Recap: After months with no communication, Dera receives a visitor from back home. Afraid of the repercussions of his failure, Dera leads her to believe he’s being held captive by Tamako and her family.
Jel’s Thoughts: As much as I think Tamako Market doesn’t need more characters, adding Choi to to the cast seems to serve several purposes. For one, her exotic look and questionably mystical powers adds a little shot of originality to the our sleepy little shopping district. But I have a hunch she will be pretty important plot wise, especially the way this episode ends. I mentioned in my WILD SPECULATION two weeks ago I think Midori will be the one to go back with Dera, and you could interpet the bit with afro guy missing his chance with Bath House girl as bit of foreshadowing for poor Choi. If that doesn’t happen, she’s also the backup plan for the Prince because I really don’t see any scenario where Tamako leaves Tamako Market.
Speaking of poor afro guy, his little moment was really the best bit of this episode. No one does subtlety better than Kyoto Animation, and they really hit a perfect bittersweet tone with his story. Between his painfully animated facial expressions when congratulating his lost love to her father (or grandfather?) silently sharing a drink with Ramen Guy, it was a lovely, heartbreaking vignette that vaguely reminded me of the gorgeous “Like Love” segments from Nichijou.
Overall though this episode was just kind of weird, and that very well may be the show not being weird enough. The whole notion of Dera (who once again is a talking bird with PROJECTOR EYES) and Choi coming to this quiet anonymous town to find a bride for a prince of some exotic island sounds crazy enough on paper, but in practice it really hasn’t been. Both foreigners have slipped seamlessly into the cast and, for now at least, easily integrated into daily life at the shopping district. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing as it fits with the vibe and message of the show, but I’m not really sure it’s a good thing either. It is at the very least a unique situation though, and for this genre that’s a victory in itself.