiro for questioning, and then sparring, where they confirm he lacks emotional fortitude. Meanwhile Yoshino and Hakaze are at an amusement park and bump into Junichiro, who shoos Yoshino off and makes Hakaze realize she’s fallen in love with Yoshino, which may be bad considering her position. Evangeline unveils a unique plan, approved by the Kusaribes, to use Hanemura while continuing to test his powers.

Ah, now that’s more like it, Tempest! This was a splendid episode that gave everyone something to do, featured interesting combinations of characters, and quite unexpectedly the funniest episodes of the series so far…an episode of comic undertones that we didn’t  see coming. Seriously, everyone had a comic moment, to the extent it almost felt like a Jormungand episode what with all the jaunty banter flying around. Tempest can at times be a bit stiff and stuffy, so it was nice to see it let its hair down, without sacrificing the progression of the story.

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One of the better moments: when Mahiro mocks Hanemura for wanting to save the world for the sake of his (ex)-girlfriend, he totally shuts him down by bringing up something no one yet dared bring up: Mahiro has at the least, a sister complex, and at worst, is in love with her, and not in a brotherly way. Hanemura may be a little skittish, but he’s not about to take everything lying down. Even funnier, Evangeline and her boss are planning to turn Hanemura into some kind of superhero, and despite Samon thinking it will be a hard sell to Hakaze, she agrees to the plan immediately…without hearing it.

That brings us to Hakaze’s longwinded explanation for why she couldn’t possibly be in love with Yoshino, which eventually ends up proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that she’s fallen for him (she wants to touch his earlobes all night. LOL.) But the ever-pragmatic Junichiro warns her not to let that love get too far: it may end up killing Yoshino’s girlfriend – who nearly everyone still thinks is still alive. Which brings up a good point: could Hakaze’s budding love for Yoshino in the present have caused Aika’s death in the past?


Rating: 9 (Superior)

Kotoura-san – 03

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Kotoura and the ESP society go to Karaoke, her first time. Yuriko thinks Kotoura should tell Manabe how she feels, or at least start making his lunch. A bitter, enraged Moritani tells her dojo members to “rough up” Manabe, telling them he’s a stalker. He misses school and is in the hospital. Kotoura knows Moritani’s responsible, but doesn’t snitch. She rushes to the hospital, and hears Manabe thinking he’s glad she wasn’t with him when the beating happened. Afraid of hurting him more, she leaves school and moves out of her apartment.

This show keeps getting better. Sure, there’s the familiar fact that Kotoura knows Manabe likes her, but he doesn’t know she knows, so the balls in her court and…well, she doesn’t play ball. She doesn’t sing either, and is (refreshingly!) tone-deaf even when she gains her confidence. Manabe remains extremely into Kotoura (his high jump reaction is frikkin’ awesome), to the extent he’d rather take a beating for her than let her experience any more pain that she already has up to this point. The show does a great job building up the tension, and it’s not immediately clear who’ll come afoul of the dojo-mates. And though they never show him fighting, Manabe also gives almost as good as he got, despite being outnumbered.

But it’s Manabe. We thought when she first got the new of Manabe’s beating she’d think it was because she is the curse so many people told her she was, but she doesn’t, because Moritani makes it clear (in her thoughts) that she ordered the heavys to rough him up (though we can’t blame them, they thought they were protecting Moritani). But once Kotoura is in the hospital, peeking in at a battered Manabe, thinking about how he doesn’t mind getting hurt for her sake, she chokes, and decides to run (though, obviously, not for good). What she has yet to learn is that part of letting people get close to you is accepting that sometimes they’ll get hurt, and so will you. It’s not her fault, nor anyone else’s. It’s just life.


Rating: 9 (Superior)