Recap: An evil* curse has fallen on the shopping district and the residents of Bunny Mountain scramble to protect Tamako at any cost.
Jel’s Thoughts: I feel like this was the episode Tamako Market really came into its own, mixing just the right amount of old fashioned humor and modern context with a little dash of weird. The series has been attempting all those elements up until now but the jokes often fell flat and the ensemble cast was occasionally hampered by the schizophrenic directing. This episode shows just how fun and charming Tamako Market can be when it does pull itself together.
Perhaps the biggest factor in getting the show in focus was actually giving everyone something to do, or more specifically something to do with a sense of urgency. We’ve had a few other shopping-district-wide events in previous efforts, but nothing quite like the “curse” that sent our normally laid back cast scurrying around for our amusement. How else would we get jokes like Stoner Coffee Record Shop Guy putting on creepy music or the hilariously goofy exorcisms? Sure they’re still simple, good natured fun but they work so much better in the flow of a story than just randomly popping into everyone’s daily life.
Also keeping things interesting are all the weird little quirks these otherwise average people seem to have. Small little things this episode like Tamako’s weird monster drawing, Flower Shop Guy (?) standing in the freezer or when Kanna does anything help give the show personality, and that’s before we even get to Dera and his Projector eyes. Speaking of Kanna, I’m equally amused and terrified at the idea of her pulling the strings behind the scenes. She’s proving to be quite the scene stealer, and I have a hunch she’s going to play a bigger role in the show’s romantic side when we get back around to it.
The episode left us with one final bit of weird to speculate over as a mysterious girl from wherever Dera is from arrives at Tamako’s house. If Dera’s mission is to find a bride why are they sending girls away? How long will it be before Mysterious Foreigner Girl joins Tamako’s harem? I really have no clue where they’re going with that, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.
*Actual levels of evil may vary. Consult your priest/monk/shaman for more details.